it's been a crazy first half in the 2011 Gold Cup final, but perhaps the most important thing to happen came after the goal flurry that saw Michael Bradley, Landon Donovan, Pablo Barrera and Andres Guardado all see the scoresheet. In what looked like an innocuous piece of play deep in the Mexican half, captain Rafael Marquez went down in a heap and signaled for a stretcher. Unlike his previous 'injuries' this one turned out to be serious - he's out with a right hamstring injury and Hector Reynoso has had to come on in his place.
Reynoso, of course, wasn't on the original Gold Cup roster for El Tri, being named to the squad after the 'tainted chicken' doping scandal during the group stages saw five Mexico players sent home. Earning his first cap during a major cup final must be a huge thrill to him, but one would imagine that he would rather it have come under less painful circumstances for his captain. So must New York Red Bull fans - without Marquez their defence has looked more than a little porous as of late, and if he's out long term (which the stretcher implies), New York could be in trouble.
For more on how the two teams got to this point, check out our USA vs. Panama stream and our Mexico vs. Honduras stream. For more updates leading up to USA vs. Mexico, bookmark this StoryStream. For all of our previous Gold Cup coverage, check out the Gold Cup 2011 section. For more on Mexican football, including the Mexican national team, the Mexico vs. USA game, and the Mexican Primera, check out SB Nation's Mexican football blog FMF State Of Mind.