Mexico has announced the call up list for Mexico’s return to World Cup Qualifiers. Coach Gerardo Martino had some surprises on the list, where Mexico will be facing three key matches as they hope to climb out of the third place spot they currently are in. Mexico will travel to face Jamaica in Kingston on January 27, and then return home to face Costa Rica on January 30th before ending with a key match in the Azteca against Panama on February 2nd.
The call up list was the following:
Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (America), Alfredo Talavera (UNAM Pumas), Rodolfo Cota (Leon), Jonathan Orozco (Tijuana)
Defenders: Johan Vasquez (Genoa), Gerardo Arteaga (KRC Genk), Nestor Araujo (Celta de Vigo), Cesar Montes (Monterrey), Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy), Luis Rodriguez (Tigres), Hector Moreno (Monterrey), Jorge Sanchez (America), Julio Cesar Dominguez (Cruz Azul), Jesus Gallardo (Monterrey), Osvaldo Rodriguez (Leon)
Midfielders: Hector Herrera (Atletico Madrid), Andres Guardado (Betis), Edson Alvarez (Ajax), Erick Gutierrez (PSV Eindhoven), Diego Lainez (Betis), Orbelin Pineda (Celta de Vigo), Carlos Rodriguez (Cruz Azul), Luis Romo (Monterrey), Uriel Antuna (Cruz Azul)
Forwards: Raul Jimenez (Wolverhampton), Hirving Lozano (Napoli), Jesus Corona (Sevilla), Alexis Vega (Chivas), Rogelio Funes Mori (Monterrey), Henry Martin (America)
The biggest surprise of the call up list was the return of Gerardo Arteaga to the national team set up. The Belgian based defender was called up to the senior national team, but after asking to be left out of the Olympic team because of personal reasons he was not called up again in 2021. This even when Jesus Gallardo, who plays in his position. had a very lackluster performance in previous World Cup Qualifiers and with backup Osvaldo Rodriguez also having inferior performances to the ones Arteaga was having in Genk. There were strong rumors that he was being punished, but apparently the trouble the Mexican National Team was in meant that for 2022, any punishment was over. Also returning to the national team is Diego Lainez, who missed all of the World Cup Qualifying call ups after being injured in the Olympic Games. Another return to the national team is that of Erick Gutierrez, who will be playing their first matches after the Gold Cup, having recently earned back his spot in PSV after being all but dropped at the start of the season.
Mexico hopes to bounce back from two consecutive losses against the United States and Canada. Not only did the losses cause Mexico to fall from first place to third (and tied with fourth place Panama in points), but they were bad losses especially the one against the United States, the third out of three matches against their rivals in 2021. Mexico will need to bounce back, and thus Coach Martino needed the best lineup he could get and overall has done so in his call ups. Mexico will have a tough matchup against Jamaica in Kingston before returning home where they will have a boost, in that although the matches were supposed to not have fans Mexico announced that they reached an agreement to make the matches a pilot test to a new proposal in which they will have registered fan with ID’s, which will allow the team to monitor them and expel those who make the infamous chant. Mexico will have up to 2,000 fans in either match to make their test before they implement it.