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 By Tom Marshall

Mexico confirm Oribe Peralta will represent El Tri at the Rio Olympics

Oribe Peralta, 32, will be one of Mexico's three overage players at the Rio Olympics.

Club America striker Oribe Peralta will represent Mexico at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, four years after his goals helped El Tri to the gold medal in London in a historic feat for Mexican soccer.

Peralta, 32, is the second of the three permissible players over the 23-year age limit to be named, with Toluca goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera confirmed last week. The full 18-player list is due out on Thursday or Friday.

The three overage players have caused plenty of problems for the Mexican federation and head coach Raul "Potro" Gutierrez, with expectations high for a competition in which Mexico is hoping for a repeat of the heroics of London four years ago.

Originally, there was talk of striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez playing at the Games, but that petered out swiftly. Names of full national team regulars such as Andres Guardado and Raul Jimenez followed, but European clubs have proved unwilling to release players for a tournament that doesn't fall on an official FIFA international date.

Mexico defeated Nigeria 1-0 last Saturday in Aguascalientes in the final outing before the squad announcement in a match that made it clear an experienced striker was required.

Erick "Cubo" Torres' development has stagnated, and he missed a couple of decent chances against Nigeria, and Marco Bueno, Alejandro Diaz and Angel Zaldivar haven't been banging in goals for their clubs.

Peralta isn't the most inspirational selection, but he does bring experience and has averaged almost a goal every two games in Liga MX over the past 10 seasons. And there simply aren't many Mexican strikers playing regularly in Liga MX right now.

The choice of the last over-23 player will be fascinating, with the team seemingly most in need of a left-back, with Tigres' Jorge Torres Nilo having expressed interest, and a defensive midfield player. Jesus Molina's name has been banded about.

Mexico celebrate gold medal
Mexico will be looking to defend the gold medal they won at the 2012 London Olympics.

Elsewhere in the squad, there are serious doubts about just how many of Mexico's Under-17 World Cup winning squad from 2011, considered a "golden generation," will be in Rio.

The captain of that team, Antonio Briseno, has hardly played for Tigres, and Arturo "Ponchito" Gonzalez, Carlos Fierro and Marco Bueno will have nervous waits to see if Gutierrez cuts their names to head south. The likes of Jorge Espericueta and Julio Gomez, named the U17 World Cup's best player, can already pretty much be discounted.

Monterrey's commanding center-back Cesar Montes puts Briseno's spot in doubt, and Chivas attacking midfield Orbelin Pineda and Pachuca trio Erick Gutierrez, Rodolfo Pizarro and Hirving Lozano have all been outstanding in 2016 and are likely to be leaders in this team.

In goal, Raul Gudino probably just about has the edge on Tijuana's Gibran Lajud for the spot to back up Talavera, although Gutierrez will be debating between the two, especially with Gudino back fighting for the reserve spot at Porto behind Iker Casillas for the upcoming season.

Gutierrez will need to get the selection spot on, with El Tri facing a tricky opener against Germany in Group C, followed by matches against Republic of Korea and Fiji.

Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.

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