CONCACAF released 23-man rosters Friday for the upcoming Gold Cup. Surprisingly enough, Mario Martinez is on the team for Honduras.
I say “surprisingly” for a couple of reasons.
First off, Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid said earlier this month that he had talked to the head coach of the Honduran national team about leaving Martinez out of the Gold Cup. Secondly, Martinez wasn’t even listed in the federation’s provisional 35-man roster, a list that CONCACAF had said was “binding” as rosters were pared down going into the group stage.
Here was Schmid’s response to the developments Friday:
“It’s a little bit of a confusing situation because we were told that he was not going to get called in to the Gold Cup roster,” he said. “And now that the coach called him in to the Gold Cup, when exactly the team has to report in we’re a little bit unsure of. So it’s a little bit of a limbo, confusion state right now.”
Some clarity might have come from a tweet from Martinez early Friday morning, when he indicated he was looking forward to possible return to his old club, Real Espana of Honduras, and also another call-up with the national team.
Martinez loan with the Sounders officially expires Sunday, which is also the deadline for Seattle to exercise its option to buy the midfielder’s contract. Negotiations can go beyond Sunday if another deal is to be worked out, but it’s hard to believe things are trending that direction.
You can imagine the Sounders might not be thrilled to lose Martinez for all of July, early September for World Cup qualifiers, then early October again for qualifiers and possibly for World Cup qualifying playoff with New Zealand in the middle of November. This after Martinez has missed time in January, February, March and June.