Mexico U20 head coach Sergio Almaguer (lower row, middle), as well as his players and staff, attended a press conference on January 25, 2015, after returning home from winning the 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship in Jamaica. (Photo: Mexsport)
MEXICO CITY – After capturing a third straight CONCACAF Under-20 Championship title a day earlier, Mexico returned home Sunday.
The Tricolor lifted the trophy for a record-extending 13th time, prevailing over Panama 4-2 on penalty kicks following a 1-1 draw in the final.
With the FIFA U-20 World Cup set to start on May 30, head coach Sergio Almaguer is already looking ahead.
“There will be a camp at the end of February, a FIFA date in March,” Almaguer said at a press conference. “We’ll have three preparation games in which we can have all the players and the last camp prior to the trip to the World Cup. We hope that the circumstances are favorable. That's the idea.”
Mexico played six games in the CONCACAF competition, winning four and drawing two. It topped the Group A table with 13 points, a placement that qualified it automatically for New Zealand 2015.
Midfielder Hirving Lozano finished as joint-top scorer with the USA’s Romain Gall on five goal each.
Almaguer expressed deep satisfaction with the performance of his team in Jamaica and believes that it has even more to offer.
"I see it in this team, it wants to grow,” the 45-year-old remarked. “It has the desire to excel and we are very excited. We have to prepare them to win and, without it being an obligation, we have to do our homework to the maximum and work together, permeating knowledge players in order to leave nothing to luck.”
Team captain Erick Gutierrez, who has scored three goals in the 2014/15 CONCACAF Champions League with Pachuca, was equally effusive in praise of his teammates.
“It is a great satisfaction to represent my country,” said the 19-year-old midfielder. “The entire group is very happy with what has been achieved. We were increasing the level of play. It wasn't easy. Now, we are going to pause in our clubs, but this group is for big things. It formed a great family. We are going to think about what’s to follow and continue working.”