Mexico announced the call up list for the international friendly against the United States to be played on April 19th in Glendale, Arizona. The match is not on a FIFA date, thus it’s almost a completely Liga MX-based squad, with only a single player based in Europe. This will be Diego Cocca’s first match against Mexico’s biggest rival, although it will be the first of two set as Mexico will play against the United States in the Nations League Semifinal on June 15th.
The call up list is the following:
Goalkeepers: Carlos Acevedo (Santos Laguna), Luis Malagon (America), Jose Antonio Rodriguez (Tijuana)
Defenders: Julian Araujo (Barcelona), Jesus Gallardo (Monterrey), Nestor Araujo (America), Victor Guzman (Monterrey), Kevin Alvarez (Pachuca), Omar Campos (Santos Laguna), Gilberto Sepulveda (Chivas), Israel Reyes (America)
Midfielders: Luis Chavez (Pachuca), Roberto Alvarado (Chivas), Ozziel Herrera (Atlas), Carlos Rodriguez (Cruz Azul), Aldo Rocha (Atlas), Erick Sanchez (Pachuca), Fernando Beltran (Chivas), Alan Cervantes (Santos Laguna)
Forwards: Henry Martin (America), Alexis Vega (Chivas), Uriel Antuna (Cruz Azul), Roberto de la Rosa (Pachuca)
The only European based player is Julian Araujo, who is training with Barcelona but his transfer wasn’t done in time and he wasn’t able to be registered to play with the team, allowing him the opportunity to play with Mexico during this non FIFA break. Among the notable call ups is Aldo Rocha, who finally gets a call up after he was constantly clamored by fans to be called up during Gerardo Martino’s time in the NT. There are also the notable call ups to some youngsters that had opened many eyes this season in Victor Guzman from Monterrey and Ozziel Herrera with Atlas. We also have the return to the NT of Alexis Vega, who missed the March FIFA games because of an injury that only had him return to action the week before the match, once the call up list had already gone out.
There were also many surprising misses. The most notable has to be Victor Guzman, the Chivas midfielder who had been the team best player but seems he’s not seen as good enough to skip over the shadow of his failed doping test from a couple of years ago. Also missing is Marcel Ruiz, who was called up in March and even made his NT debut against Suriname. Cruz Azul’s Erik Lira is also a surprise miss, especially with the strong rumors that had him linked to a move to Serie A, especially when there were some dubious call ups (Carlos Rodriguez, Gilberto Sepulveda, and Roberto de la Rosa come to mind) for the match.
With the recent tie in Azteca against Jamaica that left Mexico as the lowest ranked team in the Nations League Finals and thus playing early against the United States, but more importantly with the three straight match losing streak that Mexico has against the United States after their terrible 2021 year, Cocca and Mexico will have a lot of pressure to get a good result against this non FIFA date friendly against their biggest rival. Both teams seem to be taking it seriously by calling up their best possible team from their local league. Lets see if Cocca can improve and start his rivalry with the United States the right way.