Previewing the Toulon tournament 

May, 24, 2012

You might think that El Tri's Olympic team would be pretty well defined by now, given the amount of tournaments the U-23s have played over the past year. But with ups and downs of form and fitness, players returning from suspension, overage additions to take into account and a significant amount of cuts still to make from the pre-Olympic team, there's plenty still to be settled for Luis Tena's side with only weeks until kickoff in London.

That makes this week's Toulon tournament, which kicks off today in France, all the more important for Mexico's Olympic medal hopes. Tena has plenty of work to do at the tournament, including sorting out which areas need overage reinforcement, and who from the squad that earned Olympic qualification makes the final 18 for England.

"Toulon is a strong tournament," Tena told reporters at a press availability before traveling to France. "There will be Olympic teams going with their overage reinforcements. We're going to compete and of course try to win, and we'll see how we're coming along. It's a very important tournament, very strong, very demanding, usually an under-21 but this year U-23 because of the Olympics."

The competition will indeed be tough -- Mexico faces Morocco in the opener before showdowns with host France and fellow Olympic Belarus -- but that won't stop Tena from trotting out everyone on his 20-deep roster in an effort to figure out who can help in London, and which of the wide range of overage players on the radar need to be called in.

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