Mexico have announced the call up list for the last match of 2023, a friendly on Saturday against Colombia. Coach Jaime Lozano has come up with a strange list because although it was expected to be a Liga MX list since it’s not FIFA international date, a lot of the players were not on the radar for most people in terms of playing with the senior National Team.
The call up list is the following:
Goalkeepers: Julio Gonzalez (Pumas), Jose Antonio Rodriguez (Tijuana)
Defenders: Jesus Orozco (Chivas), Brian Garcia (Toluca), Alexis Peña (Necaxa), Rodrigo Huescas (Cruz Azul), Ricardo Chavez (San Luis), Omar Campos (Santos), Rafael Fernandez (Tijuana), Luis Olivas (Mazatlan)
Midfielders: Jordi Cortizo (Monterrey), Dieter Villalpando (San Luis), Alfonso Gonzalez (Monterrey), Erik Lira (Cruz Azul), Juan Dominguez (Toluca), Omar Govea (Monterrey), Rodrigo Lopez (Pumas), Andres Montaño (Mazatlan)
Forwards: Cesar Huerta (Pumas), Guillermo Martinez (Puebla), Edgar Lopez (Toluca), Bryan Gonzalez (Pachuca)
While it was expected to be a B list with only Liga MX players being called up, it appears more a C list, with a number of surprises and omissions. With most of Liga MX teams being out of action for weeks, even coach Lozano had said it was a tough list to make and yet it was filled with surprises. The most notable is the omission of Marcel Ruiz of Toluca, a player that many had been asking to be given an opportunity and had been called up in October and November, despite not playing a single minute with the NT. He was then expected to be called up for this friendly, being a perfect situation for him to finally get minutes under Lozano. Other players like Fernando Beltran, Roberto Alvarado and Victor Guzman were also surprisingly not called up and there is no word yet if the reason was clubs not allowing the players to go (since it’s not FIFA international date, clubs can refuse players call ups) or other reasons.
With the Liga MX final teams of América and Tigres, and the León players who will take part in the Club World Cup not available for the match, a number of new call ups were expected and this was the case. The most expected new call up was Guillermo Martinez, who finished as the top Mexican scorer in the Apertura 2023 and was just one goal shy of tying for the scoring title (surprisingly goal scoring champion Harold Preciado was not called up by Colombia).
Still, there were some surprising new call ups like Andres Montaño, Edgar Lopez and Juan Dominguez. It has to be said that the list doesn’t really light up, but the point of non-FIFA friendlies is to give opportunities to players that would have a hard time cracking a FIFA date call-up list. Mexico will face Colombia on December 16 in Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. This will not only be the first matchup for Lozano against a CONMEBOL team, but the first match played against a CONMEBOL team in all of 2023 (Mexico played against South American team Suriname in the Nations League, but they are part of CONCACAF).