It’s a daunting task, but Mexico manager Juan Carlos Osorio will soon need to figure out his rosters for the Confederations Cup and Gold Cup. Keeping in mind that the national team will also work its way through upcoming friendlies and World Cup qualifiers, Osorio will need to count on plenty of different names for El Tri.
With roster spots up for grabs, let’s take a look at some of the recent best and worst performances from Mexican footballers at home and abroad.
Carlos Vela, FW, Real Sociedad (Spain)
Why he’s here: Better late than never, Vela is finding a good run of form in La Liga. After previously scoring in the 2-1 victory against Granada, the winger once again found the back of the net Friday in the 1-1 draw with Sevilla.
What this means: This should be good news for Mexico fans. If Osorio wishes to find success in the Confederations Cup, he will likely need to count on a confident and in-form Vela to support the attack.
Luis Rodriguez, DF, Tigres (Mexico)
Why he’s here: During Saturday’s 5-1 win over Queretaro, Rodriguez scored an incredible shot from distance for Tigres in the 13th minute. Since early April, the defender has done an excellent job in his new starting role at right-back.
What this means: The 26-year-old will need more than a goal and a few starts to return to the national team. That said, it wouldn’t be surprising if a key position in the playoffs helps lead to a call-up for the Gold Cup roster.
Jesse Gonzalez, GK, FC Dallas (United States)
Why he’s here: North of the border, Gonzalez continues to have a major impact in Dallas’ undefeated run. Following Saturday’s 3-0 win over Real Salt Lake, and his six saves, the goalkeeper has four shutouts in six starts.
What this means: The 21-year-old is an ideal candidate for the Gold Cup. Despite the fact that it will be tough to earn a starting role, Gonzalez is proving to be worthy of Mexico’s “B” squad for July’s tournament.
Diego Lainez, FW, America (Mexico)
Why he’s here: Lainez nearly carried America to the playoffs. Following plenty of hype in the past couple of months, the 16-year-old provided two impressive assists for Las Aguilas in the 3-2 loss to Pachuca on Saturday night.
What this means: Although America wasn’t able to earn a spot in the top eight, Lainez’s performance was enough to justify the attention currently surrounding him. It will be fascinating to see if Osorio will be willing to take a chance on the youngster for the Gold Cup.
Javier Hernandez, FW, Bayer Leverkusen (Germany)
Why he’s here: During Bayer Leverkusen’s 1-1 draw with Ingolstadt, Hernandez was left on the bench. The match marked the second time in a row the striker was left on the sideline without minutes for his club.
What this means: In the short term, a lack of playing time for Mexico’s star player doesn’t bode well for the Confederations Cup. In the long term, it’s fair to increasingly wonder if Hernandez will leave the Bundesliga team during the summer.
Jesus Isijara, FW, Necaxa (Mexico)
Why he’s here: Months after appearing as an underrated player last year, Isijara has quietly ended his regular season with one goal and no assists for Necaxa. Over the weekend, the winger had little impact in the 0-0 draw with Chivas.
What this means: Mexico’s depth at either winger position is far too deep for the 27-year-old. Isijara will need to turn heads once again in Liga MX before potentially being on the radar for the national team.
Hiram Mier, DF, Queretaro (Mexico)
Why he’s here: Mier’s less-than-exciting season ended with an embarrassing 5-1 defeat to Tigres last Saturday. As seen in a few other matches during the last couple of months, the 27-year-old and the rest of Queretaro’s back line could do little to stop Los Gallos Blancos’ late tournament decline.
What this means: The defender has yet to live up to his once high expectations. Although the move to Queretaro was a smart one for his career, it would be surprising if his role with the team has garnered much attention from Osorio.
Miguel Layun, DF, Porto (Portugal)
Why he’s here: Layun has had a hard time making it onto Porto’s match rosters of late. Despite the fact that he has no apparent injuries, the defender was left out of the call-up during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Maritimo. Layun has yet to play for the squad since March.
What this means: Bad form or not, Layun is far too versatile and talented to miss out on the Confederations Cup for Mexico. Like Hernandez, though, it will be interesting to see if he will stick with his current club once the summer rolls around.
Cesar Hernandez covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @cesarhfutbol.