SEATTLE (Sporting Alert) — After losing the opening group game at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, two-time defending champions Mexico will be hoping to bounce back against Canada at CenturyLink Field on Thursday night.
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Mexico, without the services of several of the national top players, including star forward Javier Hernandez, suffered a shocking 2-1 defeat to Panama on Sunday and will be looking for a win to keep its chance of booking a quarter-finals place.
The CONCACAF giants are pushing for a better performance on Thursday night and the boss hinted that there could be a few changes to the starting lineup.
“We are contemplating that and looking at that,” head coach Jose Manuel de la Torre. “We have confidence in these players.
“If they are here it is because we believe in them. They understand it and they understand what we ask of them.”
The Mexicans have been struggling to hit a consistent winning form of late, which sees many of its supporters starting to lose faith and calling for changes.
“It’s fine that they criticize us,” said Mexico goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco.
“It is good that they demand good results from us. They want a national team that can do a good job.”
Canada fell 1-0 to a determined Martinique side in the opening Group A contest at the weekend and they too will be trying to bounce back from the setback.
The young squad has also been hit with the departure of captain Will Johnson and striker Simeon Jackson.
Johnson has left the team and returns home to recover from illness, while Jackson travelled to Germany to finalize a move to Bundesliga side Eintracht Braunschweig.
Head coach Colin Miller admits that it is very disappointing to lose two of his influential players, but believes it is the chance for someone else to step up and shine.
“When one player goes down it presents an opportunity for someone else to step into the spot and make a contribution,” said Miller.
“Our players won’t need any extra motivation at all on Thursday.
“We know that any player that puts on a Mexican shirt will be of the utmost quality. Anytime you get to play against Mexico it is a special occasion.”
Speaking in the build up to the contest and the fact that both Canada and Mexico suffered defeats in their opening games, Miller said: “In a sense, it will be like we are playing a wounded animal.”
He added: “Mexico will be feeling the pressure and they know they will need to get a result.
“We are also anticipating that there will be a strong contingent of Mexican support at the match – so by no means are we underestimating the magnitude of the challenge.”