Mexico named the squad for the friendly match on April 27 against Guatemala in Orlando. Coach Gerardo Martino has decided to go with a very young squad, one with almost no regulars as they use the match as preparation for the CONCACAF Nations League matches to be played in June. The FMF already had mentioned they would not use regular national team players for those matches, instead concentrating on the friendlies to be played in the United States in preparation for the World Cup. The Guatemala friendly is a non FIFA date, so European players weren’t called except for two exceptions.
The call up list is the following:
Goalkeepers: Carlos Acevedo (Santos), David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders: Jonathan Gomez (Real Sociedad), Arturo Ortiz (UNAM Pumas), Jesus Alberto Angulo (Tigres), Erick Aguirre (Monterrey), Luis Olivas (Chivas), Kevin Alvarez (Pachuca), Israel Reyes (Pachuca)
Midfielders: Marcelo Flores (Arsenal), Roberto Alvarado (Chivas), Sebastian Cordova (Tigres), Luis Chavez (Pachuca), Fernando Beltran (Chivas), Erik Lira (Cruz Azul), Jordan Carrillo (Santos), Erick Sanchez (Pachuca)
Forwards: Santiago Gimenez (Cruz Azul), Alejandro Zendejas (America), Eduardo Aguirre (Santos)
The biggest surprises are the call up of the two European based players, youngsters Jonathan Gomez and Marcelo Flores. Gomez is the biggest surprise, as he had gone to call ups with Mexico’s youth teams in 2020 but in 2021, he was called up and played a friendly with the United States in December against Bosnia and Herzegovina. It looked like he had chosen to represent the United States, but he has decided to play for Mexico again in this match. Marcelo Flores is the most exciting Mexican prospect with the U20 team, but like Gomez he is a dual national although with Canada. With the strong rumors that Canada has promised him a spot for their World Cup team, it’s good news that Flores will play against Guatemala, especially since there are rumors he might skip the very important U20 CONCACAF Championship as it would cap tie him for three years. Both players getting playing time will bring a lot of interest to the match.
Other notable call ups are to various players that many Liga MX fans were asking. Arturo Ortiz of Pumas gets his first call up with the national team at 29. Ortiz had played most of his career in the second division, but after arriving in Pumas he has become their best defender and one of the best in Mexico. Also being named are the Pachuca players Kevin Alvarez, Erick Sanchez, and Luis Chavez. With Pachuca currently being in first place, those players have stood out for some time and fans were clamoring to see them get called up.
Of the notable omissions was another Pachuca player Victor Guzman, who also has shined with Pachuca but has never been called up by Martino. The other notable player missing was Juan Pablo Vigon, although both players are older and probably not going to be called up as they just aren’t seen by Martino as World Cup material or young enough to be future prospects and play the Nation Leagues matches. Mexico will play in Camping World Stadium in Orlando against Guatemala in the first of a long number of matches in preparation for the Nations League and the World Cup in Qatar at the end of the year.