Herrera releases starting XI for Mexico’s playoff first leg a day early
There’s the Jurgen Klinsmann way of going about revealing lineup information, and then there’s the Miguel Herrera way.
With Wednesday’s first leg of Mexico’s World Cup qualifying playoff against New Zealand on the horizon, Herrera released his starting XI at a press conference Tuesday, giving All Whites manager Ricki Herbert plenty of advance notice of how El Tri plans to go about things at Estadio Azetca.
Herrera, the on-loan Club America coach who did not call in any Europe-based Mexico players despite the crucial nature of the aggregate series, has chosen seven of his club players for his starting lineup. His starters are the same ones who faced Finland in a friendly at the end of October (and earned a 4-2 victory in San Diego).
Mexico’s all-domestic starting XI with the nation’s World Cup hopes on the line will feature (Rafa Marquez alert!):
Goalkeeper: Moises Munoz (America)
Defenders: Paul Aguilar (America), Juan Carlos Valenzuela (America), Rafa Marquez (Leon), Maza Rodriguez (America), Miguel Layun (America)
Midfielders: Juan Carlos Medina (America), Luis Montes (Leon), Carlos Pena (Leon)
Forwards: Oribe Peralta (Santos Laguna), Raul Jimenez (America)
Of course, the last time Mexico took to the field at Azteca, it took this stunning Jimenez bicycle kick just to avoid another shock home result in the CONCACAF Hexagonal and remain on life support through the end of the qualifying round (because you can never watch it too many times):
As for Klinsmann, you can expect him to release his lineup for the USA’s friendly against Scotland on Friday at the same time he always does: About an hour before first kick.