I love the World Cup. I take vacation during the first week. I watched Tunisia v. Saudi Arabia (and was very entertained). And we don’t have that much more to wait. And for fans of Mexico, we have to wait the least. But who will take the pitch in Soccer City 150 days from now.
I sure don’t know.
The players in Europe aren’t playing all that much, if at all. Carlos Vela is getting some minutes for Arsenal, but has yet to snap the nets. Gio has yet to play since his injury back in October. Rafa marquez has been shaky at best for Barcelona. Nery Castillo? Don’t even get me started. To be fair, though, Nery lost his mother at the beginning of 09 and his father at the end of it. He has admitted he has made a mess of his career, which currently has him on a team that has more consonants than vowels in its name.
Amazingly, two players that seemto incur wrath more than any other expats: Guille Franco (West Ham) and Maza Rodriguez (PSV) are the only ones who have gotten to play regularly this year.
Yes, I did leave out Andres Guardado, who has had by far the best season of any Mexican expat.
Guardado was taken down in a vicious tackle by an Iranian Osasuna player (who was given a straight red for the offense), which caused an injury to his calf muscle (not the knee goal.com learn how to translate). He’ll be out 6-8 weeks, and in no hurry to get back. A real shame for Depor, who had climbed into the Champions League zone in La Liga. Let’s just hope that Depor can get on better without the Little Prince than Texas did without Pistolas McCoy.
The local league ramps up this weekend for its Torneo Bicentenario 2010. As always, players who may not be on the radar now can play their way into consideration. And those who at one point were considered untouchable may also slump their way off the final 23 man roster.
Here are some players that can make the decision that much harder for Javier Aguirre.
Sergio “Cherokee” Perez, D – The former Puebla man gets a big boost to his cause as he is now playing with the reigning champs in Monterrey. His tireless defending style is a welcome change from the arrogant “I’m better than you” attitude that has seemed to have plagued Carlos Salcido over the past few years.
Cesar Villaluz, MF – The youngster from Cruz Azul just has not been the same since he sustained a concussion in the A2008 final at Toluca. There is no denying his skill, he just needs to find it. He is still young, though, so missing out on 2010 won’t be as devastating to him as others.
Luis Ernesto Michel, G – He was just named Chivas’ captain this week. He has a chance to make the squad, and considering how many goals Chuy Corona allowed in Cruz Azul’s liguilla run, Michel might just sneak past him for GK2. And if Memo starts slipping….
Aldo de Nigris, ST – He honored his brother with a fantastic post-season, but de Nigris’ bugaboo has always been consistency. If he can keep up the pace in the Bicentenario, he will certainly have a shot. If no other reason than mexico desperately needs strikers.
Edgar Pacheco, M -- The Atlas midfielder can play any postion: DM, on the wing, set up man. What he lacks in experience, he makes up for in versatility. If not 2010, he'll be around for the next few world cups.
Adolfo Bautista, F – He is back with Chivas, and if he has a good season, he could be a very important piece of Mexico’s World Cup campaign. He is the rare player (at least in mexico) who has size and on the ball skill. Usually it’s one or the other. He is the biggest question mark, but can also pay the biggest dividend. It is up to him.
I am sure there are others. So, please, enlighten us.