Los Angeles Soccer: Hiram Meir

Mexico replaces suspended quintet

June, 21, 2011

Mexico's roster is back at full strength, sort of, for its CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal Wednesday in Houston against Honduras after its federation replaced the five players suspended after testing positive for a banned substance.

El Tri coach Jose Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre called in Guadalajara goalkeeper Luis Michel, Mexico's starter at the 2010 World Cup, Pachuca defender Paul Aguilar, who also played in South Africa, and rising Guadalajara defender Hector Reynoso and forward Marco Fabian de la Mora and Monterrey defender Hiram Meir.

Aguilar, Mier and Reynoso are expected to be available Wednesday. Michel and de la Mora departed Monday with Mexico's “under-22” team for Colombia to begin final preparations for next month's Copa America, South America's nations championship. They would join the Gold Cup team only in an emergency.

Starting goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa and defender Francisco Javier Rodriguez, plus reserve defender Edgar Dueñas and midfielders Antonio “Zinha” Naelson and Christian “Hobbit” Bermudez were suspended following Mexico's tournament opener after the Federacion Mexicana de Futbol announced they had tested positive for clenbuterol, a drug designed to treat breathing disorders in horses that also can add muscle, during El Tri's pre-tournament camp outside Mexico City.

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