New York Red Bulls defender Rafa Márquez headlines a strong Mexico squad selected to face the US in a friendly on August 10 in Philadelphia, as announced by the FMF on Thursday.
Márquez makes his return to El Tri after injuring his hamstring against the Americans in the final of this summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup. Also featured in the squad are Gold Cup heroes Giovani dos Santos, Andrés Guardado and Pablo Barrera, the three goal-scorers in the 4-2 rout of the US at the Rose Bowl in June.
Notably absent from the squad is Manchester United star Javier “Chicharito” Hernández, who is recovering from a concussion he suffered ahead of last month's MLS All-Star Game.
But El Tri are boosted by the return of goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, who was suspended during the Gold Cup after he tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol. The former Club América star was cleared of wrongdoing by the Mexican federation because he ingested it unknowingly in tainted meat. Three other players who were suspended on similar suspicions — Christian Bermúdez, Francisco Rodríguez and Antonio Naelson “Sinha” — also make their return to the squad.
Next week’s showdown is the first time the archrivals have met since the Gold Cup, and their first friendly since February 2008, a 2-2 result in Houston. The two teams will meet at the home of the Philadelphia Eagles, Lincoln Financial Field, on Aug. 10 at 9 pm ET (ESPN2, Unvisión).
FULL MEXICO ROSTER FOR USA FRIENDLY
Goalkeepers (2): Guillermo Ochoa (AC Ajaccio/France), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca/Mexico)
Defenders (7): Efraín Juárez (Real Zaragoza/Spain), Francisco Rodríguez (VfB Stuttgart/Germany), Héctor Moreno (Espanyol/Spain), Carlos Salcido (Fulham/England), Rafa Márquez (New York Red Bulls), Jorge Torres Nilo (Tigres UANL/Mexico), Paul Aguilar (Club América/Mexico)
Midfielders (7): Gerardo Torrado (Cruz Azul/Mexico), Israel Castro (Cruz Azul/Mexico), Jesús Zavala (Monterrey/Mexico), Antonio Naelson (Toluca/Mexico), Andrés Guardado (Deportivo de La Coruña/Spain), Christian Bermúdez (Atlante/Mexico), Javier Aquino (Cruz Azul/Mexico)
Forwards (4): Giovani dos Santos (Tottenham Hotspur/England), Pablo Barrera (West Ham/England), Oribe Peralta (Santos Laguna/Mexico), Omar Arellano (CD Guadalajara/Mexico)