Chicharito, Vela headline Mexico's 23-man Gold Cup squad
Mexico's 23-man Gold Cup squad was announced Friday, with Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez and Carlos Vela headlining what looks like El Tri's strongest possible squad.
The base of the team that reached the Round of 16 at the World Cup last year in Brazil remains in place, with just Hellas Verona's Rafa Marquez -- who is in Mexico's Copa America squad -- missing out.
Malaga's Guillermo Ochoa was named alongside fellow goalkeepers Moises Munoz (Club America) and Jonathan Orozco (Monterrey), while the center backs are Francisco "Maza" Rodriguez (Cruz Azul), Diego Reyes (Porto), Hector Moreno (Espanyol), Yasser Corona (Queretaro) and Miguel Herrera (Pachuca).
The left wing-back options include Miguel Layun (Watford) and Jorge Torres Nilo (Tigres), with Paul Aguilar (Club America) and Jesus Duenas (Tigres) on the right.
In midfield, Jose Juan Vazquez (Leon), Antonio Rios (Toluca) and Jonathan Dos Santos (Villarreal) can all play the holding role in coach Miguel Herrera's usual 5-3-2 formation, while Andres Guardado (PSV), Hector Herrera (Porto), Carlos Esquivel (Toluca), Jesus "Tecatito" Corona (Twente) are all more attack-minded midfielders.
Upfront is perhaps Mexico's strongest department with Hernandez (Manchester United), Vela (Real Sociedad), Giovani Dos Santos (Villarreal) and Oribe Peralta (Club America) rounding off the 23 players.
Mexico opens its Gold Cup campaign in Group C against Cuba on July 9, before games against Guatemala (July 12) and Trinidad and Tobago (July 15).
El Tri has made the Gold Cup its priority this year, with the winner facing the United States next October to decide who represents CONCACAF at the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia.
Squad in full:
Guillermo Ochoa - Malaga
Moises Munoz - America
Jonathan Orozco - Monterrey
Francisco Rodriguez - Cruz Azul
Diego Reyes - Porto
Hector Moreno - RCD Espanyol
Yasser Corona - Queretaro
Miguel Herrera - Pachuca
Paul Aguilar - America
Jesus Duenas - Tigres
Jorge Torres Nilo - Tigres
Miguel Layun - Watford
Jose Juan Vazquez - Leon
Andres Guardado - PSV Eindhoven
Hector Herrera - Porto
Antonio Rios - Toluca
Carlos Esquivel - Toluca
Jonathan Dos Santos - Villarreal
Jesus Corona - FC Twente
Giovani Dos Santos - Villarreal
Oribe Peralta - America
Carlos Vela - Real Sociedad
Javier Hernandez - Manchester United