Rafa Marquez included in 32-man Mexico squad for upcoming friendlies

Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio has included 38-year-old Rafa Marquez in an expanded 32-player squad for friendlies against Croatia and Ireland.

Marquez hasn't played in the Liga MX since March 19 and has been sidelined after back surgery, although Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio said the former Barcelona defender is nearing a return.

Mexico will face Croatia in Los Angeles on May 27 and Ireland in New Jersey on June 1.

There were no major surprises in Mexico's squad, with 13 Europe-based players included, as well as the LA Galaxy's Giovani dos Santos.

Dos Santos, however, will not be available for Mexico duty until June 4, ahead of World Cup qualifiers against Honduras on June 8 and the United States three days later.

Osorio said he would release the reduced 23-player list to compete in the World Cup qualifiers and the Confederations Cup a day or two after the June 1 friendly. At the same time, Osorio will name the Gold Cup squad, which is set to be made up mainly of Mexico-based players.

Mexico's players in Europe will not rest after their season ends, with the national team camp beginning on May 21, the coach added.

In other news from Tuesday's press conference, the Mexican federation's general secretary Guillermo Cantu said sporting director Santiago Banos may leave his current position within the next few days while he considers another job offer.

The squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoca (Granada), Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca)

Defenders: Diego Reyes (Espanyol), Nestor Araujo (Santos Laguna), Carlos Salcedo (Fiorentina), Rafa Marquez (Atlas), Hector Moreno (PSV), Oswaldo Alanis (Chivas), Luis Reyes (Atlas), Raul Lopez (Pachuca)

Midfielders: Jesus Molina (Monterrey), Jesus Duenas (Tigres), Miguel Layun (Porto), Jorge Hernandez (Pachuca), Andres Guardado (PSV), Jonathan dos Santos (Villarreal), Erick Gutierrez (Pachuca), Hector Herrera (Porto), Orbelin Pineda (Chivas), Elias Hernandez (Leon)

Forwards: Marco Fabian (Eintracht Frankfurt), Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Javier Hernandez (Bayer Leverkusen), Raul Jimenez (Benfica), Oribe Peralta (Club America), Jesus Corona (Porto), Javier Aquino (Tigres), Jesus Gallardo (Pumas), Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad), Hirving Lozano (Pachuca), Jurgen Damm (Tigres