March 11, 2009

Mexico has a critical World Cup qualifier scheduled for March 28 against Costa Rica in Estadio Azteca and a match in Honduras four days later.

Before that, though, El Tri will focus on Bolivia and try to use the match to prepare as much as possible for the critical four-day stretch. Mexico will play Bolivia at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo., on Wednesday in a match that will feature only domestic players.

Included in the roster are players such as Pavel Pardo and Gerardo Torrado, who figure to start on March 28, and others like Paul Aguilar and Jose Maria Cardenas who are trying to find their way with El Tri.

"This game is important beacuse it is our last friendly before the game against Costa Rica," forward Omar Bravo said. "We are going to try and do things the best way possible, with maximum concentration, tactical discipline, with hopes of doing damage against our opponent, who will surely try to fight for a result."

With the Mexican media's focus already on Costa Rica and Honduras, manager Sven-Goran Eriksson said he hoped for the best from those games.

"Six points, but first comes Bolivia," Eriksson told reporters on Tuesday. "Beating Costa Rica is of the utmost importance... but before that a good performance against Bolivia."

The timing of this friendly seems a bit odd, despite the necessity to prepare for Costa Rica. Wednesday is not an international fixture date and thus no European players were called up. Chivas players are absent due to the club's Copa Libertadores match against Caracas in Guadalajara on Wednesday. And the match comes in the middle of the Clausura 2009 season.

"There has been little work," Eriksson said. "On Monday we did not train with a full team. The America players arrived at 1:30 in the morning. And (Tuesday) we couldn't do much. We traveled and trained but since the game is (Wednesday) we didn't want to over-exert ourselves."

Eriksson said he expects Bolivia to play a little more openly and may leave some space in the back for Mexico to do damage.

"I don't think Costa Rica will not play like that," Eriksson said. "But we have improved with each passing game, even though we have not won a game as visitors. But the results will come."

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