Minnesota United midfielder Johan Venegas and defender Francisco Calvo have been called up by the Costa Rican Men’s National Team for upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Mexico and Honduras.
Both players were recently called up in January for Copa Centroamericana 2017. They each found the back of the net once en route to a fourth-place finish for the Ticos.
Venegas has 34 appearances for Costa Rica since he made his debut in 2014, with eight goals to his credit. He has been a big part of the qualifying campaign with two goals and an assist in this qualifying cycle, playing as both a midfielder and a forward.
Calvo is a veteran at the international level, making his debut in 2011 at just 18 years old. After a few appearances that year, he was not in the match day lineup until early 2015 ahead of the Gold Cup. He has been a mainstay in the squad ever since.
Costa Rica sits firmly atop the standings in CONCACAF qualifying after wins against Trinidad and Tobago and the United States back in November, with Venegas netting the decisive strike against the U.S. The Ticos will look to stay on top with a clash on the road against Mexico on Friday, March 24 followed by a trip to Honduras on March 28.
The top three countries at the end of this final round of qualifying will receive automatic bids for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. The fourth-place team will play a two-leg series against the fifth-place team in Asian qualification for a spot in the tournament.
Minnesota United squares off against Real Salt Lake on Saturday, April 1 at TCF Bank Stadium and single match tickets are still available. It’s also not too late to join the Itasca Society. Over 11,000 season tickets have already been sold, rapidly approaching the inaugural season limit of 11,842 members in this exclusive club — one for every lake in Minnesota. A portion of all proceeds from these season tickets are donated to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Loon Monitoring program. Both season and single match tickets are available now at MNUFC.COM or by calling 763.4SOCCER.