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Thursday, January 31, 2008
Sanchez selects his first naturalized player

MEXICO CITY -- Brazilian-born midfielder Antonio Naelson was picked by Mexico coach Hugo Sanchez for the first time Thursday.

Naelson, who scored in Mexico's 3-1 win over Iran, was among 19 players selected for Wednesday's exhibition game against the United States in Houston. Sanchez harshly criticized then-coach Ricardo Lavolpe for calling on naturalized players.

"The doors are open for all Mexicans, and the constitution says that they are Mexican," Sanchez said at a news conference.

Mexico will be playing the United States for the first time since wasting a lead in last year's 2-1 loss at the CONCACAF Gold Cup final. Mexico is winless in nine straight games against the U.S. team in the United States since March 1999.

The roster:

Goalkeepers: Luis Michel (Guadalajara), Moises Munoz (Morelia), Guillermo Ochoa (America)

Defenders: Israel Castro (Pumas), Jonny Magallon (Guadalajara), Rafael Marquez (Barcelona, Spain), Fausto Pinto (Pachuca), Oscar Rojas (America), Carlos Salcido (PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands)

Midfielders: Fernando Arce (Santos Laguna), Andres Guardado (Deportivo La Coruna, Spain), Antonio Naelson (Toluca), Pavel Pardo (Stuttgart, Germany), Gerardo Torrado (Cruz Azul)

Forwards: Adolfo Bautista (Jaguares), Juan Carlos Cacho (Pachuca), Giovanni Dos Santos (Barcelona), Antonio de Nigris (Ankaraspor, Turkey), Carlos Vela (Osasuna, Spain)

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