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Mexico trims World Cup roster to 24 players

7:13 PM EDT 6/2/18
Jesus Molina Mexico
El Tri's World Cup squad is nearly set with just one cut to make for Juan Carlos Osorio from the team he's taking to Denmark

Mexico will travel with 24 players to Denmark, cutting three more from its World Cup provisional roster.

Center back Oswaldo Alanis, winger Jurgen Damm and midfielder Jesus Molina will be left at home after all three took part in Mexico's scoreless draw Monday with Wales.

Mexico manager Juan Carlos Osorio was hoping to begin camp with 23 players but with friendly matches against Wales and Saturday against Scotland, he named a 28-man provisional roster. Center back Nestor Araujo was sent home because of complications with his recovery from a knee injury bringing the total to 27.

Molina played in the first half of Monday's friendly. When asked about him after the match, Osorio said he was considering taking a player with his profile to Russia.

"I think all the players are needed," Osorio said when asked if he needed to take a player with Molina's skillset to Russia. "Scenario: If we’re winning and pressuring high and have a team that plays long direct over the striker then he will be very, very influential. Today, I think that we didn’t need his help too much because we had two center backs who are very good in the air. Nevertheless, their No. 9 won the ball a couple of times and he was there for the rebounds. I will not disagree with you that Hector can play a more offensive football from there, but Jesus’ aerial game is second to none."

Alanis is a left-footed center back but struggled in the Confederations Cup last year. His national team minutes dropped during the season, but injuries brought him back into the mix. Carlos Salcedo also played at left center back during the season with Eintracht Frankfurt, and Osorio tried him out there against Wales.

Damm failed to impress against Wales. A speedy winger, his lack of crossing ability made him a long shot to make the final squad.

"The coaching staff and directors thank the players who are not making the trip for their commitment and effort during the preparation stage," a news release read.

Erick Gutierrez remains on the roster. The Pachuca midfielder plays in a similar style to that of Andres Guardado, a midfielder who underwent a surgical procedure to repair a nerve issue in his leg just after the European season.

Center backs Hector Moreno and Diego Reyes also are ruled out of Saturday's contest with Scotland, but Edson Alvarez remains with the team. Like Reyes, the 20-year-old Alvarez can play either as a defender or as the defensive midfielder.

Current squad:

Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (Standard), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca), Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul)

Defenders: Carlos Salcedo (Eintracht Frankfurt), Nestor Araujo (Santos Laguna), Diego Reyes (Porto), Hector Moreno (Real Sociedad), Hugo Ayala (Tigres), Edson Alvarez (Club America), Jesus Gallardo (Pumas), Miguel Layun (Sevilla)

Midfielders: Rafa Marquez (Atlas), Hector Herrera (Porto), Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Andres Guardado (Real Betis), Erick Gutierrez (Pachuca), Marco Fabian (Eintracht Frankfurt), Giovani Dos Santos (LA Galaxy)

Forwards: Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez (West Ham United), Raul Jimenez (Benfica), Oribe Peralta (Club America), Jesus "Tecatito" Corona (Porto), Carlos Vela (LAFC), Javier Aquino (Tigres), Hirving Lozano (PSV)