Earlier this morning, Mexican Federation released the squad list for the Mexico December camp. Unlike the other Mexico camps, this one includes quite a few new names.
After a very disappointing 2021 for Mexico, fans have been asking for a generational change. The current senior squad players being called up for World Cup Qualifiers aren’t living up to the standards, so it’s time for some new looks in the team.
A Change In Goal
All year long, ‘Tata’ Martino would constantly call up the same three goalkeepers, who in everyone’s opinion, are way past their best. Following “Memo’ Ochoa’s poor performances in World Cup Qualifiers, Mexico fans have been asking for the likes of Carlos Acevedo and Luis Malagon in goal. Now, this has become a reality as both Acevedo and Malagon has been called up.
Carlos Acevedo is currently the starting goalkeeper for Santos Laguna in the Liga MX. After having a breakout season earlier this year, Acevedo has been in the conversation of who’s the best keeper in Mexico. The same thing could be said for Luis Malagon, who at 24 years-old, was a part of the Mexican squad that won Bronze in the Olympics this summer. Both of these keepers have been speculated to be the next starting keeper for ‘El Tri’.
Although 39-year old Alfredo Talavera was called up as well, he’s constantly in the conversion for the best goalkeeper in Liga MX. Nevertheless, his call-up could be to function as a mentor for young keepers.
Bye-Bye Defensive Problems?
As mentioned above, many fans have been asking for the removal of many players from the senior squad. Some of those players include defenders ‘Chaka’ Rodriguez (30) and Jesus Gallardo (27). ‘Chaka’ and Gallardo can be blamed for multiple defensive mistakes that led to crucial losses this year. Additionally, México has been struggling to find their starting centerbacks. Experienced CBs like Nestor Araujo and Hector Moreno are slow on the ball, which leads Tata to have a younger, faster centerback pairing.
To fix these issues, Tata has called up defenders with an average age of 21.75. To fix the leftback issue, Omar Campos (19) and Salvador Reyes (23) have been called up after having impressive seasons. For the rightback position, Emiliano Lara (19), Julian Araujo (20), and Erik Aguirre (24) will fight to be Chaka’s replacement. Luis Olivas (21), Israel Reyes (21), and Jordan Silva (27) will fight to be the CB-pairing of Johan Vasquez.
These new faces bring joy to ‘El Tri’ fans as they are tired of seeing defensive uncertainty. Salvador Reyes and Omar Campos will fight to show Tata who truly was the best leftback this season. On the other hand, Julian Araujo will try and show why he chose to represent Mexico over USA.
Potential Midfield/Offensive Transition
After getting exploited by Canada and USMNT, Tata will want to have a quicker midfield. Hector Herrera and Andres Guardado aren’t in their 20s anymore, so it’s time for new leaders in the midfield. This squad-list includes Alfonso Gonzalez (27), who was arguably the best offensive midfielder this season. Additionally, Erik Lira (21), Fernando Beltran (23), and Alan Cervantes (23) are back with Mexico after impressive performances in the friendly against Ecuador back in October.
On the offensive side, Tata has called up quite a bunch of new attackers. To tackle the strikers problem, Santiago Gimenez (20) and Eduardo Aguirre (23) have been called up. As for the wingers, Tata has decided to call up three dual-nationals: Efrain Alvarez (19), Marcelo Flores (18), and Benjamin Galdames (20). Alvarez has already been cap-tied, but Flores and Galdames are still deciding between Mexico and their other respective nation. Because of this, Tata has called these two up to ultimately convince them to stay with Mexico.
But like every squad list, there’s always that one player who gets called up because of the weight of their names. Uriel Antuna (24) and Sebastian Cordova (24) have always been considered for the senior team. But following the Olympics, both Cordova and Antuna had major fall-offs in their form. This call-up could be Tata giving them a last chance to pick up their form, or they’ll be relegated from the senior team.
Another name that many are wondering why he got called up is Mauro Lainez (25). Mauro isn’t the most spectacular player, but many believe he was only called up because of his last name. He’s the older brother of Diego Lainez (21), who’s considered for the senior team. Tata though that since Diego wasn’t able to come to this camp, maybe his brother might just be the solution.
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