Yes, you read the headline right.
Mexico is going with a completely Liga MX-based squad for their home-and-home World Cup qualifying series with New Zealand, with the victor headed to Brazil next June.
No Gio dos Santos, no Javier "Chicharito" Hernández, no Andrés Guardado, no Guillermo Ochoa, no Héctor Moreno and no Javier Aquino for a do-or-die series that could be worth $600 million to the Mexican federation. I don't have the insider access, but this is what I'm pretty sure is going on inside the FMF headquarters right now:
But hey, at least those of us who watch the games will be treated to 180 minutes of Rafa Márquez. And this is more or less the squad that beat a Finland team averaging 1.6 international caps (outside of EPL vet Mikael Forssell) just a couple days ago by a score of 4-2 in a friendly. What could possibly go wrong?
It's worth noting that 10 of the 23 players called up by newly-appointed head coach Miguel Herrera play for Club América, who Herrera guided to the 2013 Clausura title in the Liga MX and left comfortably in first place before taking over Mexico. Here is the full squad list:
Goalkeepers (3): José de Jesús Corona (Cruz Azul), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca), Moisés Muñoz (Club América)
Defenders (9): Rafa Márquez (León), Francisco "Maza" Rodríguez (Club América), Juan Carlos Valenzuela (Club América), Paul Aguilar (Club América), Miguel Layún (Club América), Edwin Hernández (León), Adrián Aldrete (Club América), Miguel Herrera (Pachuca), Hiram Mier (Monterrey)
Midfielders (8): Rodrigo Salinas (Morelia), Juan Carlos Medina (Club América), Antonio Naelson "Sinha" (Toluca), Carlos Peña (León), Luis Ángel Mendoza (Club América), Luis Montes (León), Jesús Molina (Club América), Alonso Escoboza (Santos Laguna)
Forwards (3): Oribe Peralta (Santos Laguna), Raúl Jiménez (Club América), Aldo de Nigris (Guadalajara)