Not so fast.
Mexico national team manager Tata Martino forged doubt over rumors of LAFC forward Carlos Vela being picked for the Tokyo Summer time Olympics. Because of a 2-0 win over Canada on Sunday, El Tri booked certainly one of Concacaf’s two tickets from this month’s qualifying event in Guadalajara.
Whereas Olympic males’s soccer is an Under-23 event, international locations can bring alongside three overage players. Vela, 32, would undoubtedly elevate Mexico’s attacking outlook, although hasn’t played internationally since July 2018 on the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
“It will appear illogical to me to name on a player who doesn’t have full disposition to play for a national team within the broadest sense,” Martino said earlier than Mexico face Costa Rica on Tuesday. “What I’ve said about Carlos is that when a player is out there for a national team, he’s out there for all of its iterations, not just one.”
Vela has 19 goals and 9 assists in 72 senior-team caps, however has expressed that his international duties have come to a close as the subsequent era of talent appears to be like to make its own mark. He first featured for El Tri in 2007, back when he was at Premier League side Arsenal.
Martino added, nonetheless, that it’s in the end not his name over who Mexico brings to Tokyo. Fairly, that duty falls to U-23 head coach Jaime Lozano.
“I am not Jaime’s boss,” Martino, who led Atlanta United through the 2017 and 2018 MLS seasons, said. “I do not give him any orders. In any case we’ll have conversations about soccer.”
Whereas largely placing his national team career within the rearview mirror, Vela has discovered unbelievable success at LAFC. He earned Landon Donovan MLS MVP honors in 2019, and has 52 goals and 29 assists by means of 66 matches.
As for Vela heading to Tokyo this summer season? Early indicators are he received’t be certainly one of Mexico’s three overage players.