Fernando Batista names weakened under-23 squad for Pan American games

For all the talk of taking much of the same squad that participated at the World Cup for the Argentina under-20s plus some experienced household names such as Javier Mascherano and Maxi Rodríguez, there is an unfamiliar look to much of Fernando Batista’s squad that travel to Peru for the Pan American games.

From the group of 22 named that will begin work next week at Ezeiza, 18 will compete in Lima and in the squad are several players who were competing in the B Nacional last season.

With the tournament not being an official FIFA event a number of clubs had notified Batista that they wouldn’t release players and so aside from the absence of the rumoured overage players there are no representatives of Boca Juniors, River Plate, Independiente nor Racing Club.

Argentina will face Ecuador, México and Panamá in Group A with two going through to the semi finals as the tournament takes place between July 26th and August 11th.

Under-20 centre forward Adolfo Gaich remains a part of the squad and is joined by San Lorenzo teammate Marcelo Herrera and while there are other talents in the group, Batista would have hoped to have more available.

Vélez Sarsfield trio Matiás Vargas, Nicolás Domínguez and Francisco Ortega, Newell’s Old Boys midfielder Aníbal Moreno, Stuttgart forward Nicolás González and highly sought after Banfield winger Agustín Urzi among the more recognisable names.

Joined by the likes of Lucas Necul and Sebastián Lomonaco from newly promoted Arsenal, Nueva Chicago midfielder Gonzalo Miceli, Temperley defender Nicolás Demartini and Barracas Central forward Carlos Valenzuela makes for an eclectic group.

Argentina have won the Pan American games six times, lifting the title in 1951, 1955, 1959, 1971, 1995 and 2003 but did not enter in 2015 and so haven’t participated since losing to Mexico in the final in 2011.

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