The stage is set for Saturday’s Mexico vs. Ecuador at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The place is synonymous for glory, having hosted two Olympiads, and El Tri fans hope it is the place where Mexico set start to a superb year.
Mexico manager, Miguel Herrera, confirmed his starting lineup on Friday, with Cruz Azul’s Jesus Corona making the surprise start on goal.
At the back will be Hector Moreno, Paul Aguilar, Hugo Ayala, Diego Reyes, and Miguel Layun.
Herrera was full of praise for his captain, Andres Guardado, who just made his loan move to PSV permanent. It will be Andres Guardado who will lead the midfield with Leon’s Jose Juan “Gallo” Vazquez and FC Porto’s Hector Herrera.
Finally, on the attack will be Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and Giovani Dos Santos.
In contrast, Ecuador’s game-plan is shrouded in some mystery. It will be Gustavo Quintero’s first game in charge of the Ecuador national team, and Miguel Herrera admitted on Friday that he did part of his scouting watching old Emelec videos. Quinteros led Emelec to two national league-titles in Ecuador and will look to make an impression in his first game at the helm of La Tricolor.
Ecuador are, nonetheless, a strong team, with an amplitude of their players performing overseas.
Where to watch: Saturday, March 28, 9:30pm EST, UniMas and Univision Deportes Network and ESPN2
Head to head record: 14 Mexico wins, 5 draws, and 2 Ecuador wins
Injury list: Oribe Peralta (leg), Moises Muñoz (calf), Rafael Marquez (knee), and Enner Valencia (toe)
- Pachuca’s Walter Ayovi is set to make his 100th appearance for the Ecuadorian national team.
- A number of players on each national team play for the same club: Miguel Layun and Juan Carlos Paredes at Watford, Hector Moreno and Felipe Caicedo at Espanyol, Walter Ayovi and Jürgen Damm at Pachuca, and Joao Rojas, Jose de Jesus Corona, and Julio Cesar Dominguez at Cruz Azul.
- Jürgen Damm, Jesus Dueñas, and Eduardo Herrera could make their debut with the Mexico national team.
- Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez is only a goal away from matching Cuauhtemoc Blanco as second in Mexico’s all-time leading scorers list.