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.
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.
|Mexico World Cup Schedule|
|June 13||17:00 BST/12:00 ET||Cameroon|
|June 17||20:00 BST/15:00 ET||Brazil|
|June 23||21:00 BST/16:00 ET||Croatia|
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.
GK: Guillermo Ochoa
D: Rafael Marquez
D: Francisco Rodriguez
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
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
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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