The Mexico vs. USA rivalry is reaching new heights. Now that the United States has emerged as a solid player in world football, Mexico looks like they have some catching up to do. Their hopes for once again getting the better of their northern neighbours mostly lies in their astonishingly talent batch of youth, led by Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez - better known as Chicharito.
But although the forward is extremely talented, Mexico's success will be dependent on those around him, says Tom Marshall of SB Nation's Mexican futbol blog FMF State of Mind. There are questions about each youngster, and Mexico's destiny will be largely shaped by how many of them reach the lofty heights promised by their undoubted talent:
The crux of the current Mexican situation on the field ... is the agitation surrounding the Mexican players that are around the same age as Chicharito. The Gold Cup is a chance to shine in the shop window for players looking to move from their present clubs: Guillermo Ochoa, Pablo Barrera, Andres Guardado, Aldo de Nigris, Hector Moreno, Angel Reyna, Efrain Juarez and Giovani Dos Santos.
If you exclude de Nigris, the dynamic of the Mexico-U.S. rivalry will be shaped largely to how those players develop over the next few years. Few dare to question their natural talent. Many in the know believe some of the above have more talent than Chicharito but lack the maturity to perform week in, week out. Now is the time for them to step up and follow the Manchester United man's lead.
Should the Mexican youth project yield significant results, the USA has reason to be scared of its status as El Tri's equals. We'll get our first good look at them against El Salvador.