Fabian, Rodriguez out as Mexico finalizes squad
ATLANTA -- Mexico head coach Gerardo "Tata" Martino's final 23-player Gold Cup squad is complete, with Edson Alvarez confirming on Thursday that the injury he suffered in El Tri's 3-1 victory over Venezuela on Wednesday was only a "scare."
Holding midfielder Alvarez went for tests Thursday morning, but suggested afterwards that he would be ready to feature in the Gold Cup.
"Thanks to God it was only a scare," wrote Alvarez on Twitter. "Thanks for your messages."
The final list was released after Mexico's win at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, with injuries to the Philadelphia Union's Marco Fabian and Leon midfielder Ivan Rodriguez making the decision relatively straightforward.
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Martino had initially named a 29-player preliminary squad, instead of the permitted 40 players, but Hirving Lozano and Miguel Layun were forced to pull out last week due to fitness issues. Chivas goalkeeper Raul Gudino, Rodriguez, Fabian and LA Galaxy youngster Uriel Antuna were the final players to be cut to reduce the squad to 23.
It leaves a Mexico squad deprived of star names such as Javier Hernandez, Carlos Vela, Hector Herrera and Lozano, which has weakened El Tri's offense considerably, even if Wednesday's victory was a positive.
"I profoundly lament the injuries to our players, but it's not going to stop us trying to be the best we can be with the players that we do have," Martino said. Liga MX-based youngsters such as Carlos Rodriguez, Jorge Sanchez, Roberto Alvarado and Alexis Vega were called up, with Alvarado netting Mexico's first goal against Venezuela in a authoritative performance.
"I'm really happy with my first goal [for Mexico] and I'm motivated," the 20-year-old Alvarado told Univision. "I hope it is the first of many."
Mexico kicks off the CONCACAF tournament on June 15 against Cuba in Los Angeles, followed by matches against Canada (June 19) in Denver and Martinique (June 23) in Charlotte. Mexico will take on Ecuador in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday in its final preparation game before the Gold Cup.
Defenders: Hector Moreno (Real Sociedad), Diego Reyes (Leganes), Nestor Araujo(Celta de Vigo), Jorge Sanchez (America), Jesus Gallardo (Monterrey), Carlos Salcedo (Tigres), Luis Rodriguez (Tigres), Fernando Navarro (Leon)
Midfielders: Andres Guardado (Real Betis), Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Erick Gutierrez (PSV Eindhoven), Carlos Rodriguez (Monterrey), Luis Montes (Leon), Edson Alvarez (America), Orbelin Pineda (Cruz Azul)