Mexico vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina | International Friendly Preview
Mexico vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina
June 3 | 9:30 pm ET | Soldier Field, Chicago
INJURIES ATTACK EL TRI: Mexico notched a 3-0 victory in Saturday's friendly against Ecuador in Arlington, Texas, but at a heavy cost. Midfielder Luis Montes broke his right tibia and fibula in a gruesome clash with Ecuador's Segundo Castillo just three minutes after scoring a goal. Ex-New York Red Bulls defender Rafa Márquez also limped away from the game with what was initially feared to be a broken toe, but now appears to be a heavy bruise that could allow him to return to action as soon as Friday's friendly vs. Portugal.
DRAGON DRAMA: Bosnia-Herzegovina coach Safet Susic has had to deal with more off-field issues than he'd like in the run-up to his country's first-ever major international tournament. In March, his star striker Edin Dzeko publicly criticized him for playing him for the full 90 minutes in a friendly against Egypt despite an injury concern. Defender Ervin Zukanovic was refused a visa and was thus unable to travel to training camp in the United States, a situation he blamed on federation officials – so he summarily became the final roster cut when Susic named his 23-man squad. And central defender Boris Pandza (Gornik Zabrze, Poland) has feuded with Susic, too, claiming that he was left off the roster because the coach doesn't rate the Polish league highly enough. Susic's reply: Pandza has "too high an opinion of himself."
CHICHARITO'S CHANCE: It's been a rough year for erstwhile star Javier "Chicharito" Hernández, the Mexican striker who hasn't scored for El Tri since last summer. But coach Miguel Herrera has handed the Manchester United man a chance to prove his worth against BiH, announcing that Chicharito will feature in his starting 11 in Chicago. "Piojo" Herrera's full lineup: Talavera, Layún, Reyes, Salcido, Moreno, Ponce, Vázquez, Peña, Herrera, Jiménez, Hernández.
THE STAR YOU KNOW
Edin Dzeko, striker, Bosnia-Herzegovina: The big Manchester City frontrunner can both score and set up others, and he approaches the World Cup on a high note after his club secured their second English Premier League title in three seasons.
THE PLAYER WHO WILL SURPRISE YOU
Miguel Ponce, left back, Mexico: The Sacramento, Calif.-born youngster was a late addition to El Tri's roster after an injury ruled out midfielder Juan Carlos Medina. Currently the property of Chivas Guadalajara, Ponce shined last season during a loan stint with Liga MX and CONCACAF Champions League contenders Toluca and now he has a chance to seize a meaningful role in Brazil.