Gonzalez, Vargas & the top 10 teenage future Mexico national team stars

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As part of the NxGn series, Goal takes a look at the most promising young players who could represent El Tri

  1. Brian Figueroa - Pumas

    Brian Figueroa has been with Pumas since he was 12 years old, which isn't all that long ago for the 18-year-old. The winger hasn't seen as many minutes under current manager (and fellow Pumas youth system graduate) David Patino than he did last tournament with Paco Palencia, but still has a bright future.
  2. Roberto de la Rosa - Pachuca

    De La Rosa burst onto the scene with a goal against Al Jazira in the Club World Cup. The shifty forward also scored twice for Mexico at the U-17 World Cup. At a club known for giving an opportunity to young players, De La Rosa should be able to keep rising.
  3. Ronaldo Zinedin Hernandez - Santos Laguna

    His mother wanted to name him after the France legend, while his father preferred using the Brazil forward as a namesake. They went with both. So far, the 15-year-old is living up to the names. A Torreon native, he's playing with Mexico's U-17s and scored a hat trick in a February friendly. 
  4. Erick Sanchez - Pachuca

    Sanchez made his first-team debut back in 2016 but is really breaking out in the Clausura. The midfielder has started five matches this tournament. It's been a rough tournament for Tuzos, but young players like Sanchez continuing to emerge gives hope for the future.
  5. Diego Lainez - America

    The 17-year-old Tabasco native has dropped to the bench at Club America with the club signing several attacking reinforcements in the offseason. Links to European clubs are sure to continue, though, for the small playmaker with an excellent left foot.
  6. Efrain Alvarez - LA Galaxy

    One of Mexico's best prospects resides north of the border in Los Angeles. The Galaxy signed Alvarez to a homegrown deal this year after the 15-year-old signed with LA Galaxy II last season. He's been a youth tournament superstar, scoring spectacular goals in the Generation adidas Cup and the Development Academy playoffs and also scoring on several occasions for El Tri's U-17s.
  7. Jose Juan Macias - Chivas

    Able to unleash thunderous shots from outside the box with either foot, the Chivas forward was promoted from the U-17s to the first team in 2017 and already has 14 Liga MX appearances. In addition to his finishing, he's shown a proclivity for using his body to draw fouls. Could he become the next Chivas forward to go abroad?
  8. Carlos Vargas - America

    A versatile player who came up as a center back and currently is starting at left back for one of Liga MX's best teams, Vargas is one of the most exciting defensive prospects Mexico has had in years. The Juarez native made his debut for a different border club, Tijuana, before former Xolos manager Miguel Herrera brought him along to Club America.
  9. Joao Maleck - Porto

    Born in Guadalajara and a product of the Santos Laguna academy, Joao Maleck is Mexican and wants to play for Mexico. His father is from France, his grandparents from Cameroon and his mother from Mexico. Wherever he comes from, he's tearing things up for Porto's U-19s both in league play and in the UEFA Youth League, in which he's scored twice.
  10. Jonathan Gonzalez- Monterrey

    The Rayados midfielder still has an outside chance of making the World Cup after filing a one-time switch to represent El Tri after suiting up for the United States at the youth level. The 18-year-old helped Rayados to a first-place regular-season finish in the Apertura, breaking up attacks and sending long passes forward to a deadly front line. Gonzalez is a player who could make the U.S. rue its apathy toward him for years to come.