Mexico’s starting goalkeeper, Luis Malagon, has been withdrawn from the national team squad for the 2024 Copa America.

The 27-year-old Club America star was the frontrunner to be Mexico‘s starting shot-stopper at the tournament. Nevertheless, El Tri head coach Jaime Lozano has had to replace the keeper due to injury.

Malagon apparently arrived to his national team’s camp with a slight muscular issue. The injury then continued to be problematic in recent days. Team officials opted to send Malagon to a Texas hospital early Saturday to undergo tests on the problem. Doctors determined that the gluteus injury would sideline the star for up to four weeks.

The keeper was absent from Lozano’s original squad for a friendly against Bolivia on May 31st. He was, however, on the bench during Mexico’s latest matchup with Uruguay on Wednesday. El Tri suffered a heavy 4-0 defeat to the South Americans on the night. Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez netted a hat trick inside 50 minutes of the game.

Santos Laguna shot-stopper named as Malagon’s replacement

With Malagon out of the team, Santos Laguna‘s Carlos Acevedo has now been called up by Lozano. The Mexican manager informed the 28-year-old goalkeeper that even though he is a late addition, he could still be named in his starting XI at the competition.

“I told Acevedo, just because you arrive as the fourth goalkeeper doesn’t mean that you are not going to come and compete to be the starter,” proclaimed Lozano.

“I think there is a competition between the three, they are great goalkeepers. They are very hungry and very eager to be in the World Cup and not only be there but also defend Mexico’s goal.”

Carlos Acevedo of Santos Laguna is now tipped to be Mexico’s starting goalkeeper at the Copa America
Carlos Acevedo of Santos Laguna is now tipped to be Mexico’s starting goalkeeper at the Copa America

Carlos Acevedo of Santos Laguna is now tipped to be Mexico’s starting goalkeeper at the Copa America

Despite the late call, Acevedo now has the most International experience of the three Mexican keepers in the team. The Santos Laguna star previously played six games for El Tri. In fact, he captained the team during a friendly against the United States in April of 2023. This was, however, Acevedo’s last appearance for Lozano’s team.

Lozano has two weeks to decide Copa America starting goalkeeper

Mexico will face the mighty Brazil on Saturday at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas in their final tune-up match ahead of the 2024 Copa America. The game could very well set the record for the largest attendance for a Mexico game in the United States. Kyle Field can currently accommodate over 100,000 fans on matchdays.

There is speculation that Lozano will turn to Pumas shot-stopper Julio Gonzalez for the friendly. Despite now being 33, the veteran keeper has only grabbed just one cap for his national team. Gonzales does, however, have plenty of experience with his current club.

Following the match in Texas, Mexico will have two weeks to train for the upcoming tournament. Lozano will surely put Gonzalez, Acevedo, and Raul Rangel to the test in order to find his starting goalkeeper.

El Tri are in Group B of the 2024 Copa America alongside Ecuador, Jamaica, and Venezuela. Mexico will begin their tournament run on June 22nd against the Reggae Boyz.

Photo credits: IMAGO / Agencia-MexSport : IMAGO / Agencia-MexSport