Mexico boss Juan Carlos Osorio has opened the doors of the national team to naturalized players whilst setting the Tricolor’s objectives for a competitive 2016 schedule. “There is no black list, all Mexicans and naturalized players can be in the national team,” assured Osorio during a Federacion Mexicana de Futbol (FMF) press conference.
The black list was in reference to Alan Puldio who left Tigres UANL under a cloud of controversy and is believed to be banned from the national team by FMF until he settles his problem with the defending Liga MX champions. Still, Osorio wants to make the best of the players that are at his disposal and will cap any player he sees fit.
“I have a list of 54 players (for selection) and two of those players are naturalized, Guido Pizarro and Ismael Sosa, but they are ineligible,” admitted Osorio. Pizarro had played the 2007 U-17 World Cup with Argentina whilst Sosa participated in U-20 qualifying campaign for the same country.
With the Tricolor facing two tournaments this summer: Olympics and Copa America Centenario Osorio will be taking key players opinions, on which tourney they want to participate in, into consideration. “We can’t for any reason undermine the ideas of any player because I believe that will have a lot of influence in the final decision.”
“I believe that it will not be a personal decision of me lending players to (U-23 coach) Raul Gutierrez. I believe this is about what is best for Mexican soccer and it will be very important when we finally make that final decision (of which three overage players will compete in the Olympics) the opinions of the professor Gutierrez, my coaching staff, the players, and clubs.”
Osorio also set Mexico’s objective for the Copa America claiming that “we will fight to reach the final.” For the Colombian a good showing at the tourney will “demonstrate that Mexican soccer is among the best in all of the continent.” Osorio then added that Brazil are the team pressure to have a good tourney to make up for their failed World Cup.
Despite the cup being held as a one hundred year celebration of the tourney Osorio feels the Tri will still be expected to have a good showing. “This Cup compromises the entire coaching staff and we believe that it is a great opportunity for Mexican soccer, to compete against the best, it will be a great event and we like to compete against the best team,” finalized Osorio.