Hirving Lozano and Hector Herrera among Mexico's heroes in Europe
MEXICO CITY -- Mexico's national team is days away from announcing its roster for its last two World Cup qualifying games. With the ticket to Russia in the bag, the composition of Juan Carlos Osorio's upcoming roster will be interesting to analyze because we might see a roster that doesn't include all of Mexico's players in Europe.
Several of Mexico's national teamers in Europe saw midweek action, and Andres Guardado and Raul Jimenez had good performances. Jimenez scored a goal in Benfica's cup game against Braga, while Guardado and Real Betis got a massive 1-0 win over Real Madrid at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
Following this weekend's action, here's a look back at the Heroes and Villains from the Mexicans in Europe.
After missing PSV Eindhoven's last two league games due to suspension, Hirving "Chucky" Lozano reappeared in Phillip Cocu's starting XI and continued where he left off. Lozano has been unstoppable since the Eredivisie got underway, and in PSV's 7-1 win over Utrecht, Lozano scored his fourth goal of the season and got an assist to help his club get a resounding victory. PSV currently sits top of the Eredivisie table.
No one will deny that Hector Herrera was going through an uncertain period a couple of weeks ago. It seemed that he wasn't going to be a sure starter for Porto. However, Herrera has gone on to play two complete consecutive league games for Porto, and as he keeps getting these opportunities, his confidence rises. In Porto's 5-2 win over Portimonense, Herrera completed 92 percent of his passes. With seven wins in seven to start Porto's league campaign, the mood is hugely positive.
Guillermo Ochoa and Standard Liege had not won in the league since Aug. 4 prior to Sunday's 2-1 win over Lokeren, so that success was celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm. Without a doubt, Ochoa is going through an interesting spell in his career. Although the results with Standard haven't been consistently positive, his recent performances with El Tri have been remarkable. Even so, it is important that Ochoa does not go into the World Cup next summer having just been relegated from the Belgian top flight. He's already suffered two relegations since arriving to Europe in 2011. With Standard, there will be difficulties, but if Ochoa can help the club finish comfortably clear of the relegation zone, the season will be considered a success.
On Saturday, Omar Govea scored his third goal of the season with Mouscron. The Belgian side went on to beat Euspen 3-2, totalling 16 points after eight matches. Govea's goal came from a free kick and, after the match, he tweeted to say that he dedicated the goal to all those affected by the Sept. 19 earthquake that struck Mexico City and the states of Morelos and Puebla. Players like Lozano, Guardado and Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez have had a strong starts to the new season, but no one saw Govea's great start coming. Govea and Mouscron's dreams continue.
So far in the current Bundesliga season, Carlos Salcedo has played 136 minutes with Eintracht Frankfurt, but his current status there is hard to work out. He's only played one full game, and that happened in the 1-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach on Sept. 9. After that match, he started against Augsburg but was subbed off in the 45th minute. In the last two league games, Salcedo hasn't even made the gameday roster, and there's no report of a possible injury. It will be interesting to see if Osorio includes Salcedo on the upcoming Mexico roster. If he does come, he will be able explain his current situation with Eintracht.
It's going to take time and a lot of patience for Hector Moreno to win a starting role at Roma. He's only been getting minutes off the bench, and the minutes are given once Roma has the win in the bag. Moreno is a versatile defender, capable of performing as a central defender and left-back, and manager Eusebio Di Francesco is aware of it, but right now, he still doesn't seem to feel Moreno us ready to be a starter on his team. Moreno is currently going through one of the most complicated spells he's experienced during his time in Europe, but he definitely possesses the winning mentality to emerge successful.
Nayib Moran covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @nayibmoran.