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Mexico Hot List: Liga MX stars Henry Martin, Luis Montes pushing for call-ups

Ex-Tijuana man Henry Martin has been a pleasant surprise so far for America.
Henry Martin has been a revelation so far this season for Club America.

With an eye toward World Cup preparation, Mexico's national team will once again take the field for a friendly on January 31st. Set in San Antonio's Alamodome, an expected Liga MX-heavy roster will seek to win over manager Juan Carlos Osorio in the upcoming clash against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

There's little time for countless fringe players to make a case for themselves, and with that in mind, let's take a look at the recent best and worst performances from El Tri's squad options.

Warming Up

Henry Martin, FW, Club America (Mexico)

Why he's here: Six days after scoring the game-winner for Las Aguilas in the 1-0 victory against Queretaro, Martin once again stepped up with a second consecutive goal during Saturday's 2-2 draw with Pachuca. In the tie, the striker also won a penalty for the Mexico City club.

What this means: After appearing as a backup for Tijuana last season, Martin has taken full advantage of his new place with America. Looking at the national team, the 25-year-old is now a leading candidate for the next call-up that will feature Liga MX names in the place of noteworthy European-based options.

Carlos Salcedo, DF, Eintracht Frankfurt (Germany)

Why he's here: Following an impressive end to 2017 with a regular starting role for Frankfurt, Salcedo kicked off the new year with a noteworthy performance in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Freiburg. As the left-central defender in a three-man backline, the Mexican international stood out with his clearances, interceptions and distribution.

What this means: Due to this month's friendly not landing on a FIFA date, several Mexicans abroad like Salcedo won't be able to make the trip to San Antonio. That said, Osorio is likely keeping a close eye on the 24-year-old who is showcasing his versatility in defense.

Luis Montes, MF, Leon (Mexico)

Why he's here: While Landon Donovan is deservedly stealing plenty of headlines off the pitch, on the field, Montes is currently looking like Leon's superstar. Two weeks into the 2018 Clausura, the attacking midfielder has already collected one goals and two assists.

What this means: Perhaps influenced by the potential threat of losing his spot to Donovan, Montes has emerged as one of the most exciting Mexican players in the early start to the Liga MX season. Although he is a long shot for earning a place at Russia 2018, the midfielder at least deserves a call-up this month.

Cooling Down

Raul Gudino, GK, APOEL (Cyprus)

Why he's here: Back in October, the 21-year-old goalkeeper turned heads in the Mexican media with his high-flying saves in the 1-1 Champions League draw with Borussia Dortmund. Unfortunately for Gudino, that has so far been the peak of his season that hasn't provided him with a league start in over two months.

Mexican 'keeper Raul Gudino is struggling for chances in Cyprus.
Raul Gudino's display vs. Borussia Dortmund hasn't yielded added playing time for the young Mexican keeper.

What this means: Regardless of his form, it would be slightly astonishing to see him make the trip to the United States for the non-FIFA date friendly. However, with sparse minutes in Cyprus' modest first division, Gudino is doing little to help move his way up Mexico's goalkeeping depth chart.

Luis Reyes, DF, Atlas (Mexico)

Why he's here: After a quiet evening in the 2-1 loss to Leon in Week 1, Reyes was then benched during Sunday's 3-1 defeat to Pumas. The defender failed to earn any minutes in the recent loss for Atlas.

What this means: Despite the fact that it wouldn't be a shock to see Reyes called-up once again this month, a lack of playing time hasn't done much to help his chances. If he's hoping to make the trip to the World Cup, the left-back must force his way back into Atlas' starting XI.

Isaac Brizuela, MF, Chivas (Mexico)

Why he's here: Once a promising figure in the Mexican soccer world, Brizuela has now become a forgotten backup for Chivas. Since the summer of 2017, the winger has only been able to collect a total of four starts for Los Rojiblancos.

What this means: With other Liga MX-based named such as Javier Aquino, Jesus Gallardo, Javier Eduardo Lopez and Hernandez all available for Osorio, few fans would be surprised if Brizuela is left out. When it comes to relevance for El Tri, the 27-year-old is currently on the outside looking in.

Cesar Hernandez covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @cesarhfutbol.

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