Giovani dos Santos recalled for Mexico's friendlies, Chicharito left out
LA Galaxy forward Giovani dos Santos will return to the Mexico national team for upcoming friendlies against New Zealand on Oct. 8 and Panama on Oct. 11.
The inclusion of Dos Santos in coach Juan Carlos Osorio's squad is the 27-year-old's first call-up to El Tri since the 2015 Gold Cup, which Mexico won, and comes off the back of some good form from the former Barcelona player, who has 14 goals in 26 games in MLS this season.
Mexico coach Osorio had maintained that the door remained open to Dos Santos' return, but stated ahead of last summer's Copa America Centenario that the player had rejected the chance to be called into the squad.
"Giovani himself declined the invitation," Osorio said on announcing his Copa America squad. "To be ethical, what was spoken about will stay between the two of us."
Dos Santos was clear in stating back in July that he didn't regret his no-show, but that he was open to being called in again.
"I love my country and it was a difficult decision for me [not to go to the Copa America]," continued Dos Santos. "But in football you always have second chances. I know I'm doing well right now in my team and hopefully I get called again for the national team."
In other surprises in Osorio's squad, Giovani's brother Jonathan Dos Santos will also return for his first involvement since the 2015 Gold Cup, while Chivas striker Alan Pulido is back with the squad having been absent since the 2014 World Cup.
There is a noticeable lack of Europe-based players in the squad. Marco Fabian's fine form with Eintracht Frankfurt was rewarded by Osorio and Villarreal's Dos Santos is back, but Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, Guillermo Ochoa, Andres Guardado, Hector Moreno and Porto trio Jesus "Tecatito" Corona, Miguel Layun and Hector Herrera were all left out.
The Mexico friendlies in Nashville, Tennessee, and Chicago are preparation for the Hexagonal stage of World Cup qualifying, in which Mexico begins with an important match against bitter rival the United States on Nov. 11 in Columbus, Ohio.
The squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Moises Munoz (Club America), Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul), Rodolfo Cota (Chivas)
Defenders: Hugo Ayala (Tigres), Hedgardo Marin (Chivas), Oswaldo Alanis (Chivas), Jordan Silva (Toluca), Jesus Duenas (Tigres), Jorge Torres Nilo (Tigres), Adrian Aldrete (Cruz Azul)
Midfielders: Luis Robles (Atlas), Jesus Molina (Santos Laguna), Jonathan dos Santos (Villarreal), Orbelin Pineda (Chivas), Erick Gutierrez (Pachuca)
Forwards: Elias Hernandez (Leon), Angel Sepulveda (Queretaro), Hirving Lozano (Pachuca), Isaac Brizuela (Chivas), Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Marco Fabian (Eintracht Frankfurt), Oribe Peralta (Club America), Alan Pulido (Chivas).
Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.