It has been a busy international break for current and former FC Dallas players. This week, we’ll take a look at all the action in which those players were included.
Current FC Dallas Players
Of the four players currently under contract with FC Dallas who were called up in this international break, Bryan Acosta played the most minutes for his native Honduras. Honduras has played two games to this point, both games in the CONCACAF Nations League finals. Acosta came off the bench in the 64th minute in the semi-final against the USA before playing the full 90 minutes, plus penalties, in the third place game against Costa Rica. Acosta was a steady presence in midfield for Los Catrachos and buried his penalty kick to help Honduras take the bronze medal in the first ever CONCACAF Nations League Finals. Honduras has one more game in this international window, a friendly on June 12th against Mexico. Acosta will hope to feature heavily in that game and continue to cement his place in the Honduran national team.
The only other player to play any minutes in the international window to this point, Szabolcs Schön, was called up to the Hungarian national team for the Euros as well as the warm-up friendlies for the Euros. Schön did not make it off the bench in Hungary’s first warm up friendly against Cyprus, but he did make a brief cameo appearance against Ireland, coming on in the 89th minute to close out the game. Schön is considered a hot prospect in his homeland and he will hope to get some playing time in the Euros. Hungary has a brutal group, being paired with the two most recent World Cup winners in France and Germany, along with the reigning European champions Portugal. It will certainly be tough for a young player like Schön to get a lot of playing time in these kinds of games, but he will relish the experience regardless. The timing of the matches has Hungary playing their final group stage match on June 23rd, so Schön will miss, at the very least, two matches for FC Dallas, home against Minnesota United and away to LAFC, before he returns to Texas.
The other two players who were called up have not yet played any minutes for their national teams. Freddy Vargas was called up by Venezuela for their CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifiers, but he did not make the bench for either the away trip to Bolivia or the home match against Uruguay. With that in mind, Vargas was unsurprisingly left out of Venezuela’s final 28-man squad for Copa America, meaning he should be back in Frisco within the next few days. Justin Che, now back in the country after his loan with Bayern Munich II, was called up by the US senior team for the first time. He did not make it off the bench for the pre-Nations League Finals friendly against Switzerland and was not named to the final squad for the Nations League finals, not surprising for a 17 year old. Speculation abounds as to whether Che’s future lies with FC Dallas or back in Germany with Bayern Munich, but FC Dallas announced Thursday that Che is back in training, so, at least for now, he is part of Luchi’s squad.
Former FC Dallas Players
The Nations League Final squad for the USA was very heavily influenced by former FC Dallas players. Reggie Cannon played in all four of the USMNT’s matches during the international break, starting and playing 81 minutes in the friendly against Switzerland, coming on as a substitute in the semi-final match against Honduras and in the final against Mexico and finally playing the full 90 minutes and scoring a lovely goal in the friendly against Costa Rica to close out the international break for the USMNT. Kellyn Acosta came on as a substitute 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 earning a deserved rest on the bench in the friendly versus Costa Rica. Bryan Reynolds was called up for the Nations League finals but an injury forced him to miss out on any playing time in any of the four matches. All in all, it was fantastic to see so many players with ties to FC Dallas and DFW making a huge impact during the international window for the USMNT.
Outside of the USA but staying in CONCACAF, Moises Hernandez was called up by Guatemala for their World Cup Qualifiers. Moises started both games, scoring a goal in Guatemala’s 10-0 rout of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and being part of the team that ultimately came up short in the 0-0 draw against Curacao that saw Guatemala harshly eliminated from World Cup qualification without even having conceded a goal. Moises will likely be back in action with Guatemala in early July as they attempt to qualify for the 2021 Gold Cup. Continuing our journey down south, Carlos Gruezo, the only former FCD player called up this window who is not a former FC Dallas homegrown player, was called up for World Cup Qualifiers by Ecuador. Gruezo played the full 90 minutes in Ecuador’s first match, a 2-0 loss to Brazil. Unfortunately for the midfielder, he contracted COVID-19 ahead of Ecuador’s second match against Peru, forcing him out of the squad and also causing him to miss out on Copa America. It is a really unfortunate setback and horrible timing for Gruezo, but fortunately, he is still young enough that he is likely to continue to feature for Ecuador for years to come.
How did you feel about seeing so many former FC Dallas players suit up for the US Men’s National Team? Do you think Szabolcs Schön will get any playing time in the Euros? Let me know in the comments below.
Featured Image: John Dorton/ISI Photos