Lozano included, Vela out of Mexico roster for Gold Cup preparations

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Tata Martino will look to win the Gold Cup without a number of World Cup veterans who took part in the previous cycle.

While PSV winger Hirving Lozano, Wolves forward Raul Jimenez and Real Betis midfielder Andres Guardado are on the squad he named for June friendly matches and from which he will draw his final team, there also are notable omissions.

Chief among them is Carlos Vela, the LAFC attacker who currently leads MLS in goals and assists. The 30-year-old was part of the 2018 World Cup cycle with manager Juan Carlos Osorio but told Martino he currently wants to focus on things other than playing international football.

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"Carlos, we had the chance to talk last week - I can't remember the day. We chatted on the phone, and he told me that right now his family and his club are the priority and he prefers to take a step aside," Martino said of Vela's absence.

"I don't understand it as a question of the timing. I understand it as a life decision, the fact that he's skipping the chance to join his national team," Martino said.

Porto winger Jesus "Tecatito" Corona, who was called in for March's friendly matches but controversially declined to travel for the games, also was left off the list. The manager said he had not heard from the player himself after that controversy and left him off the team.

Corona's Porto teammate Hector Herrera already had confirmed his absences for the summer tournament as he looks to rest up ahead of a reported transfer to Atletico Madrid. Mexico's all-time leading scorer Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez is out of the tournament as he awaits the birth of his first child.

Even Lozano's status is hardly concrete. Mexico's medical staff expects him to be able to recover for the Gold Cup after suffering a knee injury with PSV. However, reports from the Netherlands indicate the competition will come too soon for Lozano to take part.

With Herrera out, there is space in the team for Monterrey midfielder Carlos Rodriguez, who debuted in Martino's first game in charge of El Tri.

Leon midfielder Jose Ivan Rodriguez will look for his first cap, as will his 30-year-old club teammate Fernando Navarro. Navarro made the 2015 Gold Cup preliminary list but missed the final squad. Martino said both players' good form for Liga MX-leading Leon had impressed him and spoke to their ability to also help the national team.

Mexico is looking to win its eighth Gold Cup and wrest back the title from the United States. In the previous edition of the tournament, which took place in 2017, an alternate El Tri side got into the semifinals but fell to eventual runner-up Jamaica. 

Full roster:

Goalkeepers: Gillermo Ochoa (Standard), Jonathan Orozco (Santos Laguna), Raul Gudino (Chivas), Hugo Gonzalez (Necaxa)

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

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

Forwards: Hirving Lozano (PSV), Uriel Antuna (LA Galaxy), Alexis Vega (Chivas), Raul Jimenez (Wolves), Rodolfo Pizarro (Monterrey), Roberto Alvarado (Cruz Azul)