Posted on April 3, 2012
By Michael Lewis
KANSAS CITY, Kansas — Chicaharito playing for Mexico in the Olympics?
That is a possibility, says Mexican Under-23 coach Luis Fernando Tena.
Tena called Javier Hernandez “a natural candidate” to play as one of Mexico’s three overage players at the London Olympic Games this summer.
Hernandez is too old to play for El Tri’s U-23 national side because he will turn 24 on June 1.
“Everyone thinks of him, obviously,” Tena said after Mexico secured the confederation’s U-23 crown at the CONCACAF men’s Olympic qualifying tournament on Monday night. “He plays in England.”
More specificially, Hernandez plays for perennial power and first-place Manchester United in the English Premier League, and ManU’s home pitch, Old Trafford, he is one of six venues that will host games. Old Trafford is slated to host men’s matches on five dates this summer — group-stage games on July 26, July 29 and Aug. 1, a quarterfinal on Aug. 4 and a semifinal on Aug. 7.
If Mexico is drawn into the right slots in either Groups A, C or D, Chicharito could wind up playing on his home club field. The Olympic draw is April 24.
Given that El Tri just has finished its Olympic qualifying run, Tena was not in a position to commit to the Mexican National Team player or any player, for that matter.
“We can’t say if he is going to be that player,” he said. “He’s a great candidate. Let’s wait and analyze it. Four months. He’s a candidate.”
Photo: Mexico coach Luis Fernando Tena on Javier Hernandez playing for Mexico in the Olympics: “He’s a great player. Andy Mead/YCJ
Categories: Mexico, North America, Olympic Qualifying
Tags: Chicharito, CONCACAF men's Olympic qualifying tournament, English Premier League, Javier Hernandez, Londson 2012 Olympics, Luis Fernando Tena, Manchester United, Old Trafford