Mexico men’s manager Diego Cocca has left out national team veterans Hector Herrera and captain Andres Guardado in his first 34-man roster for CONCACAF Nations League matches this month, while also including Feyenoord striker Santiago Gimenez and leaving the door open for dual-national Alejandro Zendejas.
Away against Suriname (March 23) and at home against Jamaica (March 26), Mexico will close out the Nations League group stage without six players (Alfredo Talavera, Rodolfo Cota, Alexis Vega, Rogelio Funes Mori, Guardado and Herrera) that were called-up for the 2022 World Cup.
Vega, 25, is currently recovering from an injury. Of Mexico’s five oldest players at the tournament, three (Talavera, Cota and Guardado) were left off this month’s squad. Guardado — Mexico’s all-time leading appearance leader with 179 caps — has stated in the past that the 2022 World Cup would likely represent his last appearance with Mexico.
A strong core of 20 players from the roster in Qatar remains, with noteworthy stars such as Guillermo Ochoa, Edson Alvarez, Raul Jimenez and Hirving “Chucky” Lozano leading Mexico in a new post-Gerardo Martino era.
Alongside them, Cocca has brought in reinforcements that were controversially left out of Martino’s World Cup squad. Among them are Santos Laguna goalkeeper Carlos Acevedo, Tigres winger Diego Lainez and Gimenez, who has been on a blistering run in Europe with six goals since mid-January.
— Mexican National Team (@miseleccionmxEN) March 2, 2023
Recent Barcelona signing Julian Araujo is the only Mexican-American dual-national on the list, although Cocca left the door open for recent U.S. men’s national team call-up Zendejas.
Mexico’s manager said during Thursday’s press conference that the Club America winger must still file a one-time switch to Mexico, if he decides to choose El Tri over the USMNT.
Players who could potentially make their senior Mexico debuts this month include Club Tijuana’s Jose Antonio “Tono” Rodriguez, Pachuca’s Roberto de la Rosa and Toluca’s Marcel Ruiz.
Mexico’s 34-man CONCACAF Nations League roster
Goalkeepers: Carlos Acevedo (Santos Laguna), Guillermo Ochoa (Salernitana), Jose Antonio “Toño” Rodriguez (Club Tijuana)
Defenders: Israel Reyes (Club America), Hector Moreno (Monterrey), Nestor Araujo (Club America), Jesus Gallardo (Monterrey), Gilberto Sepulveda (Chivas), Kevin Alvarez (Pachuca), Jesus Angulo (Tigres), Julian Araujo (Barcelona), Jorge Sanchez (Ajax), Cesar Montes (Espanyol), Johan Vasquez (Cremonese), Gerardo Arteaga (Genk)
Midfielders: Luis Romo (Monterrey), Arturo Gonzalez (Monterrey), Roberto Alvarado (Chivas), Fernando Beltran (Chivas), Carlos Rodriguez (Cruz Azul), Uriel Antuna (Cruz Azul), Marcel Ruiz (Toluca), Erick Sanchez (Pachuca), Luis Chavez (Pachuca), Sebastian Cordova (Tigres), Edson Alvarez (Ajax), Erick Gutierrez (PSV)
Forwards: Diego Lainez (Tigres), Hirving “Chucky” Lozano (Napoli), Orbelin Pineda (AEK Athens), Henry Martin (Club America), Roberto de la Rosa (Pachuca), Raul Jimenez (Wolverhampton), Santiago Gimenez (Feyenoord)