As the soccer world enters the final international break before this summer’s massive Copa America and Euro 2016 tournaments many Orlando City players will be representing their countries in World Cup qualifying over the next eight days. The CONCACAF region which encompasses North America, the Caribbean and Central America is now in its next-to-last round of qualification for the World Cup 2018 tournament which will be held in Russia.
The CONCACAF region has been embroiled in scandal since the FBI raided its offices Miami last May and several high-ranking officials were charged by the Department of Justice with various crimes. However, the qualifying for World Cup 2018 has been unaffected by the tumult.
Orlando City’s Darwin Cerén has been called into the El Salvador National Team for two qualifiers this week against Honduras, while Cyle Larin who has scored in all three Lions games to this point has been called in for Canada’s two qualifiers against powerhouse Mexico. The Canadians will be looking to Larin to produce goals in two matches that very well might determine if Canada makes its first appearance in the final round of World Cup Qualifying since 1997. Canada’s only World Cup appearance was in 1986, when a generation of players spawned by the defunct North American Soccer League were able to qualify for the tournament held in Mexico.
Brek Shea and Kevin Molino were surprisingly omitted from the United States and Trinidad & Tobago squads. Both countries are on track to advance to the final round of World Cup qualifying. Shea’s omission was surprising as Edgar Castillo has been called in to serve as a backup left back by US Manager Jürgen Klinsmann instead of the Lions winger. Molino who is coming off an injury is almost certain to feature for the Soca Warriors in the next set of qualifiers.
Orlando City has the international break off and will next play April 3rd against Portland.