CARSON, Calif. – Giovani dos Santos drew high marks from Mexico boss Juan Carlos Osorio following his brief showing in Mexico’s scoreless draw with Wales on Monday.
Dos Santos went 20 minutes in a second-half cameo for El Tri in front of a packed crowd of 82,345 at the Rose Bowl. The 29-year-old forward looked dynamic at times as a withdrawn striker in the rather dull draw.
Following the match, the Mexico boss said he was pleased with the veteran striker’s brief cameo.
“Yes, [I was happy with Gio],” Osorio said postgame. “I think we all know his ability, his technique, and in a very tight space, he can be a very influential player. ... He touched the ball I don't know how many times. He only played for 15 minutes and considering that we hope that against Scotland [on Saturday at Estadio Azteca] he'll have more minutes.
“We hope that he starts and that he shows all that we expect him to do.”
Osorio has been vocal about his concerns over the Mexican striker’s fitness in recent weeks as he has dealt with a nagging hamstring strain. As he looks to return to full fitness, dos Santos served as a second-half substitute in the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes last Friday with the Mexico boss watching from a stadium suite.
Dos Santos and Mexico will now turn their attention to their final World Cup qualifier on the continent when they host Scotland at Estadio Azteca on Saturday. The Galaxy forward is expected to start the match and will be afforded plenty of opportunities to lead the offense at whatever position he wishes according to the Mexico boss.
“It's not where I see him, it's where he sees himself,” Osorio said. “He sees himself behind the 9, or more inside, or interchanging on the right.”