Mexican fans will get a preview of the future tonight when play opens in the 2011 CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Guatemala. Manager Juan Carlos Chavez will lead a Mexican side looking to atone for a disastrous outing in the 2009 tournament, in which Mexico failed to win a single game and finished dead last in their group with just one point.
Twelve teams will be participating in the 2011 Championship, which will decide the four CONCACAF representatives to this summer's U-20 World Cup In Colombia. This time out Mexico have been drawn into a group with Trinidad and Tobago and Cuba. The top two finishers in each of the four groups will advance to the quarterfinals, and the four quarterfinal winners will earn World Cup berths.
Chavez has selected a final twenty-man roster including five players from the Chivas system, four players from Club Atlas, three from Pumas UNAM, and two each from UANL Tigres and Club America. The roster features several players with international tournament experience. Goalkeeper Jose Antonio Rodriguez, defenders Kristian Alvarez and Cesar Ibanez, and midfielder Diego Reyes were all part of Mexico's 2009 U-17 World Cup team that advanced to the knockout stage.
Also on the roster is Chivas attacking midfielder Jorge Mora, who made a splash earlier this year by scoring seconds into his debut with the Chivas senior team. Another player of note is Taufic Guarch, who has made six appearances for the Estudiantes Tecos senior squad this season, and also scored against the United States in the Torneo de las Americas back in November.
Mexico opens play tonight against Cuba (live on ESPN Deportes at 10pm est), before facing Trinidad and Tobago on Friday.
MEXICO U-20 ROSTER
Carlos Lopez (Club Atletico Talleres, Argentina)
Jose Antonio Rodriguez (Chivas)
Kristian Alvarez (Chivas)
Nestor Araujo (Cruz Azul)
Cesar Ibanez (Atlas)
Alexis Loera (Atlas)
Diego Reyes (Club America)
Jorge Valencia (UANL Tigres)
Diego De Buen (Pumas UNAM)
Jorge Enriquez (Chivas)
Jorge Mora (Chivas)
Carlos Orrantía (Pumas UNAM)
Marvin Pinon (Monterrey)
Saul Villalobos (Atlas)
Ulises Davila (Chivas)
Lugiani Gallardo (Club America)
Taufic Guarch (Estudiantes Tecos)
David Izazola (Pumas UNAM)
Alan Pulido (UANL Tigres)
Edson Rivera (Atlas)