The United States' biggest enemy will not be on the pitch for Mexico when the two rivals square off on October 10 in the Confederations Cup playoff. Rafa Marquez has been ruled out for several weeks with a groin strain and he will not be available for selection to the El Tri side for next month's match.
Marquez was injured last week when he limped off the pitch while playing for his club Hellas Verona. He was later diagnosed with a groin strain and joins Andres Guardado on Mexico's list of wounded set to miss the playoff.
With Marquez out, Mexico have a bit of conundrum at the back. Hector Moreno will almost assuredly start at centerback, but it's unclear who will partner him. Diego Reyes looks like the best bet, but he's been shaky of late. Interim manager Ricardo Ferretti experimented with a three-man back line earlier this month, but it's tough to imagine him finding three centerbacks he can depend on now, unless he rates Hugo Ayala and/or Julio Dominguez much higher than most.
Considering Marquez's history with the U.S., which includes red cards for dirty challenges in both the World Cup and a World Cup qualifier, the Americans will be happy that he won't be on the pitch. That his absence weakens the Mexico back line is a bonus.