U-23 loss to U.S. not all bad for Mexico 

March, 1, 2012

It was a little too easy when Mexico's Olympic team won the Pan-American Games gold in Guadalajara last fall. Maybe a wake-up call was just what this group needed.

On Wednesday night in Frisco, Texas, Luis Tena's squad got that wake-up call -- and then some. Thoroughly outplayed by a lively American U-23 squad for much of the evening, Mexico suffered a 2-0 setback, this team's first since Copa America. The loss to the archrival U.S. was frustrating, humbling and eye-opening. It's clear now that adjustments will be needed, perhaps not for El Tri to make it to London, but certainly for the team to achieve the explicitly stated goal of medaling at the Games.

"It hurts everyone to lose to the United States, mostly the players," Tena told media after the match. "But the game was really useful in that it left very clear that our players need to improve individually, and that we need to modify the organization of our team."

Brent Latham is a soccer commentator who covers the youth national teams for ESPN.com. Based in Guatemala, he has attended youth World Cups from Peru to Egypt, and places in between.

Soccer, , Mexico