Mexio manager Juan Carlos Osorio has named his World Cup squad. Who is in form? Who needs to find rhythm? Who is still fighting for a place on the final squad? Goal takes you through each player's background, recent form and more to get you up to date with the current look of El Tri.
- Laurence Griffiths
Guillermo Ochoa"Memo" has been to every World Cup with Mexico since 2006 and this one looks to be no different. While Osorio tried out a rotation policy for goalkeepers in the 2016 Copa America Centenario, he's backed off from that tactic and it's fair to say Ochoa is the No. 1 goalkeeper going to Russia. That's good news for most fans after his heroic performances in the 2014 World Cup, including the clean sheet kept against host Brazil.
Ochoa comes into the summer after a strong season in Belgium with Standard Liege, which finished second in the Belgian playoffs and secured a spot in the Champions League next season.
- USA Today Sports
Jesus CoronaThe reliable backup to Ochoa, Corona was given a chance to shine on his own last summer. It may not have been on the terms he wanted - an injury forced him out of the Confederations Cup - but good outings in the Gold Cup showed El Tri is in good hands should Ochoa falter.
Cruz Azul hasn't experienced much joy in the past few years, but rarely has the blame fallen on the 37-year-old goalkeeper who has been the club's first choice since 2009.
- Hector Vivas
Alfredo TalaveraGood in the air, the Toluca goalkeeper has been a regular in Osorio's squads since the manager's arrival in 2015. After an ACL injury kept him out for the latter portion of 2017, Talavera won back his starting job at club level and helped the Red Devils win the regular season and reach the Liga MX final. He wasn't able to lift his second Liga MX trophy with Toluca but joins the Mexico camp in good form.
- Kena Betancur
The 39-year-old may be the most recognizable Mexican player. Marquez won titles with Monaco, Barcelona and Leon during a long career and has been with hometown club Atlas the past several tournaments. He's played his last club game but is pushing to play in a fifth World Cup, which would tie him for the most all-time.
The U.S. Treasury Department designated Marquez a frontman for a drug kingpin in August 2017 and he hasn't played for El Tri since then, but he's been restored more and more of his freedoms. His inclusion on Osorio's list of 28 makes it look like the "Will he? Won't he?" saga will end with Marquez making history in Russia.
- John Thys
Moreno is Mexico's best defender and a player whom Osorio relies upon heavily. The left-footer often is asked to start attacks from the back and does so well with excellent passing that characterizes the modern center back. A summer move to Roma didn't work out, but a winter switch to Real Sociedad let Moreno get in a better rhythm ahead of this summer.
- Kelley L Cox
A versatile player, Layun likely will line up as Mexico's left back but also has played on the other side of defense and as a winger for El Tri. Despite entering the summer as one of Mexico's most reliable options in several positions, it hasn't been easy for Layun. He got stuck behind a pair of world-class fullbacks at Porto but found the playing time he needed after moving to Sevilla in the January window.
It was the latest obstacle to overcome for the Veracruz native. Fans of Club America once blamed Layun for the club's issues with the #TodoEsCulpaDeLayun but later were using it in a positive way after he helped Las Aguilas to a Liga MX titles in the 2013 Apertura and 2014 Clausura.
- Erich Schlegel
Ayala has been a consistent part of Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti's Tigres teams and has come into the national team and delivered the same. He's been consistent yet unremarkable for Mexico, and his place on the 23-man squad seems dependent on the health of other center backs in the pool.
That said, Osorio won't worry too much if he needs to turn to the 31-year-old defender as Ayala saw time in seven World Cup qualifiers this cycle.
- Adam Nurkiewicz
The 23-year-old still plays as a winger for Pumas (though transfer rumors about an arrival to Monterrey have been in the news lately) but has been converted to left back by Osorio and his staff. Defensive discipline still can be an issue, but Gallardo has taken to the role and become Miguel Layun's deputy at the position.
Gallardo has earned 20 caps since his debut in 2016 and seems like a lock for the squad after staying home from the 2017 Confederations Cup and working on his game by starting all three Gold Cup group matches.
- Ronaldo Schmiedt
"El Titan" recovered from a shoulder injury suffered in March to close out his season by playing a pair of league matches and helping Eintracht Frankfurt top Bayern Munich in the German cup. Though he suits up as a center back for his club, the 24-year-old has become Mexico's default right back with Osorio preferring the 6'1" Salcedo to his other options at the position.
The Guadalajara native moved north and made his professional debut with MLS' Real Salt Lake before returning home to play with Chivas. He recently signed a long-term deal to stay in Frankfurt after playing there and at Fiorentina on loan.
- USA Today Sports
The youngest player on Osorio's 28-man list, Alvarez is in a battle to make the final squad. In his favor is his versatility. Able to play center back, defensive midfielder or right back, where he played for Mexico at the 2017 Gold Cup,
Alvarez wasn't on Mexico's Confederations Cup squad but did go to Russia to train with and observe the veterans. He's hampered by a lack of playing time with Club America and will have to erase the memory of poor performances for Las Aguilas in the postseason to make the final squad.
- Adam Nurkiewicz
One of the most reliable Mexican players, Guardado comes into the summer after an excellent season with Real Betis. The 31-year-old can play a number of places on the field but is most comfortable as one of the interior midfielders in Osorio's 4-3-3 where he both defends but gets forward to support attacks.
Guardado went to the 2010 World Cup when he was just 19 and now provides plenty of leadership to El Tri. A lingering issue with a nerve in his right leg required surgery when he arrived from Spain, but the procedure went well and he's expected to be healthy when Russia rolls around.
- Erich Schlegel
Giovani dos Santos
After emerging as one of the brightest stars for Mexico as early as the 2005 U-17 World Championship in Peru, Dos Santos played in Europe for several years. He's since returned to North America, joining the LA Galaxy. Last season's last place finish and this season's early struggles have many wanting El Tri to move on from Dos Santos.
The skill he brings to the table continues to entice managers, including Osorio. Dos Santos can play on the wing, as a playmaker or as a forward, with the versatility and scoring threat worth putting up with the inconsistency.
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The Baja California native isn't a flashy player, but he was excellent in the midfield at the 2014 World Cup and may again turn heads in Russia. Excellent on set pieces and precise with his passing, Herrera has played the most national team minutes of any Mexico player during the Osorio era.
Herrera is coming off a season in which he captained Porto to a league title and has been linked with a move to Serie A or the Premier League.
- Chris Covatta
Aquino may be one of the more underrated players in Mexico. Though he returned to Liga MX after playing in Europe, he's become a better player since joining Tigres. That's been rewarded by Osorio with a number of national team call-ups.
The winger doesn't have the speed other Mexico wide players do but likes having the ball at the feet and excels when putting in long balls and crosses.
- Kelley L Cox
A back injury kept Fabian off the field for much of the 2017-18 season, and he failed to break into the Eintracht Frankfurt starting XI even when healthy. Still, the 28-year-old has proved his doubters who claimed he partied too much and didn't put in strong efforts while at Chivas or Cruz Azul wrong.
Fabian is a threat with his long shots, scoring a wonder goal against Germany in the 2017 Confederations Cup and showing he still can do it with a long-range missile against Iceland in a March 2018 friendly. He can contribute to the Mexico attack and will be eager to show he's back to his best.
- Soobum Im
Jonathan dos Santos
Jona was left off the World Cup roster by manager's decision in 2010 and thwarted by injury in 2014. Now, he's in good form with the LA Galaxy and set to play in his first World Cup this time around (barring another injury late in the process).
Dos Santos is at his best as one of Osorio's two forward midfielders in a 4-3-3, allowing him to help win back the ball but also coming forward to link with attackers coming back for the ball.
Chicharito may be the most popular Mexico player. The forward has a big smile and a nose for goal, but he wasn't smiling as much as usual during the 2017-18 season. The 29-year-old didn't figure in the plans of manager David Moyes at West Ham United and spent much of the season on the bench.
That's unlikely to be the case for Mexico, where Hernandez is prized not only for his abilities to lose defenders inside the box and bury shots from close range but also for how he is able to drop into space to give defenders and midfielders an option as the attack builds, often before it finishes with Chicharito charging into the area looking to finish things off.
- Matthew Emmons
A versatile forward, Vela was estranged from the Mexico setup for much of his early career. He's back in the federation's good graces, or perhaps more accurately it's back in with him, and it comes at a great time. After a decent 2017 with Real Sociedad, Vela has taken MLS by storm with expansion club LAFC.
Strong with his left foot, Osorio likes playing Vela as an inverted winger on the right but also has been encouraged by his performances when asked to drop a bit deeper in recent friendly matches and play in the midfield or behind the forwards.
- Kelley Cox
After recent struggles with Club America, it's easy to forget that Peralta was one of El Tri's biggest contributors heading into the 2014 World Cup and found the winner for Mexico against Cameroon. He also helped Mexico to the gold medal at the 2012 Olympics with two goals as one of three overage players. While that seems like ancient history, it's clear Osorio puts value on Peralta's ability to score.
The manager has said he'd like to take three No. 9s to Russia, so Perlata's place on the roster seems secure even with his starting role at his club thrown into question. "El Cepillo" will do his best to make sure his strong record at major tournaments continues in what likely is the last one for the 34-year-old.
Jimenez saw a late surge in his minutes with Benfica after the Portuguese side suffered injuries at the forward position. It was a change from the supersub role he'd filled for most of the season. The No. 9 scored in both roles, finishing the season with six goals in fewer than 1,000 league minutes.
Now 27, the America product will hope he has more of a role than he did in 2014 when he appeared as a spot sub. To do that, he'll need to find a rhythm quickly. It's been tough to displace Chicharito and Mexico has too many talented wide attackers to go with Jimenez in an uncomfortable role rather than one of the typical wingers in a comfortable one.
- Stan Szeto
"Tecatito" is set to return to the Mexico setup after missing the 2017 Confederations Cup with a personal issue. It's been a difficult year for Corona on and off the field, but he was able to celebrate a championship with Porto. Corona saw mostly substitute appearances but could push for a starting spot with Mexico.
Two years ago, his speed and one-on-one ability made him a must-start player for El Tri, according to Osorio. Now, the calculus has changed, but his skillset has not. Look for Corona to come back with a bang and contribute in Russia.
A pleasant revelation for Mexico this season, "Chucky" dominated during his first season abroad. The Pachuca product went to PSV in the offseason and needed little time to adapt to the Dutch game, scoring 17 goals and helping the team win the Eredivisie.
Shifty, good on the ball and as comfortable setting up a teammate to score as he is finishing, the 22-year-old may be the player Mexico fans are most excited to see wearing the green of El Tri this summer. They won't be the only ones watching. Lozano's exploits have seen him linked with huge clubs in Spain, England and Italy.
- BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the provisional call, Gutierrez has been a stand-out for Pachuca and been called in under Osorio before but looked to be out of the picture in the not too distant past. Added to the World Cup roster after Diego Reyes pulled out, 'Guti' still could be in the picture for minutes after good performances in the pre-tournament friendly matches. Andres Guardado is the first choice in the 22-year-old's position, but like the veteran he can help back defending and also get forward to combine with wingers like his former club teammate Hirving Lozano.