Carlos Vela's murky El Tri future 

January, 24, 2013

Reconciliation between Carlos Vela and El Tri looked so close. Then Vela turned his back on the Mexican national team once again.

There's no way around it at this point: Vela doesn't want to play for El Tri right now and perhaps not anytime soon. The repercussions are unfortunate for Mexico's depth and slightly dim the chances of a dominating year in 2013.

It's going on years since the now red-hot Mexican forward donned an El Tri jersey, as Vela last wore the shirt in 2011. As egregious as it was to turn down calls throughout 2012 -- including the chance to play on the famous gold medal-winning Olympic team -- this may be the icing on the cake in terms of breaking the relationship between player and national team.

After Vela turned down the Olympic call, officials at the Mexican Federation made it pretty clear that the striker wasn't going to be in their plans anytime soon. Time -- and a lot of goals -- healed those wounds on the Mexican side, but Vela's renewed refusal may mean the end of the road as far getting the striker into an El Tri shirt before next year's World Cup.

Brent Latham is a soccer commentator who covers the youth national teams for Based in Guatemala, he has attended youth World Cups from Peru to Egypt, and places in between.