Wasting no time after last night's ruling, Mexico officially welcomed three new players to their Gold Cup squad today. Hector Reynoso, Hiram Mier, and Paul Aguilar all arrived in Houston this evening, and after emerging through a gauntlet of waiting media members at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, immediately traveled to the team hotel to join the rest of the squad.
CONCACAF ruled late on Sunday that Mexico were permitted to bring in five replacement players to take the spots of those temporarily suspended due to failed drug tests. Mexico elected to call in defenders Hector Reynoso of Chivas, Paul Aguilar of Club America, and Hiram Mier of Monterrey. Two more Chivas players, Marco Fabian and goalkeeper Luis Michel, have also been made available to manager Jose Manuel de la Torre, but will continue traveling with the Copa America squad at this time.
The three new players finally give Mexico a bit of depth across the backline. Prior to the reinforcements, Mexico were left with just one defender -- Jorge Torres Nilo -- on the bench (as Ricardo Osorio remains absent from the team for medical reasons). While Osorio and Torres Nilo both play at left back, today’s reinforcements give Mexico relief at the other spots. Reynoso and Mier give the team two additional central defenders, while Aguilar gives the team a proper backup to Efrain Juarez on the right side.
Reynoso, Mier, and Aguilar will practice with the team tomorrow, and all three will be available for Wednesday night’s Gold Cup semifinal match against Honduras.