HANOVER, New Jersey – With Mexico in the United States preparing for its friendly against the Ivory Coast, head coach Jose Manuel de la Torre addressed the media Tuesday and emphasized that his team will qualify for the next World Cup.
“México is going to qualify, that is our commitment and we are going to do that,” de la Torre told the media assembled at the New York Red Bull Training Facility in Hanover, New Jersey.
Those were the first public comments from de la Torre since his meeting several weeks ago with Mexican football club owners. The former Guadalajara and Toluca boss spoke of the importance of a self-criticism and how he plans to improve performance.
“We have done a critique among ourselves of the entire process, of what we have done since the beginning to end in all aspects, and knowing where we have made mistakes and where we have not,” noted de la Torre. “The change is in the selection of this preparation match.”
One of the changes is the addition of two naturalized players: Cruz Azul’s Christian Gimenez and Damián Alvarez of Tigres. De la Torre believes that the offensive-minded duo, both born in Argentina, will bring positive qualities to El Tri.
“The naturalized players have the right to be selected for being Mexican,” de la Torre pointed out. “We have always left the door open for everyone. Those who can and want to be participants and are committed to the objective of achieving qualification are welcomed.”
With respect to the contest against the African side, de la Torre expects a hard-fought match. He believes that it is a great opportunity for his players to measure themselves against those with European experience.
“They are a strong opponent with good qualities like strength, height, there are players who are very strong who play in France, England and in many places in Italy,” de la Torre explained. “For us, it is a level of difficulty that will help us, to see how things are for the group’s future, the team and everything that we can expect to come toward us in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.”
The Mexico-Ivory Coast encounter will be played on Wednesday at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. According to FIFA records, this will be their first meeting.