PASADENA, CA - JUNE 25: A Mexico fan cheers before the game withthe United States during the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Championship at the Rose Bowl on June 25, 2011 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
If you didn't see earlier, our new contributor Roberto Macias wrote about how eight Mexico players were sent home from Copa America for hiring prostitutes. Nestor Vidrio, Jonathan dos Santos, Javier Cortes and Marco Fabian were all near locks to start at Copa America, while all of the players had a chance at playing time. Luis Fernando Tena and Chava Reyes have called in new players, and the face of the team has changed considerably.
Included in the preliminary squad was Erick 'Cubo' Torres, but he has since been pulled out so that he can focus his efforts on the U-20 World Cup. Between that and the players who went home, Mexico's Copa America squad is without a young striker who plays regularly for his club, which is a problem. Rafael Marquez Lugo and Oribe Peralta both play regular football, but neither is the future of the national team. Ulises Davila and Alan Pulido are both talented, but neither plays regularly.
The team is now thin when it comes to talented wingers as well. Cortes and Fabian are two of the best wide players in Mexico and both almost certainly have a future with the senior national team, this incident aside. They will be, arguably, the focal points of the Chivas and Pumas attacks in this coming season, and they would have brought a lot to the team. Now, everyone on the side is either better playing centrally or nowhere near the talent of Cortes and Fabian.
However, one spot on the team will not suffer from the suspensions, and that is the defense. Even thought Vidrio was sent home, both the veterans and youngsters in the Copa America squad at the back have big game experience at club level and high-end talent. Any back four that is selected from the roster that was named is going to be able to compete in Copa America. In that respect, Mexico has dodged a bullet.
Giovani dos Santos will direct the Mexico attack, but who will support him? Likely, we will see him surrounded by Oribe Peralta up top, Javier Aquino on one wing and an out of position player on the other, and holders Diego Reyes and Jorge Enriquez sitting behind him. Is a good defense, a good keeper in Luis Michel, and Giovani dos Santos enough to carry a now very average Mexico attack to the knockout stages of Copa America?