Three of Mexico’s top players make their way to the Northwest this week as Mexican club Monarcas Morelia battles the Portland Timbers in an international exhibition match at PGE Park on Thursday. Morelia features goalkeeper Moises Munoz, rising midfielder Adrian Aldrete and defender Omar Trujillo who have all seen action with the Mexican National Team.
Morelia, who competes in Mexico’s top tier called the Primera Division, begins a preseason tour in Portland as they prepare for the upcoming Apertura season which begins at the end of July. Morelia recently captured the Invierno championship in 2000 and was one of four Mexican sides to participate in the inaugural SuperLiga tournament in 2007. The SuperLiga tournament pits the top four Mexican clubs against the top four squads from Major League Soccer.
Perhaps Morelia’s top young prospect, Aldrete, 19, is a rising young midfielder in the Primera Division. After competing on the U-17 Mexican National Team in the FIFA U-17 World Championship in 2005, Aldrete is now a member of the senior national team. He was called up for a friendly against China held in Seattle in May and was also chosen for the current squad that participated in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches during the month of June.
Since making his professional debut with Morelia in 1999, Munoz has become the team’s starting goalkeeper and played in all 17 matches of the team’s 2008 Clausura schedule. His performance over the years in the Primera Division earned him his first cap for Mexico in 2004, playing in a friendly against Ecuador. An injury prevented him from being named to the 2006 World Cup squad, but Munoz, who has eight caps to his credit, is one to watch as Mexico sets its sights on the 2010 tournament.
Trujillo, 30, was called up for Mexico’s friendly against China earlier this season. A veteran defender, he was a member of Morelia’s Invierno championship team in 2000 and was recently named Morelia’s team captain.
Other key players for Morelia include striker Luis Angel Landin, a former member of Mexico’s U-23 National Team, and forward Ever Guzman, who led the team in scoring during the Clausura schedule with three goals.
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The Timbers and Morelia square off at PGE Park on Thursday at 7 p.m. Tickets are available through the PGE Park box office, area Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at (503) 224-4400.
Morelia’s Travel Roster for Trip to Portland:
Alberto Lucio Centeno
Oscar Carrasco Sotelo
Luis Angel Landin