IS THE OLD GUARD HOLDING EL TRI BACK?

Mexico is currently ranked 9th in the world, according to FIFA’s latest ranking. Los Aztecas have remained in that spot for the last two rankings, which is great news for El Tata and his men. However, if we take a closer look, Mexico is the tied for oldest squad average age with Spain at 28.5. Even teams trailing them are all younger, the Netherlands 26.1, Germany 27.8, and the USA 24.0, and all have heirs at the oldest positions on their squads, not to mention, young players are always debuting in their home leagues.

This is where issues arise for El Tri, as El Tata has not called up or given meaningful game time to younger options. Let’s break down the problem positions for El Tri. In this case, I believe they are GK, CB, CM, and CF. 

At GK behind Ochoa (36), Tata has called, Talavera (39), Cota (34) and Orozco (35). At CB, we currently have Dominguez (34), Moreno (33), and Araujo (30). At CM, Guardado (35), Herrera (31), and Dos Santos (31), and CF Mori (30) and Jimenez (30) have all seen substantial play time under Martino. None will probably be available for the World Cup in 2026, and the younger options have not had an opportunity to see how they will perform on the national level.


While all these players are still producing at a good level and they have obviously earned the trust of Martino, their alternates are waiting in the wings, hoping to get a call-up or even a little National team playtime. We must also consider that if Mexico loses or have a bad qualifying window, Martino is even less likely to give any youngsters a call-up.

With their CONCACAF rivals already transitioning to younger squads and getting good results, the question has to be asked. Is El Tri falling behind? Their next two rivals boast the best young talent in the area, with Pulisic, McKennie, Davies, and David all getting major playing time for their clubs and their respective national squads.

Now, the outlook is necessarily as gloomy as it sounds. There are promising young players in all these positions. Mexico has GK’s Jurado (24), Malagon (24), and Ochoa (20), CB’s Vasquez (23), Sepulveda (22), CM’s Cervantes (23), Esquivel (23), and the Santiago’s, Munoz (19) and Jimenez (20) all waiting for a chance.

Will El Tata finally give these young players a chance or will they need to wait for a new manager to open the door for them?


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