Argentina’s national team on Friday announced its roster for two exhibition games in the United States later this month. Argentina will play the United States on March 26 at New Meadowlands Stadium, then cross the country to play Costa Rica on March 29 at San Jose, Calif.
The roster for the games includes familiar names like Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano of Barcelona and the 37-year-old Javier Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso of Inter. But it also includes some lesser-known players: defenders Federico Fazio (Sevilla) and Ezequiel Garay (Real Madrid); Anderlecht midfielder Lucas Biglia; and Benfica forwards Eduardo Salvio and Nicolas Gaitan.
Coach Sergio Batista has said he wants to look over younger players like them before Argentina hosts this summer’s Copa America and then starts World Cup qualifying for 2014.
One name not on the list is Carlos Tevez’s, apparantly as continuing punishment for opting out of a game against Brazil last year.
The complete list:
Goalkeepers: Mariano Andujar (Catania), Adrian Gabbarini (Independiente, Argentina), Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar).
Defenders: Javier Zanetti (Inter Milan), Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City), Ezequiel Garay (Real Madrid), Gabriel Milito (Barcelona), Nicolas Otamendi (F.C. Porto), Federico Fazio (Sevilla), Nicolas Burdisso (Roma), Marcos Rojo (Spartak Moscow).
Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Mario Bolatti (Internacional, Brazil), Ever Banega (Valencia), Fernando Belluschi (F.C. Porto), Esteban Cambiasso (Inter Milan), Lucas Biglia (Anderlecht), Javier Pastore (Palermo).
Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli), Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid), Nicolas Gaitan (Benfica), Jose Sosa (Napoli), Eduardo Salvio (Benfica).