Mexico won't make any changes to Gold Cup squad before quarterfinals
ESPN - Sunday 16th July, 2017
SAN ANTONIO -- The United States may be hauling in the big guns for the knockout rounds of the Gold Cup, but Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio won't be following suit.
Osorio confirmed in a news conference ahead of Sunday's final Group C match against Curacao that he is happy with what he has at his disposal for the CONCACAF tournament, after failing to secure the services of seven players that were in the Confederations Cup before the Gold Cup got underway.
"I think this group deserves the opportunity to continue [in the Gold Cup] and experience this tournament and the great responsibility that representing Mexico is," said Osorio, indicating he isn't planning to use any of his six allowed changes once the group stage is complete.
Mexico sits on four points from its first two games and comes into the Curacao match at the Alamodome on the back of a 0-0 draw last Thursday against Jamaica, but Osorio is confident this group of players has a bright future.
"[I feel] happy, very optimistic about the group," said the 57-year-old. "We're continuing to consolidate a very good group of talented, young players that are the future of Mexican football. That factor, for me personally, is the most gratifying and what I enjoy most in life."
Osorio will once again watch the game from a booth in the stadium and will serve the third of his six-match suspension from FIFA for acting inappropriately towards the officials at the end of the third-place playoff against Portugal in the Confederations Cup.
The Mexican federation decided not to appeal the ban -- something Osorio said he respected -- but the former Atletico Nacional coach admitted it is a tough experience not being on the touchline.
"Needless to say it is a very difficult situation," Osorio said. "I can't deny that I enjoy very much being on sideline next to players."
Osorio added that getting messages down to the bench takes too long and "two or three plays have happened" before he can communicate what he needs to assistant Pompilio Paez.
"If there is one word, it is frustration," added the Mexico coach.
Mexico will play in the quarterfinal in Phoenix on Thursday -- likely against Honduras -- unless Jamaica and El Salvador draw and Curacao defeat El Tri by three goals, in which case the next game will be against the United States in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.
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