Rafael Marquez left out of Mexican squad
Defender Rafa Marquez was left out of Mexico's squad for the friendly against Serbia on Friday because of a lack of discipline that led to a three-game suspension from Major League Soccer.
The 32-year-old Marquez, a veteran of three World Cups, was sent off at the end of the New York Red Bulls' loss to Los Angeles Galaxy in the playoffs on Oct. 30 for kicking a ball at Landon Donovan. In addition to the suspension, Marquez was fined $2,250 by MLS.
''I think it's clear, discipline is always going to be a priority in the national team,'' Mexico coach Jose Manuel De La Torre said Tuesday. ''We've tried to be fair to the facts and take the decisions about who to call up and who not to.
''When we call players up we take into account everything that happens on and off the pitch - at all times, every day and everywhere. (Marquez) has been an exemplary person with a glorious career, but everyone can make mistakes.''
Marquez, who has previously played for Barcelona and Monaco, has been sent off four times for Mexico, including for head-butting Cobi Jones during the 2-0 loss to the United States in the second round of the 2002 World Cup.
Mexico has had several problems with player discipline recently. De La Torre dropped goalkeeper Jesus Corona from this year's Gold Cup squad after he head-butted an opponent during the semifinals of the Mexican Clausura tournament in May.
In June, eight players were suspended from the national team for six months after holding an unauthorized party in an Ecuador hotel during preparations for the Copa America.