Rafa Marquez can captain Mexico at 4th World Cup

CARLOS RODRIGUEZ (Associated Press)
The Associated Press

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Former New York Red Bulls defender Rafa Marquez has made Mexico's World Cup roster and is in position to become the first player to captain his nation in four World Cups.

The 35-year-old defender, who captained Mexico at the 2002, 2006 and 2010 tournaments, was among 23 players selected Friday by Miguel Herrera, hired last October as El Tri's fourth coach in six weeks. Marquez scored as Mexico tied host South Africa in the 2010 World Cup opener and played for the Red Bulls from 2010-12 before signing with Leon.

Carlos Salcido, a 34-year-old left back, was selected for his third straight World Cup. Salacido, a member of Mexico's gold medal-winning team at the 2012 London Olympics, was picked for the national team for the first time since Herrera became coach.

''Regarding Salcido, we don't need to give him a tryout,'' Herrera said. ''We've watched him in the Mexican league. He's a versatile player who can play in many positions in the back, and also at midfield.''

Nine players returned from the 2010 roster, with Paul Aguilar, Giovani Dos Santos, Andres Guardado, Javier Hernandez, Hector Moreno, Guillermo Ochoa and Francisco Rodriguez also selected.

Among those left off were goalkeeper Moises Munoz, who played for Herrera when he coached Club America, and midfielder Javier Aquino of Spain's Villarreal.

''We feel for players who were left out,'' Herrera said. ''The decisions were made with the head, not the heart.''

Real Sociedad forward Carlos Vela was not included. He said months ago he would not play and cited unspecified personal reasons.

Mexico is in Group A with Brazil, Croatia and Cameroon.

The roster:

Goalkeepers: Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul), Guillermo Ochoa (Ajaccio, France), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca)

Defenders: Paul Aguilar (America), Andres Guardado (Bayern Leverkusen, Germany), Miguel Layun (America), Rafael Marquez (Leon), Hector Moreno (Espanyol, Spain), Diego Reyes (Porto, Portugal), Francisco Rodriguez (America), Carlos Salcido (Tigres)

Midfielders: Isaac Brizuela (Toluca), Marco Fabian (Cruz Azul), Hector Herrera (Porto, Portugal), Juan Carlos Medina (America), Luis Montes (Leon), Carlos Pena (Leon), Jose Juan Vazquez (Leon)

Forwards: Giovani Dos Santos (Villarreal, Spain), Javier Hernandez (Manchester United, England), Raul Jimenez (America), Oribe Peralta (Santos Laguna), Alan Pulido (Tigres)

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