Carlos Vela changes his mind and turns down Mexican team invite

It appears Carlos Vela won't be joining his compatriots on Mexico's national team.
(Alvaro Barrientos / Associated Press)

Two days after indicating Carlos Vela would be part of Mexico’s final push for a World Cup qualifying spot, Manager Victor Manuel Vucetich left the explosive Real Sociedad forward off his list of European-based players called up for next month’s matches with Panama and Costa Rica.

Vela hasn’t played for the national team since March 2011, partly because of a feud with former coach Jose Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre. However, Vucetich and the Mexican football federation had said this week that Vela had responded positively to their requests that he return.


But Vela later told Hector Gonzalez Inarritu, director of national team selections, that he was not ready to represent his country because he wasn’t fully fit. ESPN reporter John Sutcliffe confirmed that report.

Mexico is fifth in the six-team CONCACAF qualifying table with two matches to play. Only the top three teams automatically advance to next summer’s World Cup in Brazil, something Mexico can accomplish with two wins and help from other countries. The more likely scenario has Mexico finishing fourth in CONCACAF and advancing to a two-leg playoff with New Zealand for an at-large berth in Brazil.

The five players that were called up from Europe were Giovani Dos Santos, Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Hector Moreno, Javier Aquino and keeper Memo Ochoa, who had also reportedly refused a call-up from De la Torre.



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