Mexico plan to increase scouting efforts in United States

Mexico's football federation has set capturing more talent in the United States as one of its central plans of action in 2016.

Santiago Banos, sporting director for Mexican national teams, announced on Tuesday that increasing the scouting of Mexico-eligible players in the United States was a priority for the FMF.

"We know what it signifies, so we'll try to make the most of the possibilities," said Banos of the over 30 million Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in the United States.

During the event, the FMF presented its objectives for 2016, with making the podium at this summer's Copa America Centenario and winning a medal at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro its top goals.

Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio also spoke at the event, ruling out Giovani dos Santos from the friendly against Senegal in Miami on Feb. 10, but opening the door to "four or five" domestic-based younger players from the Olympic squad for El Tri's first match of 2016.

Osorio said "there is no black list" when it comes to the national team and that estranged Olympiakos striker Alan Pulido is in contention for future squads, as is little-known Veria midfielder Pedro Arce.

Two Argentina-born players who have been discounted for the near future are Ismael Sosa and Guido Pizarro, although Osorio admitted the naturalized Mexicans were of interest to him for the upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifiers in March against Canada.

"They aren't eligible because both already participated in official FIFA youth events with Argentina," Banos said.

Mexico's preparation for the Copa America Centenario in June will include two friendlies in late May, likely to be in the United States, although Banos didn't confirm the opponents.

In other news coming out of the FMF on Tuesday, Marco Antonio Ruiz has been named the under-20 national team coach, replacing Sergio Almaguer.