Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, Bayer Leverkusen's newest acquisition, said he is eager to get back on the pitch for what he called Mexico's most important preparatory match when El Tri take on Argentina in a friendly at AT&T Stadium in Dallas on Tuesday.
Hernandez has not seen action for Mexico since the beginning of July when, during a friendly against Honduras, he suffered a fractured collarbone that sidelined him for the entire Gold Cup, which Mexico won.
"One always wants to play for one's country in the best shape possible and put out a victory and good results to all the fans who come to the stadium and watch at home," Hernandez said via news release after Sunday's practice at MoneyGram Soccer Park in Dallas. "We know that this is the most important match leading up to our playoff against the United States."
Mexico and United States meet on Oct. 10 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, for a single match playoff that determines the lone CONCACAF berth at the 2017 Confederations Cup.
El Tri will be without Club America defender Paul Aguilar and Xolos forward Henry Martin, who are both injured. Mexico endured a tougher-than-expected test against Trinidad & Tobago on Friday, surviving to pull off a 3-3 draw on Friday thanks in part to a late goal from Hector Herrera.
"I am really happy to be here with the national team and have a chance once again to represent my country," Hernandez said. "I am happy to be here with Ricardo Ferretti, with the coaching staff and with all my friends."
Asked whether there were any bad feelings among the national team players, Hernandez said he had not noticed.
"Everything is great and it has never happened to me that I have been on a national team that didn't have a great relationship among the players," he said. "There has always been a healthy and professional mood. I have good teammates and coaches and we all want to do a good job at what we most enjoy: representing Mexico and spreading happiness."
Porto left-back Miguel Layun said the team was committed to winning the Confederations Cup qualifier.
"We have important challenges, the most important being to earn a ticket to the Confederations Cup and winning the match on Tuesday against Argentina will be fundamental to set up what we want," he said. "We know that Tuesday's match is important. Argentina has a great offense and we have to be very sharp and show how solid we are."