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CONCACAF Gold Cup

Mexico's strong break puts them back atop the CONCACAF Power Rankings

Mexico's Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez spoke to ESPN FC's John Sutcliffe following his side's international friendly win over Ecuador, and noted the importance of team development in these types of matches.

With the Gold Cup just three months away, time is of the essence for the nations of CONCACAF who are seeking to go into the tournament on a high. The first FIFA international dates of 2015 are in the books, so it's time to revisit the ESPN FC CONCACAF Power Rankings.

1. Mexico

El Tri move up to the top spot of the CONCACAF Power Rankings after ending 2014 in second. Miguel Herrera's squad collected dual 1-0 wins during the break over Ecuador and Paraguay, and fans got glimpses of what Mexico's...

 By Tom Marshall

Projecting Mexico's Gold Cup and Copa America squads

ESPN FC's John Sutcliffe speaks to Eduardo Herrera, who scored his first international goal in Mexico's 1-0 win over Paraguay.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Mexico head coach Miguel Herrera's dress rehearsal for this summer was brief, but can be adjudged to have been largely successful.

Last Saturday's 1-0 victory over Ecuador in Los Angeles pointed to what the Gold Cup team could look like, while another 1-0 win over Paraguay in Kansas City on Tuesday provided an insight into El Tri at the Copa America in Chile. El Tri will play the United States next month in San Antonio, but that will be without the key component of Mexico's...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Honduras down French Guiana to cement place in CONCACAF Gold Cup

Honduras claimed the final available place in July's CONCACAF Gold Cup after beating French Guiana 4-3 on aggregate in San Pedro Sula on Sunday.

Anderlecht midfielder Andy Najar starred for Los Catrachos, netting two goals to help Jorge Luis Pinto's men recover from a 3-1 first leg deficit.

Honduras will join Panama, Haiti and reigning champions the United States in Group A.

The Gold Cup kicks off on July 7.

Also on Sunday, four CONCACAF countries advanced to the second round of World Cup qualifying.

Bermuda...

El Salvador players acquitted in match-fixing case

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador -- Eleven soccer players and two foreign businesspeople accused of match-fixing involving El Salvador's national team were acquitted of criminal charges Friday.

Prosecutors had accused the defendants of money-laundering, cover-up and illegal association, and they faced possible sentences of up to 19 years if convicted.

Judge Ernesto Parada ruled that the suspects' alleged conduct did not rise to the level of the criminal charges and was instead a matter of morality and conscience.

The...

Five key young players for Mexico

ESPN FC's Fernando Palomo and Alejandro Moreno review Mexico's 1-0 win over Paraguay, where El Tri's debutants certainly made an impact.
A goal after just three minutes from Mexico's Eduardo Herrera would be all El Tri would need to secure a 1-0 win over Paraguay at Arrowhead Stadium.
ESPN FC's Fernando Palomo and Alejandro Moreno break down Mexico's match against Paraguay, as Javier Hernandez has been left on the bench.

Mexico's World Cup experience in Brazil seems like a lifetime ago, and whatever equity built on the back of El Tri's performance last summer is long gone. As we get deeper into 2015 with a busy international calendar on the horizon, El Tri will soon turn its attention to two major regional competitions in the Gold Cup and Copa America -- with the Gold Cup considered the priority whereas Copa America will be more of a proving ground for a secondary El Tri team.

Head coach Miguel Herrera has mentioned time and again the need to broaden the player pool to afford Mexico the opportunity to call in two different squads for each tournament and give its young players experience on the international stage and/or first-team reps. As Mexico looks toward the future of the national team, Herrera and El Tri must find players who can carry the team forward in 2015 and beyond, players who can create their own history of success and vision for the future, just as aging-out veterans like Rafa Marquez did before them.

In order for El Tri to continue to grow, the development and maturation of the following five young players will be at the forefront heading into a busy summer of international tournaments. Here's a look at a handful of promising Mexican players whose development will be key to the team's success in the 2018 World Cup cycle.

Diego Reyes | Age: 22 | Pos.: Defender | Club: FC Porto (Portugal)

Yes, that Diego Reyes, the same one who went to the World Cup and has featured time and again under Herrera. Reyes is only 22 years old and for some time now has been handpicked to be the next Marquez. However, Reyes has yet to live up to those lofty standards with either club or country.

...