Mexico manager Miguel Herrera told the world that he believes El Tri’s young crop of talent will springboard the country back to the top of CONCACAF and beyond.
“We’ve got a very good young breed,” he told FIFA.com from the Association’s Technical Study Group. “No team in the region has done better than Mexico with their youth teams.”
The 46-year-old manager pointed to the country’s recent youth tournament success, where they’ve won two U-17 World Cups, came in second in one, finished third in an U-20 World Cup and won gold at London 2012, all since 2005.
“It’s a talented generation that will win an awful lot of international caps between them,” Herrera predicted. “They’ll be more than ready for the challenges ahead.”
With 34-year-old defender Carlos Salcido having retired from the international scene after 124 caps, and captain Rafa Marquez’s career surely coming to a close sooner rather than later, the youth will certainly be needed.
And Herrera also appreciates the ability to be on the job with an entire cycle to prepare for the World Cup, rather than last time when he was hired just six months prior to the tournament.
“I’ll just be working more and I’ll have more time to get the players familiar with the system and the game plan,” Herrera said. “We’ll be more prepared and better developed. We won’t be making last-minute decisions like who the first-choice keeper is going be or the starting eleven. We’ll have the core of the team decided on”
With Jurgen Klinsmann also leading a youthful movement with the United States team, the Stars & Stripes may contest Herrera’s claim to the best youth crop in CONCACAF, but they certainly have a formidable group that’s collected plenty of success.
Goal.com’s Tom Marshall, who covers the Mexican team for Goal.com, pointed out youngsters Jorge Torres Nilo (19 years old), Hirving Lozano (22), and goalkeeper Antonio Rodriguez (22) as some young players who could be in the mix for call ups.
Other young guns to keep an eye on for the future would be Julio Gomez, Carlos Fierro, and Jorge Espericueta, all just 17 years old.