Sven-Goran Eriksson has a tough task ahead of Mexico's World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica on Saturday. Goal.com's Sylvestre Adame has a roster suggestion that is certain to help El Tri succeed.
El Tricolor will face Costa Rica Saturday at Estadio Azteca. Costa Rica qualified for the Hexagonal stage in impressive form and won their first game. El Tri however managed to sneak through to the Hexagonal stage and lost their first game against the U.S. Since then, Mexico have seen new faces added to the roster.
It paid off as they beat Bolivia 5-1 in a friendly match. Some might say that Bolivia is a weak opponent but Mexico did win convincingly. A 5-1 victory is what was expected, and the players got the job done. If Mexico would have won by a margin of 2-1 then yes there would be some concern, but that wasn’t the case. They also beat Bolivia without key players which is something they will have to do against Costa Rica.
Due to suspensions and injuries some of Mexico’s key players will not be suiting up in El Azteca. Carlos Salcido, Rafael Marquez, Carlos Vela, will not be playing due to suspension and most recently Giovani Dos Santos who is ruled out due to injury. Even with those key players missing we will give our take on what should be Mexico’s starting 11.
Guillermo Ochoa (America): It is Ochoa’s time. His era starts now. Nobody wants to see Oswaldo Sanchez between the posts, but nothing is certain with Eriksson.
Ricardo Osorio (Stuttgart): Osorio will be the most veteran defender for the Costa Rica game. The more younger and inexperienced players will need a player like him to guide the defense.
Leobardo Lopez (Pachuca): Lopez will be confident coming into the game since he and Pachuca have seen a lot of success. The defender though has a lot of good qualities; he has already scored for El Tri - last fall against Ecuador - and also assisted on a goal that same game.
Jonny Magallon (Chivas): Magallon has shown that he could take over Carlos Salcido's spot at Chivas and should be doing the same for this game.
Oscar Rojas (America): The America defender is very versatile. He can play in both the right back and left back position which will be important. With the absence of Marquez and Salcido, Mexico will need some one like Rojas who can cover a lot in the back.
Fernando Arce (Santos): The attacking midfielder will have to show what he’s made of since Costa Rica does not give up goals easy. He will also fit in with his team mate Vuoso who will possibly be a starting striker for Eriksson.
Gerardo Torrado (Cruz Azul): Torrado played a good game against Bolivia. He showed control over the game as he managed tempos well and managed the midfield line perfectly. Bolivia was unable to pass through the midfield. This is what Mexico is going to need to execute if they want to win against Costa Rica.
Luis Ernesto Perez (Monterrey): Perez has been in top shape this year with Monterrey. He has played in all games but one and has scored twice. Mexico will need his attacking skills if they want to penetrate through Costa Rica’s defense
Andres Guardado (Deportivo la Coruña): Guardado has never failed with his game when in the Tricolor uniform. He always gives 100 percent on every play and never gives up. The left wing man will produce marvelous passes and great opportunities; for his teammates it will be up to them to score.
Vicente Matias Vuoso (Santos): Vuoso played an excellent game against Bolivia, scoring two goals. Vuoso can be a difference-maker and his play with Omar Bravo up top just seemed to give him more of a boost.
Omar Bravo (Tigres): Although Bravo did not score against Bolivia he was very active up top. He was beating defenders; he was showing bursts of speed that we had not seen from him in a long time. He created good chances for himself and his teammates. Bravo will also benefit from playing with Guardado at Deportivo and will know where his passes will be placed.
Jose de Jesus Corona (Tecos): Corona and Tecos are one of the teams with the least amount of goals allowed. Corona is a huge part of that and could be starting in the game against Costa Rica.
Aaron Galindo (Chivas): Galindo has said that this game will benefit his game. He loves the pressure that exists and will feed off of that.
Julio Cesar Dominguez (Cruz Azul): Dominguez is coming off some rough times with Cruz Azul. He does not have the right mindset to be a potential starter but can come off the bench and be an adjustment to the defense if needed.
Pavel Pardo (America): The 32-year-old midfielder would come in for Torrado if something is not right. Pardo boasts a lot of experience but doubt he can go all 90 minutes.
Leandro Augusto (Pumas): Augusto has been playing well for Pumas but not so much for the Mexican squad. He made a goal against Bolivia but was subbed shortly after. He is great with set pieces and can inject some more juice to Mexico’s attack if needed.
Omar Arellano (Chivas): Would compliment well with Andres Guardado and his speed. But he will need to come in as a sub, he does not have a lot of playing time with Mexico and a game of this magnitude should be started by more veteran players
Nery Castillo (Shakhtar): Castillo started his career with the national team well but since then he has slowly faded. Nery Castillo has shown he can play against the “big boys” when he score against Brazil in Copa America. Sanchez was coach then and Eriksson’s system is not the same, could be why he has not produced under Eriksson.
Sylvestre Adame covers Mexican soccer for Goal.com.