Add Rafa to the inactive list for Mexico's first qualifier vs. the US. He strained his left calf last night in a Copa del Rey derby vs. Espanyol. Prognosis: out 2 weeks. With Barça's main course due to start in February, it would be foolish for Rafa to make the trip to chilly Columbus. After all, La Liga, the Champions, and future qualifiers are at stake.
I am a firm believer in working with the ones that are available, not worrying about the ones that are not. Mexico was not favored before their best players went down, but now they are prohibitive underdogs. Does that mean the pressure is off? Can they now just line up and play without having to worry about the psychological consequences of losing to the gringos?
Mexico has always shown more heart when they absolutely nothing to lose. SGE would do well to field a group of untested, hungry players. Test their mettle. Make Rafa and Guardado earn their spots back when they are fully recovered. Maybe, just maybe, new players will emerge without that defeatist mentality that has always been Mexico's albatross.
As a retired coach from around here used to say
"You've got to think lucky. If you fall into a mudhole, check your back pocket - you might have caught a fish."