Seattle Sounders FC will not get any benefit from the international break during the MLS Cup Playoffs, but several players are heading around the world to help their home nations qualify for World Cup 2018 in Russia. Nelson Haedo Valdez will represent Paraguay. Marco Pappa will again be with Guatemala.
Obafemi Martins will rejoin Nigeria. He travels to Swaziland for the first of a two-leg series. That Friday match is at 9 a.m. On Tuesday at 7 a.m. the second leg kicks off in Nigeria.
Sounders FC 2's forward pairing of Oalex Anderson and Myron Samuel will try to help St. Vincent & the Grenadines beat the United States in St. Louis (ESPN2, 4 p.m. Pacific on Friday). Among active St. Vincent players, they are the two leading scorers.
Pappa and Guatemala are also in the same Group as the Dempsey-less USA. Their Friday match hosting Trinidad & Tobago is on NBC Universo at 4:30 p.m. Pacific, with a kick at 5 p.m. Marco has 11 goals in his 52 caps.
The S2 pair face off with Pappa off on Tuesday on NBCDeportes.com at 11:30 a.m. when Vincy Heat (with assistant coach Ezra Hendrickson) try to upset La Azul y Blanco.
Valdez is first in Peru Friday (6:15 p.m.), and then Paraguay hosts Bolivia Tuesday at 3 p.m. The forward/winger has 12 goals for his nation. Paraguay is trying to build on a fourth place finish in the Copa America and qualify for the World Cup for the fifth time in the last six opportunities.