As the 2018 World Cup comes to its final stretch, the preparation for Mexico’s next cycle will start in few months when they face Uruguay and the United States. Both games could consist of some experienced players, as well as some young players. During the 2018 World Cup, the average age on the Mexico national team was around 28 years old, given that many players like Rafael Marquez, Oribe Peralta, Jose de Jesus Corona and Alfredo Talavera were all over the age of 34. Their departure now will potentially open doors for many young talented players to develop the confidence to take over and lead them to starting roles.
The list below are players who have made an impact in their club team at early age and have shown progression, as well being part of the Mexico youth national teams.
1. Raul Gudino — Goalkeeper
Team: Chivas Guadalajara (MEX)
Standing at 6’5, Gudino started his youth career with Chivas from 2006- 2014 and was on a loan with Porto on August 2014, eventually signing permanently in June 2015. He later gained more experienced when was loaned out once again to União da Madeira and APOEL, and he eventually became the first Mexican goalkeeper to participate in the UEFA Champions League. Gudino at just 22 years of age returned to the club that started it all, Chivas, where he hasn’t been named the starter for the new season but will compete alongside with Miguel Jimenez. Raul Gudino was included in the U-17, U20 and participated in the 2015 U-20 World Cup.
It has been said that Gudino mirrors Guillermo Ochoa’s style of play, and during his time with FC Porto, he trained along with none other than Iker Casillas.
2. Paolo Medina — Left Wingback
Team: Monterrey (MEX)
In a unusual way, 19-year-old Paolo Medina began with the youth system of Real Madrid for about 8 years and later was transferred to Benfica. Due to his limited opportunities in both clubs, Medina was given a trial period with Monterrey, where current manager Diego Alonso has selected him to be part of the first team.
In 2017, his name appeared in the top 100 U-20 players to be nominated for the Golden boy prize, along with other high profile names like Kylian Mbappe, Marcus Rashford and Ousmane Dembele.
Medina could eventually take over Miguel Layun position, who at the age of the 30 could slowly start losing his position to a younger and faster player like Medina.
3. Joao Maleck — Forward
Team: Porto U-19 (POR)
Joao Maleck was born in Guadalajara but started his youth career with Santos, who currently hold one of the best youth systems in Mexico. Now with Porto’s U-19 team, Maleck has registered over 35 goals in the last two years.
Maleck has three nationalities due to his father being from France, his mother from Mexico and his grandparents being from Cameroon. He has repeatedly stated that his first option would be to play with the national team of Mexico.
Standing at 6 feet even, Maleck has top speed, shows great strength winning 50/50 balls and knows how to change his rhythm once he drives the ball inside the box. Maleck has not participated in any Mexico youth national teams but his name has been stated as a possible one in the 2020 Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo.
4. Adrian Goransch — Attacking Midfielder
Team: Wolfsburg U-19 (GER)
Born in Puebla, Mexico, Goransch is a diamond in the rough and is currently being under watch by FMF youth national teams, Playing for Wolfsburg’s U-19 team, Goransch started his career at 10-years-old with the team. Half German and half Mexican, Goransch has not shied away from joining Mexico and it seems like it is only a matter of time that he is called up for Mexico’s U-20 team. Goransch has played different midfield positions while at Woflsburg and is currently playing as the team’s left attacking midfielder.
5. Uriel Antuna — Midfielder
Team: FC Groningen (NED)
Its no secret that Uriel Antuna was called up to the Senior national team towards the end of 2017. Although he did not step on the field in both games, his talent drew eyes from Osorio whose idea was to grant him more experience during those two games alongside Edson Alvarez and Alejandro Mallorga.
In 2017, Antuna was bought from Santos by Manchester City and then was loaned out to FC Groningen. Antuna’s ultimate goal is to return to Manchester City and catch the attention one of the finest managers in the game, Pep Guardiola.
It is evident that Mexico does not lack talent for the upcoming cycle in preparation for the upcoming tournaments. Let’s not forget Diego Lainez, Omar Govea, Jesus Angulo, Pablo Sisniega, Jonathan Gonzalez , Victor Guzman, Santiago Gimenez, Efrain Alvarez, and Lalo Aguirre.
Which players do you believe need to be part of the new cycle of the national team?