Oribe Peralta (pictured), along with other Mexico players and staff, board a bus on March 19, 2017, as the squad begins preparations for upcoming World Cup qualifiers. (Photo: Juan Paredes/Straffon Images)
MEXICO CITY – With an eye on moving up to first place in the CONCACAF Hexagonal standings, Mexico will open a training camp Monday in Cuernavaca.
Head coach Juan Carlos Osorio has called in a 26-player squad for a pair of World Cup qualifiers against first-place Costa Rica (March 24, home) and fifth-place Trinidad & Tobago (March 28, away).
"We analyzed it and decided at the suggestion of the players themselves,” said Osorio, when asked why the team isn’t training in the higher-altitude of Mexico City. “Physiologically speaking, it’s scientifically proven that the effect of altitude occurs at 72 hours and that was what was happening with our own players.
“We believe that with this decision, our team will be better prepared and better worked to have every chance to win."
The second-place Mexicans trail Costa Rica by two points, but a win on Friday at the Estadio Azteca – combined with a draw or loss by Panama at T&T – will place them atop the final round table.
GOALKEEPERS: Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul), Guillermo Ochoa (Granada/Spain), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca)
DEFENDERS: Oswaldo Alanís (Guadalajara), Nestor Araujo (Santos), Miguel Layun (Porto/Portugal), Rafael Marquez (Atlas), Hector Moreno (PSV Eindhoven/Netherlands), Diego Reyes (Espanyol/Spain), Carlos Salcedo (Fiorenina/Italy)
MIDFIELDERS; Jonathan Dos Santos (Villarreal/Spain), Jesus Dueñas (Tigres), Jesus Gallardo (Pumas), Andres Guardado (PSV Eindhoven/Netherlands), Elias Hernandez (Leon), Hector Herrera (Porto/Portugal), Jesus Molina (Monterrey), Luis Montes (Leon), Orbelin Pineda (Guadalajara), Luis Reyes (Atlas)
FORWARDS: Jurgen Damm (Tigres), Javier Hernandez (Bayer Leverkusen/Germany), Raul Jimenez (Benfica/Portugal), Oribe Peralta (Club America/Mexico), Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad/Spain)