The Mexican national team coach was in Phoenix to promote the upcoming friendly between the CONCACAF champs and Denmark on Jan. 30.José Manuel de la Torre was clear about Mexico's endgame in Phoenix this Jan. 30: preparation. El Tri will square off against Denmark in the team's last game before beginning the final Hexagonal round that will send up to four CONCACAF teams into Brazil 2014.
In his visit to Arizona, "Chepo" admitted that his starting lineup will feature no European-based stars, due to the game not taking place on an official FIFA friendly date.
"It's going to be complicated (to call up players in Europe), it's not a FIFA date so teams aren't obliged to give you their stars," he admitted. "Their club competitions are very demanding, so they won't give up their players easily. Our call-ups will come from the Mexican league," he continued.
De La Torre also revealed that he would be calling players a week before the match to ensure maximum preparation. Denmark is placed No. 23 in the FIFA rankings, eight spots below Mexico in the most recent listing.
To that point, the Mexican manager also responded to allegations that Mexico was not facing a quality opponent in its first match of the year. "It's complicated to bring teams with a higher ranking over here, they're also in international competitions (such as World Cup qualifying)," he said.
Finally, "Chepo" praised his youth teams for their recent success, noting that U-23 and U-20 players are coming up the ranks and pressuring his staff when making call-ups to the senior side.
"The internal competition is strong, we look at our U-23 and U-20 squads that have been growing and that's been very important for us," said the senior team manager.