Mexico's uncapped XI: Osorio's best team that's yet to play for El Tri
Who has been overlooked by the Mexico national team? Which players will make an unexpected appearance in 2017? With a busy year ahead for El Tri, and two World Cup qualifiers around the corner, Cesar Hernandez takes a look at the best players who have yet to earn minutes for Mexico.
Here is Mexico's uncapped XI:
Goalkeeper | Rodolfo Cota | 29 | Chivas
Since earning a starting role with Chivas in 2016, Cota has quickly moved his way up the ranks of Mexico's top goalkeepers. The 29-year-old has shown excellent reflexes in net and is one of the key reasons why Chivas have done so well this season. Cota earned a call-up for Mexico in October, but has yet to earn playing time for the national team.
Left-back | Alan Mendoza | 23 | Pumas
With one goal and two assists in the 2017 Clausura, Mendoza has proven to be an asset in Pumas' defense and attack. After spending a few seasons in the Mexican second division, the 23-year-old has easily exceeded expectations after making his Liga MX debut in January. The well-rounded defender must be on El Tri manager Juan Carlos Osorio's radar.
Center-back | Cesar Montes | 20 | Monterrey
It's only a matter of time before Montes becomes an integral player for the national team. The 20-year-old regularly looks like a veteran with his confident distribution and composure in Monterrey's backline. Although plenty of young Mexicans are given an excessive amount of hype, the surprisingly strong Montes deserves every bit of it.
Center-back | Antonio Briseno 23 | Veracruz
There's still hope for the former youth national team star. Despite the fact that a starting role with Veracruz might not be ideal, the 23-year-old is now finally able to earn regular Liga MX minutes with his steady supply of clearances and interceptions. This season, Briseno has also showcased his versatility in the backline as a left-back for Los Tiburones Rojos.
Right-back | Jesus Sanchez | 27 | Chivas
One of Chivas' hardest-working players. The agile right-back never seems to run out of energy in nearly every match for Los Rojiblancos. Sanchez stands out with his well-timed tackles and is just as impressive with his movement down the right flank. Like Mendoza, the Chivas starter is an asset in the backline and in the attack.
Left midfield | Daniel Alvarez | 22 | Atlas
Alvarez may not be a usual starter for Atlas, but there is plenty to be excited about for the promising 22-year-old. The high-pressing player, who has spent the past couple of years in various U23 matches for Mexico, is a catalyst in the attack with his noteworthy dribbling and pace. It's going to be tough for him to break into a senior Mexico roster, but more playing time with Atlas might lead to an appearance in the Gold Cup.
Central midfield | Jorge Hernandez | 27 | Pachuca
Although Mexico has a wealth of talent in the midfield, it's a bit strange that Hernandez has never been given an opportunity for the national team. The 27-year-old is an aggressive presence in the Pachuca squad that thrives off of his passing and tackles. He is a cog in a midfield that has looked like one of Liga MX's best during the past several months.
Central midfield | Rafael Baca | 27 | Cruz Azul
Another defensive-minded midfielder that has been overlooked by El Tri. Baca is a tireless 27-year-old who is sharp with his distribution and surprisingly quick. The former San Jose Earthquakes player is also superb with breaking up plays from the opposition. He would be a perfect option for Osorio to test out during a friendly or the Gold Cup.
Right midfield | Jesus Isijara | 27 | Necaxa
One year ago, it would be difficult to find very many Liga MX fans who knew about Isijara. Now, the 27-year-old is a constant headache for several Mexican defenders. Although he has been uncharacteristically quiet in recent weeks, the speedy dribbler has proven to be brilliant with his movement and shots for Necaxa.
Attacking midfielder | Javier "Chofis" Lopez | 22 | Chivas
The crafty attack-minded fielder is another rising star in Mexican soccer. With outstanding control of the ball and excellent technical skills, Lopez is an entertaining player who is a favorite of many Chivas fans. The 22-year-old also has a powerful shot that catches many defenses off guard.
Forward | Ronaldo Cisneros | 20 | Santos Laguna
With six goals in hand, Cisneros recently finished the CONCACAF U20 Championship as the tournament's leading goalscorer. The 20-year-old will likely have to be patient for a call-up to the senior national team, but has shown the potential to be Mexico's next goalscoring threat. Be sure to follow the striker who might be able to earn a place in the Gold Cup roster.
Cesar Hernandez covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @cesarhfutbol.