Trying To Read Tata Martino's Mind: This Is Our Predicted Mexico XI Against USMNT

The Mexican national team revealed its roster for the upcoming and final round of games in the 2022 Concacaf World Cup qualifiers, including the highly anticipated face-off against the USMNT.

There was no need for TV nonsense. El Tri just dropped their names on social networks because the only show people need to watch is how the fans complain about Tata Martino's players' selection. 

Mexico World Cup Qualifier Roster

The list has 29 names, including four goalkeepers with a combined age of 144 years old. It goes as follows:

Goalkeepers: Rodolfo Cota (León), Guillermo Ochoa (América), Jonathan Orozco (Xolos), Alfredo Talavera (Pumas).
Defenders: Jesús Angulo (Tigres), Erick Aguirre (Monterrey), Julián Araujo (LA Galaxy), Néstor Araujo (Celta), Gerardo Arteaga (Genk), Jesús Gallardo (Monterrey), César Montes (Monterrey), Héctor Moreno (Monterrey), Israel Reyes (Puebla), Jorge Sánchez (América), Johan Vásquez (Genoa).
Midfielders: Edson Álvarez (Ajax), Uriel Antuna (Cruz Azul), Erick Gutiérrez (PSV), Héctor Herrera (Atlético de Madrid), Diego Lainez (Real Betis), Rodolfo Pizarro (Monterrey), Luis Romo (Monterrey), Carlos Rodríguez (Cruz Azul).
Forwards: Jesús Corona (Sevilla), Santiago Giménez (Cruz Azul), Raúl Jiménez (Wolverhampton), Hirving Lozano (Napoli), Henry Martin (América), Alexis Vega (Chivas).

There are a few regular names missing from the squad. Captain Andrés Guardado, Julio César Domínguez and Rogelio Funes Mori are all out because of injuries while Luis "Chaka" Rodríguez and Orbelín Pineda didn't make the cut due to their lack of playing time in their respective teams.

Then, the old songs. Why doesn't Tata Martino call on Carlos Acevedo? What about Alan Mozo? And, of course, the greatest hit of all, where in the hell is Chicharito?

The short answer? Martino doesn't like them enough. 

Predicting Mexico XI against USMNT

Mexico is playing against the U.S., Honduras and El Salvador. Of those three challenges, we all know the crucial game is vs. the USMNT on Thursday, March 24. And using my superpowers, I'll try to predict the starting XI Martino will select for that night in the Azteca. 

Goalkeeper: Memo Ochoa

It doesn't matter that Ochoa is the GK with the second-most goals against in Liga MX right now (-16 in 10 games). He is an institution, and Martino — for better or worse — will not dare to change things around. 

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Defense: Jorge Sánchez, César Montes, Héctor Moreno, Gerardo Arteaga

The only one that I feel is one hundred percent sure is Cachorro Montes. I also feel pretty confident about Moreno. He plays with Montes in Monterrey and is available again after a yellow card suspension. Without Chaka Rodríguez, Sánchez has been very consistent in Martino's lineups, or at least more than Julián Araujo. And on the left, I want to believe Martino will choose Arteaga over Gallardo because Arteaga is actually playing regularly as a left fullback and not as a winger. 

Midfield: Héctor Herrera, Edson Álvarez, Carlos Rodríguez

I don't see a world where Herrera (no, he is not suspended) and Álvarez are not in the starting XI. But with Guardado injured, I have no idea who will be the third man in the middle. If Martino goes for a conservative route, it should be Romo or Gutiérrez. However, after three consecutive defeats against the USMNT, maybe he will try something more attacking minded, and that's why I'm predicting Charly Rodríguez being in the squad at kickoff.

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Attack: Tecatito Corona, Raúl Jiménez, Hirving Lozano

Martino doesn't need to overthink this one. Those are Mexico's best men upfront. Period.

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