Three road qualifiers. Three losses. Three points from four matches.
That is the sorry state the Mexican national team finds itself in four games into its World Cup qualifying campaign. Saturday's 2-1 loss to El Salvador has Mexico in must-win mode mid-way through the Hexagonal Round of CONCACAF qualifying.
So how much trouble is Mexico in? We will find out on Wednesday, when 'El Tri' faces Trinidad & Tobago in Mexico City. Mexico. A win vs. T&T would help the Mexicans regain some balance and move back into a comfortable position in the standings. A tie or a loss and Mexico would head into the August 12th showdown vs. the U.S. national team in full panic mode.
Here is a quick rundown of the CONCACAF Hexagonal
1. COSTA RICA (12 points). Consecutive wins has 'Los Ticos' in first place, and in very good shape to qualify, but a trip to Honduras looms in August followed by a visit from Mexico (the last team to beat Costa Rica in San Jose) and a trip to surprising El Salvador.
2. USA (10 points). Beating Honduras on Saturday gives Americans some breathing room heading into visit to Azteca in August, but home date vs. El Salvador at Rio Tinto Stadium on Sept. 5th should be an interesting one.
3. EL SALVADOR (5 points). Surprise of the group, Salvadorans have benefited from playing three of first four qualifiers at home. Things are about to get much tougher with three straight qualifiers on the road, starting with visit to desperate Honduras on Wednesday night, followed by visits to Trinidad and Washington D.C.
4. HONDURAS (4 points). 'Catrachos' will regret the missed opportunity to get a point or three in Chicago, but four home games remain on Honduras' schedule. A win vs. El Salvador in Honduras on Wednesday would provide a major boost.
5. MEXICO (3 points). Three losses in four is terrible, but four home games remain on Mexico's schedule. 'El Tri' SHOULD beat Trinidad & Tobago at Azteca, but anything less would suddenly leave the Mexicans vulnerable heading into the USA match.
6. TRINIDAD & TOBAGO (2 points). Defense let T&T down against Costa Rica on Saturday and now the 'Soca Warriors' must find a way to win or tie at Azteca against a desperate Mexico team. Things don't look good for a team that actually boasts a good collection of attacking talent.
What do you think of the current CONCACAF standings? Who do you see turning things around? Which team do you think is in serious trouble? Still not ready to write off Mexico?
Share your thoughts below.