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Injured Gonzalez misses Copa America, Venezuela finalise youthful squad

Venezuela have finalised their 2015 Copa America squad with Alexander Gonzalez ruled out through injury, while Edder Farias and Christian Santos were omitted.

With coach Noel Sanvicente having already discarded four players last month from his initial squad of 30, the 50-year-old coach completed his selection on Monday, including 12 players without Copa America experience.

Sanvicente was forced to leave out Young Boys defender Gonzalez, who spent this season on loan at Thun, while Farias (Caracas) and Santos (NEC Nijmegen) were denied a position by fellow attackers Gelmin Rivas (Deportivo Tachira) and Jhon Murillo (Zamora) respectively.

Venezuela have been drawn in Group C with Brazil, Colombia and Peru for the continental championship but Sanvicente is already looking ahead to South America's qualifying tournament for the 2018 World Cup.

Sanvicente's squad includes four players under the age of 23, including two teenagers Wuilker Farinez and Murillo.

"Twelve new players who were not at the previous Copa are incorporated," assistant coach Maurizio Lazzaro said at a media conference.

"This is part of a process in which the coaching staff are trying to combine experience with younger players of great talent and future."

That includes 17-year-old goalkeeper Farinez.

"[Farinez] has not debuted in the first division [for Caracas]," Lazzaro explained.

"But from day one he has demonstrated the ability to be play an important job at the Copa America."

Venezuela will be led by the likes of veteran midfielder Juan Arango, Zenit striker Salomon Rondon and Nantes defender Oswaldo Vizcarrondo.

Venezuela squad: Alain Baroja (Caracas), Wuilker Farinez (Caracas), Daniel Hernandez (Tenerife); Fernando Amorebieta (Middlesbrough), Wilker Angel (Deportivo Tachira), Gabriel Cichero (Mineros de Guayana), Grenddy Perozo (Ajaccio), Roberto Rosales (Malaga), Andres Tunez (Buriram United), Oswaldo Vizcarrondo (Nantes); Rafael Acosta (Mineros de Guayana), Juan Arango (Tijuana), Cesar Gonzalez (Deportivo Tachira), Alejandro Guerra (Atletico Nacional), Franklin Lucena (Deportivo La Guaira), Luis Manuel Seijas (Santa Fe), Jhon Murillo (Zamora), Tomas Rincon (Genoa), Ronald Vargas (Balikesirspor); Josef Martinez (Torino), Miku (Rayo Vallecano), Gelmin Rivas (Deportivo Tachira), Salomon Rondon (Zenit).