Mexico national team head coach Tata Martino has revealed his preliminary Gold Cup roster. It includes three MLSers, but no Carlos Vela.
Jonathan dos Santos, Uriel Antuna and Marco Fabian are on the initial 29-man squad, which will be cut down to 23 by June 6. The Gold Cup kicks off on June 15.
Vela, who starred for Mexico at the 2018 World Cup, declined a call-up to the Gold Cup squad.
“I spoke with Carlos Vela over the phone last week and he assured me that at this time his club and his family are his priority, that’s why he stepped aside,” said Martino said at a news conference on Tuesday in Mexico City, via ESPN.
The LA Galaxy could be without dos Santos and Antuna as long as the second week of July, pending on if they make the roster and Mexico reach the final. They have looked a different team without dos Santos, switching to a three at the back formation against NYCFC before scrapping that at halftime against NYCFC last weekend, but have a ready-made replacement for Antuna as new signing Favio Alvarez prepares to make his debut.
As for the Philadelphia Union, they have had practice without Fabian, if he does indeed leave. Head coach Jim Curtin noted that “nothing has been finalized.”
Fabian has been limited to six starts this season due to injuries, but the Union have persevered to the top of the Eastern Conference anyway. They are actually undefeated without Fabian, earning four wins and two draws in matches he’s been unavailable. Brenden Aaronson, breakout 18-year-old Homegrown, figures to add to his 10 appearances in his debut campaign in Fabian’s absence.
Mexico are in Group A, alongside Canada, Cuba and Martinique. Prior to kicking off their Gold Cup campaign, they’ll will face Venezuela on June 5 in Atlanta followed by Ecuador on June 9 in Arlington, Texas.