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Alvarez unsure whether he'll pick Mexico, U.S.

 By Nayib Moran

Javier Hernandez and Hirving Lozano make noise for European squads

MEXICO CITY -- Hirving "Chucky" Lozano is breaking records in the Netherlands, while Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez once again got his name on the scoresheet. Later this week, Juan Carlos Osorio will announce his roster for Mexico's upcoming friendlies against Belgium and Poland, and fortunately many of the key players, who will be in the roster, are going through positive runs.

Here's a look back at this week's Heroes and Villains:


After not scoring a league goal since Sept. 23, Chicharito once again got his name on the scoresheet in the 2-2 draw between Crystal Palace and West Ham. The final result could have been better for the Hammers, who led 2-0 at half-time, but in the 96th minute, Wilfried Zaha leveled things up. Hernandez's team missed a great chance to pick up a win, especially after eliminating Tottenham in the Carabao Cup during midweek action. So far in Premier League play, Chicharito is averaging 1.7 shots per game (per WhoScored), which makes it complicated for him to net goals; as a team, West Ham takes 11 shots per game, but only 3.4 of those are on target. For Chicharito to have four goals after 10 league games is a good number, but there's reason to think that Slaven Bilic's time as West Ham manager might be running out. If that's the case, how will a manager switch impact the current state of West Ham?

After not scoring a league goal since Sept. 23, Chicharito was happy to return to the scoresheet.

Although Hector Herrera experienced a slow start to the season at Porto, as he wasn't appearing in Sergio Conceicao's starting XI, he has gone on to start all of Porto's league and Champions League games since Sept. 17. In Juan Carlos Osorio's mind, Herrera is an important piece to Mexico's starting lineup, and when looking at his position on the field since Mexico's 4-1 loss to Germany in the Confederations Cup, InStat has him playing 41 percent as defensive midfielder, 47 percent as central midfielder and 10 percent as right midfielder.

On Saturday against Boavista, Herrera got an assist in Porto's 3-0 win. In the coming weeks, several areas of Herrera's game that have to be analyzed are his interceptions per game, his passing accuracy and his key passes per game. His role in the upcoming World Cup might end up being that of a defensive midfielder, and in order for him to be a complete defensive midfielder, Herrera must improve on certain defensive aspects as his biggest strengths are in the offensive department, specifically playmaking.

Guillermo Ochoa and Standard Liege continued their positive streak as Standard defeated Waasland-Beveren 3-1. Standard is on a four-game unbeaten streak, during which the team has conceded only three goals. Ochoa and Standard hope to extend the positive run next Friday when they visit Gent.

On Sunday, "Chucky" became the first player in Eredivisie history to score in seven of his first eight league games. PSV continue to top the league, and it's Lozano's impressive start that continues to rob attention. Lozano's case is proof that Mexico's recent Under-23 generation, which participated in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, includes a lot of bright players. Two of those -- Carlos Salcedo and Lozano -- already are in Europe, but others certainly could follow, such as Pachuca's Erick Gutierrez, Erick Aguirre and Victor Guzman, Chivas' Rodolfo Pizarro and Monterrey's Cesar Montes.


As defenders like Hector Moreno and Carlos Salcedo start to get significant playing time with their clubs, Diego Reyes continues without important playing time at FC Porto, as it's looking like he will hardly participate in either the  league or European competition. Reyes has combined for 21 minutes in both competitions, and it seems his only significant playing time will take place in cup games. Reyes has had two decent seasons with Real Sociedad and Espanyol, respectively, but other than those two good seasons, his time in Europe has been filled with inconsistency and an evident inability to claim a starting role with the Portuguese side.

Omar Govea is set for his national team debut after a breakout season in Belgium.

In the following days, Omar Govea is going to live an important moment in his career. Osorio made it known recently that he's going to give Govea a national team call-up for the upcoming friendlies against Belgium and Poland. Govea's season has been notorious, but his club, Royal Excel Mouscron, is going through a slump. They haven't won in their last five matches, picking up three draws and two losses along the way.

Nevertheless, it was in Nov. 2014 when Jesus "Tecatito" Corona got his first senior call-up with El Tri. At the time, Corona was with FC Twente, not a renowned Eredivisie club like PSV or Ajax, but Corona was excelling and nowadays is one of El Tri's main attackers. Three years later, Govea will live something similar to Corona, but it remains to be seen how quickly he can win over Osorio's trust.

Nayib Moran covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @nayibmoran.


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