Rafa Marquez out of Mexico's squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers
Porto winger Jesus "Tecatito" Corona is back with the Mexico national team, while Rafa Marquez is out of coach Juan Carlos Osorio's 25-player squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Panama on Sep. 1 in Mexico City and Costa Rica on Sep. 5 in San Jose.
Corona returns following a mysterious absence from Mexico's qualifiers ahead of the Confederations Cup, which he also missed out on.
Marquez, 38, hasn't played for club side Atlas since he was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department earlier this month for alleged ties to a drug trafficking organization, which the veteran of four World Cups has denied.
"I'm sure I'll have the opportunity to speak with Rafa Marquez," said Osorio in a news conference on Thursday, indicating he wasn't picked because of sporting reasons. "We know that he's in a difficult situation."
The other surprise absentee was Porto full-back Miguel Layun, who has found playing time difficult to come by early on this season, while Club America's Oribe Peralta is out with an injury.
There are a total of 10 Europe-based players in Osorio's squad, with two playing in MLS and the rest in Mexico.
The players are set to prepare for the game against Panama outside of Mexico City in Cuernavaca, at a lower altitude.
The Mexican federation also announced a restructuring on Thursday.
Former El Tri international and current Indy Eleven midfielder Gerardo Torrado is set to take over "soon" as sporting director of the national team, while Dutchman Dennis te Kloese was named as director of national teams, moving from his position as director of youth national teams.
Here's the full squad:
Goalkeepers: Rodolfo Cota (Chivas), Guillermo Ochoa (Standard Liege), Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul)
Defenders: Nestor Araujo (Santos Laguna), Hector Moreno (Roma) Diego Reyes (Porto), Edson Alvarez (Club America), Hugo Ayala (Tigres), Jair Pereira (Chivas), Jesus Gallardo (Pumas)
Midfielders: Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Jesus Duenas (Tigres), Andres Guardado (Real Betis), Hector Herrera (FC Porto), Erick Gutierrez (Pachuca), Orbelin Pineda (Chivas), Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy)
Forwards: Javier Aquino (Tigres), Jesus Manuel Corona (FC Porto), Jurgen Damm (Tigres), Javier Hernandez (West Ham), Raul Jimenez (Benfica), Hirving Lozano (PSV Eindhoven), Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad), Elias Hernandez (Leon)
Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.