Mexico call up Giovani, Jonathan dos Santos for March friendlies

Real Madrid's Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, Malaga's Guillermo Ochoa and Espanyol's Hector Moreno have all been called up for Mexico's friendlies on March 28 against Ecuador in Los Angeles and March 31 against Paraguay in Kansas City.

The 12-player list of Europe-based players was confirmed by the Mexican federation on Monday.

The other names included in coach Miguel Herrera's squad are: Giovani dos Santos (Villarreal), Jonathan dos Santos (Villarreal), Jesus "Tecatito" Corona (Twente), Raul Jimenez (Atletico Madrid), Diego Reyes (Porto), Hector Herrera (Porto), Andres Guardado (PSV), Miguel Layun (Watford) and Rafa Marquez (Hellas Verona).

The news was confirmed by each of the players' La Liga clubs, with Villarreal stating the Dos Santos brothers had received the call, Malaga doing the same for Ochoa and Espanyol for Moreno.

Hernandez has started just one La Liga game for Real Madrid this season and struggled for playing time, while Malaga goalkeeper Ochoa is yet to make his La Liga debut and has played just six Copa del Rey matches since joining the club last July, although Mexico coach Miguel Herrera has maintained faith in both.

Moreno is back in the squad for the first time since breaking his leg in the World Cup 2014 Round of 16 match against the Netherlands on June 29. The 27-year-old center-back returned to action for Espanyol on Dec. 2 and has since then steadily consolidated himself as a starter in league and cup for the Barcelona-based team.

Giovani and Jonathan dos Santos have been in and out of Villarreal's starting XI of late, but Giovani netted his first goal of the 2014-15 La Liga season on Saturday in his team's 4-1 victory over Celta Vigo.

There had been an injury concern over Giovani dos Santos -- who was taken off at halftime in the game -- but Villarreal coach Marcelino Garcia said after the match that he believed it wasn't a serious injury, without giving any further details.

Real Sociedad forward Carlos Vela is the most high-profile absentee, with a knee injury forcing him out of the games.

Malaga also confirmed that El Tri will begin preparation for the friendly matches on March 22 in Los Angeles. The two friendlies are the only FIFA international friendly dates ahead of a busy summer in which El Tri will compete in both the Copa America and Gold Cup.