Chicharito axed by Mexico, three MLS stars in

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Wolves striker Raul Jimenez is in Gerardo Martino’s Mexico 26-player squad to face Netherlands (Oct. 7) and Algeria (Oct. 13), while LA Galaxy‘s Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez misses out.

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Three players from Major League Soccer — Rodolfo Pizarro (Inter Miami), Alan Pulido (Sporting Kansas City) and Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy) — were included in Martino’s list despite reports that clubs in the league were reluctant to allow players to travel in the October international window.

Inter Miami head coach Diego Alonso had said he wanted to keep Pizarro and if “he doesn’t have to travel for the game, that’s what we’ll do because he is a very important player,” but Martino stated after Mexico’s 3-0 win over Guatemala on Wednesday that there’s no reason for them not to.

“These types of call-ups in FIFA windows aren’t managed by relationships, they are governed by legal questions and with MLS, apparently, I still have to confirm because it is recent information, the problem was that players had to quarantine on return,” Martino said in a video conference after the game.

Martino added that the Mexican federation had heard from FIFA that MLS players from certain states without obligatory quarantines could be called.

“We understand there is no inconvenience for any of the three footballers and Pulido, Dos Santos and Rodolfo (Pizarro) can travel,” he added.

The FIFA window arrives at an awkward time of the season for MLS, with teams jockeying for position for the playoffs and the coronavirus situation still complex in different parts of the world.

Jimenez’s inclusion comes as no surprise given his form, but Martino left out Hernandez, who is El Tri‘s highest ever goal-scorer but has struggled for form at LA Galaxy in 2020.

“In the case of Javier [Hernandez], I decided that the strikers on this occasion would be Pulido, Jimenez and Henry Martin and that’s it,” Martino said.

The squad features 11 players based in Europe, including surprise calls for Boavista‘s 18-year-old defender Alejandro Gomez, Genks’s Gerardo Arteaga and Zulte Waregem’s Omar Govea.

Gilberto Sepulveda (Chivas) Luis Rodriguez (Tigres), Jesus Gallardo (Monterrey), Alfredo Talavera (Pumas), Luis Romo (Cruz Azul), Cesar Montes (Monterrey), Rodolfo Cota (Leon) and Jorge Sanchez (Club America) will travel to the Netherlands on Thursday, missing weekend fixtures with their Liga MX clubs.

Both Mexico’s upcoming games will be played in the Netherlands without fans.

Full squad:

Goalkeepers: Rodolfo Cota (Leon), Hugo Gonzalez (Monterrey), Alfredo Talavera (Pumas)

Defenders: Nestor Araujo (Celta Vigo), Luis Rodriguez (Tigres), Jesus Gallardo (Monterrey), Cesar Montes (Monterrey), Gilberto Sepulveda (Chivas), Hector Moreno (Al-Gharafa), Gerardo Arteaga (Genk), Alejandro Gomez (Boavista), Jorge Sanchez (America)

Midfielders: Diego Lainez (Real Betis), Edson Alvarez (Ajax), Luis Romo (Cruz Azul), Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Carlos Rodriguez (Monterrey), Hector Herrera (Atletico Madrid), Andres Guardado (Real Betis), Omar Govea (Zulte Waregem), Rodolfo Pizarro (Inter Miami)

Forwards: Raul Jimenez (Wolves), Henry Martin (America), Alan Pulido (Sporting Kansas City), Hirving Lozano (Napoli), Jesus “Tecatito” Corona (Porto)