Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti continues to build toward 2022, calling in a young roster for Mexico's upcoming friendly matches against Costa Rica and Chile.
The roster is led by standout attacker Hirving Lozano of PSV, with Wolves forward Raul Jimenez and Celta defender Nestor Araujo among seven Europe-based players who are part of the call-up. Players who were regulars during the previous cycle including midfielder Hector Herrera, defender Miguel Layun and center back Hector Moreno are left out for the second consecutive call as interim manager Ferretti gives opportunities to younger players.
Other players with World Cup experience who were on the September roster for defeats to Uruguay and the U.S. also were left off the roster for the matches. LA Galaxy midfielder Jonathan dos Santos was present in September's roster but is absent from the October call-up. While his brother, Giovani, has been injured, Jona has been key in recent weeks for the LA Galaxy, who do not have a match during the international window. Guillermo Ochoa also played in last month's matches, but the goalkeeper will stay in Europe to continue work with Standard Liege rather than returning to Mexico.
In Ochoa's absence, Ferretti has called Hugo Gonzalez and a pair of goalkeepers yet to be capped as senior internationals in Tijuana's Gibran Lajud and Chivas' Raul Gudino. Lajud has twice been called into the national team but is yet to earn minutes. Gudino was a regular with Mexico youth squads and was the hero of Sunday's Clasico Nacional match against Club America.
In defense, Diego Reyes and Nestor Araujo return to El Tri after each missed the 2018 World Cup because of injuries. They're joined by Edson Alvarez, who did play in Russia, along with young Santos duo Jesus Angulo and Gerardo Arteaga, Pachuca youngster Erick Aguirre and Monterrey's World Cup veteran Jesus Gallardo. Josecarlos Van Rankin of Chivas earns his first senior call-up after a strong start to the season in Guadalajara.
Marco Fabian returns to the side after missing out on the September call-up while coping with uncertainty about his club future. The 29-year-old is back with Eintracht Frankfurt after a summer move to Turkey fell through and provides experience in a young midfield, as does Tigres veteran Jesus Duenas. Around them are Erick Gutierrez, Victor Guzman and Jonathan Gonzalez, all 23 or under, and Queretaro midfielder Jesus Guemez. The contest against Chile on Oct. 16 takes place in Queretaro's home stadium.
While Herrera continues to stay in Porto, his club teammate Jesus Corona is set to return to the national team. "Tecatito," Jimenez and Lozano lead an attacking line that also includes Tigres winger Jurgen Damm, who will seek a start in front of his home crowd against the Ticos in the Estadio Universitario, 20-year-old Cruz Azul winger Roberto Alvarado, Chivas winger Isaac Brizuela and America forward Henry Martin round out the attack.
With a Copa MX quarterfinal between Monterrey and Queretaro slated for Oct. 9 after postponement, Gonzalez, Gallardo and Guemez will join up with the national team on Oct. 10. The rest of the group will come together Sunday in Mexico City before traveling to Monterrey on Wednesday. The team returns to the capital Oct. 12 before traveling to Queretaro on Oct. 15 for the second match of the window.
Goalkeepers: Gibran Lajud (Tijuana), Hugo Gonzalez (Necaxa), Raul Gudino (Chivas)
Defenders: Diego Reyes (Fenerbahce), Edson Alvarez (America), Nestor Araujo (Celta de Vigo), Jesus Angulo (Santos Laguna), Luis "Chaka" Rodriguez (Tigres), JoseCarlos Van Rankin (Chivas), Jesus Gallardo (Monterrey), Gerardo Arteaga (Santos Laguna), Erick Aguirre (Pachuca)
Midfielders: Jonathan Gonzalez (Monterrey), Erick Gutierrez (PSV Eindhoven), Victor Guzman (Pachuca), Marco Fabian (Frankfurt), Jesus Duenas (Tigres), Javier Guemez (Queretaro)
Forwards: Jurgen Damm (Tigres), Isaac Brizuela (Chivas), Hirving Lozano (PSV Eindhoven), Roberto Alvarado (Cruz Azul), Raul Jimenez (Wolves), Angel Zaldivar (Chivas), Henry Martin (America), Jesus "Tecatito" Corona (Porto)