What to make of Mexico’s win over South Korea? Alan Pulido certainly looks great
The obvious here as we consider any implications from Mexico’s 4-0 win Wednesday over South Korea: the opponent was South Korea (and apparently using some of its reserves, no less).
So we cannot make too much of Wednesday’s dismantling in San Antonio (where a crowd of more than 54,000 might not help any mounting momentum for an MLS expansion franchise, but it most certainly doesn’t hurt anything.)
In the bigger picture, it’s hard to know what to make of this mini-resurgence of good feeling around the team. El Tri keeps hammering opponents under manager Miguel Herrera, now on the better side of a 13-3 goal exchange under the most recent man tasked with plotting a solution for a program adrift.
But two of the wins came against New Zealand (ranked 91st in the world) and now South Korea, which is hardly a threat to win the whole shebang down in Brazil this summer.
But there were a few things to like for the Mexicans about Wednesday’s contest in Texas. First, this was a Liga MX side, with plenty of green players at the international level (as the European players where left in place). No, we won’t see some of these Liga MX men players in Brazil this summer. But by winning now in fill-in capacity they are generally boosting the stores of confidence around the program.
Even if we’re not impressed by winning friendlies over B-level opposition (and we shouldn’t be) there is some merit in hammering these teams. That’s getting the business done with an exclamation point.
And individually, even in friendlies against lightweights, it’s hard not be excited about a young striker getting a hat trick in his full international debut.
Alan Pulido (pictured above, on the left) did just that, getting himself into good positions and finishing clinically. Pulido, 22, who was big in Mexico’s under-23 qualifying campaign ahead of the 2012 London Olympics, keeps adding to his game, and the young Tigres’ star may have already cemented his place on Mexico’s World Cup roster.
If nothing else, this should spark increasingly interesting debate about where Pulido ranks in Herrera’s pecking order of strikers – especially as it concerns a certain Manchester United scorer (Javier “Chicharito” Hernadez) who isn’t getting much time at Old Trafford, and who did so poorly in Mexico’s white knuckle escape for World Cup qualifying.