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Diego Cocca, DT Mexico: “Generational change is part of the law of life”


MEXICO CITY — Mexico began with a gradual generational change, a process whose starting point will be the games against Suriname (March 23) and Jamaica (March 26) for the CONCACAF Nations League, said the new coach Diego Cocca on Monday.

Cocca, who took over from his Argentine compatriot Gerardo Martino, cited 20 of the 26 players who went to the World Cup in Qatar. Records survive, such as goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa and defender Héctor Moreno, who have played in five and four World Cups, respectively.

“The generational change is part of the law of life, it is a process and you have to identify and see players, there are several young people that we called who were not in the World Cup process and we have to see them,” said Cocca at the end of a training at the High Performance Center, south of the capital.

Among the new faces cited by Cocca are goalkeeper José Antonio Rodríguez, defenders Gilberto Sepúlveda and Israel Reyes; midfielders Arturo González and Marcel Ruiz, as well as attackers Santiago Giménez and Roberto de la Rosa.

Giménez, who was left out in the last player cut before the World Cup, has had an outstanding season with Feyenoord in the Dutch Eredivisie.

“I want to see his personality. In their clubs it is one thing, but this is the team, I want them to rise to a higher level than they can give ”, Cocca stressed.

Mexico will face Suriname on Thursday and receive Jamaica on Sunday in search of a pass to the final phase of the League of Nations.

For the first game, Cocca will appeal to a team that will be a large part of the new faces. And for the match at the Azteca stadium, they will resort to players who play in European leagues, such as Ochoa, Hirving Lozano, Edson Álvarez and Raúl Jiménez.

Cocca said that since he took office he has talked with several players to identify the leaders to raise the idea of ​​the need to open the doors to young people.

“I already spoke with Henry (Martín), I directed him in Tijuana and I know he is a leader on the pitch, now we want him to transmit it to the youngsters,” added the coach. “Little by little I am identifying and committing more players, we want to transmit the idea of ​​change, to improve the motivation to take the team to another level.”

Unlike his predecessor, Cocca has a favor that the team qualified for the World Cup in advance by hosting it along with the United States and Canada.

After the failure in Qatar, where the team was left out in the first phase for the first time since 1978, the leaders have agreed to lend their players more so that the coach can train from Monday to Wednesday, as happened a couple of weeks ago. .

“I wanted them to see (the press) the training sessions so they can see the dedication and work environment, but also the commitment there is,” Cocca said of the open practice, something not seen with Martino. “There are some players who arrived 15 days ago and owe us a lot because the idea is already more advanced, there is a spirit of renewing energy, that is felt and we are happy.”

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