Mexico Includes Veteran Rafa Márquez, Omits Young American Jonathan González From Preliminary World Cup Roster

Rafa Márquez could become the first man to captain a team at five World Cups.

Mexico included 39-year-old veteran defender Rafael Márquez in its 28-man preliminary World Cup roster announced Monday. The most telling omission from the Mexico World Cup roster is 19-year-old Jonathan González, who switched allegiances from the U.S. to Mexico earlier this year. 

Teams competing in the World Cup had until Monday, exactly one month before the tournament kicks off in Russia, to provide a 35-man preliminary roster. A final list of 23 players must be supplied by June 4, although changes to that list can be made up until 24 hours before the first match in case of injury.

Rafa Márquez was included despite his age and his ties to drug trafficking. The former Monaco, Barcelona and New York Red Bulls player will retire after the World Cup, but could become the first player to captain a team at five different World Cups. He’s made 143 appearances for El Tri, scoring 19 goals. 

California native Jonathan González is one of the best young players in Liga MX right now and made his debut with El Tri against Bosnia and Herzegovina earlier this year. However, he couldn’t break into coach Juan Carlos Osorio’s initial Mexico World Cup roster.

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There were few surprises on the list, though it remains to be seen whether or not the Los Angeles trio of Jonathan and Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy) and Carlos Vela (LAFC) will be deemed fit enough to perform for Mexico in Russia. 

Current team captain Andrés Guardado was named to the squad, but is set to undergo surgery soon and could miss out on Russia. There should be plenty of experience on the roster with or without him. Of the 28 men on the preliminary squad list, four have at least 100 caps and half of the 28 have more than 50 caps. 

The final 23-man roster will require the team have three goalkeepers and Mexico named three to the preliminary roster, who will likely be the three in Russia. 

Mexico opens the tournament against Germany on June 17.

Preliminary 28-Man Mexico World Cup Roster

Goalkeepers

  • Guillermo Ochoa (Standard Liege)
  • Alfredo Talavera (Toluca)
  • Jesús Corona (Cruz Azul)

Defenders

  • Diego Reyes (FC Porto)
  • Carlos Salcedo (Eintracht Frankfurt)
  • Héctor Moreno (Real Sociedad)
  • Oswaldo Alanís (Getafe)
  • Néstor Araujo (Santos Laguna)
  • Miguel Layún (Sevilla)
  • Jesús Gallardo (Pumas)
  • Hugo Ayala (Tigres)
  • Edson Álvarez (America)

Midfielders

  • Héctor Herrera (Porto)
  • Andrés Guardado (Real Betis)
  • Rafa Márquez (Atlas)
  • Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy)
  • Marco Fabián (Eintracht Frankfurt)
  • Jesús Molina (Monterrey)
  • Érick Gutiérrez (Pachuca)
  • Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy)

Forwards

  • Javier Aquino (Tigres)
  • Jesús "Tecatito" Corona (Porto)
  • Raúl Jiménez (Benfica)
  • Oribe Peralta (Club America)
  • Javier Hernández (West Ham United)
  • Carlos Vela (LAFC)
  • Hirving Lozano (PSV Eindhoven)
  • Jürgen Damm (Tigres)

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