Projecting El Tri's 2014 World Cup roster 

August, 15, 2012

The success of Mexican national teams at all age levels has many dreaming of a deep run at the 2014 World Cup, and a look at the possible roster does nothing to downplay those thoughts.

While El Tri has yet to produce that one transcendent player in this crop of talent (someone like Hugo Sanchez), they are loaded with quality depth at almost every position. There is hardly a huge drop-off at any position should the eventual starter get injured.

In many ways, Mexico's possible 2014 World Cup squad is fairly predictable. Mexican teams of all age levels have been playing the standard 4-2-3-1 formation of the senior team, and that ensures stability heading into Brazil -- should Mexico qualify, of course.

While losing likely starting center back Hector Moreno would be a terrible blow to the team, it's quite possible Hugo Ayala or the much heralded youngster Diego Reyes (likely European-bound within the next couple of years) would be more than capable of stepping in and performing at a high level. The competition for a spot on defense is so fierce that we don't even predict 2010 World Cup starter Efrain Juarez will start in Brazil.

El Tri's defensive midfield is extremely crowded. There are so many possible combinations of players that it seems almost impossible to predict two starters, but we'll give it a shot. Naturally, Barcelona's Jonathan Dos Santos will be in the mix, although he didn't earn himself much favor with the federation by turning down an opportunity to play in the Olympics.

In the end, it might be dos Santos who suffers most from his Olympic snub, because there is plenty of talent at his position. A fancy Barcelona pedigree will not be enough to get him an automatic eventual starting spot.

Even Hector Herrera, who has emerged as a star prospect in the past eight months, doesn't crack our starting lineup despite increasingly becoming a target for several European teams.