Gerardo “Tata” Martino has plenty of questions to answer ahead of naming his Mexico roster for this summer’s Gold Cup as several key players remain question marks ahead of the regional competition.
Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez seems unlikely to be part of the roster, while Hector Herrera, Hirving Lozana and Carlos Vela are all still very much in question heading into the summer.
Hernandez is set to become a father for the first time while Herrera is fighting through injury and facing a potential move to Atletico Madrid this summer. Lozano is in a race against time to recover from injury, with reports earlier this week suggesting that he would not be fit in time to join up with El Tri.
Vela’s situation is more complicated, with the LAFC star off to a flying start in his MLS season but his relationship with Martino and Mexico unclear.
Martino has done little to clarify the situation with his statements, his comments on Vela leaving plenty open for interpretation.
“Whatever decision is taken in terms of what player is going to be on a list or not is the manager’s. What we’re dealing with here is that in this case, I can’t decide anything about the life of a player. There are personal questions that he has to resolve,” Martino told the Dallas Morning News when speaking about Vela. “So, I can make my decision, but maybe he’s not on the same page. One question is professional, the other is personal. Professionally, the decision is entirely mine. The personal is the player’s.”
Martino also explained his reasoning for leaving Vela out of his roster for the March friendlies, saying there were many factors involved in not picking the forward.
“The reality, March had to do with – we’re just getting to know each other. I’d just gotten here. The talk was about a whole lot of things, things related to football, to family, to his club,” Martino said. “At that time, what I did was read the situation from the conversation we had – adding into things that when I sent the list of foreign players selected the league here was just starting. So I didn’t have much to grab onto in a footballing sense.
“So, he didn’t have competition and I also did a reading of the chat and the first thing I deduced is that he didn’t have to come in.”
The potential loss of Lozano could also be a big blow to El Tri. The winger was a star for Mexico at the World Cup last summer and has become one of the team’s most dynamic players.
Mexico Gold Cup Schedule