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Which European-Based Players Should Be Left out of Mexico's WC Team

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 05:  Hector Moreno #15 or Mexico attacks the ball against Ogenyi Onazi #17 of Nigeria at Georgia Dome on March 5, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Karla Villegas GamaFeatured ColumnistMarch 6, 2014

After a dreadful scoreless draw against Nigeria, one thing is clear: Not all the European-based players should make Mexico's World Cup squad.

El Tri was very lucky to take home the tie because the Super Eagles certainly put them in distress with speed and strength.

Miguel Herrera needed to bring all the footballers overseas for this friendly because it was the only chance he had to see them before unveiling his final 23-man list.

It is true that the team was never going to have the same functionality that we had seen in previous games because this was the first time Herrera worked with them.

The 5-3-2 system was challenging for some of them. Andres Guardado suffered in the first half because he took Miguel Layun's spot and played in the back line rather than in the midfield.

Hector Herrera also took his time to adjust, but after the coach took out Juan Carlos Medina and repositioned the Porto midfielder in the center of the pitch he showed his true colors.

Javier Hernandez did not complete the game because he had a knee injury. Hector Moreno and Guillermo Ochoa did not disappoint.

So which are the ones that should not have a ticket to Brazil?

 

Diego Reyes

He is the perfect example of why leaving to Europe is not necessarily the best thing.

Reyes was an undisputed starter with Club America and it was his form, technique and maturity with "Las Aguilas" that earned him a cap with El Tri, when Jose Manuel de la Torre was in charge.

After conquering the Liga MX title he left to Portugal to join Primeira Liga heavyweights Porto.

Six months after his arrival, Reyes has not debuted in the local league with the first team yet. Instead, he has been playing for the B side.

Ever since Herrera took over El Tri, Reyes has worn the green jersey twice, one of them in January when Mexico faced South Korea. The centre-back was the only European-based player who made the trip.

Apparently, Reyes has the manager's trust; their history goes back to Club America, the squad that Herrera coached before accepting the gig with the national team.

But the World Cup is not only about trust. Reyes is far from being the fierce defender he was before leaving his country.

It feels as if his confidence was null, he had no rhythm and he must work hard to build up muscle.

 

Javier Aquino

The Villarreal winger has always had a tough time with El Tri.

At the 2013 Confederations Cup the Italians constantly overpowered him; at the 2013 Hexagonal he lacked the explosiveness he had shown a year earlier during the Summer Olympics.

He is a fantastic footballer who can run all the way to the goal line and unbalance the rivals' defense, but that is something he has only accomplished with Mexico's youth squads and at club level.

His recent performances with Villarreal put him on the spotlight again; the results with El Tri are still far from expected.

It has been a long time since Aquino has been a game-changer while representing his country. Others, like Luis Montes, Paul Aguilar and even Hector Herrera, have proven to be more flexible than Aquino.

 

 

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