With October’s international matches just around the corner, five MNUFC players have been called up to their respective national teams. Michael Boxall (New Zealand), Johan Venegas (Costa Rica), Francisco Calvo (Costa Rica), Kevin Molino (Trinidad and Tobago) and Jermaine Taylor (Jamaica) have joined their national teams for World Cup Qualifying and international friendlies.
Boxall joins New Zealand for a friendly match against Japan on Friday, October 6. The All Whites will use this match to prepare for their upcoming inter-confederation playoff matches in November, where they hope to earn a spot in Russia against a South American team. Japan has already qualified for the 2018 World Cup after winning its group in the Asia qualifiers.
Calvo, Venegas and the rest of the Ticos have already locked up at least a spot in the inter-confederation playoff, and will be in search of securing an automatic spot this time out. They need just one point from either of their two matches in the final session of the Hex as they host Honduras on October 6 and travel to Panama on October 10. Costa Rica drew against both teams in the previous meetings.
The Soca Warriors of Trinidad and Tobago are not mathematically eliminated from qualifying just yet, but it doesn’t look good for Molino’s team. In order to make the play off, the island nation would need all six points and a lot of help in the standings. But with matches against group-leading Mexico on October 6 and a desperate United States team on October 10, it will be an extreme uphill battle.
Taylor and the Reggae Boyz round out the break with an international friendly on October 7 on the road against Saudi Arabia. Jamaica continues to refit and retool its squad as it prepares for the 2022 World Cup cycle by playing teams that qualified for the 2018 tournament.
Minnesota continues its MLS campaign on Tuesday, October 3 against Atlanta United at 6:00 p.m. CT. The Loons return home for Fan Appreciation Day presented by Star Tribune on Saturday, October 7 to play Sporting Kansas City in the final home match of the regular season. Be there to celebrate Minnesota’s inaugural MLS season by visiting MNUFC.COM for tickets.