El Tri hopefuls who struggled in Liga MX 

December, 4, 2012

Last week, we reviewed the Mexico-based players whose monster Liga MX seasons have catapulted them into El Tri contention.

With the title now decided following Club Tijuana's aggregate victory over Toluca, this week we take a look at the other side of the coin, examining players whose disappointing Apertura campaigns -- and a couple of others who played poorly in leagues abroad -- have left them marginalized from national team contention.

Pablo Barrera, MF, Cruz Azul

The verdict on Barrera's return was still up in the air when he suffered a season-ending injury before Week 8, but the early returns for the now-Cruz Azul winger were already tipping toward unfavorable in terms of making the national team. The attacker was clearly still part of Jose Manuel de la Torre's Mexico plans until the injury, but the emergence of Javier Aquino, among others, and continued tepid play from Barrera provided a chance for a switch. It also suggests that it may be a long road back to El Tri even when he regains full health.

Brent Latham is a soccer commentator who covers the youth national teams for ESPN.com. Based in Guatemala, he has attended youth World Cups from Peru to Egypt, and places in between.