With Gerardo "Tata" Martino officially in place as the manager of the Mexican men's national team, attention turns to the players the new boss will select.
With a growing crop of players going to Europe these days, plus the historical strength of Liga MX as a incubator for national team talent, there's also the trio of MLS stars in Los Angeles -- LAFC forward Carlos Vela and LA Galaxy duo Giovani dos Santos and his brother Jonathan dos Santos -- and where they may fit in the new era for El Tri.
Vela and Giovani are 29, Jonathan is 28, and while they've got years ahead of them in their pro careers, it's possible a new head coach of the national team could look to move on. But Martino, fresh off an MLS Cup triumph with Atlanta United, pushed those considerations aside at his introductory press conference on Monday.
The Argentine told reporters he wants the player pool to be as big as possible, and by no means will he shut the door on the MLS trio.
Vowing to speak to all three, Martino said, "For me it's better that [players] play, where they are," than the specific league or team. He also complimented Vela as a "world-class" player, and spoke warmly of his history with Jonathan, who he coached at Barcelona.
Of course, the situation for Giovani dos Santos is at an ebb at the moment. While the talented attacker has had ups and downs in his club career, he's coming off one of his worst seasons, where injuries and World Cup duty for Mexico limited him to 14 league appearances, scoring just three goals and two assists, as the Galaxy finished just outside the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
Amid speculation about his club future, with the Galaxy currently having four Designated Players on the roster, Martino was optimistic about Giovani's El Tri prospects.
Asked if Giovani could be "rescued," Martino said, "When you've seen these guys it's very hard not to try."
That said, Martino did say that ultimately, the player would determine his fate.
"Probably Giovani's thing has more to do with him than with the coaches on duty," he explained. "We're going to try everything, and will always depend more and more on the players," Martino said.
El Tri have two friendlies scheduled in the March FIFA window, in San Diego against Chile on March 22, and against a national team Martino used to manage, Paraguay, in Santa Clara, Calif. on March 26.