MNUFC may be on a bye this weekend, but you’ll still be able to catch some Loons in action across the globe. Five MNUFC players will be involved in international games, ranging from friendlies to confederation tournament qualifiers. Get a brief preview of what’s at stake in these games and where you can watch your Loons abroad.
Jan Gregus | Slovakia | UEFA Euro Qualifiers
March 21 vs. Hungary | 2:45 p.m. CT | ESPN3
March 24 @ Wales | 9:00 a.m. CT | ESPN3
Fresh off scoring his first MLS goal, Gregus will join Slovakia to begin the long journey to qualifying for Euro 2020. The nation made its first-ever appearance in the 2016 tournament, advancing to the knockout rounds. It will start off its qualifying campaign against two teams that won their groups at Euro 2016: Hungary and Wales. Hungary has struggled on the road, especially in its recent UEFA Nation’s League form, giving Slovakia a good chance at three points. Wales has risen up the international rankings in recent years, and will be a tough task for Gregus’ side with the likes of Gareth Bale marauding on the attack.
Romario Ibarra | Ecuador | Friendlies
March 21 @ USA | 7:00 p.m. CT | ESPN2
March 26 @ Honduras | 7:30 p.m. CT
With three goals and an assist in just five appearances for his country, Romario has been incredible for Ecuador since he was first called up in 2017. He won’t have to travel far for his latest appearances with both of his upcoming friendlies taking place in the U.S. The first leg of his journey takes him to Orlando to face the United States as it prepares for the 2019 Gold Cup and its visit to Allianz Field. He then heads up the East Coast to take on Honduras at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey. Ecuador is also preparing for its confederation championship with Copa America just around the corner in June, and will want to make a splash on this American tour.
Romain Metanire | Madagascar | Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers
March 22 @ Senegal | 6:00 p.m. CT | beIN SPORTS CONNECT
Also opening his MLS points account with an assist against LA Galaxy, Metanire heads off for the final qualifying round of the Africa Cup of Nations. Having already booked its ticket for its first-ever appearance in the tournament, Madagascar will look to finish strong against fellow qualifiers Senegal. Metanire played all 90 minutes in the last meeting, a 2-2 draw in Antananarivo. If Madagascar can win the game by three goals, it can leapfrog Senegal and win the group, which will set up a favorable spot in the tournament.
Francisco Calvo | Costa Rica | Friendlies
March 22 @ Guatemala | 8:00 p.m. CT
March 26 vs. Jamaica | 9:00 p.m. CT
Captain Francisco Calvo rejoins the Ticos as they begin to ramp up for the 2019 Gold Cup by taking on regional opponents Guatemala and Jamaica. The road test in Guatemala will certainly be a challenge from an atmosphere perspective, but on the field, Costa Rica should have no trouble against the rebuilding Azul y Blanco. Calvo then returns home to face possible Gold Cup opponent Jamaica, which features many MLS players in its squad. This game will be a good measuring stick for the Ticos, who will be co-hosts for the upcoming Gold Cup and want to put on a good display in front of the home fans.
Rasmus Schuller | Finland | UEFA Euro Qualifiers
March 23 @ Italy | 2:45 p.m. CT | ESPN3
March 26 @ Armenia | 11:00 a.m. CT | ESPN3
Schuller aims to help lead Finland to its first appearance in the European championship, as it starts its qualifying journey on the road. Finland has already guaranteed itself at least a spot in the qualifying playoff, thanks to its UEFA Nations League performance, but would like to lock up an automatic spot. It starts off with a tough game against Italy, a team that is always in the title conversation despite missing out on the last World Cup. Finland then crosses the continent to take on Armenia, where the visitors should be heavily favored to take three points.