Héctor Herrera, the only Mexican MLS player at Qatar 2022
The Houston Dynamo midfielder will play his third World Cup with Mexico. Other MLS stars like Chicharito Hernández, Carlos Vela and Julián Araujo miss out.
Tata Martino announced the squad he will be taking to the Qatar World Cup on Monday - one of the last national teams to publish their list - one that this time, only includes one MLS player. Chicharito, Carlos Vela and Julián Araujo are three players based at MLS clubs who might have been in contention but in the end were excluded from Mexico’s World Cup squad.
The only Mexican player who is part of the North American league and will be in the Middle East defending his country will be Héctor Herrera. The Houston Dynamo midfielder will appear in his third World Cup, following a tradition of MLS-based Mexican players who have played at the tournament including Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy) and Vela (LAFC).
Vela, who captained LAFC to the 2022 MLS Cup title earlier this month and Chicharito, the top scorer of all-time for Mexico’s national team made a case for inclusion but neither are in the list for different reasons. Carlitos stepped aside voluntarily, while the latter failed to resolve an old dispute which has kept him out of contention with the national team for the last four years.
In the case of Julián Araujo or Efraín Álvarez, the young Galaxy stars could not convince Martino, who has opted for other players in their positions. On the right flank, are Jorge Sánchez (Ajax) and Kevin Álvarez (Pachuca); in midfield, there is Luis Chávez (Pachuca) and Erick Gutiérrez (PSV Eindhoven).
Other MLS forwards who will not go to Qatar 2022 with Mexico
Among the alternatives who could have joined the Mexico squad in Qatar were Brandon Vázquez (FC Cincinnati), a Mexican-American striker who only broke into MLS last season and who was overlooked by Gregg Berhalter’s USMNT. Finally, Alan Pulido (Sporting KC) suffered a knee injury at the beginning of the year that deprived him of competing for a place.
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