Mexico sets roster for match against U.S.
MEXICO CITY -- Villarreal's Guillermo Franco and Barcelona's Rafael Marquez were among the players picked to be on Mexico's roster for its Feb. 11 World Cup qualifying match against the United States.
Mexico manager Sven-Goran Eriksson selected four naturalized and seven European-based players for the team. Nery Castillo, in doubt pending his most recent performance with Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk, was included along with PSV Eindhoven's Carlos Salcido, Stuttgart's Ricardo Osorio, Tottenham's Giovani Dos Santos and Deportivo La Coruna's Omar Bravo, the Mexican Football Federation announced Sunday.
Mexico will play the United States on Feb. 11 at Columbus, Ohio, in the final round of World Cup qualifying in North and Central America and the Caribbean. Six teams are competing for three spots in the 2010 tournament in South Africa, and the No. 4 team advances to a playoff.
Eriksson postponed announcing the team on Friday, saying he needed more time to watch players such as Castillo, Marquez and Bravo.
Marquez was injured in the Spanish league last weekend but recovered to play on Sunday.
Eriksson has again included four naturalized Mexican players on his squad. Last time, he caused a national furor by picking Argentine-born Lucas Ayala, but his spot on the team this time was taken by Franco, who played 34 minutes as a substitute in the first match of the group stage and had been overlooked by Eriksson since.
The other naturalized players on the roster are Brazilian-born Antonio Naelson and Leandro Augusto, and Argentine-born Matias Vuoso, who all play in domestic competition.
The Mexican team will begin its preparation Monday before flying to Columbus on Saturday.
Goalkeepers: Oswaldo Sanchez (Santos), Guillermo Ochoa (America), Jose de Jesus Corona (Tecos)
Defenders: Juan Carlos Valenzuela (America), Julio Cesar Dominguez (Cruz Azul), Carlos Salcido (PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands), Ricardo Osorio (Stuttgart, Germany), Rafael Marquez (Barcelona, Spain), Aaron Galindo (Guadalajara), Leobardo Lopez (Pachuca)
Midfielders: Fausto Pinto (Cruz Azul), Pavel Pardo (America), Leandro Augusto (Pumas), Luis Perez (Monterrey), Israel Martinez (San Luis), Antonio Naelson (Toluca)
Forwards: Alberto Medina (Guadalajara), Cesar Villaluz (Cruz Azul), Giovani Dos Santos (Tottenham, England), Matias Vuoso (Santos), Carlos Ochoa (Guadalajara), Nery Castillo (Shakhtar Donetsk, Ukraine), Guillermo Franco (Villarreal, Spain), Omar Bravo (Deportivo La Coruna, Spain)