A year after Mexico crashed out of the Central American and Caribbean games with a below average squad, Mexico has announced their squad for the 2019 Pan American games, with a lot of doubts being raised along with it. With Mexico not having much tournaments before the Olympics qualifiers, the Pan American games might be the only competition for coach Jaime Lozano to see players before the qualifiers.
In 2018, Mexico finished in second place in the Toulon tournament after getting to the final against England. A couple of weeks later, they went to the Central American games with a much weaker squad than the one in Toulon because of the start of the Liga MX season. The team then proceeded to lose their games against Venezuela and El Salvador and only tie Haiti, finishing in last place. The criticism against that performance was loud and clear, especially after Mexico’s Women team won the gold medal. It now looks like a possible repeat situation with the difference that Mexico didn’t even get the acclaim from Toulon, as their third place finish was a lot less inspiring that the one in 2018. Lozano has not called up key players like goalkeeper Sebastian Jurado (who should probably will be starting in Liga MX, although it’s worrisome that Jose Hernadez was called up). Also strange is how only two midfielders from Toulon are getting called up for the Pan American games (one of them, Marcel Ruiz, only played in the third-place game). Even stranger is that if it’s Liga MX is the reason many players were not called up, why is Mauro Lainez only getting his first opportunity with the team now that he’s about to start his career with a new team?
The 2019 Pan American games are going to be held in Lima, Peru from July 29th to August 10th. Mexico is in Group B along with Panama, Argentina and Ecuador. Mexico hadn’t qualify to the tournament but got through after the United States (CONCACAF U-20 champions and thus highest ranked North American team) turned down their invitation to the Tournament and second-placed finisher Mexico took their spot. The players called were the following:
Goalkeepers: Jose Hernandez (Atlas), Luis Malagon (Morelia)
Defenders: Francisco Venegas (Tigres), Brayton Vasquez (Atlas), Vladimir Loroña (Puebla), Johan Vasquez (Monterrey),Ismael Govea (Atlas), Eric Cantu (Monterrey)
Midfielders: Marcel Ruiz (Queretaro), Mauro Lainez (Tijuana), Jose Esquivel (Atletico San Luis), Hector Mascorro (Mineros) Aldo Cruz (Tijuana), Martin Rodriguez (Cimarrones)
Forwards: Jose Godinez (Leon), Ulises Cardona (Atlas), Paolo Yrizar (Queretaro), Eduardo Aguirre (Santos)