Mexico have announced their 25-man team for the October 10 Confederations Cup playoff against the United States. The team is generally as expected, with the only surprises being the inclusions of injured players Rafa Marquez and Andres Guardado.
It was unclear until this roster was announced just how many players each team would be able to name. Apparently it is 25, which means Mexico has the flexibility to put a couple injured players on there and hope that they will be fit in time. Of course, that the roster size wasn't announced beforehand just adds to the joke that this match, and the way CONCACAF is handling it, is. We don't even necessarily know if there will be 18-man matchday squads or if the teams will get to dress everyone.
The closest thing to a surprise in this roster is probably the absence of Guillermo Ochoa, but it's been more than a year since he played a match at the club level. With that little match play, it's tough to justify his inclusion, especially when Mexico have other good players.
As always, Mexico are stacked up front. Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez is the big name, but Carlos Vela, Gio dos Santos, Raul Jimenez and Oribe Peralta are all there too so El Tri will have plenty of options up top. They're strong in the midfield with Hector Herrera, Jose Juan Vazquez and Carlos Pena too. Add in Guardado, if fit, and the scintillating Jesus Corona and the U.S. will have their work cut out for them.
Mexico can be exploited at the back. Hector Moreno is undoubtedly brilliant and Miguel Layun is a dynamic fullback, but nobody else has really established themselves as dependable international players and none of the goalkeepers are world beaters.
Interim manager Ricardo Ferretti hasn't had much time with the team and we don't know exactly how he's going to have the team play. We don't know formations, let alone tactics, so at this point it's still a guessing game. But if this roster tells us anything, it's that the Americans will be tested at the back, but have a chance to put several goals past their rivals.
Goalkeepers: Moises Munoz, Alfredo Talavera, Jonathan Orozco
Midfielders: Jose Juan Vazquez, Hector Herrera, Javier Aquino, Carlos Esquivel, Andres Guardado, Jonathan dos Santos, Carlos Pena, Jesus Corona
Forwards: Oribe Peralta, Raul Jimenez, Giovani dos Santos, Javier Hernandez, Carlos Vela