The best is yet to come for El Tri 

June, 14, 2012

For El Tri, from just about every point of view, it's been another successful, if brief, summer. A perfect record and a comfortable lead atop its qualifying group means Mexico can pack up the balls and let the players go their separate ways with a sense of accomplishment, before reconvening in August for a home friendly against the U.S.

It's easy to get caught up in El Tri's immaculate record over the past month -- and indeed there's good reason to. Five wins is a sensational haul from five full internationals, even if there were some mitigating factors to the perfection, such as the last-minute gaffe necessary to beat Bosnia or the somewhat-lackluster performance in the only true home game against Guyana.

The bottom line is that this Mexican team is rolling, and trying to identify weaknesses in the performances is just nitpicking. Winning a long string of international soccer matches is not easy, given the intervening factors in each match (inclement weather, packed-in defenses and officiating quirks are just some of the obstacles El Tri has faced over the past couple of weeks), but this team seems to have victory in its DNA. The will to win each time out, more than talent, is what separates this Mexican team from others of the past.

Truth be told, this particular version of El Tri -- the one that's taken the field for the past few weeks, and won five consecutive matches -- isn't really even Mexico's best side. Short Carlos Vela, an in-form Pablo Barrera, Jonathan Dos Santos and probably half a dozen more current Olympians who would have an argument to make this team, El Tri will only get stronger in the coming months and years.

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.