Carlos Vela - Mexico - close up
REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Tata Martino: It was my choice not to call up Carlos Vela for Mexico

Carlos Vela has started the 2019 MLS regular season in red-hot form, with three goals and two assists in three games with LAFC.

Many expected he would be called up to Gerardo "Tata" Martino's first Mexican national team roster, but the MLS star was absent from the squad for friendlies against Chile on Friday and Paraguay on Tuesday.

In a press conference ahead of the Chile match in San Diego on Thursday, Martino explained he was the one who decided not to call up the star.

"My decision was to not call up Carlos Vela," Martino told reporters, elaborating that he wanted to see other players and that the door is not necessarily closed on future call-ups, as reported by Futbol MLS.

At the same time, it's unclear if the 30-year-old wants to continue his international career. Vela has not played for Mexico since the 2018 World Cup, in which he scored as El Tri reached the knockout round. The World Cup return was the culmination of nearly a decade where the talented striker, who prior to joining LAFC last year played professionally in England and Spain, had been left out of teams by a succession of managers and had declined call-ups around the 2014 World Cup, sitting out that tournament altogether.

While Vela has not announced his retirement on the international stage, he told reporters after Sunday's 2-2 draw against NYCFC at Yankee Stadium that "they have very good players in Mexico...and they are doing well," and he reportedly did not claim to be upset over not being called up.


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