5 Youngsters Who Could Make Late Push for a Place in Mexico World Cup Squad
Miguel Herrera has a great crop of footballers at his feet from which he will pick 23 to face Cameroon, Brazil and Croatia in this year’s World Cup. Among those, there is a handful of youngsters who have a shot at making the team.
These players have experience in some of the most demanding tournaments, despite their young age, and some of them have even left Mexico and now play in Europe.
Others, like Hiram Mier, have already been capped for the senior team, but his position is one of the toughest and most disputed and hasn't had as much playing time as he would want.
Nonetheless, these five youngsters have proven to be on the right track and if they keep up the good work they have a good chance at wearing the green jersey.
Spanish sources cited in this article translated by the author unless otherwise noted.
Jesus Manuel Corona
Corona has played for Twente since 2013. The 21-year-old has appeared in seven games and has already scored once with the Tukkers.
He debuted with Mexican club Monterrey at age 17. “Tecatito” quickly became a player to follow. His speed and ball control sent him straight to Mexico’s U-20 squad.
With the national team, Corona scored five goals in international competitions and won the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship, Lev Yashin Cup and the Milk Cup.
His dribbling skills and strength are assets that can help El Tri in the attacking zone, especially through the flanks.
Davila is a very adaptable attacking midfielder, who can play behind the striker or through the sideline.
He has the ability to leave the defenders behind in style, which puts him as a very dangerous threat in set pieces. His aerial game is also first-class.
Davila's breakthrough year was 2011. After securing the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship, becoming the top Mexican scorer with four goals, he played in the Toulon Tournament and the U-20 World Cup.
On August 27 he signed a five-year contract with Premier League heavyweights Chelsea, the club that loaned him to Vitesse, Sabadell and Cordoba, where he currently plays.
Espericueta is Mexico’s latest export. Villarreal signed the former U-17 world champion in the final day of the winter transfer window.
At age 19, Espericueta hadn't played for any club other than Tigres, where he debuted in 2012.
He has a gifted long-distance shot with the left foot, although he can kick the ball with the right one too.
The midfielder represented Mexico in the 2011 U-17 World Cup—where he was awarded with the Silver Ball—2012 Milk Cup and 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship.
“El Güero” debuted with Chivas de Guadalajara in 2011. He has been the youngest striker of the club for the past three years and little by little has earned more playing time.
Fierro caught worldwide attention during the 2011 U-17 World Cup, where he was Mexico’s top scorer with four goals to his count. He also received the Bronze Ball of the tournament.
He is a natural striker, but the ferocious competition in his club has pushed him to adjust as a winger, a position he has proven to be a great fit because he is very fast and elusive.
Mexico coach Miguel Herrera was seen last January at the Estadio Omnilife, Guadalajara’s ground, and after the game he told Mexican website MedioTiempo.com:
All the Mexican players have a shot to make it to the team. Fierro's work caught my attention.
Hiram Mier is no stranger to playing with El Tri but has not had as much success as he would have wanted to.
Mier was a cornerstone of Mexico U-23 squad at the 2012 London Olympics. He organized and led the defense before and during the tournament.
He was the captain of the winning team of the Olympic qualifying event and the 2012 Toulon Tournament.
The Monterrey defender can play in the center of the box or as a right-back, giving the team confidence and options to clear the ball with ease.
Mier takes advantage of his strength and physical attributes to charge the rivals and recover the ball in stressful situations.