With Carlos Vela and Guillermo Ochoa out of the Mexico lineup for the team’s crucial CONCACAF World Cup qualifying tests vs. Honduras and the United States, Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez stressed Wednesday that “no one’s place on the team is guaranteed.”
Following six rounds of matches in CONCACAF, Mexico is in third place in the qualifying Hexagon, three points behind Costa Rica and five points behind the United States, which leads. Each of the three qualifiers El Tri has played in the Azteca have finished in a scoreless draw.
Mexico and Honduras played to a 2-2 draw in San Pedro Sula when they last met. Honduras scored two goals in the final 13 minutes following a Hernandez brace that had the Mexicans leading. The two teams play in the Azteca on Friday and Mexico faces the United States in Columbus on Sept. 10 (ESPN, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes Radio, 8 p.m.)
The Manchester United striker said Jose Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre could make changes. Santos striker Oribe Peralta is a candidate to start and is competing with Hernandez for the honor. Vela and Ochoa were not included in this roster and it is unclear whether the two were left off or opted not to play after De la Torre was given a vote of confidence to continue coaching.
“We are waiting to find out (whether me make the roster) and everyone is in the same position. If we want to qualify we have to win all the rest of our matches and we know what it means for Mexico,” Hernandez said. “Every time we play we go out looking for the three points.”
Espanyol central defender Hector Moreno admitted El Tri is not accustomed to losing.
“We have played a lot against the other teams and they have made adjustments,” said Moreno, 25. “Now we are looking for varations both on the offense and the defense because it is true we haven’t lost at home but there has been that threat of losing. We have to look for stability and equilibrium both on offense and defense.”
Christian “El Chaco” Gimenez, an Argentine national who plays with Liga Mx team Cruz Azul, said there is no room to worry.
“Are we afraid? No, we can’t be afraid because fear paralyzes. We have to be confident in what we are doing,” he said. “We are aware that these are key matches for Mexico’s chances to qualify for the World Cup. It all depends on us and that is an extra plus. They are fundamental matches but we are coming in with the promise and the will to put everything out in front.”Information from ESPN Deportes was used in this report.