Javier Hernandez (pictured) was one of 26 players called up to Mexico for a pair of crucial World Cup Qualifying matches in October. (Photo: Mexsport)
MEXICO CITY – The Mexican Football Federation (FMF) announced Thursday a 26-man roster for the national team’s final two matchdays of World Cup Qualifying in the CONCACAF region. It will be Mexico’s first games under the tutelage of Victor Manuel Vucetich after being named head coach on September 12.
Javier Hernandez highlights a selection that is comprised of 22 players from LIGA MX and four based in Europe. The Manchester United forward leads the Tricolor in scoring for Brazil 2014 with 5 goals, but he has not found the net in the Hexagonal since grabbing a brace in a 2-2 draw at Honduras on March 22; a span of six games.
A surprise inclusion was Leon defender Jonny Magallon, who has not played in a World Cup qualifier for nearly four years. The 31-year-old’s last outing in the competition came at Trinidad & Tobago (2-2) on October 14, 2009.
Ajaccio goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, with only two appearances in this qualifying cycle, also earned a recall.
Damian Alvarez (right calf), Hector Moreno (right hamstring) and goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco (left shoulder) are all out due to injuries.
The squad will convene starting on Sunday at the FMF’s Centro de Alto Rendimiento in preparation for critical matches against visiting Panama (October 11) and host Costa Rica (October 15).
Mexico currently sits in fifth place on eight points, behind Panama on goal difference. In order to gain an automatic spot in next year’s World Cup finals, it must overcome third-place Honduras (11 points).
The United States (16 points) and Costa Rica (15 points) have already secured two of CONCACAF’s 3.5 berths.
(World Cup Qualifying – October 11, 2013 home v Panama; October 15, 2013, away v Costa Rica)
GOALKEEPERS: Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul), Guillermo Ochoa (Ajaccio/France), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca)
DEFENDERS: Hugo Ayala (Tigres), Miguel Layun (Club America), Jonny Magallon (Leon), Rafael Marquez (Leon), Severo Meza (Monterrey), Hiram Mier (Monterrey), Carlos Salcido (Tigres), Jorge Torres Nilo (Tigres)
MIDFIELDERS: Javier Aquino (Villarreal/Spain), Isaac Brizuela (Toluca), Fernando Arce (Club Tijuana), Christian Gimenez (Cruz Azul), Lucas Lobos (Tigres), Luis Montes (Leon), Carlos Peña (Leon), Gerardo Torrado (Cruz Azul), Jesus Zavala (Monterrey)
FORWARDS: Aldo de Nigris (Guadalajara), Giovani Dos Santos (Villarreal/Spain), Marco Fabian (Guadalajara), Javier Hernandez (Manchester United/England), Raul Jimenez (Club America), Oribe Peralta (Santos)