Tata Martino has called in six players based abroad for games against Bermuda and Panama, including the Napoli standout and Porto winger
Look out, Bermuda. “Chucky” is coming.
Hirving Lozano, the Napoli winger, is one of five Europe-based players included by Mexico manager Tata Martino in a 25-man roster to take on Bermuda in Hamilton on Oct. 11 and then face Panama in Mexico City four days later. The games are Mexico’s debut in the Concacaf Nations League, a tournament in which Martino plans to give opportunities to a number of young players.
That said, plenty of familiar faces are present in the call-up. In addition to Lozano, Porto winger Jesus “Tecatito” Corona, Atletico Madrid midfielder Hector Herrera and Celta de Vigo center back Nestor Araujo are all in the squad. Real Betis‘ 19-year-old winger Diego Lainez is the other Europe-based player in the team.
The manager said he wanted to get a look at players who were not part of the team that won the Gold Cup. Lozano missed that tournament with an injury, Herrera out with a personal request and Corona still in a dispute with Martino at the time. Lainez was left off the roster after taking part in the U-20 World Cup, with the intention of getting him aclimated to a new club coach. Araujo actually took part in the Gold Cup, but Martino is welcoming the center back to return after a horrendous display against Argentina in a 4-0 friendly defeat last month.
His center back partner from that match, Carlos Salcedo, also is back in the team.
Players who took part in the more pleasant 2-0 win this week against Trinidad and Tobago also are present on the list, with 13 players from that squad called up for the FIFA date. Players like Leon forward JJ Macias and America midfielder Francisco Cordova will look for their first starts in official matches after strong showings in the friendly match in Toluca.
The team is fleshed out by a handful of players who, like Araujo, took part in the Gold Cup but are back on the roster. Monterrey playmaker Rodolfo Pizarro, his club teammate midfielder Carlos Rodriguez, Cruz Azul midfielder Roberto Alvarado and LA Galaxy winger Uriel Antuna will look to earn more minutes and help the team kick off the CNL with a pair of victories.
The domestic-based players will convene in Mexico City on Sunday for a flight to New York, with trainings taking place in New Jersey. Players based in Europe, along with Antuna, will fly directly to the region. The whole team will fly to Bermuda on Oct. 9 and return to Mexico City the day after the Oct. 11 game.
In addition to the senior squad, Mexico also will conduct a U-22 camp and play a pair of matches against an Argentina U-22 side in the October FIFA window as preparations continue for next year’s Olympic qualification tournament. The bulk of that team is made up of players who were in Martino’s squad to face Trinidad and Tobago but missed out on the senior team this time around.
Goalkeepers: Rodolfo Cota (Leon), Raul Gudino (Chivas), Jose Hernandez (Atlas)
Defenders: Cristian Calderon (Necaxa), Jesus Angulo (Atlas), Carlos Salcedo (Tigres), Nestor Araujo (Celta de Vigo), Gerardo Arteaga (Santos Laguna), Jorge Sanchez (America), Alan Mozo (Pumas), Luis Romo (Queretaro), Johan Vasquez (Monterrey)
Midfielders: Francisco Cordova (America), Jonathan Gonzalez (Monterrey), Rodolfo Pizarro (Monterrey), Roberto Alvarado (Cruz Azul), Diego Lainez (Real Betis), Jose Ivan Rodriguez (Leon), Erick Aguirre (Pachuca), Hector Herrera (Atletico Madrid), Carlos Rodriguez (Monterrey)
Forwards: Uriel Antuna (LA Galaxy), Hirving Lozano (Napoli), Jesus Corona (Porto), Jose Juan Macias (Leon),