Mexico adds some experience for friendly with Bolivia
The largely untested roster Mexican Coach Javier Aguirre selected for his team's first pre-World Cup friendly this week in San Francisco picked up a lot of experience Monday when it was announced that forward Enrique Esqueda, 21, and defender Adrian Aldrete, 21, would not be making the trip and would be replaced by forward Oscar Rojas and midfielder Alberto Medina.
Esqueda, who plays in Mexico's Primera Division for America, and Aldrete, of Morelia, have each played in four international matches for Mexico. But the 28-year-old Rojas (America) and the 26-year-old Medina (Chivas) have 61 caps between them.
Mexico will face Bolivia on Wednesday at Candlestick Park in the first of a six-match U.S. tour that ends at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on March 3 for a friendly with fellow World Cup qualifier New Zealand. For some of Mexico's young players, the matches give them a chance to give Aguirre something to think about before announcing his final World Cup roster in May.
"Obviously it's very strong competition, we all know that," said striker Aldo de Nigris of Monterrery, who will be making his debut with El Tri, told reporters in Mexico City on Monday. "But I aspire to be in the World Cup. It's a dream I have, and I simply have to fight, have to battle and have to compete in the best way. And if they say yes or no, I have to fight the same way for my goals."
-- Kevin Baxter