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Ochoa and Lozano out of Mexico's young Copa America squad

Ochoa and Lozano out of Mexico's young Copa America squad


It is the first time Lozano has excluded from Salernitana keeper Ochoa

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico regulars goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa and forward Hirving Lozano were left out of the Copa America squad as the country aims for a generational change, coach Jaime Lozano said on Friday.

Lozano named 10 players from the under-23 national team in his preliminary 31-man squad, intending to develop players ahead of the 2026 World Cup in Mexico, the United States, and Canada.

"We want a dynamic and strong team. It is important to lay the foundations for 2026 and 2030," Lozano told a news conference.

"We have spoken to all those who are not here. It is the ideal tournament to see who are standing out and to have a bigger deck of players for what is to come.

"If we want the national team to be as good as possible for the World Cup at home and give the best performance, we have to make decisions according to the big challenge we are setting ourselves."

It is the first time Lozano, appointed manager last summer, has excluded from Salernitana keeper Ochoa, who has appeared at five World Cups and has 151 caps for Mexico.

Newly-crowned PSV Eindhoven's Lozano said he will return to the national squad later on while he cheered on the newcomers for the June 20-July 14 tournament.

"The young players who start this adventure have in their hands one of the greatest honours as a footballer," the former Napoli player said on his X account.

"Wearing the national team jersey is a privilege and a responsibility. Today the honour is yours. I'm sure we'll see each other again later on, meanwhile, put the Mexican name up high."

Coach Lozano will cut his roster to 23 players for the Copa America in the United States before Mexico kick off their campaign against Jamaica on June 22, followed by Venezuela on June 26 and Ecuador four days later.

Mexico will face Bolivia on May 31, Uruguay on June 5 and Brazil three days later in warm-up matches.

Mexico preliminary squad:

Goalkeepers: Angel Malagon (Club America), Raul Rangel (Guadalajara), Julio Gonzalez (Pumas UNAM)

Defenders: Israel Reyes (Club America), Jorge Sanchez (Porto), Brian Garcia (Toluca), Cesar Montes (Almeria), Victor Guzman (Monterrey) Alexis Pena (Necaxa), Johan Vasquez (Genoa), Jesus Orozco (Guadalajara), Gerardo Arteaga (Monterrey), Bryan Gonzalez (Pachuca)

Midfielders: Edson Alvarez (West Ham United), Luis Romo (Monterrey), Jordan Carrillo (Santos), Erick Sanchez (Pachuca), Orbelin Pineda (AEK Athens), Roberto Alvarado (Guadalajara), Luis Chavez (Dynamo Moscow), Andres Montano (Mazatlan), Fernando Beltran (Guadalajara), Carlos Rodriguez (Cruz Azul)

Forwards: Marcelo Flores (Tigres), Cesar Huerta (Pumas UNAM), Julian Quinones (Club America), Santiago Gimenez (Feyenoord), Alexis Vega (Toluca), Uriel Antuna (Cruz Azul), Guillermo Martinez (Pumas UNAM), Diego Lainez (Tigres).