Jesus Ramirez's first national roster for Mexico's first game without Hugo Sanchez pacing the sidelines since the 2006 World Cup. Mexico will play China on Wednesday in Seattle.
Goalkeepers: Oswaldo Sanchez (Santos), Jesus Corona (Tecos).
Defenders: Leobardo Lopez (Pachuca), Patricio Araujo (Chivas), Fausto Pinto (Pachuca), Adrian Aldrete (Morelia), Omar Trujillo (Morelia), Omar Esparza (Chivas), Alejandro Castro (Cruz Azul).
Midfielders: Sergio Amaury Ponce (Toluca), Luis Ernesto Perez (Monterrey), Jorge Hernandez (Atlas), Antonio Naelson "Zinha" (Toluca), Carlos Gerardo Martinez (Pachuca), Jose Joel Gonzalez (Monterrey).
Forwards: Sergio Santana (Chivas), Juan Carlos Cacho (Pachuca), Cesar Villaluz (Cruz Azul), Pablo Barrera (Pumas), Christian Bermudez (Atlante).
Random initial observations:
- Luis Perez returns. He was a part of Ricardo Lavolpe's teams and was a decent attacking midfielder. Nothing outstanding but a decent player. Somewhat surprising that he hasn't gotten a sniff of the national team given his club form. Perez has played in many big games before and has been with El Tri for some time before his exclusion by Sanchez. Might be more of a move made out of necessity, though, to kind of help bring some experience to an otherwise young squad.
- Experienced guys (at the senior level): Oswaldo Sanchez, Fausto Pinto, Luis Perez, Zinha, Juan Carlos Cacho.
- Patricio Araujo, Jorge Hernandez, Cesar Villaluz, Adrian Aldrete and Omar Esparza played for Ramirez in the 2005 U-17 WC, which Mexico won.
- Some roster restrictions for Ramirez included Chivas/Atlas/America Libertadores games next week as well as lack of international fixture date (no European-based players) but Ramirez was able to get some players from Chivas nonetheless, probably guys who weren't going to play much in Bolivia anyway.
- Ramirez is smart for bringing in some of the young players. If they do well, he can point to the youth as proof that he can translate the success over at the senior level; if not, he could say they still need seasoning but with time he could provide that.