Mexico head coach Juan Carlos Osorio (left) conducts a training session on November 9, 2015, in Mexico City. (Photo: Mexsport)
MEXICO CITY – The value of making a good first impression should never be underestimated.
It can help to gain allies, strengthen status and sway possible skeptics.
Juan Carlos Osorio, the sixth person to fill the position of Mexico head coach in slightly more than two years, is in the midst of his first camp ahead of the Tricolor’s World Cup Qualifying opener against visiting El Salvador on Friday.
The Colombian has been on the job for less than a month, but the early reviews of his methods have been promising.
"It's motivating to start a new process with a new manager,” said midfielder Jurgen Damm, whose manager at Tigres, Ricardo Ferretti, was the Tricolor’s interim head coach following post-Gold Cup dismissal of Miguel Herrera. “He is s a very fair coach and we are very determined to be starters. We know that line-ups change constantly and that's very good because we all have the chance of playing.
Damm won his only cap under Herrera, coming on as a substitute in a friendly against Ecuador on March 28. He’s looking forward to what the future will bring with Osorio in charge.
"I did not have muchopportunity to work with Miguel Herrera, but there are many similarities in their work,” said the 23-year-old when asked to compare coaching styles. “Maybe they training differently, but two-touchplay, playing outside, are foundations of them both.
“He (Osorio) is an excellent person, human being and he knows a lot as a coach. That was essential to the Directorate of National Teams in choosing him and I am very happy to work with him. He’s requiring us to work to the maximum in order to win a place."
Osorio’s first big decision will center on the defense. An injury to right-back Paul Aguilar may compel the 54-year-old to switch left-back Miguel Layun to the opposite side of the field. If that personnel decision does come to fruition, Tigres’ Jorge Torres Nilo could be in line to cover for Layun.
“I don’t feel that way, if he has expressed that to Miguel Layun,” said Torres Nilo, 27, after being questioned about getting a starting nod if the Porto star shifts to the right. “He (Osorio) has also expressed to us that depending on the opponent and our qualities, he is going to choose as such. I do not feel like the starter. The nice thing is that many opportunities are open for us to participate. It would be a mistake to consider ourselves starters.”
Regardless of whether he is or isn’t on the field for the opening whistle against El Salvador, Torres Nilo is enjoying the initial experience with Osorio at the helm.
"We are in the education process,” he finished. “He is a very honest person with a lot of knowledge -- not only in football -- and we are trying to learn as quickly as possible.”