After much speculation, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez will represent Mexico in the London 2012 Olympic Games.
“Hernandez is definitely in the Mexican squad, they have called him up,” said Ferguson, lamenting the number of players who will be absent from United’s preseason preparations.
Hernandez turns 24 on June 1, meaning he will occupy one of three slots permitted for players aged over 23.
Having won the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in 2005 and 2011, Mexico’s ranks are bursting with talented youths eligible for the summer games, including the likes of Carlos Vela, Giovani Dos Santos, Ulises Davila, Marco Fabian and Erick Torres.
The draw for the men’s football was made on Tuesday. As a seeded nation, Mexico avoided favorites Spain, Brazil and hosts Great Britain in the group stages.
El Tri received a favorable draw, joining Gabon, South Korea and Switzerland in Group B.
Mexico’s group stage fixtures:
Mexico vs. South Korea (St. James Park, Newcastle) July 26, 9.30 a.m. EST
Mexico vs. Gabon (Ricoh Arena, Coventry) July 29, 9.30 a.m. EST
Mexico vs. Switzerland (Millennium Stadium, Cardiff) August 1, 12 p.m. EST
In other news, Dutchman John van’t Schip has been appointed the new coach of Chivas de Guadalajara, following the dismissal of Ignacio Ambriz last week.
The latest phase of Chivas’ orange revolution, Van’t Schip’s appointment was made by the club’s influential Dutch advisor Johan Cruyff.
Van’t Schip, 48, made his name playing for Ajax and Genoa and was part of the Netherlands’ European Championship winning side in 1988. He later worked as assistant coach at Ajax and with the Dutch national team, before moving to Australia to manage Melbourne Heart from 2009-12.
Finally, holder Monterrey goes into Wednesday’s CONCACAF Champions League final second leg (8 p.m. EST) as favourite to retain its title, with a 2-0 aggregate lead over Santos Laguna.
In search of a first CCL title and a place in this year’s Club World Cup, Santos will be desperate not to lose their fourth final in the last two years.
Despite the two-goal deficit, Santos will provide a stern test for Monterrey in Torreon. Santos lead Mexico’s Primera Division, they are undefeated in their last ten home games in all competitions, and they have won 16 of 17 CCL matches at the Estadio Corona.
Santos must do without suspended duo Felipe Baloy and Osmar Mares, but they will be boosted by the absence of Monterrey’s talismanic Chilean forward Humberto Suazo, who scored both first-leg goals but is also suspended.
By Duncan Tucker (@DuncanTucker)
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