Mexico has reached double digit points in the CONCACAF hex after only 4 games. Several hexes have come and gone since Mexico was able to reach a minimum of 10 points in such a short period of time. Is it a cause for celebration? Not really. Just as winning in TnT for the first time in 2004 is nothing to pop the corks over, nor was getting a positive result in San Pedro Sula.
But here we are. 10 points in, 3 home games in a row on the schedule, with the first two to be played before Mexico heads over to Russia and a date with the best player on the planet. Despite the recent string of positive results, a lot of media and fans are not entirely sold on Juan Carlos Osorio’s performance. Losing 7-0 in a quasi-home tournament will do that.
Has he paid for all the platos rotos yet? No, and he has some serious plate spinning to negotiate in the coming months. Let’s take a look at some scenarios to see some possible outcomes based on certain results. Time to choose your own adventure, JCO.
Mexico defeats Honduras and the US before the trip to the Confeds, where Mexico reaches the semifinals.
Juan Carlos Osorio will have qualified for the World Cup, performed well in the Confed, he can breathe easy toward Russia. No one can argue that point. Critics will have been quieted, Osorio can rely more on the local talent and not make his mexpats travel unnecessarily for qualifiers that are nothing more than juegos de trámite.
Now for the more interesting scenarios.
Mexico gets 4 points from the 2 Hex home games.
If he makes the semifinals of the Confed, he stays through Russia. If he is eliminated in group stage, style points begin to weigh heavily. Was Mexico thoroughly and categorically beaten out of the tournament? If yes, then Osorio may not make the trip home. Did Mexico play well enough, but lost out on goal differential? Osorio stays, but pressure to win Gold Cup is ratcheted up immensely. Tuca is on standby.
What if Mexico loses to US before heading to Russia?
It would be a massive test to see how he and the players bounce back from such a stinging defeat. Anything less than a semifinal appearance would not be enough to save his job. Tuca, is your phone turned on? We’re calling, but you ain’t answering.
Mexico gets two draws at home.
See What if Mexico loses to US before heading to Russia?
In other words, despite winning 3 of 4 games, with two if the wins coming on the road, Osorio still has not fully paid his penance for la Boda Roja. We cannot stress how important June is for Mexico, and especially for Juan Carlos Osorio’s future with the Tri.