Mexico set for generational shift at 2024 Copa America

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This past Friday, May 10, the Mexico national team officially announced a 31-man preliminary roster for the 2024 Copa America.

Eight players will be cut for the official tournament roster, but there were some huge household names that did not make the cut for even the preliminary squad.

Guillermo Ochoa, Raul Jimenez, Hirving “Chucky” Lozano, Henry Martin, and Jesus Gallardo did not make the roster after consistently being in the squad for the past several years. Mexico has struggled to really make a generational shift with Jaime Lozano after the disastrous 2022 FIFA World Cup with Gerardo Martino, but it seems that this shift will finally start in the CONMEBOL competition.

Jaime Lozano has been criticized for his underuse of striker Santiago Gimenez and preferring players like Raul Jimenez and Henry Martin over the 23-year-old forward. Gimenez just had a career year with Feyenoord in the Dutch Eredivisie and is being linked to a big move to either AC Milan or Tottenham Hotspur in the summer. Gimenez will undoubtedly be the primary striker for El Tri, and it is a massive opportunity for him to shine on the global stage.

Another big opportunity will come to fullback Gerardo Arteaga, who was arguably the best left-back in the 2024 Clausura regular season and is yet to receive a fair chance under Jaime Lozano. “Jimmy” has preferred Jesus Gallardo in his tenure with Mexico, but now the first-choice left-back at the Copa America is Arteaga.

It was surprising to see Guillermo Ochoa left off the roster, but several journalists and fans have been calling for a change in net for several years now. Ochoa is now 38 years old and just had a lackluster season with Serie A club Salernitana, where he lost his starting job and the team relegated from the Italian top flight.

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It seems that Club America’s Luis Angel Malagon is the front-runner to replace Ochoa, but there is healthy competition from Chivas’ Raul Rangel, who has been impressive for Guadalajara this season.

Jaime Lozano has decided on a Liga MX heavy roster with the star clearly being West Ham United’s Edson Alvarez, who is potentially set for a big move after this season. The attack has some intriguing names like Marcelo Flores, Cesar Huerta and Diego Lainez and it will be interesting to see who makes the final cut.

Mexico will play friendly games against Bolivia, Uruguay, and Brazil before the Copa America and will play their first game in the CONMEBOL competition on June 22 against Jamaica at NRG Stadium in Houston.

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