TAMPA, Fla. – The USL’s players will once again take to the international stage this week, with 16 current players and numerous alumni set to be in action in 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying and international exhibitions that span the globe.
Sacramento Republic FC standout Emrah Klimenta has joined Montenegro’s National Team, as it faces its final two games in UEFA World Cup Qualifying, with games against Denmark on Thursday and next Tuesday against Poland set to determine its World Cup fate. Montenegro currently sits in second place in Group E of UEFA Qualifying, level on points with Denmark and three back of Poland entering the final two games of qualifying.
Fellow Republic FC player Trevin Caesar and Louisville City FC goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh have been called into Trinidad & Tobago’s squad for its final two games of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying. The Soca Warriors will visit Mexico on Friday night at the Estadio Azteca before hosting the United States next Tuesday. Ranjitsingh will be hoping to make his full international debut after another strong season for the Eastern Conference leader.
Another hoping to make his international debut is the Harrisburg City Islanders’ Abass Mohammed, who earned his first call-up to Ghana’s National Team for its World Cup Qualifier against Uganda on Saturday. Ghana is facing a must-win situation in the contest, as it looks to gain ground on Egypt before the two teams meet in November in the final game of qualifying.
Also in CAF World Cup Qualifying, Orange County SC’s Wuilito Fernandes is part of Cape Verde’s squad to take on Senegal, as is former Swope Park Rangers standout Kevin Oliveira, now of Sporting Kansas City. Cape Verde sits tied on points with Burkina Faso with two games remaining in group play. A victory against Senegal, which sits one point back in third and has a game in hand, would keep the Blue Sharks in contention to finish top of the group and earn their first trip to the FIFA World Cup.
A trio of players have been called into New Zealand’s squad to take on Japan in Nagoya on Friday, with the Portland Timbers 2’s Bill Tuiloma earning a recall alongside returnees Myer Bevan and Deklan Wynne of Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2. Also named in the All Whites squad preparing for November’s intercontinental playoff for a place at the World Cup are former Swope Park Rangers standout James Musa and Reno 1868 FC loanee Kip Colvey.
USL players could square off in one of this weekend’s international exhibitions when Canada faces El Salvador at BBVA Compass Field in Houston on Sunday, with Louisville City FC’s Mark-Anthony Kaye and Orlando City B’s Jordan Schweitzer selected for Canada and Reno 1868 FC’s Junior Burgos selected for El Salvador. The game offers the chance for Schweitzer to make his full international debut after a stellar first season with OCB.
Louisville City FC’s Speedy Williams and the Charleston Battery’s Romario Williams are part of Jamaica’s squad that will travel to Riyadh to take on Saudi Arabia on Saturday. Both players were retained from last month’s clash against Canada, as the Reggae Boyz continue to build toward the next World Cup cycle.
Young standouts Jonel Désiré of Real Monarchs SLC and Jimmy Sanon of Ottawa Fury FC are both part of the Haiti squad that will take on Japan next Tuesday in Yokahama. Both former members of their country’s Under-20 National Team that competed at the 2017 CONCACAF U20 Championship, Désiré and Sanon are joined in the squad by 2016 USL Cup-winner Derrick Etienne Jr. of the New York Red Bulls II.
The Rochester Rhinos’ Brandon Beresford will also be in action when Guyana takes on Grenada on Friday in an international exhibition between the two Caribbean nations.