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El Tri´s recent games were widely viewed as the start of Miguel Herrera’s planning for this summer’s Gold Cup and Copa America – two tournaments which will see Mexico operate with two entirely different squads. It means there are an unusually high number of places in the El Tri setup which are up for grabs. Which of the four debutants took advantage of the recent games to maximize their chances of being involved in June? We take a look…
Mexico’s debutants – Will we see them this Summer?
04/01/2015
 
Eduardo Herrera

By Daniel Price


Mexico enjoyed a successful international break, beating Ecuador 1-0 on Saturday night then Paraguay 1-0 on Wednesday evening.


The games were widely viewed as the start of Miguel Herrera’s planning for this summer’s Gold Cup and Copa America – two tournaments which will see Mexico operate with two entirely different squads. It means there are an unusually high number of places in the El Tri setup which are up for grabs.


Which of the four debutants took advantage of the recent games to maximize their chances of being involved in June? We take a look…

Eduardo Herrera (Striker, Pumas UNAM)

Eduardo Herrera

At 26-years-old it is perhaps surprising that the Pumas forward hasn’t already made more of an impact. He only made his senior debut in 2011 aged 22, comparatively late for a modern-day player, but has since gone on to score 26 league goals. The 2014-15 season has comfortably been his most productive campaign to date, he’s already bagged 17 goals in all competitions and he fully deserved a call up to the national side.


He actually made his Mexico debut in an 11-second cameo at the end of the game against Ecuador, but last night he was rewarded with his first start and took just three minutes to score the match-winning goal.


As long as he stays injury free between now and the summer he is almost certain to be involved in one of the two tournaments. His height (6 ft 2in, 188cm) means he provides boss Miguel Herrera with a different, more physical option to his usual starters, and he could be an extremely useful player to bring off the bench if El Tri need a goal late in a game.

Jurgen Damm (Winger, Pachuca)

Jurgen Damm

Jurgen Damm has been spoken about as a future star for at least 18 months, if not longer. He’s already attracted the interest of English giants Chelsea and Manchester United, and recently found himself in the spotlight after a FIFA-endorsed report claimed he was the second fastest dribbler in world, only behind Real Madrid star Gareth Bale in terms of speed on the ball.


He only saw six minutes of action at the end of the Ecuador game after a slight niggle ruled him out of the Paraguay tie – a game he would have probably started in. It was a blow for the 22-year-old who faces still competition for a first team place from the likes of Hector Herrera, Jesus ‘Tecatito’ Corona, and Andres Guardado.


He should be involved in the summer, but will need to turn in good performances against the US and Peru to prove to Herrera that he can perform at the highest level.

Meliton Hernandez (Goalkeeper, Veracruz)

Meliton Hernandez

Like the aforementioned Eduardo Herrera, Meliton Hernandez is also a late bloomer. At 32-years-old he’s spent most of his career playing in Mexico’s lower tiers, but after a sensational 2014-15 season there can be no denying his form or quality.


Although Veracruz finished 17th in the Apertura, they only conceded 15 goals – the joint fewest in the league. So far this season the Tiburones Rojos are flying high in second place and once again have the best defense – having only conceded seven times in eleven outings.


Hernandez was a late call-up to the side but played the full ninety minutes against Paraguay, keeping a clean sheet in the process.


However, despite his fine form, El Tri are blessed with a plethora of quality shot-stoppers; much of whether or not he will be included in the summer will depend on whether Miguel Herrera decides to use the same three keepers in both tournaments or instead uses two different groups of three.

Jesus Dueñas (Midfielder, Tigres UANL)

Jesus Dueñas

Dueñas has become one of his club’s most standout players in the 2014-15 season. His understanding with Egidio Arevalo and Jose ‘Gringo’ Torres was one of the driving factors that pushed Tigres to within a whisker of the 2014 Apertura title, and his ability to play either in defense or midfield means he offers a much-sought after versatility.


Like Hernandez, he also played the full ninety minutes against Paraguay, though not in his preferred centre midfield role. He was solid without being outstanding, but as Herrera continues with the evolution of the squad in the build-up to the next World Cup in Russia in 2018, it is hard to believe that there is not a place for the feisty and aggressive 26-year-old in the squad.



What did you think of the debutantes’ performances? Would you take them to the Copa America or the Gold Cup? We’d love to hear from you… Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

 
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