Soccer  > General Soccer  > "Chepo" era starts in Mexico
February 4, 2011, 04:46 PM
It's the start of the "Chepo" era in Mexican soccer. It doesn't look all that dissimilar from the end of the Javier Aguirre era.

After much talk and speculation, manager Jose Manuel de la Torre's first camp of Mexican national team invitees included many from Aguirre's 2010 World Cup roster.

From the group of Mexicans playing in Europe, those called in were Javier "Chicharito" Hern??ndez (Manchester United), H??ctor Moreno (AZ Alkmaar), Francisco Javier Maza Rodr??guez (PSV Eindhoven), Carlos Salcido (Fulham), Pablo Barrera (West Ham) and Giovani Dos Santos (Racing de Santander)

The rest ply their trade in Mexico, and also are not surprising: goalkeepers Jes??s Corona (Cruz Azul) and Alfredo Talavera (Toluca); defenders Paul Aguilar (Pachuca), Iv??n Guti Estrada (Santos), ??dgar Due??as (Toluca), Jonny Magall??n (Guadalajara), Jorge Torres Nilo (Tigres); midfielders Gerardo Torrado (Cruz Azul), Israel Castro (Pumas), Jes??s Zavala (Monterrey), Antonio Naelson "Sinha" (Toluca), Luis P??rez (Monterrey), ??dgar Pacheco (Atlas), N??stor Calder??n (Toluca), Jos?? Mar??a C??rdenas (Santos); and forward Aldo De Nigris (Monterrey).

Toluca, which De la Torre coached from 2008-2010 and has the third-best record in the Mexican Clausura, has most players on the roster with four, while Am??rica, Jaguares and San Luis were exempted due to Copa Libertadores matches.

The European-based call-ups on Friday ended de la Torre's first week in command of El Tri, givng him four full days before his first match in charge against Bosnia on Wednesday in Atlanta.

So far, a three-day training camp this week in Mexico City with the domestically based players has given De la Torre a chance to meet all the players, learn their goals and, above all, get a sense of their commitment to the national team.

He has released a handful from traveling to Atlanta, but reiterating "all players should be ready when they are called up on."

That's his way of saying he expects no player to give up or feel that he has a guaranteed spot on the national team.

"Whenever you finish a training session like this one, you need to communicate about what is coming up in the future," De la Torre said. "The player is beginning a process and anyone can be called up. The only thing you can't do is to stop working hard because you never know when you will be called upon.

"It's like when you go to school and you always have your homework but the one day you don't do it is when they ask you for it. You have to be prepared."

Despite his original comments that European-based players would need to be in form as well as playing in their club's first 11, De la Torre indicated that their summoning was more to speak directly to them and let them know that changes are pending.

"That's how the player has to be," he said. "You always need to be ready if you want to be in the national team, because we are national team players 24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year.

"Thus we are all part of a process, and whoever comes from Europe is mainly to get to know them, and so that they know that they will be continually observed at their clubs. We have to pay close attention to them because we don't know what will happen in the future, and give them a good sense of what we want to accomplish."

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