Jonathan Osorio: CanMNT ‘can’t fear Mexico’ ahead of Gold Cup test

Canadian men’s national team midfielder Jonathan Osorio figures his team should have nothing to fear when they take on Mexico in the second Group A fixture of their 2019 Gold Cup campaign.

Les Rouges may have started off their tournament by getting the best of Martinique in a 4-0 win, but an upcoming tilt against El Tri presents the toughest test on offer for John Herdman’s side.

Osorio, who played a pivotal role for Toronto FC during his team’s battles against Mexican opposition in CONCACAF Champions League action, is more than familiar with some of his opponents, and, though Mexico represents one of the juggernauts of the CONCACAF region, the 27-year-old told Sportsnet’s John Molinaro that his team shouldn’t go into this match-up in Denver feeling anything less than confident of a result.

“I think we shouldn’t fear any team,” Osorio said, as quoted by Sportsnet’s Molinaro. “If you fear any team, you’re at an immediate disadvantage. We can’t fear Mexico. We have to respect them; respect them, yes. Historically, they have the number on us. Mexico has very a long history in football, Canada does not. They’ve been at an advantage, but things have changed, and we’re developing better players and catching up, so if anybody has to be a little fearful maybe it should be Mexico.”

As Molinaro points out, Canada’s historic record against Mexico has largely been in favour of the opposition, with El Tri winning 18 of the 27 previous encounters, losing just three times.

But, for a young Canadian team, this match at altitude presents an opportunity to pit new attacking weapons like Jonathan David, Lucas Cavallini, Alphonso Davies, and Junior Hoilett, against one of the toughest teams in the region.

Canada takes on Mexico on June 19 at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT, in Denver, Colorado.