The Mexican National Team’s new era continues to approach its official start as we’re now but three weeks away from Diego Cocca’s debut in charge of El Tri. And today he took a huge step in that direction by announcing his full 34-man roster to be featured in their two matches at the end of the month.
GK - Memo Ochoa, Carlos Acevedo, Toño Rodríguez.
DEF - Israel Reyes, Néstor Araujo, Héctor Moreno, Jesús Gallardo, Gilberto Sepúlveda, Kevin Álvarez, Jesús Angulo, Julián Araujo, Jorge Sánchez, César Montes, Johan Vásquez, Gerardo Arteaga.
MF - Luis Romo, Poncho González, Roberto Alvarado, Fernando Beltrán, Carlos Rodríguez, Uriel Antuna, Marcel Ruiz, Erick Sánchez, Luis Chávez, Diego Lainez, Sebastián Córdova, Edson Álvarez, Érick Gutiérrez.
ST - Hirving Lozano, Orbelín Pineda, Henry Martín, Roberto de la Rosa, Raúl Jiménez, Santi Giménez.
One of the biggest changes in comparison to the World Cup roster is the inclusion of keeper Carlos Acevedo who had been highly regarded for Qatar 2022, but Martino chose Cota and Talavera instead. Another big change was the inclusion of youngsters Diego Lainez and Santi Giménez. A near national uproar was caused when they weren’t included in the final roster for Qatar. It’s good to see Cocca starting out with some common sense and calling up these guys who do deserve a shot based on their performance and age.
To be honest, I’m a bit disappointed with the defenders, but the reality of the situation is there isn’t much more from where to choose. So this is more a ‘play with what you have’ kind of deal. One can only hope for a couple good defenders to develop and pop up within the next 2-3 years to put together a much more solid defensive line in time for the 2026 World Cup.
In terms of midfielders and strikers, it’s not looking half bad. The way Luis Romo is playing at the moment along with Luis Chávez’s great form, combined with an in-rhythm Diego Lainez on the flank or Córdova down the middle makes for a very respectable midfield. And up front, if Raúl Jiménez can get back to top form, combined with Lozano and now the added depth of Santi Giménez, that has an appealing sound to it. Now we just have to see if this translates on the pitch.
The FIFA international break will see Mexico play Suriname on March 23 and Jamaica on March 26. El Tri currently sit 2nd in Group A with a game in hand, 1 point behind leader Jamaica. These matches will conclude the Nations League group stage. It goes without saying Cocca should not only finish 1st in the group, but should win the whole shebang.