No Vela, No Problem?

He has been saying no for the better part of three years. And when Carlos Vela met with Mexico coach, Miguel Herrera. After the meeting, the coach spoke to ESPN Deportes Radio. "You can tell right away about a player desire to play But his eyes didn't light up when we talked about the World Cup. We could tell right away he was not going to be fully committed to play in it. "Everyone makes their own decisions," Piojo continued, "and I am not one to judge. But what I can say is that Vela will not be in my World Cup plans." The decision had to be baffling for Herrera, who himself was left off the World Cup roster in 1994. A decision that no doubt added to the weight of the rather large chip Herrera has carried on his shoulder throughout his career.

Vela's agent, Eduardo Hernandez, as one would expect, downplayed the news. "while it's true that the World Cup is an important showcase, Vela's career in Europe has ensured that clubs have and will take him into consideration to reinforce their clubs." What was he supposed to say?

It is unfortunate that Carlos has decided not to play in the World Cup. A good showing in Brazil would make his value sky-rocket, much more than anything he would do in San Sebastian, especially after Real Sociedad's disastrous Champions League campaign earlier this season. Vela may well be transferred, but that commission may not be as fat as it could have been. Oh, well.

While an omission of player of Vela's caliber would normally be a catastrophe, especially for a side as limited as Mexico. Obviously, it would be nicer for Mexico to have him in the fold, he is easily the best Mexican player in the world and his addition would Make Mexico stronger. It turns out that Vela's position, oddly enough, is the deepest on the squad.

The backlash, of course, will be swift and vicious. Some in the press will paint Vela as a traitor. when it comes to the World Cup, the lines between nationalism and entertainment tend to be blurred somewhat. Vela did not say no to the military or the government - He just will not be playing in a sporting event -- only the most important sporting event in his profession. He will survive, as will Mexico.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention how well coach Miguel Herrera has dealt with the situation. He went out of his way to talk about Vela's qualities, made sure to see him first on his European tour, and when they finally met, he decided to do so on his own - without the FMF suits. Once his decision was made, he let it be known immediately. I guess Piojo is well aware of how bad FMF manages PR, and has taken it upon himself to get the message out.

As for Vela, as Piojo said, everyone is entitled to make their own decision. Vela has stated his. I can think of a lot of decisions I made in my mid-20's, chances I didn't take, pride I didn't swallow. There are always regrets. Some we dwell on more than others, but eventually we all move on.

So as both Miguel and Carlos have both said -

Punto Final.