Mexico has lost a pair of important pieces following the 2-1 win over the United States that will leave them significantly thinner heading into their second Hexagonal match against Panama.
First and most notably, veteran midfielder Andres Guardado has been ruled out of the match with a hamstring injury he suffered in the 28th minute of the match against the USMNT, with the 30-year-old ruled out for around four weeks.
The loss is a huge blow, as the midfield was visibly lighter following Guardado’s removal in Columbus. The United States switched formations around that same time, and were noticeably more fluid through the middle as Mexico had been relieved of its engine. Guardado is a staple for the Mexican team, owning a whopping 133 caps. He last missed time in the October international window with a thigh injury, but has missed just one competitive match for Mexico since the 2015 Copa America.
The injury is also a significant blow to Guardado’s club team PSV, who had come to rely on the Mexican for much of the early going this season, seeing him start 10 of their 12 Eredivisie matches thus far, logging a solid 812 minutes and three assists thus far.
In addition, Carlos Vela has also been released from the squad as he returns to Spain for the birth of a son, his first child. The 27-year-old is yet another significant, veteran loss for the squad, with his 47 caps and 15 international goals to his name. Vela’s start against the United States was his first national team appearance in almost exactly a year.
Finally, Carlos Salcedo was also released from the camp so he could return to Guadalajara to resolve some personal issues. Salcedo was red carded in the dying seconds of the U.S. match, and has some previously reported family baggage, so he might be using this opportunity to spend some quality family time, with his playing days spent in Italy with Fiorentina.