Winners and Losers from Mexico World Cup Squad
It's here! Miguel Herrera has put an end to the speculation and announced his 23-man list for this summer's World Cup. While most of the team seemed to be already figured out, others were huge surprises for fans and media alike.
Some of Herrera's most trusted men didn't make the cut despite being key in the two-legged playoff against New Zealand that secured Mexico's ticket for the tournament.
Herrera now has one month and four preparation matches—against Israel, Ecuador, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Portugal—to figure out his starting XI.
Let's find out who are the winners and losers from Herrera's final list.
Winner: Carlos Salcido
The biggest surprise in Miguel Herrera's 23-man list is Carlos Salcido for sure.
The Tigres defender had not received a call-up since October 2013, when Mexico faced Costa Rica in the final match of the Hexagonal, while his last appearance came in September against the United States.
No one saw this coming. Salcido has not had a good season with his club. Despite playing 16 games in the 2014 Clausura, his physical condition is questionable at best.
However, he is experienced—this will be his third World Cup—and can play in the defense or the midfield, which allows Herrera to have more options with less players.
Loser: Moises Munoz
When Herrera took over the team Moises Munoz spot in Mexico's World Cup team appeared secure. However, the Club America goalkeeper did not make the squad.
Mexico is known for having a fantastic crop of keepers and this year was not different.
With Jesus Corona, Guillermo Ochoa and Alfredo Talavera having great performances with their respective clubs, Munoz was certainly at the bottom of the list.
Club America made it to the 2014 Clausura Liguilla (playoffs) but he was far from being spectacular. With Mexico he also faltered, especially against the United States in April.
His previous caps with El Tri were just the result of his relationship with Herrera.
Winner: Javier Hernandez
He may not be receiving a lot of playing time with Manchester United, but Javier Hernandez is certainly a game changer and the coach knows it.
Chicharito is one of the sharpest, fastest strikers in world football. He possesses a knack for goalscoring and needs very little time to make a difference on the score.
He won't be the starter striker, but having him on hand is certainly one of the wisest choices Herrera made.
The World Cup will be very important for Hernandez if he wants to leave United after this season.
Loser: Javier Aquino
When Jose Manuel de la Torre was in charge of the team Javier Aquino always made the list, but he didn't make a difference on the pitch.
Perhaps his lowest point came at the 2013 Confederations Cup where his fitness was tested against Italy.
He was a great addition to the Mexico squad that won the gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics, but he never showed the same level with the senior team.
Herrera knows it and that is why he decided to cut him off. Aquino may be having a good season with Villarreal, but his inconsistency with El Tri and an injury were enough to keep him from travelling to Brazil.
Winner: Francisco Rodriguez
Francisco Rodriguez used to be one of Mexico's toughest defenders. His height (6'3'') came in handy at set pieces, while his body build allowed him to keep rivals at bay.
El Maza is no longer that kind of player. He has become slow and he compromises the team on a regular basis.
Herrera trusts him since he arrived in Club America, but looking at Mexico's rivals in the World Cup it is clear that he is more of a risk than an advantage for El Tri.
Rodriguez needs to work very hard if he intends to play, because right now even Diego Reyes, who is receiving very little playing time with Porto and has less experience, is in better shape.
Also, Hector Moreno and Rafael Marquez will be undisputed starters.