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Faitelson: Mexico must reclaim CONCACAF

 By Tom Marshall

Mexico to start Jesus Corona in goal over Guillermo Ochoa against Ecuador

Jesus Corona, right, will start Mexico's first friendly against Ecuador on Saturday.

LOS ANGELES -- Jesus Corona will start in goal for Mexico against Ecuador on Saturday ahead of World Cup star Guillermo Ochoa, El Tri coach Miguel Herrera confirmed on Friday.

"It is important to see 'Chuy' [Corona] in goal tomorrow," Herrera said in a news conference at Los Angeles Memorial Colesium. "Then it will be Memo [Ochoa] on Tuesday [against Paraguay in Kansas City, Missouri]. Both are doing very well and have kept up their level."

The Mexico coach had said earlier in the week that he was...

Miguel Herrera must reclaim CONCACAF for Mexico

Mexico last claimed the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2011, defeating the United States 4-2 in the final.
Mexico last claimed the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2011, defeating the United States 4-2 in the final.

LOS ANGELES -- Let's put an end to all this confusion and to the Utopian idea that Mexico is searching for two national teams for the summer. Mexico head coach Miguel Herrera's first and only assignment is to regain supremacy in the CONCACAF region.

It can all be summed up by one simple fact: Herrera has never managed an official game in Mexico's footballing region. He ensured the country's passage to the World Cup in Brazil against New Zealand in a playoff scenario governed by FIFA rather than...

Ventura Alvarado says he's committed to United States over Mexico

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno illustrates the United States' defensive deficiencies against Denmark.
The ESPN FC panel discuss the United States men's national team's recent struggles following their promising World Cup performance.
ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno and Janusz Michallik discuss what's behind the United States' inability to close out games under Jurgen Klinsmann.
United States head coach Jurgen Klinsmann remains optimistic in his backline development despite the 3-2 loss to Denmark.
The ESPN FC panel attempt to find positives in the United States' 3-2 loss to Denmark.
ESPN FC's Doug McIntyre weighs in on the United States' 3-2 loss to Denmark on Wednesday.

ZURICH -- Ventura Alvarado's 10-minute cameo against Denmark didn't tie him to the U.S. team, but the Mexican-American defender told ESPN FC on Friday that he's committed to representing the United States.

Wednesday's 3-2 loss in Aarhus was only a friendly, and Alvarado, a starter with Liga MX juggernaut Club America, remains eligible to play for Mexico. He'd been on the fence about which national team to choose as recently as last month, a position that drew criticism from former Yanks striker Herculez...

Mexico's defense is one of the five things to watch vs. Ecuador

A wax figure of Mexican coach Miguel Herrera was unveiled on Wednesday.
Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa is usually reliable for Mexico, but with limited playing time for his club in Malaga, could rustiness be a factor?

About 90,000 fans are expected at the sold-out Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Saturday night for the friendly between Mexico and Ecuador -- and most of those in attendance will be supporting El Tri.

Mexico manager Miguel "Piojo" Herrera will have plenty of support but little time to fine-tune the squad before the Copa America and Gold Cup tournaments this summer. Including Saturday's match, Herrera has only three matches for experimenting before the Copa America tournament, which begins in June.


Five key young players for Mexico

Jesus Manuel Corona has impressed this season with FC Twente and appears primed for a regular role with El Tri.
Jesus Manuel Corona has impressed this season with FC Twente and appears primed for a regular role with El Tri.

Mexico's World Cup experience in Brazil seems like a lifetime ago, and whatever equity built on the back of El Tri's performance last summer is long gone. As we get deeper into 2015 with a busy international calendar on the horizon, El Tri will soon turn its attention to two major regional competitions in the Gold Cup and Copa America -- with the Gold Cup considered the priority whereas Copa America will be more of a proving ground for a secondary El Tri team.

Head coach Miguel Herrera has mentioned time and again the need to broaden the player pool to afford Mexico the opportunity to call in two different squads for each tournament and give its young players experience on the international stage and/or first-team reps. As Mexico looks toward the future of the national team, Herrera and El Tri must find players who can carry the team forward in 2015 and beyond, players who can create their own history of success and vision for the future, just as aging-out veterans like Rafa Marquez did before them.

In order for El Tri to continue to grow, the development and maturation of the following five young players will be at the forefront heading into a busy summer of international tournaments. Here's a look at a handful of promising Mexican players whose development will be key to the team's success in the 2018 World Cup cycle.

Diego Reyes | Age: 22 | Pos.: Defender | Club: FC Porto (Portugal)

Yes, that Diego Reyes, the same one who went to the World Cup and has featured time and again under Herrera. Reyes is only 22 years old and for some time now has been handpicked to be the next Marquez. However, Reyes has yet to live up to those lofty standards with either club or country.