Mexico prep for friendlies with World Cup in mind
Mexico's head coach Juan Carlos Osorio is pleased to face a demanding opponent as Iceland in a friendly game next Friday in San Jose, California. (Photo: Mexsport)

SAN JOSE, California - After a few handshakes and hugs, Mexico got right to business upon arriving in San Jose, California on Monday afternoon ahead of Friday's international friendly versus Iceland at Levi's Stadium in San Jose.

The 28 players called by Head Coach Juan Carlos Osorio have been made acutely aware of the importance of Friday's contest, along with next Tuesday's friendly against Croatia, as El Tricolor continue its preparation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

"This call-up is one of the few opportunities that are left for us and it's very important for us to see all of our players in action," said Osorio in a press conference with reporters.

The two friendlies should provide a glimpse as to what Mexico can expect in their World Cup group stage, with Croatia possessing a style similar to Germany and Iceland sharing many of the same characteristics as Sweden.

"It is a great responsibility for all to represent Mexico well. We have two high quality, demanding opponents and we hope to be able to count on all our players," added Osorio.

Due to injuries sustained over the weekend, MF Jonathan Dos Santos, MF Jurgen Damm and MF Javier Aquino will be unable to join up with the squad.

That has paved the way for Chivas Guadalajara DF Oswaldo Alanis, who featured in January's 1-0 friendly win against Bosnia.

Osorio expects a solid contribution from the in-form Alanis, who scored for Chivas in the 3-0 win over the Seattle Sounders in their 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League semifinal second leg.

"We have always considered him, above all because of his profile. We had him in the list of 30 and we decided on him because we believe we can fulfill and complete positions where we need players," concluded Osorio.