Naturalized Mexican players are in a game of musical chairs at present with El Tri.
Tigres’ Argentine-born playmaker Lucas Lobos was forced out of Miguel Herrera’s squad to face Finland because of family issues while another, Toluca’s Sinha, was called in to take his place and has traveled to Southern California with the squad.
The 37-year-old, born in Brazil, declared his surprise at his call to the national team to reporters at the Mexico City airport before leaving for San Diego. He also indicated he can’t see himself playing in the World Cup, should Mexico get there.
“You have to live the day, every day,” he said. “Tomorrow we’ll see what happens.”
For America’s Rubens Sambueza, Wednesday is the big day when FIFA is due to rule on whether he is eligible to play for Mexico or not.
The winger is now a Mexican citizen, but played 55 minutes back in 2001 for Argentina’s Under-17 side, before FIFA changed the rules to a one-time switch, meaning there is significant doubt he can suit up for El Tri.
Sambueza has become an important part of America under Herrera and is thought to be a shoe-in for the squad to face New Zealand should he get the green light from FIFA.