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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Mexico call up Colombia dual-national Quiñones

Mexico announced a first call-up for Colombian-born winger Julian Quiñones on Thursday ahead of its Concacaf Nations League matches against Honduras this month.

Manager Jaime Lozano did not name the rest of his team for the two-legged matches in the quarterfinals of the Nations League, but the Mexico national team confirmed that Club America star Quiñones would be part of the squad. The rest of the team should be announced on Friday.

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Aiming for entry into the 2024 Copa America, Quiñones and his new international teammates will seek automatic qualification for next year’s CONMEBOL tournament with a pair of home-and-away games against Honduras on Nov. 17 and Nov. 21.

After announcing Quiñones would be part of the team, the Mexican federation issued the following statement: “Any player with Mexican nationality, the soccer skills and the desire to represent Mexico may be considered for our National Teams. There are no ‘first-class Mexicans’, nor ‘second-class Mexicans’. We are all MEXICANS. As an institution, we want to conclude the debate around naturalized soccer players.”

Quiñones, who has played his entire professional club career in Mexico since 2016, recently gained citizenship for the country in October. He played for Colombia‘s youth international teams, but has never appeared for them at senior level.

Along with the 26-year-old, Lozano is likely to select other familiar El Tri faces such as Feyenoord striker Santiago Giménez, Salernitana goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, Fulham striker Raúl Jiménez and West Ham United midfielder Edson Álvarez in the November roster.

A total of six Copa America spots are up for grabs for Concacaf teams. Four will be given to the winners of this month’s quarterfinal series, while the final two invitations will be left for the winners of single-elimination play-in matches between the losing quarterfinalists next March.

First stepping in as interim head coach for Mexico in their Gold Cup-winning run this summer, Lozano later earned the permanent position in August. After November’s matches, Lozano and Mexico will take part in a friendly against Colombia on Dec. 16 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

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