Los Angeles Soccer: Sven-Goran Eriksson
Jose Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre's first Mexico roster features a healthy share of the regular crew -- the Chicharitos and Giovanis and Torados -- a couple of newcomers among those looking to cement their spot in the player pool, and two old standouts returning to El Tri after absences of almost two years.Zinha, Toluca's Brazilian-born playmaker, and Luis Perez, a midfielder for Monterrey, were part of Mexico's 2006 World Cup team and contributed during the qualifying campaign for last year's World Cup in South Africa, and their presence for Wednesday's clash against Bosnia and Herzegovina in Atlanta (TeleFutura/KFTR Channel 46, 5 p.m. PT) restores international careers that elapsed when Javier Aguirre took charge in April 2009.
Zinha last suited up for El Tri in a 5-1 romp over Bolivia on March 11, 2009, in Commerce City, Colo. Perez made his last appearance in a World Cup qualifying loss at Honduras on April 1, 2009, two days before Aguirre replaced Swede Sven-Goran Eriksson.
De la Torre, a former Mexican national team midfielder, was hired Oct. 18 to succeed Aguirre, who resigned after guiding Mexico to the World Cup round of 16. Wednesday's match is his first as El Tri manager.
His roster includes 11 players from the team in South Africa -- including star forwards Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez and Giovani Dos Santos, both based in Europe, and captain Gerardo Torrado, the veteran (three World Cups) holding midfielder from Cruz Azul -- and a half-dozen who were on the roster four years earlier in Germany.
A half-dozen players based in Europe have been called in, but not forward Carlos Vela, who was just loaned from Arsenal to fellow English Premier League team West Bromwich Albion, or midfielder Efrain Juarez, who plays for Scottish powerhouse Celtic FC. Their six-month suspensions, for their involvement in a team party following a Sept. 7 match against Colombia in Ciudad Juarez, expire next month.
Hernandez (Manchester United), Dos Santos (Racing Santander, on loan from Tottenham), midfielder Pablo Barrera (West Ham United) and first-choice defenders Carlos Salcido (Fulham), Francisco Javier Rodriguez (PSV Eindhoven) and Hector Moreno (AZ Alkmaar) comprise the foreign legion.
Toluca goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera and Monterrey midfielder Jesus Zavala hope to make their international debuts. Talavera is expected to back up Cruz Azul's Jose de Jesus Corona, who was a backup at the 2006 World Cup. Five others on the roster have played just once or twice for the full national team.
As David Beckham was musing to reporters in England last weekend about finding a club for a short-term loan, he said he naturally would prefer to play at home.
“I have always missed playing in [England's] Premier League since I left it almost eight years ago,” the English midfielder said after an awards ceremony in Birmingham. “It is a great league and one of the most competitive in the world. Maybe one day I will come back here, but I have always said it will only be for [Manchester] United.
“I’m not holding my breath on that one.”
Good thing. Man United manager Alex Ferguson told Sky Sports on Friday that he has no interest in bringing Beckham, 35, back to his original club.
"I don't think so. with David at his age," Ferguson said. "I have never signed a player at that age, have I?"
Well, there's always Arsenal, right?
"I would consider signing David Beckham,” Gunners boss Arsene Wenger told The Sun newspaper, “but we have [Theo] Walcott, [Samir] Nasri, [Tomas] Rosicky, [Andrei] Arshavin and (Emmanuel) Eboue who can play on the flanks.”
Everton's David Moyes expressed interest, but Beckham said no thanks, and former England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson admits he tried to arrange a loan to Leicester City. There are reports in England that Tottenham -- the club Beckham's grandfather supported -- would like to bring him in, and Turkey's Besiktas and Sydney FC in Australia are open to Becks, too.
The Galaxy isn't so keen on Beckham departing on loan next month. Coach Bruce Arena has made it clear he expects Beckham present when camp opens in late January.