International Call ups - San Jose Earthquakes - Darwin Ceren - Chris Wondolowski - Alberto Quintero - Shaun Francis - Simon Dawkins

INTERNATIONAL PREVIEW: What to watch for during Friday's FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

This weekend is the FIFA international break and will see CONCACAF teams close out Round 4 of World Cup qualifying with matches on Friday and next Tuesday. The Earthquakes have sent six players to various national teams throughout CONCACAF and will be well represented. Let’s examine how each country featuring a Quakes player, or two, currently fares and what needs to happen on Friday. A subsequent write-up will follow ahead of Tuesday’s matches after this weekend’s slate is complete.


El Salvador

Darwin Ceren leads El Salvador against Mexico on Friday, desperate for three points. Currently occupying last place in Group A, the Salvadorans face an uphill climb to advance from Round 4 and could be eliminated regardless of the outcome of their match if the other Group A contest does not end in a draw. El Salvador will need a win and a draw between the Canadians and Hondurans to make Tuesday relevant. 

1. Mexico (13 pts; 4-0-0) – will play El Salvador on Friday
2. Honduras (4; 1-2-1) – will play Canada on Friday
3. Canada (4; 1-2-1) – will play Honduras on Friday
4. El Salvador (2; 0-2-2) – will play Mexico on Friday


Jamaica
The only nation with two San Jose players, Simon Dawkins and Shaun Francis will likely play important roles for the Reggae Boyz in their pursuit of Round 5. The bad news: Jamaica is currently not in position to advance, sitting in third place behind Costa Rica and Panama. The good news: A victory over Panama on Friday would flip the script and likely put the Black and Yellow through, especially considering their sixth and final match is against currently winless Haiti. A draw keeps them alive, but would require a lot to happen on Tuesday.

1. Costa Rica (10 pts; 3-0-1) – will play Haiti on Friday
2. Panama (7; 2-1-1) – will play Jamaica on Friday
3. Jamaica (4; 1-2-1) – will play Panama on Friday
4. Haiti (1; 0-3-1) – will play Costa Rica on Friday


Panama

Alberto Quintero and Panama have a simple objective: win and they’re in. If the Panamanians depart the playing field on Friday with three points against Jamaica, they will surge to 10 total points and clinching a berth into the next round. However, a loss puts Jamaica in the driver’s seat as Panama faces much more difficult competition on Tuesday. A draw does not put them through mathematically, but likely seals their advancement.

1. Costa Rica (10 pts; 3-0-1) – will play Haiti on Friday
2. Panama (7; 2-1-1) – will play Jamaica on Friday
3. Jamaica (4; 1-2-1) – will play Panama on Friday
4. Haiti (1; 0-3-1) – will play Costa Rica on Friday


United States

Well, it’s a bit of a surprise that the United States are in the position they are in, having dropped points in two of their four matches to date. Currently in second place in Group C, Chris Wondolowski and the Americans need to take care of business in order to advance. Fortunately the task starts against a St. Vincent and the Grenadines squad that have been outscored 19-3 through four games. If the U.S. wins and Trinidad and Tobago defeat Guatemala, the Americans are through. 

1. Trinidad and Tobago (10 pts; 3-0-1) – will play Guatemala on Friday
2. United States (7; 2-1-1) – will play St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Friday
3. Guatemala (6; 2-2-0) – will play Trinidad and Tobago on Friday
4. St. Vincent and the Grenadines (0; 0-4-0) – will play the United States on Friday


Trinidad and Tobago

The upstart T&T squad leads Group C after four matches and will be looking to hold their dominant position through the weekend. Cordell Cato leads Trinidad against Guatemala, who need at least a draw to stay mathematically alive, assuming the U.S. wins their match.

1. Trinidad and Tobago (10 pts; 3-0-1) – will play Guatemala on Friday
2. United States (7; 2-1-1) – will play St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Friday
3. Guatemala (6; 2-2-0) – will play Trinidad and Tobago on Friday
4. St. Vincent and the Grenadines (0; 0-4-0) – will play the United States on Friday

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