Alfredo Talavera will be out at least six months after suffering major ligament damage in his knee last Sunday against León. The Toluca goalkeeper will be unavailable until 2018 and so will miss the rest of the Apertura 2017 tournament, as well as Mexico's remaining World Cup qualifiers.
Under Juan Carlos Osorio, El Tri had been using Talavera alternately as the starter or the backup for Standard Liege goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa and so a spot is open for several contenders looking to impress less than a year out from Russia 2018. But replacing Talavera is slightly more difficult than it was only a couple of years ago.
The 10/8 rule (now 9/9 rule) loosened regulations on foreign-born signings and so the number of non-Mexican goalkeeping options has steadily increased. For the Apertura 2015, 13 of 18 regular starting goalkeepers were Mexican-born. In the current Apertura, that number has reduced to 10.
Despite this, there are several players who could still step in. Here are five names for Juan Carlos Osorio to monitor:
Jose de Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul): The Cruz Azul goalkeeper was mostly brilliant for El Tri at this year's Gold Cup. His omission from the more prestigious Confederations Cup was not meant to be a slight, but rather the contrary. His presence in net strengthened a young, inexperienced team that at times struggled defensively. At 36, this is likely his last chance at a World Cup.
Rodolfo Cota (Chivas): The 30-year-old has locked down the starting job at Chivas, following a short duel with Antonio Rodriguez a couple of seasons ago. He's become more effective with time, and he earned a selection to the Confederations Cup as a prize for his efforts. Cota definitely has the eye of Osorio, and with Mexico's passage to Russia 2018 all but confirmed, he could get some reps with the first team moving forward.
Gibran Lajud (Tijuana): Xolos' young starter has had a shaky start to the Apertura, but the former Cruz Azul youth product is one of Mexico's brightest prospects. A veteran of the Under-23 team, Lajud seems a long shot to make the next World Cup, but a strong run of performances could change the coaching staff's mind.
Hugo Gonzalez (Monterrey): He moved north last year when Club America couldn't guarantee him a starting spot behind Moises Munoz. So far, the gamble has been mostly positive for Gonzalez, as he's been first choice for Antonio Mohamed. However, the team recently signed Argentina international Juan Pablo Carrizo, meaning Gonzalez must impress not just Osorio, but his own club manager.
Jonathan Orozco (Santos Laguna): Twice named best goalkeeper in Liga MX, Orozco has been brilliant for Santos since taking over for Agustin Marchesin. The 31-year-old has long been an option for El Tri managers, but has rarely seen the pitch with the national team and won just six caps since his debut in 2010. He started at the 2013 Gold Cup, a tournament that ended in semifinal disappointment.
Others to consider:
Raul Gudino (Porto): The 21-year-old will likely be loaned out this season. Only an electrifying run as a starter in Europe would launch him into serious deliberation.
Miguel Angel Fraga (Atlas): He would first need to outlast the injury-prone Argentine Oscar Ustari as the starter for his club.
Moises Muñoz (Puebla): At 37, his best days are likely behind him, but Muñoz still garnered a call to the Gold Cup this year after strong play at the domestic level.