Mexico Hot List: Reyes struggles for minutes, Guzman shines for Pachuca
Although the World Cup is still several months away, Mexico manager Juan Carlos Osorio appears to have an idea of what most of his roster will look like. With only a handful of spots left for El Tri and two much-anticipated friendlies set for November, let's take a look at the recent best and worst performances from Mexicans at home and abroad.
Victor Guzman, MF, Pachuca (Mexico)
Why he's here: Despite the fact that Pachuca has struggled in the 2017 Apertura, Guzman has emerged as a brilliant figure for Los Tuzos. During Wednesday's 2-2 draw with Toluca, the 22-year-old collected his seventh goal in his last eight matches.
What this means: Is there space left for the midfielder that has yet to make his debut for the senior national team? Guzman is worthy of a call-up by Osorio, but if he isn't selected for next month's friendlies, he won't have many opportunities left to make a case for himself for Russia 2018.
Oribe Peralta, FW, Club America (Mexico)
Why he's here: Reports on the death of his career are greatly exaggerated. At 33 years of age, Peralta continues to be the best Mexican striker in the domestic league. In the recent 2-1 Clasico Nacional victory over Chivas, Peralta scored America's first goal in the rivalry clash. The veteran now has six goals and three assists in his last 10 matches.
What this means: As long as Peralta maintains this consistency, he will have no problems holding onto his backup role for the national team. Barring an unexpected rise from a fringe option in the next few months, Peralta is still likely headed to the next World Cup.
Raul Gudino, GK, APOEL (Cyprus)
Why he's here: Although most players need a good run of form in order to make the Hot List, there's no denying the significance of Gudino's Champions League debut on Tuesday. Following an injury to goalkeeper Boy Waterman, the 21-year-old replacement helped clinch a noteworthy 1-1 draw against Borussia Dortmund.
What this means: Gudino, who is now the first Mexican goalkeeper to play in the Champions League, shined for APOEL. Keeping in mind that initial reports state that Waterman can be out for a few months, Gudino is set to earn more starts in the near future. Will he be given a look by Osorio during November's friendlies?
Hedgardo Marin, DF, Chivas (Mexico)
Why he's here: Simply put, the past few months have been very disappointing for Marin. The defender failed to impress during the Gold Cup and has looked underwhelming for Chivas. In the Clasico Nacional loss to America, Marin was one of the reasons why Los Rojiblancos couldn't hold onto their lead.
What this means: Some may point to issues stemming from injury complications in September, but that does little to help his current standing with El Tri. The 24-year-old still has much to prove before he potentially returns to the national team.
Diego Reyes, DF, Porto (Portugal)
Why he's here: Reyes is looking average at best for club and country. Earlier this month for El Tri, there was little to be said about his quiet performance in the 3-1 win over Trinidad & Tobago. For Porto, the 25-year-old has yet to earn a start in league play.
What this means: A spot in the World Cup roster appears all but guaranteed, but the same can't be said for a starting role. Another option such as Nestor Araujo is likely set to steal some minutes from Reyes.
Giovani dos Santos, FW, LA Galaxy (United States)
Why he's here: In spite of his assist during Sunday's 3-0 victory against Minnesota United, there has been little to celebrate about Dos Santos. After a mediocre performance for Mexico earlier this month, the 28-year-old will soon be watching the MLS playoffs from home after a poor run from the Galaxy this season.
What this means: With only one game left for the Galaxy this year, it's fair to worry about Dos Santos. Ahead of the World Cup, the Mexican superstar will need to find a way to be match-fit during his long break. If not, several up-and-coming options might soon push him out of El Tri's roster.
Cesar Hernandez covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @cesarhfutbol.