Manager Jose "Chepo" Manuel de la Torre hopes that no Chicharito means no problems for Mexico in next week's showdown with the United States. De la Torre released his roster on Thursday, and while Javier Hernandez will not be making the trip, Mexico still brings a squad loaded with talent to the August 10th friendly in Philadelphia.
Other than a few notable changes at the striker position, "Chepo" brings back most of the players from this summer's Gold Cup-winning team. Every starter from the Gold Cup final win over the U.S. other than Chicharito has been called in. Also returning are four of the players sent home from the Gold Cup due to a failed drug test -- Maza Rodriguez, Memo Ochoa, Sinha, and "Hobbit" Bermudez.
Obviously the biggest question-mark for El Tri next week will be who starts up top. Because of his lingering concussion issues, Chicharito will not join the team. Monterrey striker Aldo de Nigris, also recovering from injury, will not be with the squad either. These absences have opened the door for Omar Arellano and Oribe Peralta, two players who have lit up the domestic league in the opening weeks of the Apertura 2011 season. Arellano scored for Chivas in each of the team's two league games to start the Apertura. Peralta, stepping into the shoes of departed striker Christian Benitez at Santos Laguna, has been incredible. His hat-trick led the team to a 4-1 rout of Pachuca in the season-opener, and his play has helped position Santos near the top of the league standings. Both players hope to make a similar impression on the national team next week. Continue reading for the full roster listing.
Mexico Roster for U.S. Friendly August 10th
Guillermo Ochoa (AC Ajaccio)
Alfredo Talavera (Toluca)
Carlos Salcido (Fulham)
Francisco "Maza" Rodriguez (VfB Stuttgart)
Efrain Juarez (Zaragoza)
Hector Moreno (Espanyol)
Rafael Marquez (NY Red Bulls)
Jorge Torres Nilo (UANL Tigres)
Paul Aguilar (Club America)
Gerardo Torrado (Cruz Azul)
Israel Castro (Cruz Azul)
Pablo Barrera (West Ham)
Andres Guardado (Deportivo la Coruña)
Jesus Zavala (Monterrey)
Christian "Hobbit" Bermudez (Atlante)
Antonio "Sinha" Naelson (Toluca)
Javier Aquino (Cruz Azul)
Giovani dos Santos (Tottenham)
Omar Arellano (Chivas)
Oribe Peralta (Santos Laguna)