With injury concerns to some of Mexico's top offensive threats, the play of Veracruz's Angel Reyna (pictured) -- the top 2013 LIGA MX Apertura scorer with seven goals -- may be key in upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and the United States. (Photo: Mexsport)
MEXICO CITY – Mexico announced on Thursday a 23-man selection for next month’s World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and the United States.
Though it is unbeaten in the Hexagonal, El Tri has only won once in six games (1-0-5) for eight points, a number good enough for third place. The United States (13 points) and Costa Rica (11 points) are in first and second, respectively.
Despite battling recent injuries, Javier Hernandez (hamstring) and Andres Guardado (knee) have been included in the squad. Chicharito has yet to appear in a game for Manchester United this season, while Guardado has come on as a substitute twice for Valencia in two Spanish La Liga games.
Another concern is Giovani Dos Santos, who has scored in his first two La Liga games since joining Villarreal in the offseason after a year with Mallorca. The 24-year-old injured a thigh during a 2-1 win against Real Valladolid on Saturday and was replaced at half-time.
With the possible loss of that experienced firepower, head coach Jose Manuel de la Torre called in Veracruz’s Angel Reyna, the top scorer in LIGA MX with seven goals, and Oribe Peralta. The Santos forward netted a brace in Mexico’s 4-1 friendly victory over the Ivory Coast on August 14.
The Tricolor will face visiting Honduras at the Estadio Azteca on September 6, before traveling to Columbus, Ohio, for a meeting against the United States four days later.
(World Cup Qualifying – September 6, 2013 home v Honduras; September 10, 2013, away v United States)
GOALKEEPERS: Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul), Jonathan Orozco (Monterrey), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca)
DEFENDERS: Severo Meza (Monterrey), Hiram Mier (Monterrey), Hector Moreno (Espanyol/Spain), Diego Reyes (Porto/Portugal), Francisco Javier Rodriguez (Club America), Carlos Salcido (Tigres), Jorge Torres Nilo (Tigres)
MIDFIELDERS: Javier Aquino (Villarreal/Spain), Fernando Arce (Tijuana), Christian Gimenez (Cruz Azul), Andres Guardado (Valencia/Spain), Hector Herrera (Porto/Portugal), Angel Reyna (Veracruz), Gerardo Torrado (Cruz Azul), Jesus Zavala (Monterrey)
FORWARDS: Damian Alvarez (Tigres), Giovani Dos Santos (Villarreal/Spain), Javier Hernandez (Manchester United/England), Raul Jimenez (Club America), Oribe Peralta (Santos)