Foot injury forces DF Hector Moreno to withdraw from Mexico’s 2015 Gold Cup squad

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The 2015 Gold Cup is just eight days away, and Mexico manager Miguel Herrera will already feel as if he’s tasted defeat with official word coming down Monday that Hector Moreno will miss the tournament with a an injury to his right foot.

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Widely considered El Tri‘s best defender, Moreno, 27, anchored the Mexican defense at last summer’s World Cup in Brazil alongside a resurgent Rafael Marquez, before having his tournament cut short by a broken tibia in the side’s quarterfinal defeat to the Netherlands.

Moreno featured in Mexico’s most recent friendly, a 2-2 draw with Costa Rica on Saturday, but was removed from the game at halftime after suffering his injury in the first half.

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Moreno, who has played his club soccer at Espanyol since 2011 but is expected to leave the club this summer with just a year left on his current contract, will have surgery on Tuesday. No timetable for a return to action has been given publicly.

Mexico are considered co-favorites for this summer’s Gold Cup, which kicks off July 7, with a possible meeting with the US national team in the final on July 26 a distinct possibility.