Mexico National Soccer Team News

Gerardo Martino’s decisions could drive the successor of Jared Borgetti to join USMNT

El Tri will face USMNT in Estadio Azteca on March 24.

By Jose Castro

El Tri will face USMNT in Estadio Azteca on March 24.
El Tri will face USMNT in Estadio Azteca on March 24.
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Mexico National Team will face USMNT on March 24 for the first game of the last CONCACAF Qualifiers match window, in a game that will define the standings of the Confederation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, given that both El Tri and the Bars and Stripes are tied with 21 points each.

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And even if it will be a decisive game, Gerardo “Tata” Martino won’t be calling players that are not regular on his roster, even if they are going through a great moment with their teams, as the Argentine coach thinks that they won’t have enough time to familiarize with his system.

Another reason that Martino has given in the past to avoid calling young players is their lack of experience, which is why he constantly calls players like Héctor Herrera or Andrés Guardado, that although they’re not going through the best moment of their careers, they are experienced and reliable.

But those same reasons are the ones that are closing the door to a lot of promising talents that, given the lack of opportunities they’re receiving in the Aztec squad, decide to play for different National Teams if they have the chance, like Ricardo Pepi or Richard Ledezma.


Who else could join the list?

The next player that could join them is Santiago Muñoz, who currently plays for Newcastle United in Premier League, although his economic rights belong to Santos Laguna. Muñoz is on an 18-month loan with the Magpies, and he’s currently playing with their U-23 squad.

Given his position and Liga MX team where he breakout, he was called to be Jared Borgetti’s successor, both in Santos Laguna and Mexico National Team, but with the lack of opportunities he’s having in El Tri’s senior squad, he could decide to play for USMNT.


Is he able to play for USMNT?

Santiago Muñoz holds both Mexican and American citizenships, and although he’s done his process with El Tri academy teams, US Soccer has tried to convince him to play for them several times and has failed every single one.

But seeing how many opportunities young players are having in Gregg Berhalter’s roster, Muñoz could be the next player to decide to play for the Bars and Stripes rather than El Tri. Muñoz hasn’t debuted with El Tri’s senior squad, meaning that he could still play for USMNT.

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