There will be no Nery in South Africa

Javier Aguirre has finalized the preliminary list of players for Mexico's World Cup. The only notable, but not surprising omission was that of Nery Castillo.

The mercurial forward has fallen off the footie planet since he was transferred from Olimpiakos to Shakhtar Donetsk.

Nery's Ukrainian adventure has been a disaster. He requested a loan to Manchester City, where he played some before breaking his collar bone. After SGE left MC, Nery was an odd man out, so he tried desperately but unsuccessfully to get another loan with Real Betis.

Once back at Shakhtar, Nery's chances for playing time were nonexistent. Even without playing, he was still called up by SGE and Javier Aguirre. In the two games that Nery started, though, his lack of field time was evident as Nery had to be subbed out due to injury.

This year, Nery was sent on loan again, this time to another Ukrainian club, Dnipro. He has played less than one half of football the entire year. Not the kind season one wants to have leading up to the World Cup. And we haven't even mentioned the failed campaign to loaned back to Olimpiakos earlier this year.

So in the three years since Nery burst on the international scene with 4 goals at the Copa America, his career has come to screeching halt. To make matters worse, he lost both his parents to cancer and had relationship problems with his baby mama.

And just when he thought it couldn't get any worse....

Nery is a difference maker when he is in top form. Unfortunately for him, he has not been at the top of his game since that summer in Venezuela. Nery would not be able to join Mexico until May 16, so Javier Aguirre must have come to the conclusion that two weeks was not enough time for Nery to prove himself worthy of a spot on the 23 man roster.

So where does that leave Mexico? In pretty good shape, actually. Mexico are left with Javier Hernandez, Guille Franco, Cuauhtemoc Blanco, Carlos Vela, Giovani Dos Santos, Adolfo Bautista, and Alberto Medina to vie for the forward slots. The betting man in me says that only Medina will be left off the final roster.