After a tumultous 2013 which saw the team barely clinch a World Cup berth, Mexico looks to get 2014 off to a good start in a friendly against South Korea at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
With only six games until Mexico faces Cameroon in the World Cup opener on June 13, members of Miguel Herrera's 21-man squad will look to impress the former Club America boss.
Herrera has named an entirely domestic-based team for the friendly, with his European contingent bound by club commitments. The lone exception is Porto center back Diego Reyes, who was allowed to leave by his club after failing to lock down regular playing time.
Pachuca’s Rodolfo Pizarro, Leon’s Jose Juan Vazquez and Tigres striker Alan Pulido were all called up for the first time, while Enrique Perez and Miguel Ponce are both back with the national team after a long absence.
Mexico and Korea have met 10 times before, with El Tri sporting a 5-3-2 record all-time. In their last meeting in February 2006, Korea triumphed 1-0 at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
Hong Myung-Bo's Korea side qualified for its eighth consecutive World Cup in June last year, and started 2014 with a 1-0 win over Costa Rica in Los Angeles on Jan 25.
Korea will also be without the services of its European-based players, as stars like Bayer Leverkusen's Son Heung-Min and Augsburg's Ji Dong-Won will stay back in the Old Continent. The Asian side's 23-man roster contains 20 players from the Korean league.
Following the match, Korea will head back to Los Angeles, where it will face Jurgen Klinsmann's USA side on Saturday. For Mexico, its next match will be a friendly against Nigeria in Atlanta on March 5.
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- Miguel Herrera