The time is ticking and we are getting very close to Russia 2018. The participating nations have started their process in narrowing down a 23-man roster. Juan Carlos Osorio of Mexico has released his list of 28 (generally it is 35) and it, as many predicted, caused controversy among all Mexico fans in North America.
First things first, here is JCO’s 28-man call-up…
Keepers: Guillermo Ochoa, José de Jesús Corona, Alfredo Talavera
Defenders: Héctor Moreno, Oswaldo Alanís, Hugo Ayala, Néstor Araujo, Edson Álvarez, Rafael Márquez, Miguel Layún, Jesús Gallardo, Carlos Salcedo, Diego Reyes
Midfielders: Héctor Herrera, Jonathan dos Santos, Jesús Molina, Andrés Guardado, Giovani dos Santos, Javier Aquino, Érick Gutiérrez, Jürgen Damm, Marco Fabián
Forwards: Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez, Raúl Jiménez, Oribe Peralta, Hirving Lozano, Jesus ‘Tecatito’ Corona, Carlos Vela
The call-up has a lot of familiar names but it doesn’t mean it hasn’t brought along debate with it. There are inclusions and exclusions which has fans scratching their heads. Moreover, the final five players to get cut is a total mystery. Some players may get left off due to injury, but for the most part, predicting the final cut could be near impossible.
First up, Giovani dos Santos had been added while Rodolfo Pizarro has not. The controversy here is that Pizarro was a huge asset to Chivas in their win in the CONCACAF Champions League. On the other side, Giovani dos Santos has been underperforming for Mexico for quite some time. He went from Mexico’s best in 2014 to scoring only three goals for Mexico (all in exhibitions) since his infamous goal against the Netherlands. Giovani was recently voted the most overrated player in MLS and he just got the nod over the best player on the SCCL winning squad.
Next, the inclusion of Rafael Márquez. After his controversy with his legal issues (now all resolved), many felt that Márquez would have no shot to go to Russia with Mexico as a player. However, Osorio has called Mexico’s skipper back into the roster. Yet, is the 39-year-old there for his ability to play or is this to give him his 5th World Cup cap?
Juan Carlos Osorio has to leave home five players and looking at this roster offers little guess to who that will be. It’s hard to believe that Osorio will call certain experienced players and then leave them off, outside of injury. Also, Osorio didn’t even call up a general 35-man list. The shorter list means he has as close to his 23 as possible, so does that mean defenders will be left off? Older players? It will be a debate until the World Cup with how Osorio came up with his list.
Do you like how Mexico’s roster looks? Were there big snubs? Let us know!