Mexico defender Rafael Marquez (left) and head coach Juan Carlos Osorio answer questions at a press conference on November 10, 2016, in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo: John Bacon/Straffon Images)
COLUMBUS, Ohio – After being part of three squads that have lost to the host United States in this Midwest city, Mexico defender Rafael Marquez has necessarily developed some amnesia.
He admits to not recalling any of those three setbacks in World Cup qualifiers that all produced 2-0 victories for the Americans in 2001, 2005 and 2009. He did not play in the 2013 "dos a cero" clash.
Perhaps that is for the best.
Marquez, a former national team captain who has similar responsibilities with Liga MX’s Atlas, is looking toward the future and not back on the past as the Tricolor meets the U.S. at MAPFRE Stadium on Friday in the opening game of the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
"I’m living in another time with different players with enormous potential in the team," said the 37-year-old. "We’re trying to leave that in the past."
The U.S. has never lost in nine WCQ games at the venue, boasting an 8W-1D-0L mark and conceding only one goal.
"The good thing about football is that it gives you revenge," Marquez expressed. "We've not done well here [in the past] and this is a new opportunity to trust in the group and the coach and get three important points."
Under head coach Juan Carlos Osorio, Mexico is 12-2-1; its lone loss was a 7-0 pounding by Chile in June’s Copa America Centenario quarterfinals.
“We have a good opportunity to change the story,” stressed Marquez.
Osorio said that a starting lineup was not yet selected, noting that he must choose from Carlos Vela, Giovani dos Santos, Javier Hernandez, Andres Guardado and Hector Herrera as attacking options. Hernandez has notched 45 international goals, only one behind Jared Borgetti as Mexico’s all-time leading goal-scorer.
"The one thing that I believe that we have in this squad is the possibilities up front in the offensive third," Osorio finished.