The official roster of the Mexican national team that will participate in the 2015 International Federation of American Football (IFAF) World Championship has been announced.
A list of 45 players, the team is composed of athletes from seven educational institutions. The Mexican collegiate system is large and the talent pool has grown deep. The Aztecas, as the Mexican national team is known, have brought together a group from all over Mexico.
Nineteen players hail from UNAM Pumas CU, the most of any school. The Auténticos Tigres of the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (UANL) are the squad with the second greatest presence (11 players). The Tecnológico de Monterrey school system, with many different teams, provides seven players to the national team.
The champions of the Liga Premier CONADEIP, the Aztecas of UDLA, are represented by only three players, as same as the Águilas of the Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua (UACH).
A recent crisis of poor results and internal administration has hurt the American football program at the Instituto Politécnico Nacional (IPN) and this is reflected in the number of players selected to the national team. Once a solid base for the formation of the Aztecas in international events, the institution is now represented by only one player, quarterback Raul Mateos.
Reciever Yahir Viamontes is the only graduate of the Linces de la Universidad del Valle de México, campus Lomas Verdes, who managed to make the final roster, completing the list of 45 players who will wear the national jersey.
You can not ignore the fact that the Pumas CU also have a strong presence on the coaching staff; Raul Rivera, head coach of the Aztecas, has brought in most of his staff who are preparing for UNAM’s next season.
However, the defensive unit is the responsibility of coordinator Roberto Rodriguez, who for many years was part of the coaching staff of the Monterrey Borregos.
The offensive unit is under the control of coach Carlos Barocio, who is a member Southern Methodist University (SMU) a NCAA D-I college in Texas. Barocio played and coached for UNAM before joining the American school at the collegiate level.
Other staff highlights include the presence of Rodrigo Perez, offensive coordinator of the Pumas CU, who was the Aztecas’ quarterback at the 2011 Austria World Championships. Known as “El Goofy”, Perez is a graduate of the Aztecas of UDLA.
Head coach Raul Rivera Sanchez has already said this team will be the best ever from Mexico, but what are his thoughts on bringing this team from many places together?
“On the first day we come together as a final group we will use the all-white uniforms, and all will only wear the uniform of the Federation [Federacion Mexicana De Futbol Americano]. The jerseys of different colors and emblems of our universities or brands will be left behind. From that moment we only represent our country, we are all the Mexican national team, so we are all one team and we all have the same goal, to be champions!”
The full 45 man roster of the Mexico national American football team can be found here.