World Cup: Jonathan dos Santos cut from Mexican team
Needing to trim its roster by one player to reach the World Cup limit of 23 by Tuesday's deadline, Mexico sent 20-year-old midfielder Jonathan dos Santos home Monday.
"I talked with him. I thanked him for all his hard work," Nestor de la Torre, director of national teams for the Mexican soccer federation said. "But at this time, because of the FIFA [roster] limits, he was being let go. Jonathan is just 20. A player with a long future. With great professionalism.
"On this occasion, he couldn't realize his dream. But we have coming up the Pan American Games, we have the Copa America, the Olympics. There's a long road ahead for Jonathan with the national team."
Dos Santos' attempt to land a spot on the Mexican team began to unravel last month when he sustained a slight muscle tear while training with Barcelona, his Spanish club team. As a result, he saw little playing time with the Mexican team before Sunday's match with Gambia, when he played all 90 minutes. By then, however, Coach Javier Aguirre's mind had largely been made up.
Still, cutting dos Santos is something of a gamble for Aguirre since his brother, older by 13 months, is considered a key member of the team. In addition, Aguirre has spoken often of the young Mexican team's bright future and it was thought he would take Jonathan dos Santos to South Africa for the experience alone.
Here is Mexico's World Cup team, with club teams in parentheses:
Luis Michel (Chivas)
Memo Ochoa (America)
Oscar Perez (unattached)
Jonny Magallon (Chivas)
Jorge Torres Nilo (UANL)
Efrain Juarez (UNAM)
Paul Aguilar (Pachuca)
Francisco Javier Rodriguez (PSV)
Hector Moreno (AZ)
Rafael Marquez (Barcelona)
Carlos Salcido (PSV)
Ricardo Osorio (unattached)
Gerardo Torrado (Cruz Azul)
Israel Castro (UNAM)
Andres Guardado (Deportivo La Coruna)
Giovani dos Santos (Tottenham)
Javier Hernandez (Chivas/Manchester United)
Cuauhtemoc Blanco (Veracruz)
Adolfo Bautista (Chivas)
Alberto Medina (Chivas)
Carlos Vela (Arsenal)
Pablo Barrera (UNAM)
Guillermo Franco (unattached)
-- Kevin Baxter reporting from Herzogenaurach, Germany