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Mexico World Cup Draw 2014: Group, Schedule and Roster Predictions

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - NOVEMBER 13: Oribe Peralta of Mexico celebrates after a goal during a match between Mexico and New Zealand as part of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers at Azteca Stadium on November 13, 2013 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Miguel Tovar/Getty Images)
Getty Images/Getty Images
Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2013

Mexico had a tough time qualifying for the World Cup, but the focus now is on how they will fare at the 2014 event.

El Tri finally learned their group after Friday's draw and have a clearer idea of what they will have to do to make a run. While their opposition will make it tough to advance to the knockout stage, there is no such thing as an easy path at this level.

Photo courtesy of Bleacher Report

Photo courtesy of Bleacher Report

Of course, the squad did not have an easy path to even reach this stage. Mexico needed help from their biggest rivals as two late United States goals helped them earn fourth place in CONCACAF qualifying.

The good news is they were then able to take care of business against New Zealand in a two-legged playoff, winning 9-3 on aggregate under Miguel Herrera. 

However, the pressure for this talented team starts now. The squad has reached the Round of 16 in each of the last five World Cups, and Mexico will hope to at least reach this point in Brazil. For this to happen, they will have to come through in the group stage matches.

Here is a look at the group and schedule for next summer along with the roster that should be representing the country.

Group Breakdown
TeamFIFA Ranking
Brazil10
Croatia16
Mexico20
Cameroon51
FIFA
Mexico World Cup Schedule
DateTimeOpponent
June 1317:00 BST/12:00 ETCameroon
June 1720:00 BST/15:00 ETBrazil
June 2321:00 BST/16:00 ETCroatia
via FIFA.com

 

Roster

SEATTLE, WA - JULY 11:  Rafael Marquez Lugo #11 of Mexico follows the play against Canada at CenturyLink Field on July 11, 2013 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Herrera made a bold move in his first important match as manager of El Tri, selecting only domestic players against New Zealand.

This brought upon fantastic results as the squad scored nine goals in two matches, including five from Oribe Peralta. Considering their attack only scored seven times in 10 CONCACAF qualifying matches, this was certainly noteworthy. 

Many of the players on the roster played for Herrera with Club America, and there was clearly a great deal of chemistry between them. Raul Jimenez and Juan Medina helped promote the attack, while Moises Munoz and Paul Aguilar helped defensively.

Whether or not these players start for Mexico at the World Cup, you can be certain there will be a role for them going forward.

Still, it is impossible to imagine fielding a team without the nation's most talented players. This includes Giovani dos Santos, Javier Hernandez and others that will almost certainly find a way onto the pitch.

These players will work their way into the unique 5-3-2 formation that Herrera has utilized throughout his career. It might even be possible to move a couple of the forwards back in the formation in order to get more goal-scorers on the pitch.   

Of course, anything is still possible with this roster, and fans should not be surprised to see any name on or off the final list. 

With this in mind, here is a prediction for the 23-man squad and the starting XI in the first match in Brazil.

 

Starting XI

GK: Guillermo Ochoa

D: Rafael Marquez

D: Francisco Rodriguez

FORTALEZA, BRAZIL - JUNE 19:  Giovani dos Santos of Mexico in action during the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 Group A match between Brazil and Mexico at Castelao on June 19, 2013 in Fortaleza, Brazil.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

D: Paul Aguilar

D: Hector Moreno

D: Miguel Layun

M: Raul Jimenez

M: Juan Medina

M: Giovani dos Santos

F: Oribe Peralta

F: Javier Hernanez

 

Reserves 

GK: Moises Munoz, Jose de Jesus Corona

D: Hugo Ayala, Carlos Salcido, Jorge Torres Nilo, Miguel Herrera

M: Luis Montes, Carlos Pena, Jesus Zavala, Sinha

F: Marco Fabian, Aldo de Nigris

SEATTLE, WA - MAY 28:  Antonio Naelson Sinha #17 of Mexico dribbles against Ecuador at Qwest Field on May 28, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. Mexico and Ecuador played to a 1-1 tie. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

 

Other Possibilities

GK: Alfredo Talavera, Jonathan Orozco

D: Juan Valenzuela, Jonny Magallon

M: Andres Guardado, Alonso Escoboza, Christian Gimenez, Fernando Arce, Javier Aquino Carmona

F: Isaac Brizuela, Omar Bravo, Javier Orozco

 

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