Mexico (pictured) trains in Las Vegas, Nevada, on February 6, 2017. (Photo: Victor Straffon/Straffon Images)
LAS VEGAS, Nevada – Mexico opens what is guaranteed to be a busy 2017 on Wednesday, when it faces Iceland at Sam Boyd Stadium.
The Tricolor will play a minimum of 14 competitive matches -- eight in World Cup Qualifying, three in the FIFA Confederations Cup and three in CONCACAF Gold Cup – over the next nine months.
Since Wednesday’s match falls on a non-FIFA date, head coach Juan Carlos Osorio named a roster consisting almost entirely of domestic-based players, with the LA Galaxy’s Giovani dos Santos being the lone exception.
The encounter offers some squad members an opportunity to earn a spot on the roster for March’s CONCACAF Hexagonal matches against Costa Rica (March 24, home) and Trinidad & Tobago (March 28, away).
Osorio is happy to present an audition stage and has planned his approach accordingly.
"We want to use the match tomorrow to play with wingers,” said the 54-year-old Colombian at a press conference Tuesday. “We want to give ourselves that great opportunity to evaluate.”
While Iceland will be playing without its stars from the run to the 2016 European Championship quarterfinals, Osorio is still expecting stiff competition.
"We are going to face an athletic team, with a very efficient, direct football,” he commented. “It will be a good test for our players.”
Mexico lost only once in 2016, posting an impressive 11W-3D-1L record, which included a 4-2-0 mark in World Cup Qualifying.
2016 Results (competition)
Mexico 2, Senegal 0 (Friendly)
Canada 0, Mexico 3 (2018 World Cup Qualifying)
Mexico 2, Canada 0 (2018 World Cup Qualifying)
Mexico 1, Paraguay 0 (Friendly)
Mexico 1, Chile 0 (Friendly)
Mexico 3, Uruguay 1 (Copa America Centenario)
Mexico 2, Jamaica 0 (Copa America Centenario)
Mexico 1, Venezuela 1 (Copa America Centenario)
Mexico 0, Chile 7 (Copa America Centenario)
El Salvador 1, Mexico 3 (2018 World Cup Qualifying)
Mexico 0, Honduras 0 (2018 World Cup Qualifying)
Mexico 2, New Zealand 1 (Friendly)
Mexico 1, Panama 0 (Friendly)
USA 1, Mexico 2 (2018 World Cup Qualifying)
Panama 0, Mexico 0 (2018 World Cup Qualifying)