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Tom Marshall: Five players Herrera should call up in October

El Tri’s games against Honduras and Panama in Mexico next month offer coach Miguel Herrera a good opportunity to try out new faces and experiment a little.

There seems little point bringing El Tri’s fringe foreign legion – such as Jonathan dos Santos and Jesus “Tecatito” Corona – all the way over the Atlantic considering there are two games in November in Europe, so the emphasis falls on the Liga MX and undiscovered or under-used national team potentials.

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Here are five that have been pressing their claims recently:

Javier Guemez (Tijuana) – Defensive midfield

There seems to be an old head on Guemez’s young shoulders, perhaps because the 22-year-old already has over 100 professional first team appearances, spread over the Liga MX and Mexico’s second division.

The fact he already has experience under his belt shows. Guemez reads the game well, provides a platform for his side moving forward, is a tenacious tackler and clearly enjoys the battle in the center of the field.

On the downside, Guemez isn’t the most mobile and is slightly one-footed, but he is nevertheless a contender in coming years for the holding midfield spot for El Tri.

By Seth Vertelney

Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez only had 13 minutes to make an impression for Real Madrid in Saturday's game at Deportivo La Coruna.

It's safe to say the Mexico international accomplished that goal.

In only his second Real Madrid appearance – both of which have been off the bench – Chicharito scored his first two goals for the Blancos in an 8-2 rout over the home side.


Hirving Lozano (Pachuca) - Winger

There is always a risk associated with calling up such a young player to the Mexico national team. The focus is instantly intense, media outlets immediately want the back story and it is not to the liking of every player. It can get in the way of their development if they aren’t mature enough to handle it.

Others thrive, however, and Lozano can no longer be ignored, despite only being 19. He’s the best Mexican youngster in the Liga MX and has been both consistent and steadily improving in the last couple of seasons.

A winger with pace, directness and technical ability on the ball, Lozano is an exciting prospect for Mexican soccer and one that European scouts will be keeping an eye on.

Where Lozano could fit in Herrera’s 5-3-2 system is a headache, with no position for an out-and-out winger.

Jorge Torres Nilo (Tigres) – Left back

We know all about Torres Nilo. He started most of El Tri’s games in qualifying for Brazil 2014. But since Herrera took over in late 2013, Torres Nilo has played a total of 44 minutes for El Tri. It seems a bit of a waste for a consistently good Liga MX player who has been linked with a move to Europe on numerous occasions, the latest of which was to Marseille.

Herrera’s use of wingbacks naturally put Torres Nilo’s position under question, but the 26-year-old is good going forward, has the stamina to get up and down the wing and is already experienced at international level.

With Miguel Layun not cementing the place as many thought he would and a question mark over whether Miguel Ponce is the long-term answer, Torres Nilo deserves another shot.

Antonio Rodriguez (Chivas) – Goalkeeper

“Toño” Rodriguez made a major mistake in Chivas’ 4-1 loss to Queretaro on Sunday, but has been the team’s best player so far this Apertura and was assured last season as well.

Put simply, the 22-year-old is Mexico’s best young goalkeeper at present. Rodriguez is a rounded ‘keeper - good in the air, shot-stopping and in distribution of the ball. He seems to be the most likely long-term No. 1 for Mexico of his generation, even if it difficult to predict development.

There is no rush, but with El Tri busy with the Olympics, two Copa Americas, a Gold Cup and Pan American Games in the next two years, there will be plenty of chances to blood Rodriguez at the expense of some of the older faces.

Antonio Rios (Toluca) – Defensive midfield

The Toluca midfielder deserves another chance after a solid display against Bolivia earlier this month.

Rios has been a model of consistency for the Diablos Rojos since he secured a starting spot back in 2010 and will be battling it out with Jose Juan “Gallito” Vazquez and perhaps Dos Santos for the holding role in the team moving forward.