Mexico boss Ricardo Ferretti: New players 'have talent and hunger'

HOUSTON -- Mexico's squad to face Uruguay on Friday at NRG Stadium represents El Tri's future for the next two World Cup cycles, according to interim coach Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti.

Mexico has called in a group in which nine players have zero national team caps and has an overall average age of just 24 -- but Ferretti was insistent that the bulk of the squad represent the future of the national team.

"The future is here today, in these young players," said Ferretti in a news conference on Thursday. "The Gold Cup will be within in a year, so this year these players should have great experience and hopefully will be in contention for the Gold Cup. No one is eternal."

Ferretti gave little away about his starting lineup -- with big names like Hector Herrera, Javier Hernandez and Andres Guardado left in Europe during this international break -- but said that the key is for the next generation of players to get minutes with their club teams to increase their chances of being involved during the new cycle.

"[I see this group being] in the 2022 World Cup and the 2026 World Cup," said Ferretti. "Why? Because they are young players with talent and hunger to do things right."

Pachuca attacking midfielder Victor Guzman could be set to win his first cap on Friday and is naturally keen to impress in front of an expected crowd of over 50,000.

"For us youngsters, it is a chance to show what we are doing right in our clubs and take advantage of the trust Ricardo Ferretti and the directors have in us," said the 23-year-old.

Raul Jimenez is now part of the more experienced group of players, with Ferretti indicating that the 27-year-old Wolverhampton striker or goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa will wear the captain's armband for Friday.

"There is a different group of footballers now and between the experienced ones and the youngsters we can do great things," said Jimenez. "I've been called up since 2013 and it's always a source of pride to wear the national team shirt."

The Tigres manager, who has stressed he doesn't want the Mexico job on a full-time basis, added that having the right manager to guide the group will be key.

Mexico's general director Guillermo Cantu stated Thursday that Ferretti becoming permanent coach is "not on the table" and explained the criteria in the search for Juan Carlos Osorio's replacement.

"I'm not going to give out names, [but it should be] a mature person with a national team profile," said Cantu. "Someone who knows qualifying, particularly our region, and [has experience at] the World Cup also helps; someone who likes to attack and already brings balance."

Mexico's director of national teams Dennis te Kloese told reporters in Mexico City that former Colombia coach Nestor Pekerman is also not an option.