The first big test for Mexico’s new manager “Tata” Martino will be this summer’s Gold Cup in the U.S. But before that, a slate of friendlies awaits.
The newly introduced manager of Mexico’s national team, Gerardo “Tata” Martino, will have plenty of friendly matches to prepare for the all-important Gold Cup. One of the friendlies will provide the former Atlanta United manager with a homecoming, as El Tri will play an as-yet undetermined opponent at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Martino coached the expansion Atlanta United club during its first two seasons, hoisting the MLS trophy with the team on Dec. 8, 2018, on the floor of that same Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
But after two successful years in Major League Soccer, Martino had made it clear that he had other plans beyond 2018 and that he would decline to sign a new contract with Atlanta. On Monday, Jan. 7, “Tata” was officially presented as the manager of the national team of Mexico, ready to fashion a new identity for El Tri on the international soccer stage.
Martino will make his Team Mexico debut on March 22 in San Diego, California against Chile, a rival that has troubled El Tri in recent years, including an embarrassing 7-0 blowout loss in a 2016 Copa America quartfinal match.
Four days later, Mexico will face Paraguay in Santa Clara, California. That will be a key match too since Paraguay is now coached by Martino’s predecessor as Team Mexico manager – Juan Carlos Osorio.
More from Viva Liga MX
- Guillermo Ochoa is out 4-6 weeks
- The Clásico Regiomontano is Heating Up
- Pumas: In Search of Regaining a Top Spot
- Why the United States Is Set to Overtake Mexico on the World Stage
- Erick Gutierrez is out once again
June will be a busy month for “Tata,” with two friendlies, including his return to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. An opponent has yet to be confirmed. El Tri then moves to Dallas for a June 9 match, Team Mexico’s final test before its Gold Cup opener at the Rose Bowl on June 15.
This year’s process will serve as a testing ground for the new generation of players for the Qatar 2022 World Cup. Players like Hirving Lozano, Erick Gutierrez, Diego Lainez, Edson Alvarez and Jesus Gallardo will be looking to take up more prominent roles for the national team.
One thing is clear, Martino boasts a lot of experience and has a strong résumé. Of the 20 or so candidates interviewed for the top job with El Tri, Martino is the one now called upon to deliver satisfaction to the fans.