Mexico will play their first match of 2018 on Wednesday, when they face Bosnia and Herzegovina in a friendly in San Antonio, Texas.
The Bosnians have already played in one match this year, holding El Tri rivals USA to a scoreless draw.
As shared by football writer Derek Rae, the contest wasn't a popular one:
Both teams are without some of their best players, with Mexico pulling their entire squad out of Liga MX and MLS. It will give manager Juan Carlos Osorio the chance to look at some youngsters, most notably Jonathan Gonzalez, who only just shifted his international allegiance to the side.
Here's everything you need to know about the upcoming clash.
Date: Wednesday, January 31
Time: 9 p.m. ET/2 a.m. GMT (Thursday)
Venue: Alamodome, San Antonio
TV Info: Univision (U.S.)
Midseason international friendlies never tend to draw the best players, and particularly around this time of year when the top leagues in Europe are at their busiest and there's plenty on the line. As a result, none of El Tri's top stars will feature, with the exception of Carlos Vela of Los Angeles Galaxy.
Bosnia have the same issue, as the team traveled across the Atlantic Ocean without Juventus' Miralem Pjanic or AS Roma's Edin Dzeko. The team's depth was tested against the USA, but they survived relatively comfortably.
In San Antonio, they'll likely face a young and inexperienced Mexico side, with Osorio expected to give plenty of minutes to his youngsters. Promising defender Cesar Montes could get a start, but all eyes will be on Gonzalez, who has switched from the United States men's national team to El Tri.
As shared by football writer Leander Schaerlaeckens, the decision came as a huge shock across the border:
The 18-year-old midfielder―who played for various American youth teams―is seen as a tremendous building block for the team and has been with Monterrey since 2014. Blessed with great vision and mobility, he's an expert ball-winner who should grow into an excellent player.
Football writer Tom Marshall loves watching the youngster play:
Tom Marshall @mexicoworldcup
Impressed again watching Jona Gonzalez live. You really appreciate the ground he covers. It’ll be interesting to see how he fits with Mex. With @rayados his job is v clear. Seemed to take a hit to knee in 1st half, but I’m sure it won’t stop him joining @miseleccionmx #eltrieng
With Gonzalez in the fold and players like Montes coming along nicely, the future seems bright for El Tri. Orbelin Pineda and Victor Guzman both have star potential, and Hirving Lozano―who won't be part of the squad―might already be the team's best player.
Wednesday's clash may not be a real test to see where the team stands―even at full strength, Bosnia and Herzegovina failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup―but it will give some of El Tri's top young talents a chance to learn about Osorio's intricate systems and gain valuable experience ahead of an all-important summer.