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The Mexican National Team is set to take on their biggest regional rival, the United States Men's National Team (USMNT) as they prepare for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Manager Miguel "Piojo" Herrera has called up the usual base of players that he has been calling up since he took over in November of last year, but there are some players in the list that could be having their one and only opportunity to convince Herrera that they deserve a spot in the final 23-man roster. There are key battles in every single line of the Mexican formation taking shape and we'll examine them here.
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ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 24:  Marco Fabian #10 of Mexico dribbles the ball against Alberto Quintero #...

The Mexican National Team is set to take on their biggest regional rival, the United States Men's National Team (USMNT) as they prepare for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Manager Miguel "Piojo" Herrera has called up the usual base of players that he has been calling up since he took over in November of last year, but there are some players in the list that could be having their one and only opportunity to convince Herrera that they deserve a spot in the final 23-man roster. 


There are key battles in every single line of the Mexican formation taking shape and we'll examine them here. 


GOALKEEPER: It is highly speculated that both Cruz Azul goalkeeper Jose de Jesus Corona as well as Ajaccio keeper Francisco Guillermo Ochoa are fighting out the starting job; which indicates that both will be in the 23-man roster. The third goalkeeper position is still wide open and there are two candidates for that spot. Toluca's Alfredo Talavera and Club America's Moises Muñoz


For the match against the USMNT Herrera cannot call up Ochoa due to the fact that it is not an official FIFA date. He has also decided to not call up Corona, leaving him in his club, which will participate in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals. The only two goalkeepers in the list to face the Americans are Talavera and Muñoz. 


Those two will battle out for the third and final goalkeeper position starting in this friendly match in Arizona, all throughout all of the friendly matches. The one who has the edge at the moment has to be Moises Muñoz, since he has worked a long time with Herrera in the past. It was Herrera who brought Muñoz to America when he took over the manager's job there over two years ago. 


DEFENSE:  The defensive line is still the part of the field that is most concerning. Espanyol's Hector Moreno and Leon's Rafael Marquez seem to have two of the three starting central defender's spots locked down. The third starting defender is being fought by former Club America and now Porto defender Diego Reyes and current Club America Francisco Javier "Maza" Rodriguez. 


One of those two will be left on the bench, but who else will join them on the side lines in Brazil? The battle for a backup position is now brewing between Atlas' Enrique Perez and Club America's Juan Carlos "Topo" Valenzuela. It is not likely either player will see any game time in Brazil, but nonetheless being part of a Wrold Cup roster is a prestigious honor most players want. 


MIDFIELD: Two players in this current Mexico roster that will face the USMNT face uphill battles to take away the spots of two Herrera base players. Monterrey's Jesus Zavala and Cruz Azul's Marco Fabian get their first call up under Herrera and will need to impress if they want to stay in the squad.  


Zavala will be competeing for the position of Club America's Juan Carlos "Negro" Medina. Medina has been the central midfielder Herrera has used to base much of the success he accomplished while at America. Zavala was a huge part of former El Tri manager's system but has never been given an opportunity by "Piojo" until now. 


Marco Fabian has been on high form for his club which sit at the top of the Mexican league table. Herrera was reluctant to call Fabian until he could demonstrate constancy which the former Chivas midfielder has done up until now. Fabian will be battling for the spot of Isaac "Conejito" Brizuela in the offensive midfield sector. It will be no easy task for the Olympic Gold Medalist since Herrera has already publicly mentioned he believes Brizuela to be the best local Liga MX player. 


OFFENSE: Who can score goals for EL Tri if not Oribe Peralta? Carlos Vela could probably score some goals, but he rather not help out the Mexico cause. Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez is suffering from one of, if not the biggest dip in forms of his career; but the Man United striker will still be going to Brazil. Giovani Dos Santos keeps battling injuries, but he too will also be in Brazil. There seems to be only one spot left in the 23-man roster for a forward and once again two players jump to mind for that position: Club America's Raul Jimenez and Tigres' Alan Pulido.  


The two strikers have already gone to battle over important positions in El Tri before. When it all seemed Pulido was the favorite to be on the final list to go to the London Olympic Games in 2012, Raul Jimenez ended up winning the taking his place . Two years later the two are now battling for a World Cup spot and it is Jimenez who seems to have the advantage this time, and Pulido the one who looks to steal the roster spot. 


They are the only two strikers on the team that will face the USMNT on Wednesday, this is their opportunity for them to state their case of why they should go to Brazil. 

 
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