Mexico's Giovani dos Santos (pictured) celebrates after scoring against New Zealand in an international friendly on October 8, 2016, in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo: John Bacon/Straffon Images)
MEXICO CITY – Giovani dos Santos has been given an opportunity to compete in a World Cup qualifier for the first time in more than three years, when Mexico head coach Juan Carlos Osorio named him to a 25-man roster for the opening matches in the final round of CONCACAF play for Russia 2018.
The LA Galaxy star posted team-highs in goals (14) and assists (12) during the regular season. After an absence of more than a year from the squad, dos Santos was called up by Osorio for a pair of friendlies last month. He responded by scoring in a 2-1 win over New Zealand and an assisting on Oribe Peralta’s goal as the Tricolor defeated Panama, 1-0.
Mexico will visit the United States on November 11, before squaring off against the Panamanians four days later.
The selection is lifted by the return of star forward Javier Hernandez, who missed the October friendlies. The 28-year-old has five goals in eight German Bundesliga games for Bayer Leverkusen this season.
Pachuca forward Hirving Lozano also merited an invitation on the strength of being the joint-top scorer in the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League (five goals), while netting seven goals in the 2016 Liga MX Apertura.
Mexico will convene in Mexico City on Sunday, before traveling a day later to Columbus, Ohio, where its encounter with the U.S. will take place.
GOALKEEPERS: Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul), Guillermo Ochoa (Granada/Spain), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca)
DEFENDERS: Oswaldo Alanis (Guadalajara), Nestor Araujo (Santos), Hugo Ayala (Tigres), Miguel Layun (Porto/Portugal), Rafael Marquez (Atlas), Hector Moreno (PSV Eindhoven/Netherlands), Diego Reyes (Porto/Portugal), Carlos Salcedo (Fiorentina/Italy)
MIDFIELDERS: Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy/USA), Jonathan dos Santos (Villarreal/Spain), Jesus Dueñas (Santos), Marco Fabian (Eintracht Frankfurt/Germany), Andres Guardado (PSV Eindhoven/Netherlands), Hector Herrera (Porto/Portugal), Orbelin Pineda (Guadalajara)
FORWARDS: Javier Aquino (Tigres), Jesus Corona (Porto/Portugal), Javier Hernandez (Bayer Leverkusen/Germany), Raul Jimenez (Benfica/Portugal), Hirving Lozano (Pachuca), Oribe Peralta (Club America), Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad)