From left, Javier Hernandez, Raul Jimenez and Oribe Peralta will help spearhead Mexico's attack at the World Cup. (Eduardo Verdugo/AP)
Mexico manager Miguel Herrera has never been shy at playing his hand early when it comes to roster announcements, and he made no exception for the World Cup. Despite having more than three weeks to submit a final 23-man group, Herrera announced the team that he will be taking with him to Brazil Friday, and it contains little, to no surprises.
Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, Giovani dos Santos, Oribe Peralta and captain Rafa Marquez headline Mexico's team, which will play against host Brazil, Croatia and Cameroon in Group A play. For Marquez, it marks the fourth World Cup in his career, and he is slated to become the first player in history to captain a nation in four World Cups.
Despite struggling for playing time and production with Manchester United during the Premier League season and Mexico during the CONCACAF Hexagonal, Chicharito's place is secure, and he'll be charged with leading the attack in Brazil along with Dos Santos, Peralta, qualifying bicycle-kick hero Raul Jimenez and in-form 23-year-old Alan Pulido. Dos Santos' club teammate, winger Javier Aquino, did not make the final cut.
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Players will trickle into Mexico's pre-World Cup camp starting May 12, with the full 23 arriving on May 25. In the build-up to Brazil, El Tri will play Israel in a friendly on May 28 at Estadio Azteca followed by a trio of games in the United States: vs. Ecuador on May 31 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas; vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina on June 3 at Soldier Field in Chicago; and vs. U.S. Group G opponent Portugal on June 6 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
Here is Mexico's squad in full:
GOALKEEPERS: Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul), Guillermo Ochoa (Ajaccio), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca)
DEFENDERS: Rafa Marquez (Leon), Diego Reyes (Porto), Miguel Layun (America), Paul Aguilar (America), Andres Guardado (Leverkusen), Hector Moreno (Espanyol), Francisco Rodriguez (America), Carlos Salcido (Tigres UANL)
MIDFIELDERS: Carlos Pena (Leon), Hector Herrera (Porto), Isaac Brizuela (Toluca), Marco Fabian (Cruz Azul), Juan Carlos Medina (America), Luis Montes (Leon), Jose Juan Vazquez (Leon)
: Javier Hernandez (Manchester United), Giovani dos Santos (Villarreal), Raul Jimenez (America), Alan Pulido (Tigres), Oribe Peralta (Santos Laguna)