No Hector Herrera. No “Chicharito.” No “Chucky.” No Diego Lainez or “Tecatito” Corona on the wing. And certainly no Carlos Vela. In his 40-man preliminary Gold Cup list, Gerardo Martino was forced to leave out six of El Tri‘s stars from his provisional squad that he’ll take to this summer’s Gold Cup.
Each player’s exclusion from El Tri‘s list was expected for various reasons. Some, like Hirving “Chucky” Lozano, are recovering from serious injuries while others, like Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez Or Hector Herrera, withdrew for personal reasons either tied to their family or preparing for a new team. (Herrera in particular is reportedly close to a move to Atlético de Madrid.) Lozano is included in the side, but his ultimate inclusion depends on his recovery from a leg injury that cut short his Eredivisie campaign.
However, the team ‘Tata’ could take to the Gold Cup could still be very experienced, at least in Liga MX play and in Martino’s initial mini-cycle and friendly games. Besides getting lucky and getting “Chucky” Lozano healthy enough to feature in the Gold Cup, many of El Tri‘s present and potentially future Europeos feature after seasons where they played somewhat regularly and work to improve to help their teams. Several others, like Carlos Salcedo, Miguel Layún, and Marco Fabián, all will carry the experience of the high pressure games while many others may carry the familiarity of playing some under Martino’s instruction in the short time he has been manager of El Tri.
The squad appears to be balanced and somewhat versatile in ways that could help El Tri survive what the Gold Cup might throw at them should they lose potential starters due to suspension or injury. There are also only two debutants in the squad—León midfielder José Iván Rodriguez and outside defender Fernando Navarro.
But one absence, LA FC striker Carlos Vela, appears to be more long-term, according to Gerardo Martino. Given Vela’s age and previous hiatus from the national team, some may even expect at this point the long-term exodus this time could translate to retirement from the national team.
The squad will almost certainly be narrowed down to the 23-man Gold Cup and may convene as the whole of the provisional squad or a reduced portion for its two June friendliest against Venezuela and Ecuador in Atlanta and Houston.
Here is the full convocactoria tbat Martino will be considering for the Gold Cup.
GOALKEEPERS: Guillermo Ochoa (Standard Liege, BEL), Raúl Gudiño (Chivas), Hugo González (Necaxa), Jonathan Orozco (Santos Laguna)
DEFENDERS: Nestor Araujo (Celta de Vigo, ESP), Héctor Moreno (Real Sociedad, ESP), Diego Reyes (Espanyol, ESP), Carlos Salcedo (UANL), Fernando Navarro (León), Cesar Montes (Monterrey), Jorge Sánchez (América), Luis Rodriguez (UANL), Edson Alvarez (América)
MIDFIELDERS: Jonathan Dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Marco Fabián (Philadelphia Union), Andrés Guardado (Real Betis, ESP), Erick Gutiérrez (PSV Eindhoven, NED), Carlos Rodriguez (Monterrey), Orbelin Pineda (Cruz Azul), Luis Montes (León), Iván Rodriguez (León)
FORWARDS: Roberto Alvarado (Cruz Azul), Rodolfo Pizarro (Monterrey), Alexis Vega (Chivas), Raúl Jimenez (Wolverhampton Wanderers, ENG), Uriel Antuna (LA Galaxy), Hirving Lozano (PSV Eindhoven, NED)