Mexico World Cup Roster 2014: Updates on 23-Man Squad, Starting 11 Projections

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Mexico World Cup Roster 2014: Updates on 23-Man Squad, Starting 11 Projections
Bob Levey/Getty Images

It hasn't been easy, but Mexico are just two matches away from qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.

With the United States' dramatic win over Panama on Tuesday night, El Tri were able to finish fourth in qualification, despite a 2-1 loss to Costa Rica. That ensured Mexico would be facing off against New Zealand in a two-legged playoff, with the winner getting a spot in Brazil.

This is a far cry from where Mexico were following that 2-1 loss to Honduras in the Estadio Azteca. They were a mess on the pitch, and the supporters were revolting off the pitch. That defeat ultimately cost Jose Manuel de la Torre his job, and Victor Manuel Vucetich was left to pick up the pieces. He had little to no time to fix what was wrong with the team and also had to guide El Tri though to qualification.

Vucetich can't begin planning for the World Cup because if they lose that playoff, he's probably going to be out of a job, and the next World Cup cycle is still over a year away. Instead, he must continue with a lot of the players that have gotten Mexico into the position they're in.

The manager is between a rock and a hard place. However, should he secure qualification, he'll have much more freedom with his squad.

The job is not done yet, but you'd favor Mexico against New Zealand. The All Whites can defend well, but it will be much tougher for them to score in the Azteca than it will be for Mexico to score on the road.

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