Guillermo Ochoa's starting status at Malaga tops Mexico Hot List

With the start of the Copa America Centenario just one month away, Mexico manager Juan Carlos Osorio will soon need to whittle his current 40-man preliminary list down to 23 players. Keeping this in mind, let's take a look at some options from the list who have recently stood out, as well as a few others who failed to make the final cut.

Here is this week's Mexico Hot List:

Warming up

Raul Jimenez, FW, Benfica (Portugal)

Why he's here: Jimenez has been vital for Benfica. During Monday's 2-1 victory over Braga in the Taca da Liga semifinals, the striker scored the winning goal for his side in the 71st minute. It was the third time since April that the 24-year-old has scored a game-winning goal for Benfica.

What this means: Osorio has taken note of his form and added the striker to the recent roster. Although Jimenez has confirmed that Benfica and FMF have allowed him to join the Olympic squad, it wouldn't be too surprising to see the striker take part in the Copa America and be a dangerous option off the bench.

Giovani dos Santos, FW, LA Galaxy (United States)

Why he's here: Dos Santos is back. On Sunday, the 26-year-old scored off a well-timed chip and provided the Galaxy's lone goal in the 1-1 draw against Sporting Kansas City. In his past three matches, the striker has scored four goals for the Galaxy.

What this means: Before the 40-man list was revealed, Osorio confirmed to the media that Dos Santos would be included in the list. However, the manager was also quick to point out that the Mexican star still has plenty to prove to make the cut for the final 23-man roster. If the striker continues to score highlight-worthy goals and give good performances, Osorio might save a spot for the talented player in next month's competition.

Guillermo Ochoa, GK, Malaga (Spain)

Why he's here: Even with former starting goalkeeper Carlos Kameni back to full health and on the game-day roster, Malaga manager Javi Gracia decided to instead start Ochoa during Sunday's 3-1 win over Levante. Ochoa has filled in for the injured Kameni during the past two months and has allowed just five goals in eight starts for the La Liga side.

What this means: Ochoa was rewarded with a spot in the preliminary Mexico roster and now has a great chance of becoming El Tri's starter in the Copa America. If the goalkeeper continues his form and remains Malaga's starter for the last two matches, the 30-year-old could steal back his spot in Mexico's starting XI.

Cooling down

Alan Pulido, FW, Olympiacos (Greece)

Why he's here: Pulido won't be returning to the Mexican national team anytime soon. Although the 25-year-old finished his season in Greece with six goals in all competitions, it wasn't enough to grab the attention of Osorio. The striker has now gone over a year without a call-up to El Tri.

What this means: It's going to take more than just a handful of goals in Greece for Osorio to take notice of Pulido. In Osorio's defense, regardless of the league, the manager might be skeptical of the former Tigres man, who has started only five league games for Olympiacos. That said, there are plenty of fans who would have rather seen Pulido than Eduardo Herrera in Mexico's preliminary roster.

Adrian Aldrete, DF, Santos Laguna (Mexico)

Why he's here: If Aldrete isn't starting for his own club, there is little hope for him returning to the national team. The defender was once again an unused substitute for Los Guerreros in Saturday's 3-2 loss to Morelia. Mexican-American newcomer Jorge Villafana has hit the ground running in his first Liga MX season and has supplanted the 27-year-old at left-back.

What this means: Less than one year ago, Aldrete was a primary option at left-back for Mexico's national team. During the 2015 Copa America, the defender emerged as one of Mexico's best players in the competition and was one of the first names on the team sheet. Now, it appears unlikely that Aldrete will don an El Tri jersey for quite some time.

Carlos Esquivel, MF, Toluca (Mexico)

Why he's here: With a significant amount of intriguing midfield options, Mexico no longer appears to need Esquivel. The 34-year-old impressed in his appearances with Mexico last year, namely at the Gold Cup, but an average 2016 Clausura has made it difficult for Osorio to justify a recall. In his past 11 games in all competitions for Los Diablos Rojos, the veteran has provided just one assist.

What this means: With his omission from the Copa America roster, it appears Esquivel's time with the national team is now over. He showed flashes of brilliance in 2015 for club and country, but the same impact has not been felt in 2016.