World Cup: Dos Santos brothers and Carlos Vela lead MLS World Cup contingent
Brothers Giovani and Jonathan dos Santos of the Galaxy and forward Carlos Vela of the Los Angeles Football Club were officially named Monday to Mexico’s 23-man World Cup roster, but Vela’s LAFC teammate Laurent Ciman wasn’t as fortunate, with the central defender failing to make the final cut for the Belgium team.
However, Ciman remains on standby should Vincent Kompany, Manchester City’s off-injured center back, be unable to play.
Two other LAFC players — defender Omar Gaber of Egypt and forward Marco Urena of Costa Rica — had earlier made their nations’ World Cup teams. A fifth LAFC player, defender Steven Beitashour, was trimmed from Iran’s preliminary World Cup roster last month.
Despite the failure of the U.S. team to qualify for this month’s tournament in Russia, Major League Soccer will be represented at the World Cup with 19 players being chosen by six different countries. Costa Rica and Panama will have six MLS players each.
With the Dos Santos brothers’ participation, the Galaxy keep alive a streak that has seen them send at least one player to every World Cup since the team’s founding in 1996.
Four years ago the league sent 21 players to the World Cup in Brazil but 10 of those were on the U.S. team.
There were some surprising omissions among Monday’s roster cuts, with defending champion Germany dropping midfielder Leroy Sane of Manchester City, who had 15 assists in the English Premier League this season. However, German manager Joachim Low did select goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who hasn’t played a minute of competitive soccer since undergoing foot surgery in September.
Chelsea forward Alvaro Morata did not make Spain’s roster despite tying for the country’s scoring lead in World Cup qualifying. Also cut were midfielders Cesc Fabregas and Javi Martinez.
Argentina cut Inter Milan star Mauro Icardi, 25, who has scored 97 goals in the past four seasons in Italy while France left out Manchester United forward Anthony Martial, 22.
In addition to the Dos Santos brothers and Vela, Mexico’s roster includes 39-year-old midfielder Rafa Marquez, who made his fifth World Cup team, and 20-year defender Edson Alvarez, who made his first. Midfielder Andres Guardado also made the cut despite undergoing surgery for a nerve issue in his leg last month.
The World Cup kicks off June 14 in Moscow.