The Mexican National Futbol Rapido Team and Head Coach Rene Ortiz announced their final 15-man roster for next month’s WMF World Cup in Tunisia.


“We are very excited to be part of this event,” said Ortiz. “It looks very organized; the groups draw was very professional and even the Mexican consul in Tunisia attended. So, these type of tournaments are very special and will make a big mark in our careers.  We look forward to having a good tournament. This is by far the most talented group of Mexican players that I have ever coached. We all have big expectations and goals. Our goal is to finish better that the last indoor World Cup in 2015 which we lost to the USA in the final.”

Seven of the 15 players will play for the San Diego Sockers this year. Three of those players, Hiram Ruiz, Raymundo Contreras, and Peewee Ortega, were signed as free agents this offseason, however, and have yet to suit up for San Diego.

Thirteen players have played in the Major Arena Soccer League.  The two players who will be new to arena fans are goalkeeper Bernaldino Valdivinos who has played on Mexico’s current US tour, and midfielder Hugo Rodriguez. Those two are among several players with Futbol 7 (a style of 7v7 outdoor soccer that is popular in Mexico) experience.

“They will bring their experience that they have obtained in playing 7-a-side, not only in the Mexico City league, but on international tournaments,” said Ortiz, who has coached the Mexican national team since 2002. “In addition, Bogar Moreno and Warner (Miguel) Resendes also have vast experience in playing high level competitions in Central and South America in 7-a-side tournaments, which as you know, the competition in Tunisia will be more similar to this modality of soccer than to the indoor game.”

At first blush, Christian Gutierrez, who has since signed with the El Paso Coyotes, and Brandon Escoto, who signed with the Sockers last year, are the only holdovers from the Baja Atletico team Ortiz coached the last two seasons. “We evaluated all Mexicans players not only from the MASL, but other domestic leagues that are also very competitive leagues,” said Ortiz. “I have to be very responsible to pick the best players that I can pick and I am very fortunate to have a great coaching staff that are always evaluating players from all over.”

That coaching staff includes assistant/goalkeeper coach Victor Melendez and assistant coach Luis Jaime Borrego, who coached Soles de Sonora to the Ron Newman Cup Finals each of the last two MASL seasons.

While Mexican small sided soccer is dominated by Fut 7 and Futbol Rapido (arena soccer), Minifootball, which is played 6-a-side without boards, is somewhere in between. “At the end of the day they’re all small sided games,” Ortiz said. “We need to adjust to the area of play which is smaller than indoor, with smaller goals and no walls. However, we are playing with the same amount of players as indoor soccer so I think this is good since we can probably relate quicker to the tactics of the game.”

Player Position Current or Last Team
Bernaldino Valdivinos Goalkeeper Atlético Atizapán
Diego Reynoso Goalkeeper Monterrey Flash
Raymundo Contreras Defender San Diego Sockers
Cesar Cerda Defender San Diego Sockers
Luis “Peewee” Ortega Defender San Diego Sockers
Miguel Resendes Defender Deportivo Mago
Victor Quiroz Defender San Diego Sockers
Christian Gutierrez Midfielder El Paso Coyotes
Hiram Ruiz Midfielder San Diego Sockers
Brandon Escoto Midfielder San Diego Sockers
Bogar Moreno Midfielder VCM
Hugo Rodriguez Midfielder Atlético Atizapán
Angel Curiel Forward Milwaukee Wave
Enrique Canez Forward Soles de Sonora
Erick Tovar Forward San Diego Sockers
Rene Ortiz Head Coach Atletico Baja
Luis Jaime Borrego Assistant Coach Soles de Sonora
Victor Melendez Goalkeeper Coach Atletico Baja
Edgar Martinez Trainer
Chava Manzo Administrator
Alfredo Maccise President, FMF7FR
Sergio Del Rio President, PAMF