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Tata Martino Announces Mexico Preliminary Gold Cup Squad; Vela, Chicharito, Herrera, Corona left out

Some of El Tri’s biggest names will not make the trip to the U.S. this summer and Martino speaks out on their absences.

Mexico Training Session & Press Conference - FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Gerardo Martino’s Tuesday press conference turned a few heads as the boss unveiled Mexico’s list of names that will be considered for the final CONCACAF Gold Cup squad.

Tata called on 29 names to participate in Mexico’s pre-Gold Cup friendlies against Venezuela on June 5 and Ecuador on June 9. The list will then be cut down to 23 players to make up the final squad that will play to potentially lift Mexico’s 11th CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The preliminary squad is as follows:

Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (Standard Liege), Jonathan Orozco (Santos Laguna), Hugo Gonzalez (Necaxa), Raul Gudiño (Chivas Guadalajara)

Defenders: Nestor Araujo (Celta de Vigo), Jesus Gallardo (Monterrey), Miguel Layun (Monterrey), Cesar Montes (Monterrey), Hector Moreno (Real Sociedad), Fernando Navarro (Club Leon), Diego Reyes (Fenerbahçe), Luis Rodriguez (Tigres UANL), Jorge Sanchez (Club America), Carlos Salcedo (Tigres UANL)

Midfielders: Edson Alvarez (Club America), Jonathan dos Santos (Los Angeles Galaxy), Marco Fabian (Philadelphia Union), Andres Guardado (Real Betis), Erick Gutierrez (PSV Eindhoven), Luis Montes (Club Leon), Orbelin Pineda (Cruz Azul), Carlos Rodriguez (Monterrey), Ivan Rodriguez (Club Leon)

Forwards: Roberto Alvarado (Cruz Azul), Uriel Antuna (Los Angeles Galaxy), Hirving Lozano (PSV Eindhoven), Raul Jimenez (Wolverhampton), Rodolfo Pizarro (Monterrey), Alexis Vega (Chivas Guadalajara)

This is the first national team call-up for Leon teammates Fernando Navarro and Ivan Rodriguez, who have both been crucial to La Fiera’s stellar season in Liga MX. LA Galaxy’s newly-acquired midfielder Uriel Antuna has been called up before, but has not yet made his debut with the senior side.

Four of El Tri’s biggest names in world football, however, will not be making the trip with the rest of their compatriots: Javier Hernandez (West Ham United), Carlos Vela (Los Angeles FC), Hector Herrera (FC Porto) and Jesus Manuel Corona (FC Porto).

Hernandez, Mexico’s all-time leading goalscorer, will skip the tournament as he awaits the birth of his first child this summer.

Vela and Herrera both decided to forgo national team call-ups to focus on club football. The LAFC striker currently leads the MLS with 12 goals and five assists in 12 matches and is an early candidate for MLS Most Valuable Player. Meanwhile, Herrera put out a public statement on social media citing physical and mental exhaustion from this season plus wanting to sort out his club future as reasons for declining the call. The Porto captain is rumored to be heading to Atletico Madrid this summer.

While those players chose not to participate, Corona, on the other hand, was surprisingly not called up by Martino’s decision. Tecatito and Tata butted heads during Mexico’s American friendlies earlier this year when Corona stayed in Portugal with his club instead of traveling to the U.S., citing an ankle injury as the reason. At the moment, Martino was quoted saying, “there will be repercussions” for rejecting the call up. There is little doubt that the decision to leave Corona out of the team is linked with those “repercussions”.

Mexico will play Venezuela Wednesday, June 5 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and then travel to Arlington, Texas, to face Ecuador on Sunday, June 9 at AT&T Stadium.