Mexico (National Football)

How Mexico Will Line Up Against USA in International Friendly

Karla Villegas GamaFeatured ColumnistApril 1, 2014

How Mexico Will Line Up Against USA in International Friendly

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    Jay LaPrete

    Mexico and the United States are ready to play their 63rd match against each other on April 2 in Glendale, Ariz. This will be a perfect chance for both squads to look at some players who could make their respective World Cup teams.

    Some have found themselves selected by Miguel Herrera for the first time since he took over El Tri. One such player is Marco Fabian, who is one of the biggest surprises because Herrera told the Mexican media three weeks ago that he didn't think the Cruz Azul midfielder was in shape.

    Of course there are irreplaceable footballers, such as Miguel Layun and Carlos Pena, who have appeared in every list the coach has announced.

    Let's take a look at the possible lineup for Wednesday's clash.

Goalkeeper

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    Christian Palma

    Moises Munoz

    The Club America keeper has been one of the most trusted men in Herrera's tenure. However, Munoz has yet to secure his place in the team. 

    With Guillermo Ochoa and Jose de Jesus Corona in great form, Munoz must prove himself and fight for the last spot with Alfredo Talavera, the other goalie who received the call for this clash.

    Munoz has quick reflexes but lacks experience in international competitions. He must work on his patience and pace.

Defenders

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    David Zalubowski

    Rogelio Chavez (RB)

    After working hard to regain and keep the starting position with Cruz Azul, Chavez has been one of the most consistent players in the Liga MX.

    He has scored three times and participated in seven of the 21 goals his team has scored in the 2014 Clausura.

    Chavez is fast and elusive, plus his dribbling skills make him a lethal player. He also has a strong long-distance shot.

     

    Francisco Rodriguez (CB)

    This is it for "El Maza." The 32-year-old veteran needs to step up because there's ferocious competition to grab a spot in the defense.

    Rafael Marquez and Hector Moreno will start every game, and there is only one more place available in Herrera's five-man back line.

    Rodriguez may be very experienced, but he lacks speed and fitness. This could be one of his last opportunities to show he still has what it takes.

     

    Rafael Marquez (CB)

    The captain has already locked his place in the World Cup squad, but in the Nigeria friendly he was overpowered constantly.

    Marquez needs to work on his fitness. Other than that, he is a true leader and has vast experience in big competitions, which is a must for any manager to have in their squad.

    This will be a redemption game for him.

     

    Juan Carlos Valenzuela (CB)

    "El Topo" is battling for a key position and it will not be easy making the World Cup team. Valenzuela has Herrera's trust because they worked together in Club America but other than that, there's not much to support his cap.

    Valenzuela has not the technique or form that other players. His direct rival for the starting position will be Diego Reyes, who may not be getting much playing time but has proven to be mentally tougher, plus he has more vision and better possession.

     

    Miguel Layun (LB)

    He is an undisputed starter and will make the World Cup team for sure. His stride and vision are key when he joins the attack from the left flank.

    Layun has left behind his inconsistencies and is now a stalwart of the defense. He has five assists with the national team, three in the two-legged playoff against New Zealand and two more in the 2013 Gold Cup.

    After missing the game with Nigeria due to an injury, Layun is ready to reappear and bring his Liga MX momentum to El Tri.

Midfielders

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    Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

    Isaac Brizuela (RM)

    The Toluca footballer has become quite a revelation in the Liga MX. At age 23 he is an undisputed starter for the "Diablos Rojos" and has scored three times in the current tournament. 

    Brizuela is one of the quickest attacking midfielders in the local league. His flexibility allows him to attack from the right flank or become a second striker if the team needs it.

    This is his big opportunity to start a game with El Tri and take advantage of the fact the European-based players are not around.

     

    Jesus Zavala (CM)

    Juan Carlos Medina had been in control of this position since Herrera was appointed manager. However, he has not been at his best lately.

    Like right-back, this is a position that Herrera hasn't decided yet, and he needs to do so quickly because it is key in his 5-3-2 system.

    Zavala has always been a consistent midfielder who can link the defense with the offense in style.

    He has far more experience than Medina, and, physically, he has proven to be at a better level.

     

    Carlos Pena (LM) 

    He is great when the team needs to recover possession. He keeps the ball, distributes it accurately and attacks when the squad needs to surprise the rival.

    He is a very unbalancing player and can shoot from outside the box or in front of the keeper with the same calm and power.

    Pena gives Mexico depth, creativity and strength through the left flank, something that Andres Guardado used to bring to the table.

     

Forwards

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Alan Pulido

    Since his debut against South Korea, which resulted in a hat-trick, it has been assumed Pulido will be a key player this summer.

    He is a very complete forward. He can shoot with both feet, dribble and pass accurately. Although he is not that tall (5'9"), he has a superb aerial game, especially when he arrives late in the box.

    Pulido should be on Herrera's final list. He might have had little playing time with El Tri but he has made the most of it.

     

    Marco Fabian

    The top Mexican scorer of the 2014 Clausura is back on the team after six months. The last time he appeared was in the World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica.

    Ever since he arrived in Cruz Azul, Fabian has changed his old ways and become a key player in "La Maquina's" attacking zone.

    He has speed, fine touch, possession and vision. If he stays focused and continues playing like he has been doing in the past three months, he can certainly secure a ticket to Brazil.

Miguel Herrera's 18-Man List

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    Gregory Bull

    Herrera had called up Jose de Jesus Corona, Oribe Peralta and Jose Juan Vazquez, however, they didn't travel with the team.

    Corona stayed with Cruz Azul to play in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinal against Tijuana, Peralta had personal issues to attend, while Vazquez had trouble with his visa.

     

    Goalkeepers

    Alfredo Talavera (Toluca) and Moises Munoz (Club America).

     

    Defenders

    Paul Aguilar (Club America), Miguel Layun (Club America), Miguel Ponce (Toluca), Francisco Rodriguez (Club America), Juan Carlos Valenzuela (Club America), Rogelio Chavez (Cruz Azul), Juan Carlos Valenzuela (Club America), Enrique Perez (Atlas) and Rafael Marquez (Leon).

     

    Midfielders

    Jesus Zavala (Monterrey), Juan Carlos Medina (Club America), Marco Fabian (Cruz Azul), Carlos Pena (Leon), Luis Montes (Leon) and Isaac Brizuela (Toluca).

     

    Forwards

    Alan Pulido (Tigres) and Raul Jimenez (Club America).

     

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