Team Mexico learned it will face Ecuador, Venezuela and Jamaica in next year’s Copa América after Conmebol and Concacaf officials carried out the draw to set the groups in the prestigious soccer tournament.
Coach Jimmy Lozano and Co. – the top seed in Group B – will face regional rival Jamaica first (June 22 in Houston), then will take on Venezuela (June 26 in Inglewood, California) and close their group-stage activity against Ecuador (June 30 in Phoenix).
Should El Tri advance, they would be matched up with the survivors from Group A comprised of Argentina, Peru, Chile and either Canada or Trinidad & Tobago.
Mexico – a two-time runner-up and a bronze medalist on three occasions – last participated in the Copa América in 2016.
Colombia next up for El Tri
Coach Lozano is already preparing a make-shift squad for the final game on the 2023 calendar – a Dec. 16 friendly against Colombia to take place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
As this is not a FIFA date, El Tri will only feature Liga MX players with the further restriction that members of the clubs competing in the Final will also be unavailable.
With América virtually assured of a spot in the Liga MX championship series, Team Mexico could be without all four of its top forwards – Henry Martín and Julián Quiñones of América as well as Santiago Giménez (Feyenoord) and Raúl Jiménez (Fulham).
If Tigres reach the Final, El Tri will be without playmakers Sebastián Córdova and Diego Lainez while if the Pumas overcome the 1-0 deficit from the first leg then Lozano would not be able to rely upon the stylings of winger César Huerta.
Mexico fans will also be deprived of seeing goalie Guillermo Ochoa (Salernitana) while top back-ups Luis Malagón (América) and Julio González (UNAM) might also be absent.
The match – part of the MexTour exhibition series contracted by the Mexican Soccer Federation some years back – was among the games that were postponed due to the Covid epidemic.