Over the weekend, Mexico did not impress in their first Gold Cup warmup match, drawing Costa Rica. On Wednesday, their fans will be demanding considerable improvement against another formidable and possible knockout stage opponent: Honduras.
Mexico lost one of their best players to injury in that Costa Rica friendly. Hector Moreno will be out for the rest of the Gold Cup, leaving Mexico light on experienced and in-form defenders. "Maza" Francisco Rodríguez, the 33-year-old former captain who had a rough Hex and World Cup, will have to step up considerably in Moreno's absence.
Miguel Herrera switched from a back three to four in the second half of his last game, and his team improved considerably. Between that and Moreno's injury, he's going to try a back four to start this match, and might roll with it throughout the Gold Cup.
Key player: Giovani dos Santos
This is a friendly, so this key is less about what dos Santos does for Mexico in this game and more about how Herrera chooses to use him. He was the most advanced midfielder in a 3-5-2 to start the last game, then a second striker in a 4-4-2 in the second half, when he was outstanding for his team. Does Herrera use him as a second striker again, or out on one of the wings, assuming El Tri uses a back four as reported?
Key matchup: Andy Najar vs. Paul Aguilar
Mexico's right flank wasn't great against Costa Rica, and Najar has blossomed into an outstanding player over the last couple of years. Whether Mexico go with a back three or four, Najar will like his matchup against whoever he's running at. Honduras need him to be excellent to pull an upset or two in the Gold Cup.
Match date/time: Wednesday, 9:30 p.m. ET
Venue: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
TV: ESPN2 (U.S. -- English), UniMas (U.S. -- Spanish), Azteca 7, TDN (Mexico)
Online: WatchESPN, Univision Deportes en vivo (U.S.), TDN (Mexico)