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 By Tom Marshall

Mexico announces World Cup friendly vs. Wales in Rose Bowl

Sebastian Salazar and Herculez Gomez recap Mexico's first friendly of 2018, discuss who's on track to make Osorio's World Cup squad and reflect on Jonathan Gonzalez's debut.
After Jonathan Gonzalez's second-half cameo against Bosnia, ESPN's Herculez Gomez questions Juan Carlos Osorio's decision to deploy him in a more advanced position.

Mexico will face Wales in the Rose Bowl on May 28 as part of El Tri's preparation for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The game against Wales will be Mexico's first of three friendlies to prepare for the World Cup, with a match in Estadio Azteca on June 2 against Scotland and a final game against Denmark in Copenhagen on June 9 completing the series, before El Tri heads to Russia to face Germany in its Group F opener on June 17.

There will be four days of events in the build-up to the game, including...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Sepp Blatter endorses Morocco bid over U.S. to host 2026 World Cup

FIFA president Gianni Infantino speaks to ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti about his hopes of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups being able to change any negative perceptions of both Russia and Qatar.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino tells Gab Marcotti the World Cup 'cannot afford' to be decided by an incorrect refereeing decision.

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter on Thursday endorsed Morocco's bid to host the 2026 World Cup over the joint bid from the United States, Mexico and Canada.

Blatter, who is banned from any role in global football for financial misconduct, issued his backing for the event to return to Africa, where he still has support after championing South Africa's bid to host in 2010.

Referencing the joint bid from the North American countries, Blatter tweeted: "World Cup 2026: Co-Hosting rejected by FIFA...

FIFA lifts ban on public endorsements of 2026 World Cup bids

LONDON -- A ban on voters publicly endorsing any 2026 World Cup bid has been lifted by FIFA in the face of criticism from football officials.

The governing body last month ordered officials not to openly discuss the merits of either the joint Northern American bid, featuring the United States, Canada and Mexico, or the rival bid from Morocco.

It led to Confederation of African Football President Ahmad to express frustration at being restricted from backing his continent's bid.

But FIFA Secretary...

 By Tom Marshall

Mexico's Rafa Marquez, 39, still targeting World Cup amid legal issues

Sebastian Salazar and Herculez Gomez recap Mexico's first friendly of 2018, discuss who's on track to make Osorio's World Cup squad and reflect on Jonathan Gonzalez's debut.

Mexico defender Rafa Marquez is not giving up on matching his countryman Antonio Carabajal and Germany's Lothar Matthaus by appearing at five World Cups.

Marquez featured for Mexico at last summer's Confederations Cup and in World Cup qualification for Russia 2018, but was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department on Aug. 9 for links to a drug trafficking organization -- which he denied -- and immediately put his career on hold to fight the charges.

Marquez returned to training in September and...

 By Tom Marshall

Osorio pleased with Chicharito, Mexico's Europe-based players

English Premier League: Javier Hernandez (38') West Ham 1-0 Watford
Roberto Martinez tells Tom Marshall that he has always admired Javier Hernandez's ability from afar despite never having a chance to sign him.
After Jonathan Gonzalez's second-half cameo against Bosnia, ESPN's Herculez Gomez questions Juan Carlos Osorio's decision to deploy him in a more advanced position.

Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio hasn't been shy in expressing his concern over the lack of club minutes for El Tri's Europe-based legion this season, but the Colombian is happy that the situation seems to be improving ahead of this summer's World Cup.

Striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez scored for West Ham in their 2-0 win over Watford on Saturday and has started the Premier League club's past four matches, while Miguel Layun made a move from Porto to Sevilla and Hector Moreno switched to Real...