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Marquez and Ochoa return to Mexico squad for crucial World Cup qualifiers

RafaMarquezMexico1 (Teledario)


Newly installed Mexico National Team head coach Victor Manuel Vucetich is calling on the old guard to help ensure that his side earn a place in Brazil next summer.

After taking part in a three-day training camp in mid-September, former New York Red Bulls defender and El Tri captain Rafa Marquez has been named to a 26-player squad for Mexico’s two World Cup qualifying matches this month against Panama and Costa Rica. Also included in the squad are AC Ajaccio goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa and Chivas de Guadalajara forward Aldo de Nigris, who haven’t played for El Tri since the Confederations Cup last June.

Vucetich will hope that the 34-year-old Marquez’s current form for Club Leon can translate to the national team when he dons the Mexico uniform on October 11 in a crucial match at Estadio Azteca against Panama. The last time Marquez featured for Mexico was in a World Cup qualifying match in June of 2012.

Mexico are without their regular central defense pairing for these qualifiers, as Hector Moreno misses with injury and Diego Reyes wasn’t called up because he isn’t playing first-team soccer for FC Porto.

In addition to Reyes being left off the list, Villarreal winger Andres Guardado wasn’t called into the squad, despite starting in the Spanish club’s Europa League match on Thursday against Russian side Kuban Krasnodar. As was previously noted, Carlos Vela wasn’t added to Vucetich’s roster.

Between Thursday and October 10, Vucetich will reduce the squad size to 23 players. After Mexico’s match against Panama, they travel to take on Costa Rica on October 15, in a game that could seal El Tri’s World Cup fate.

Here’s a full look at the Mexico roster for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers:


GOALKEEPERS: Guillermo Ochoa (AC Ajaccio), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca), José de Jesús Corona (Cruz Azul)

DEFENDERS: Severo Meza (Monterrey), Hiram Mier (Monterrey), Rafael Márquez (Club León), Miguel Layún (Club América), Hugo Ayala (Tigres UANL), Jonny Magallón (Club León), Jorge Torres Nilo (Tigres UANL), Carlos Salcido (Tigres UANL)

MIDFIELDERS: Gerardo Torrado (Cruz Azul), Jesús Zavala (Monterrey), Luis Montes (Club León), Carlos Peña (Club León), Isaac Brizuela (Toluca), Christian Giménez (Cruz Azul), Javier Aquino (Villarreal CF), Giovani Dos Santos (Villarreal CF), Fernando Arce (Club Tijuana)

FORWARDS: Marco Fabián (Chivas), Oribe Peralta (Santos Laguna), Lucas Lobos (Tigres UANL), Raúl Jiménez (Club América), Aldo de Nigris (Chivas), Javier Hernández (Manchester United)


What do you think of this news? Do you see Marquez and Ochoa starting against Panama? Do you see Mexico defeating Panama and/or Costa Rica with this squad? Surprised at any of the omissions?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. As I’ve stated before, Rafa Marquez is the perfect guy to bring in. He’s a former captain who has been through qualifying, especially last time when they stuttered under Sven’s reign of cr@p.

    Rafa is still young (enough at 31), he’s a defender, he’s a legend to the younger guys, and he’ll keep the team motivated. Say what you will about his NY time, he still always brought his A game to Mexico. He’ll calm down the team.

    I’m not a fan of Mexico, at all. But I can appreciate a smart tactical move when I see it.

  2. Mexico has many problems. They became too complacent after winning the Olympics. Not enough players play in Europe. Not enough Europeans and South Americans play in Liga MX. One thing I have discovered is that the top league in any country really needs players from all of the world to bring in more talent and playing styles. Mexico seems stuck in years past.

    • Fans and press (except in Monterrey) keep crying about too MANY foreigners being responsible for the downfall and requesting a tighter quota on them… which makes no sense if they league is to improve its competitiveness

      MLS will surpass it easily in years to come. And even worse, they will not acknowledge it and their pros will keep staying away from MLS

  3. Wow. I look at that roster and think: ‘our players are clearly better than Mexico’s.’ In the past it’s been – ‘maybe we’re a better team, or are more organized and disciplined, but they probably have more individual talent.’ – no longer the case.

    We enter a new era for CONCACAF.

    • That’s funny because two years ago we were entering the CONCACAF decade of Mexico dominance. Let’s not count our chickens before the eggs hatch. Who knows where we’ll be next round.

      • That’s a reference to his comment during his RBNY days that the other players on the team couldn’t play at his level. Meanwhile “his level” at that time was going off to Mexico for a month with a fake injury, returning and playing like garbage before getting sent off and then repeating the cycle.

  4. “In addition to Reyes being left off the list, Villarreal winger Andres Guardado wasn’t called into the squad”

    That should be Valencia. And he rarely plays winger with Valencia.

  5. El Tri is really hurting… they’d give citizenship to anybody who’s remotely related to mexico.

    teenage-star Paul Arriola hasnt been capped by the US yet… I saw him eating a taco in Tijuana.. hurry! someone needs to alert the Mexican Federation…

    • USMNT is really hurting… they’d give citizenship to anybody who’s remotely related to the US.

      teenage-star Shawn Parker hasnt been capped by Germany yet… I saw him eating a hotdog in Mainz.. hurry! someone needs to alert the US Federation…

      • USMNT is really hurting? They qualified and look likely to win the group, Mexico might not even qualify. I think you have just redefined “false equivalence.”

      • Bottom line is mex sucks and I hope the worst for them, but funny that someone with skills is seen eating a taco or drinking a horchata, and bam, your offered a call up! NO SE PUDO!!!

      • Mexico sucks. Lol. Just because their in a really bad situation right now doesn’t mean they suck. So se pudo pinche puto pendrjo. Vete chinga tu madre partas a Centroamérica hijo de tu puta madre

      • +1, im trying to think of a USMNT equivalent..

        preki – came here as a pro, became a citizen and played for the national team.

        david regis – never played here but became a US citizen and suited up for the USNT

        fernando clavijo – came here as a pro, became a citizen and played for the national team.

        ozzie alonso? if you overlooked the Cuba caps and the whole asylum thing..

        nagbe, fagundez, agudelo, adu, tabb ramos, dom kineer, would fit the bill but moved here when they were very young.. this would be more like if a pro like d. valri, m. rivero or juninho were called into the US national team after becoming a citizen..

  6. I NEVER say things like this, but I hope someone breaks Rafa’s leg in three places. That’s how badly I never want to hear about him again.

  7. Nothing would make my day more than Marquez getting a red card, matter of fact I hope he concedes a penalty that knocks Mexico out.


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