On Tuesday night, Cruz Azul visited Pumas in Estadio Universitario for the first leg of the 2022 CONCACAF Champions League in a game that Los Universitarios obtained a 2-1 victory with a brace of Juan Ignacio Dinenno, while Cristian Tabó scored the only goal of La Máquina.
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Although the leg is still open thanks to the late goal of Los Cementeros, they will have to play a perfect game for the second leg, especially Sebastián Jurado, whose mistakes were translated into the goals and then the victory of Pumas.
But for some part of the game, the spotlight wasn't on the pitch but rather in a box of the stadium, as Gerardo "Tata" Martino assisted to the game to see all potential candidates for the Mexican national team, as he knows there's still a lot of work to do to improve the roster.
When the fans on the stands realized that Martino was there, they started chanting Alan Mozo's name, as the Pumas right-back is one of the best assistants of Liga MX in the season and has earned his right to be considered for El Tri.
Will Mozo be called to El Tri?
For now, Mexico National Team only has two right-backs: Jorge Sánchez, who plays for Club América and has established in the starting role, and Julian Araujo, who plays for LA Galaxy and has showed a lot off potential, although he's been irregular in the current MLS Season.
Before the last FIFA match window, Luis "Chaka" Rodríguez was the starting right-back in every call-up, even in he couldn't prove why Martino considered him, but now that he lost his starting role with Tigres, Martino also decided to try different players.
This opens the possibility for Alan Mozo, although reports suggest that he hasn't been considered by Martino given the anger issues he had during his stint with the U-23 squad, where he was involved in a fight with former coach Jaime Lozano after he learned that he wasn't going to be part of the roster that played in the Tokyo Olympics.
What will it take for him to earn a place in El Tri?
Other reports point out that even if he's a fantastic assistant and his work is mostly on the offense, he doesn't know how to defend well as he usually has a major mistake per game, something that Martino is aware of, as he values first the defensive work of a defender, and then the contributions they can made to the offense.
If he wants to be part of El Tri, Mozo will have to focus on improving his defensive performances, something he’ll have to do in the next six months to show the Argentine coach that he's committed to be part of the roster that plays in Qatar.