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Five Liga MX players El Tri should consider

El Tri have been struggling leading up to the World Cup. Here are five Liga MX players Tata should consider for the team

Mexican national team head coach, Gerardo “Tata” Martino is not popular among fans of El Tri. #fueratata is found in the comments consistently in any social media posts referencing the Mexican national team. 

During this World Cup cycle, Mexico has not looked like the giant of CONCACAF it has been the last fifty years. Other than the 2014 World Cup cycle when Mexico only clinched a berth due to their neighbors from the North, this current one can rank amongst the very worst teams in recent Mexican history.

Martino has repeatedly called up players who are past their prime and has refused to look deeper into the pool of Liga MX players. Players like Roldofo Pizzaro, Luís Romo, and Jesús Gallardo are not at the level to put on the national jersey due to poor results. Perhaps a change of style and a different set of players will turn this team around.  

Here are some Liga MX players who deserve a legitimate shot with El Tri.

Aldo Rocha – midfielder, Atlas FC (29 years old)

After breaking their 70-year drought, Atlas has now won back-to-back league titles. Rocha has been at the forefront of both sides and captained the team through both championships. Yes, Atlas is a well-built team and does rely a lot on their foreign strikers, but Rocha may very well be the heartbeat of the Rojinegros. 

He appeared in 43 matches and came up clutch, scoring a goal in the final against León. Mexico arguably is already set at midfield with Edson Álvarez and Hector Herrera. However, Rocha could be called up during a friendly to shake up the roster, as using the same players over and over hasn’t worked during these friendlies. He may provide the team with a fresh perspective having never received a call-up before.

Luis Reyes – left back, Atlas FC (31 years old) 

Yet again, another Atlas player–you have to admit, it is surprising when a team wins back-to-back titles and does not have any players on the domestic national team. While Reyes traditionally is a left back, injuries and transfers required him to step up in a midfield role, where he has excelled. Much like Rocha, he started in 43 matches and was the motor of the back-to-back champions. “El Hueso” Reyes did whatever was asked of him by his club and has had great success. Reyes has donned the national team kit before, but the last time was in World Cup qualifying in 2018 when Juan Carlos Osorio was still managing the national team. 

Alan Mozo – right back, Chivas (25 years old) 

Mozo has just arrived at Chivas from Pumas, and the move might convince Martino he deserves a national team call-up.  Mozo blossomed into one of Puma’s most consistent players as they reached the CONCACAF Champions League final. 

After being left off the U-23 roster that went to the Tokyo Olympics, Mozo according to reports had quite the disagreement with then-coach Jaime Lozano, which impeded a possible senior call up. Mozo received a call up in a friendly against Guatemala this year, but could not play due to a conflict with the CCL final. Now arriving at Chivas, one of the biggest clubs in North America, Mozo hopes to break through for Mexico. 

Víctor Guzmán – attacking midfield, Pachuca (27 years old) 

“El Pocho” Guzmán was one of the key players who propelled Pachuca into finishing in first place in the 2022 Clausura, scoring six goals and assisting with another three in seventeen appearances. Mexico’s biggest problem has been the attack. They are not scoring goals, and they aren’t creating any opportunities either. Guzmán currently has the seventh-highest transfer market value in Liga MX at 8.25 million dollars. While Guzmán has had some off-the-field doping issues, he has had six caps for the national team, all back in 2018. Guzman has since become a really important player for a strong Pachuca side, and he deserves to turn that into an opportunity with the national team. 

Alejandro Zendejas – right winger, Club América (24 years old) 

Zendejas arrived at Liga MX giants Club América before this season from Necaxa, where he registered eleven goals in two seasons. He seemed to be the lone bright spot early when América was at the bottom of the league until they came back from the dead to reach the semifinals. In fifteen appearances, Zendejas scored four goals and was in the starting eleven 67% of the time. 

Pleasing Club América fans is a hard thing to do, and Zendejas has done so. Having the opportunity to represent the United States at the senior level, Zendejas declined, making room for his inclusion with El Tri. His last call-up was friendly against Guatemala, but he should have more caps soon if he continues to play at a high level. 

The truth is, El Tri looks to need a bit more than a roster shakeup to prepare for Qatar. None of these players likely put the team over the hump, but it’s clear that Tata needs to do something, anything to get them going.