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Where Should World-Class Chicharito Play: Copa America Or Gold Cup?

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez has been lighting up La Liga and the Champions League recently, with clutch performances in must-win games for Real Madrid. Not only have Real Madrid players, fans and Ancelloti been praising the Mexican star but Mexico’s head coach recently described CH14 as “world-class.” Making us wonder where will world-class Chicharito slot into his plans over the summer? Will Miguel “El Piojo” Herrera unleash him at the Gold Cup? Especially with the “Dos a Cero” result against the U.S.A. still etched into the minds of Mexican fans and players. Or will El Piojo have him in the front-lines against South American teams at the Copa America?

It’s been a rollercoaster of a year for Chicharito. You could visibly see his angst and frustration at being benched for most of the season by Head Coach Carlo Ancelloti. He’s been playing a small part in Real Madrid’s season, but recently he’s taken on a more-decisive role with Los Blancos. Injuries to Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale have given Chicharito the opportunity to start for Madrid and he hasn’t looked back. He’s been influential in most all of Madrid’s most recent games. He scored the clutch goal against Atletico Madrid to take Real into the semi-finals of the Champions League, he scored a double against Celta Vigo, and he added assists to matches against Almeria and Sevilla – especially in the Almeria match - he assisted Alvaro Arbeloa for his goal to put the match out of reach.

With Chicharito showing that he just needs minutes to show his quality and with Herrera describing him as world-class, his playing time with the Mexican team sounds like it’s no longer in question. Due to his lack of minutes at both Manchester United and Real Madrid – his starting spot on the Mexican National team was at risk before the World Cup, at the World Cup and post-World Cup; even though Chicharito has been one of the most popular Mexican soccer figures in most recent years. Many argued that America’s Oribe Peralta should be at the forefront of Mexico’s attack, and he was for a period. But that’s all changed now with Chicha’s recent resurgence and Mexico’s attempt to juggle two tournaments.

Now with a busy summer coming up for El Tri – where should Chicharito join Mexico, in Chile or in the U.S.A? It would be great to have two of him, considering his goal haul for the national team, but unfortunately soccer hasn’t come to that yet. Even though El Piojo hasn’t decided the final rosters yet, he has already mentioned where he is going to most likely go. “Chicharito won’t go to the Copa America, I would bet more for the Gold Cup.”

That’s great for Mexican fans hoping to reclaim the Gold Cup from their North American foes: the United States. It makes you realize which tournament Miguel Herrera is prioritizing. It definitely seems like he believes the Gold Cup is the tournament to win. Which makes sense, considering Mexico’s poor display in World Cup qualifiers and failure to win the last Gold Cup putting its regional influence in limbo. Mexico could use this tournament to get back on track in CONCACAF, and Chicharito would score plenty of goals.

The Copa America may have more teams filled with players of great individual quality, but Mexico has a great crop of up-and-coming players that can be tested out at the tournament. It’s not all bad if Chicharito doesn’t go to the Copa America. Raul Jimenez can be put up front and so too can Oribe Peralta, while Chicharito lines up next to Carlos Vela at the Gold Cup. In the latter two, we’ve seen what their partnership at its peak can look like with a great result against the Netherlands.

What tournament would you like to see Chicharito at?

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