It’s been a busy international break for current and former FC Dallas players. This week we’re taking a look at all of the promotions these players have been involved in.
Current FC Dallas players
Of the four players currently under contract with FC Dallas who were called up for this international break, Bryan Acosta played most of the minutes for his native Honduras. Honduras has played two games so far, both games in the final of the CONCACAF Nations League. Acosta came off the bench in the 64th minute of the semi-final against the USA before playing the full 90 minutes plus penalty shoot-outs in the third-place match against Costa Rica. Acosta was a constant presence in midfield for Los Catrachos and buried his penalty kick to help Honduras take the bronze medal in the first CONCACAF Nations League final. Honduras has one more game in this international match, a friendly against Mexico on June 12th. Acosta will hope to be strong in this game and further cement their place on the Honduran national team.
The only other player who has not yet played a minute in the international window, Szabolcs Nice, was appointed to the Hungarian national team for the European Championship and for the European Championship warm-up games. Schön didn’t come off the bench in the Hungarians’ first friendly against Cyprus, but he made a brief cameo against Ireland in the 89th minute. Schön is a hot candidate in his home country and is hoping for a certain season at the European Championships. Hungary has a brutal group with the two youngest world champions in France and Germany as well as reigning European champions Portugal. It will certainly be hard for a young player like Schön to get a lot of playing time in games like this, but he’ll still enjoy the experience. The timing of the games stipulates that Hungary will play their final group game on June 23, so Schön will miss at least two games for FC Dallas, at home against Minnesota United and away at LAFC, before returning to Texas.
The other two called up players have not yet played minutes for their national teams. Freddy Vargas was called up by Venezuela to qualify for the CONMEBOL World Cup, but he was never on the bench for the away game in Bolivia or the home game against Uruguay. With that in mind, Vargas was unsurprisingly banned from Venezuela’s final 28-man squad for the Copa America, which means he should be back at Frisco in the next few days. Justin CheHe, who is now back in the country after his loan from FC Bayern Munich II, was appointed to the US national team for the first time. He didn’t make it off the bench for the pre-Nations League final test match against Switzerland and wasn’t called up on the final squad for the Nations League final, which isn’t surprising for a 17-year-old. There’s been a lot of speculation about whether Che’s future will be at FC Dallas or back in Germany at Bayern Munich, but FC Dallas announced on Thursday that Che is back in training, so he’ll be part of Luchi’s squad, at least for the time being.
Former FC Dallas players
The squad for the United States’ Nations League final was heavily influenced by former FC Dallas players. Reggie cannon played in all four USMNT games during the international break, started and played 81 minutes in the friendly against Switzerland, was substituted on in the semifinals against Honduras and in the final against Mexico and finally played the full 90 minutes and scored a nice goal in the friendly against Costa Rica to complete the international break for the USMNT. Kelly’s Acosta was substituted on in midfield against Switzerland, Honduras and Costa Rica and played the full 120 minutes in the Nations League final against Mexico. Former FCD Academy player Weston McKennie started against Switzerland, Honduras and Mexico and scored the goal that would send the Nations League final into extra time before a well-deserved break on the bench in the friendly against Costa Rica. Bryan Reynolds was called up for the Nations League final, but an injury forced him not to miss any of the four games. All in all, it was fantastic to see how many players with ties to FC Dallas and DFW made a huge impact for the USMNT during the international window.
Outside the US, but staying in CONCACAF, Moises Hernandez was called by Guatemala to qualify for the World Cup. Moises started in both games, scoring a goal in Guatemala’s 10-0 win over St. Vincent and the Grenadines and was part of the team that was eliminated in the 0-0 draw against Curacao, in which Guatemala unevenly from the World Cup qualifiers was, in the end failed to concede a goal. Moises will likely be back in action with Guatemala in early July to qualify for the 2021 Gold Cup. We continue our journey south Carlos Gruezo, the only former FCD player who has accessed this window and is not a former FC Dallas player, has been called up by Ecuador to qualify for the World Cup. Gruezo played the full 90 minutes in Ecuador’s first game, a 2-0 loss to Brazil. Unfortunately for the midfielder, he contracted COVID-19 ahead of Ecuador’s second game against Peru, forcing him off the roster and also causing him to miss the Copa America. It’s a really unfortunate setback and terrible timing for Gruezo, but luckily he’s still young enough to probably play for Ecuador for many years to come.
How was it for you to see so many former Dallas FC players for the US men’s national team? Do you think that Szabolcs Schön will get a season at the EM? Let me know in the comments below.
Featured image: John Dorton / ISI Photos