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What Miguel Herrera Must Do to Boost Mexico's 2015 Copa America Hopes

What Miguel Herrera Must Do to Boost Mexico's 2015 Copa America Hopes

Posted by Juan Gavasa on December 18, 2014

El Tri has received an invitation to appear in the CONMEBOL event since 1993. Historically, Mexico have had good performances. They have been runner-ups two times (1993 and 2001).

However, in 2011 the U23 squad couldn't qualify to the knockout stage, marking El Tri's worst result in the tournament, with a 0-0-3 record.

El Piojo faces a tough scenario because 2015 brings the 13th edition of the Gold Cup, and with it half a ticket for the 2017 Confederations Cup.

As a CONCACAF squad, Mexico are obliged to bring their A-team to that competition, pushing Herrera to form a U23 squad for the Copa America, just as it happened three years ago in Argentina.

But El Piojo has committed to advance to the final match of this year's edition, at least that's what he said in a press conference held in October (h/t Goal.com). So how can he do it?

Players

Well, for starters he can mix the squads. Put some of the European-based players with some from the Liga MX.

Mexico have a good base of footballers who have experience with the underage squads, just take a look at the couple of U-17 world championships the country secured in 2005 and 2011.

Nowadays, being young is not a synonym of lack of experience. The Mexican clubs have started to realize that these kids can make a real impact on the pitch.

Some of these footballers are a thriving force in their respective teams. A fine example of it is Arturo Gonzalez.

The Atlas midfielder netted four times during the 2014 Apertura tournament, becoming the top scorer of his side.

His force through the center of the pitch was instrumental to help Atlas become one of the most lethal squads in the last third of the pitch. Gonzalez created 30 goal opportunities, 56 percent of them from that zone.

From the ones playing in Europe, Jesus Manuel Corona could be a fine addition to the Copa America squad.

Tecatito has shined with his club this season. He has appeared in 12 matches and has already put the ball away three times, he has also registered three assists.

He has an average pass completion of 82 percent and has played 1,021 minutes of 1,440 possible, as per WhoScored.com.

He debuted with Mexico in style, as he assisted Carlos Vela just minutes after he came onto the pitch. His courage and passion set him as one of the most promising Mexicans playing abroad.

Formation

Miguel Herrera must try different formations. His 3-5-2 has become highly predictable. There's no secret in the emphasis he puts in the attack through the flanks.

Mexico have become a dynamic and flexible squad, yet they suffer when the rivals have a structured midfield and strong aerial game, especially in set pieces.

A traditional 4-4-2 can be valuable to the team, especially when they lack strength and experience in the back line.

Against South American squads, El Tri need to perform at their best, because the speed and dribbling skills of some of these squads (Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina) can put them in distress easily.

Herrera needs to put together a strong defense, which has been the weakest line ever since the World Cup ended.

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