Can Lozano, Jimenez shine vs. Canada, Honduras, El Salvador?

In September, when Mexico launched into the primary three video games of World Cup qualifying together with the remainder of the seven surviving CONCACAF nations, a largely disappointing summer season coupled with a scarcity of key gamers had a sector of pundits and followers foretelling doom. There have been requires supervisor Gerardo “Tata” Martino to be fired if El Tri‘s supposed downward spiral continued.

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Three matches later, Mexico sits in first place within the Octagonal, undefeated and with their coach discovering newfound job safety regardless of lacking two video games on the touchline resulting from eye surgical procedure. Besides, they head into the October slate of matches with those big contributors back — Raul Jimenez, Hirving Lozano, Hector Herrera — in the fold.

Mexico will host a rising and harmful Canada (Oct. 7) and an at all times troublesome Honduras (Oct. 10) at Estadio Azteca earlier than touring to upstart El Salvador (Oct. 13). With returning stars in tow and two dwelling video games, expectations for Mexico and Martino have flipped — those self same pundits and followers will probably be hoping the outcomes will not flip, too.

(Editor’s be aware: gamers are listed under with title/membership; U.S. caps/objectives)


Jesus Corona (Porto/POR; 58/10), Rogelio Funes Mori (Monterrey; 10/4), Raul Jimenez (Wolverhampton Wanderers/ENG; 86/27), Hirving Lozano (Napoli/ITA; 48/14), Henry Martin (Membership America; 16/4), Uriel Antuna (Chivas; 23/8), Alexis Vega (Chivas; 10/2)

After final month’s COVID-19 journey ban sparked one other battle between FIFA and a number of the high European leagues, cooler heads prevailed in permitting Raul Jimenez and Hirving Lozano to swimsuit up for Mexico in October, regardless of the pandemic’s continued presence.

Jimenez and Lozano will instantly slip into beginning roles for Martino and lead Mexico’s three-man attacking line — whether or not they do it with Jesus Corona, who was cold and hot for El Tri in September, stays to be seen. Even amid the rotation of gamers anticipated to happen resulting from taking part in three video games in a single week, will probably be attention-grabbing to see if Uriel Antuna or Alexis Vega — the 2 Chivas standouts — can compete for Corona’s place within the lineup in opposition to Canada, a sport anticipated to function Mexico’s first-choice workforce.

The large query up entrance for Martino is essentially answered by Jimenez getting back from harm (and to type, if we take his current aim in opposition to Southampton into consideration). Nonetheless, ought to the Argentine supervisor resolve to present his goal man relaxation in some unspecified time in the future, lingering doubts about depth on the striker place will come again into the forefront. Rogelio Funes Mori and Henry Martin have been good in brief spurts, however noticeably much less harmful when given prolonged minutes.

So far as absences go, regardless of getting back from harm, Real Betis teen Diego Lainez was given extra time to hold again in Spain and regain his type after accidents have derailed his begin of the European membership season. Jose Juan Macias, who has been steadily gaining minutes with LaLiga outfit Getafe, was additionally left behind. A implausible combo play between LA Galaxy duo Efrain Alvarez and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez in opposition to Real Salt Lake on Sept. 29 was additionally not sufficient for both to be required by Martino for this spherical of video games.


Edson Alvarez (Ajax Amsterdam/NED; 48/2), Sebastian Cordova (Membership America; 9/2), Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy/USA; 59/5), Andres Guardado (Actual Betis/ESP; 169/28), Hector Herrera (Atletico Madrid/ESP; 88/9), Orbelin Pineda (Cruz Azul; 40/6), Luis Romo (Cruz Azul; 13/0), Carlos Rodriguez (Monterrey; 23/0)

Within the final spherical of video games, Mexico’s central midfielders have been key to success. Edson Alvarez and Andres Guardado, amongst others, readily turned protection into offense with ease, permitting possession to favor El Tri for many of the three matches. This time round, they will be boosted by the return of reigning LaLiga champion Hector Herrera, who sat out in September.

Herrera’s stamina and superior studying of the sport will basically drive groups to push the ball on the wings or bypass the midfield with lengthy passes, permitting Mexico to zone in on a lot smaller areas of the pitch. Towards youthful, speedier groups like Canada, this may show important if it permits Martino to give attention to the risk posed by gamers like Alphonso Davies or Jonathan David. It additionally means limiting the affect of gifted Canadian midfielders like Stephen Eustaquio.

Ought to Mexico need to flip to extra offensive-minded gamers in that a part of the sphere, Sebastian Cordova, Orbelin Pineda and Luis Romo can supply a breadth of options, and may spell Guardado or Herrera if want be in one of many two later matches the place fatigue will undoubtedly grow to be a difficulty. Lacking this time round are Cruz Azul’s Roberto Alvarado, Inter Miami CF‘s Rodolfo Pizarro and Leon’s David Ramirez, who have been all referred to as up in September. Although he has slowly returned to PSV Eindhoven‘s rotation, Erick Gutierrez was not deemed worthy both.


Nestor Araujo (Celta/ESP; 52/3), Julio Cesar Dominguez (Cruz Azul; 19/0), Jesus Gallardo (Monterrey; 63/0), Cesar Montes (Monterrey; 17/1), Hector Moreno (Monterrey; 117/4), Luis Rodriguez (Tigres; 33/2), Osvaldo Rodriguez (Leon; 5/0), Jorge Sanchez (Membership America; 17/0), Johan Vasquez (Genoa/ITA; 2/0)

Although suffering from accidents and spotty play on the wings, Mexico’s defensive unit went largely untouched by opposing groups final month — El Tri allowed simply two objectives in three video games and usually saved attackers at bay. Thus, the return of each Hector Moreno and Johan Vasquez will present invaluable depth and expertise to the center a part of Martino’s backline. It appears possible Vasquez will pair up with Nestor Araujo in Mexico’s first-choice workforce, although Martino may select continuity by holding Araujo subsequent to Cesar Montes, who performed very nicely in tandem with the Celta Vigo middle again final month.

In all chance, we most likely will not see an experiment like Julio Cesar Dominguez beginning at left again the best way we did in opposition to Costa Rica, however Mexico’s lack of depth at each left and proper again stays a difficulty. Maybe, that would have been partially solved by calling on Genk’s Gerardo Arteaga or Membership America’s Salvador Reyes, the perfect in-form lateral defenders in Martino’s pool. Alas, Martino handed on them each, opting as soon as extra for Luis Rodriguez and Jorge Sanchez, who’ve been continuously singled out as being weak hyperlinks within the squad.

Nonetheless, the best again place might be strengthened in future squads now that LA Galaxy man Julian Araujo has obtained his one-time switch from FIFA to characterize Mexico over the United States.


Rodolfo Cota (Leon; 5/0), Guillermo Ochoa (Membership America; 117/0), Jonathan Orozco (Membership Tijuana; 9/0), Alfredo Talavera (UNAM Pumas; 38/0)

The identical 4 goalkeepers referred to as on for the primary spherical of video games come again in October. Final time round, there have been questions as to if Martino would come with the goalkeeping place in his participant rotations — it didn’t. The ageless Guillermo Ochoa was there for all three video games, and proved as soon as once more to be head and shoulders above anybody else for the job even at this level in his profession (he’ll be 37 by the point the World Cup rolls round).

Even then, ought to Martino want to have a look at another person, Orozco, Cota and Talavera stay a few of Liga MX’s high shot stoppers. Santos Laguna’s marketing campaign to get Carlos Acevedo referred to as in has not been profitable but — although the 25-year-old has been rock stable for the workforce this season. Actual Salt Lake’s David Ochoa, who filed a one-time swap with FIFA to characterize El Tri earlier this yr, was additionally not taken into consideration. | Can Lozano, Jimenez shine vs. Canada, Honduras, El Salvador?


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