concacaf qualifying

Blanco earns recall into Mexico World Cup squad

May 16, 2009

Veteran Chicago Fire forward Cuauhtemoc Blanco has been recalled to the Mexico squad for next month's World Cup qualifiers.

The Mexican Football Federation (FMF) have unveiled a 23-man squad for the trip to El Salvador on June 6 and the home game against Trinidad & Tobago four days later, in what will be Javier Aguirre's first competitive matches since replacing Sven-Goran Eriksson.

The 36-year-old Blanco announced his international retirement last November during Eriksson's tenure, but then had a change of heart.

"Javier (Aguirre) called him (Blanco) up for these two matches and not to give him a farewell game or something like that," said FMF director Nestor de la Torre.

"He has the skills to give a lot to the team."

Aguirre also included Tigres goalkeeper Oscar Perez, who last featured for his country four years ago, in place of Oswaldo Sanchez.

"It was a surprise. I had a good season, but I did not expect this call. I am very happy and I hope to help Javier (Aguirre) in this new phase," said Perez.

Morelia striker Miguel Sabah, meanwhile, received his first call-up for a qualifier after having previously only played in friendlies.

Giovani dos Santos, who has been on loan with Ipswich from Tottenham in recent months, reckons six points is a must from the two upcoming games.

He said: "We have to work hard in these two weeks because these two matches are crucial. We have to win both."

Mexico, who meet up for their first training session on May 27 at Mexico's High Performance Centre, are in fourth position in the standings with three points - four behind leader USA.

Mexico squad: Guilllermo Ochoa (Amarica), Jose Corona (Tecos), Oscar Perez (Tigres); Ricardo Osorio (Stuttgart), Aaron Galindo (Chivas), Carlos Salcido, Francisco Rodriguez (both PSV Eindhoven), Hector Moreno (AZ Alkmaar), Edgar Duenas (Toluca); Pavel Pardo, Oscar Rojas (both America), Gerardo Torrado (Cruz Azul), Israel Castro (Pumas), Giovani dos Santos (Tottenham), Fernando Arce (Santos), Andres Guardado (Deportivo La Coruna), Carlos Vela (Arsenal), Alberto Medina (Chivas); Miguel Sabah (Morelia), Cuauhtemoc Blanco (Chicago Fire), Nery Castillo (Shakhtar Donetsk), Guilermo Franco (Villarreal), Jose Cardenas (Pachuca), Carlos Esquivel (Toluca).