Mexico Soccer: A beast in the middle; Gullit Pena a tremendous asset for El Tri

Mexican midfielder Gullit Pena has arisen as a fierce new presence in the midfield for El Tri.

La Fiera came out on top against America in the first leg of the Liga MX final thanks to a notable performance from Pena.

Leon acquired a 2-0 advantage at home. Pena opened up the score sheet for Leon and assisted in the second goal. Pena has been in hot form and could be a vital asset to El Tri in Brazil.

The midfield has been an ongoing dilemma for Mexico. But with the rise of Pena, El Tri’s midfield woes could soon become a thing of the past. Pena has proven to be a bright spot for the national team this year.

A horrid year of qualifying has produced very few of them. If El Tri can take anything away from 2013 is the much needed presence of Pena in the midfield. Even after a slight hiccup in the Gold Cup, Pena continues to contribute stellar performance for club and national team.

With gold medal winner Hector Herrera getting very little playing time at F.C. Porto the midfield will be fairly dependent on the rise of the young 23 year-old from Victoria Tamaulipas. His participation in the playoff against New Zealand was instrumental to Mexico’s qualification.  His ability to go forward and create offensively has put him at the top of the list of players to watch.

Pena offers creativity and penetration to Mexico’s attack. Something that El Tri lacked in qualifying. Mexico is known for attacking down the wings, but with Gullit pushing down the middle opponents will be caught off guard to Pena’s fiery strides.

Jesus Zavala and Gerardo Torrado fail to offer that same speed going forward. With players like Giovani Dos Santos and Javier Hernandez always attacking at high velocity up top, Pena may be one of the few midfielders on El Tri actually able to accompany that attack.

Herrera was a strong option for that role after the Olympics. But given the fact he has played very little with Porto opens the doors for Pena.  Pena is growing in confidence at club level which will only be transmited to the international level.

After a tremendous season with Leon it wouldn’t be a surprise to see European interest in Pena very soon.