Minnesota United defender Francisco Calvo and midfielder Johan Venegas have been called up by Costa Rica for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July. This is the third call-up for both players since joining the Loons.
The duo was called up earlier this month by the Ticos for World Cup qualifying matches against Panama and Trinidad and Tobago. Venegas started in both matches, and Calvo scored his first international goal in the first minute of the match against Trinidad and Tobago en route to a 2-1 victory. Venegas has 37 and Calvo 24 career appearances for Costa Rica.
The CONCACAF Gold Cup is a biennial tournament to determine the champion of North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Twelve teams from across the region are divided into three four-team groups, with the top two teams in each group and the two best third-place teams advancing to the knockout stage. Single elimination matches will be used to determine the champion, who will play the winner of the 2019 Gold Cup for a spot in the 2021 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Calvo and Venegas were on the squad for the 2015 edition of the tournament. The Ticos managed three draws to advance as the second-place team in the group before falling in the quarterfinals to eventual champions Mexico in extra time.
The 2017 tournament runs from July 7 through July 26 in 14 cities across the United States, with the final taking place at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
Calvo, Venegas and the rest of the Ticos kick off the tournament on July 7 against Honduras at 8:00 p.m. CT. They then play Canada on July 11, followed by French Guiana on July 14. Costa Rica is favored to win its group and advance to the knockout stage, which begins on July 19.