FEATURE: Recapping a Busy International Break for the Earthquakes

Six Earthquakes players were summoned to their respective national teams for the FIFA international break, which concluded last night with the final games from the two-game series. 

For some teams, the last games in Round 4 marked the conclusion of their 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia aspirations, while others will continue to Round 5. 

Going home 

El Salvador 
Already eliminated from contention to progress further in the qualifiers, El Salvador faced Canada Tuesday night at B.C. Place in Vancouver, British Colombia. Playing at the home of the Vancouver Whitecaps, El Salvador, captained by the Earthquakes midfielder Darwin Ceren, looked to make it as difficult as possible for Canada to catch up with Honduras in Group A. 

El Salvador fell 3-1 to Canada and returned to El Salvador in last place in the group with a 0-2-4 record. The result was enough to deny Canada a spot in the next round, as Mexico and Honduras tied 1-1 at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. 

Jamaica 
Similar to El Salvador, Simon Dawkins and Shaun Francis entered Jamaica’s match against Haiti knowing that they would not be competing in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The Reggae Boyz played at Independence Park in Kingston, Jamaica. A win or a tie would have secured them third place in Group B. 

Shaun Francis started and played the entire match, in which Jamaica fell 2-0 against Haiti. With the result, Jamaica finished in last place in the group with equal points but a bigger goal difference than third-place Haiti. 

Bring on The HEX 

Panama 
Earthquakes midfielder Alberto Quintero did not feature in Panama’s Tuesday night 3-1 loss to Group B leaders Costa Rica, but his full 90-minute performance in the 2-0 win against Jamaica on Friday, Sept. 2 helped Panama secure a spot in Round 5. 

Expect to see Panama next on Nov. 11 as they take on Honduras. 

Round 5
Nov. 11, 2016 – Honduras vs. Panama 
Nov. 15, 2016 – Panama vs. Mexico 
March 24, 2017 – T&T  vs. Panama 
March 28, 2017 – Panama vs. USA 
June 7 or 8, 2017 – Costa Rica vs. Panama 
June 11 or 12, 2017 –  Panama vs. Honduras 
Sept. 1, 2017 –  Mexico vs. Panama 
Sept. 5, 2017 – Panama vs. T&T  
Oct. 6, 2017 – USA vs. Panama
Oct. 10, 2017 – Panama vs. Costa Rica 

Trinidad and Tobago 
After starting and playing the full 90 minutes in the 2-2 draw against Guatemala and the United States on Friday, Sept. 2, Cordell Cato and Trinidad and Tobago earned their ticket to Round 5 in the World Cup qualifiers. On Tuesday night they faced the United States. With a win or a tie, they would have finished first in Group C. Cato did not feature in the 4-0 loss to the USMNT, and with the result Trinidad and Tobago finished in second place. 

Trinidad and Tobago will next play on Nov. 11 against Costa Rica. 

Round 5 
Nov. 11, 2016 – T&T vs. Costa Rica 
Nov. 15, 2016 – Honduras vs. T&T  
March 24, 2017 – T&T vs. Panama 
March 28, 2017 – T&T vs. Mexico 
June 7 or 8, 2017 – USA vs. T&T 
June 11 or 12, 2017 – Costa Rica vs. T&T 
Sept. 1, 2017 – T&T vs. Honduras 
Sept. 5, 2017 – Panama vs. T&T 
Oct. 6, 2017 – Mexico vs. T&T
Oct. 10, 2017 – T&T vs. USA 

United States 
Chris Wondolowski joined the U.S. Men’s National Team for the qualifying matches against St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago. After defeating St. Vincent and the Grenadines 6-0 last Friday, the national team needed a win to get the No. 1 spot in Group C. They did just that Tuesday night with a 4-0 win against Trinidad and Tobago. 

The USMNT will next play on Nov. 11 in Round 5 against Mexico. 

Round 5 
Nov. 11, 2016 – USA vs. Mexico 
Nov. 15, 2016 – Costa Rica vs. USA   
March 24, 2017 – USA vs. Honduras  
March 28, 2017 – Panama vs. USA  
June 7 or 8, 2017 – USA vs. T&T 
June 11 or 12, 2017 – Mexico vs. USA 
Sept. 1, 2017 – USA vs. Costa Rica  
Sept. 5, 2017 – Honduras vs. USA  
Oct. 6, 2017 – USA vs. Panama 
Oct. 10, 2017 – T&T vs. USA 

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