On Friday, February 10, the coach of the Mexico National Soccer Team, Juan Carlos Osorio, made a special appearance at the Xolos vs Necaxa game at the Estadio Caliente.
It is a rare occurrence for a head coach of a national team to be present at a Liga MX match. Osorio had to be there for a purpose, specifically to see players who could potentially play for the Mexican National Team.
The Colombian skipper did mention after the match that three or four players caught his attention for the national team.
This brings up an interesting topic as there were four players in Club Tijuana’s starting 11 who are eligible to play for the Mexican National team. Gibran Lajud, Juan Carlos Valenzuela, Juan Carlos Nunez, and Aviles Hurtado comprise the list of potential candidates for Osorio.
There were also five players in Necaxa’s starting 11 who are eligible for the national team. But realistically, out of these nine players, only four players are young enough or possess enough skill to conform part of ‘El Tri’. Three of them are Xolos’ players in Gibran Lajud, Juan Carlos Valenzuela, and Aviles Hurtado.
Aviles Hurtado, is of course, the most intriguing option as he has been having a breakout season with the Xolos and is of naturalized Mexican citizenship. At 29 years old, the Colombian-born forward has not received an opportunity to play for the Colombian National Soccer Team. The fact he hasn’t played for them makes him eligible to play for Mexico.
In 2016, Hurtado did say that he would not like to take a place from a Mexican-born player on the national team. But perhaps the Xolos’ player could be persuaded by his countryman, Osorio, to join the Mexican National Team.
— Xolos (@Xolos) February 11, 2017
Hurtado had been the main figure in attack for the Aztec Canines this season, with three goals and an assist in six games. It will be interesting to see, going forward, if Juan Carlos Osorio makes another appearance at the Estadio Caliente, and also if Aviles Hurtado does end up representing Mexico in future international matches.