SAN JOSE, Calif. – San Jose Earthquakes midfielders Darwin Ceren and Alberto Quintero have been called to the El Salvador and Panama National Teams, respectively, for a pair of FIFA World Cup qualifying matches. Quakes midfielder Anibal Godoy was also selected to join Panama, but will not attend due to injury. The duo joins fellow Quakes Cordell Cato (Trinidad and Tobago), Simon Dawkins (Jamaica), Shaun Francis (Jamaica) and Chris Wondolowski (U.S.A.), who are also representing their countries for FIFA World Cup qualifying matches.
El Salvador is attempting to advance to Round 5 of 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying by finishing as one of the top two teams in Group A, while Panama is looking to advance from Group B.
El Salvador is currently in last place in Group A (2 pts.; 0-2-2), behind Mexico (12; 4-0-0), Honduras (4; 1-2-1) and Canada (4; 1-2-1). After hosting group leaders Mexico at Estadio Cuscatlan in San Salvador on Friday, Sept. 2 (7 p.m. PT), El Salvador closes out group play against Canada at BC Place in Vancouver on Tuesday, Sept. 6 (7 p.m. PT).
With seven points and a 2-1-1 record, Panama currently sits in second place in Group B behind Costa Rica (10; 3-0-1) and ahead of Jamaica (4; 1-2-1) and Haiti (0; 0-3-0). Panama will end group play with matches against Jamaica at Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City on Friday, Sept. 2 (6:30 p.m. PT) and Costa Rica at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose, Costa Rica on Tuesday, Sept. 6 (6:30 p.m. PT).
Quintero, 28, has appeared in 24 matches (23 starts) this season for the Quakes after joining the team on loan from Lobos BUAP in February. Quintero ranks tied for first on the team in assists (four) and tied for second in goals (three) during his debut season with the club. He has made 73 prior appearances with the Panama National Team, scoring four goals.
Ceren, 26, was acquired by San Jose via trade with Orlando City SC on Aug. 3 and has appeared in five games, making three starts, for the Quakes since. During his MLS career, Ceren has tallied two goals and four assists in 47 career matches and is the reigning MLS Latino del Año Award winner as the league’s top Latino player. He has earned 34 caps for El Salvador, scoring two goals.