The Copa America tournament is one that can bring prestige, launch careers, and throw deserving but under appreciated players in to the limelight. Uruguay will be one of the favorites this year, defending the title that they won back in 2011. Their side will be full of some of the best talent the country has to offer, and they'll be pushing hard to get out of a tough group that includes arch-rivals Argentina and a tough Paraguay side.
And Walter Gargano won't be there.
Napoli's diminutive midfielder was on the provisional roster initially named by Oscar Tabarez, but was left off the final 23 man roster that Uruguay will take to the tournament in Chile. The 30 year old has been a regular for Uruguay in the past, but it's starting to look as though Gargano's international career might end with 63 caps. If it does, he can look back on that time proudly, having helped Uruguay win that 2011 Copa America, as well as being a part of their fourth-place finishes in the 2010 World Cup and 2007 Copa America.
To be honest, this is probably the correct decision. At this point in his career, Gargano isn't better than any of the other defensive midfielders selected by Tabarez, and it's not like he's been putting in lights-out performances for Napoli of late. He's had a few very good matches this season, but most of his 30 matches have varied between mediocre and disastrous. In an international tournament, the margins for error are very, very small, and a team just can't afford the kind of wildcard Gargano represents at this stage.
Uruguay's first match is on June 13th when they take on Jamaica. The tournament kicks off two days prior when hosts Chile square off with Ecuador.