MEXICO

Alan Pulido is the best option for Mexico at the 2020 Gold Cup

Mexico’s head coach, Gerardo Martino, is lacking strikers ahead of the start of the 2020 CONCACAF Gold Cup and Pulido has been his best No 9.

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Alan Pulido is the best option for Mexico at the 2020 Gold Cup

While Raúl Jiménez remians out recovering from his head injury, Mexico coach Tata Martino has struggled to find his replacement. This year ‘El Tri’ have played four games without the Wolves striker and Martino used different players in the No 9 position, but none have performed to the level expected.

Pulido has been the best option

Mexico are running out of time - the 2020 CONCACAF Gold Cup gets underway on 10 July. This year, Martino has called Alan Pulido from Sporting Kansas City and Henry Martín from Club América to replace Jiménez but neither of them have been able to bring goals to the team.

During the first two friendlies of 2021 both of the players suffered minor injuries and were unavailable for Mexico’s 1-0 defeat to Wales on 27 March and the 1-0 victory against Costa Rica three days later. Hirving Lozano played as a false No 9 and he scored against the CONCACAF side, but the national team struggled in attack.

For the CONCACAF Nations League semi-final against Costa Rica, Henry Martín earned the starting role, but was replaced by Alan Pulido in the 58th minute. The game ended 0-0 and ‘El Tri’ would beat ‘Los Tico’s’ 5-4 in penalties with Pulido scoring in the shootout.

In the final, neither player started, but Henry Martín came in the second half replacing Jesús ‘Tecatito’ Corona. The Club América player failed to make an impact in Mexico’s 3-2 defeat against the United States.

Mexico had to turn the page quickly after that tough loss, because they had to play against Honduras on 12 June in their last warm-up game prior to the start of the Gold Cup. Pulido started the game bust wasted a clear chance on goal during the second half. He was replaced by Henry Martín, who once again couldn’t find the back of the net in the scoreless draw.

But the numbers favour Alan Pulido, because with his club he has scored five goals and given one assists in eight games during the 2021 MLS regular season. While Martín scored seven goals in 17 appearances with América last season.

So the MLS player has a better goal ratio than the Liga MX striker. For that reason Martino is leaning towards making Pulido the starting No 9 for the start of the Gold Cup next month. There are other options for Mexico’s boss, because he could call Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández, who hasn’t played with ‘El Tri’ since 2019, or Rogelio Funes Mori, who received his Mexican nationality and is eligible to play for Mexico.