The first international break of the 2019 MLS season was chock full of Euro 2020 qualifying, weird tournaments, World Cup tune ups, and boring friendlies, at least for the six Seattle Sounders players that were called into their respective national team camps. Weren’t able to wake up early to watch Nicolas Lodeiro and Uruguay take on Thailand in the China Cup (whatever that is)? That’s okay, this handy roundup will tell you everything you need to know.
Spoiler alert: All six Sounders are fit and healthy.
The Sounders’ number 10 had himself quite an outing this past week with Uruguay. Lodeiro started his first match for Uruguay since October of 2016 when they took on Uzbekistan in their first matchup in the China Cup tournament. He recorded an assist in his 60 minutes, helping Uruguay to a 4-0 victory. Lodeiro picked up another assist in Uruguay’s second game, a 4-0 win over Thailand. Lodeiro went 90 minutes in that match, one of only three outfield players to do so.
After being left off Uruguay’s World Cup team last year, Nico hopefully did himself some favors in the eyes of the national team coach.
Our Swedish comedian who also happens to play defensive midfield joined up with his Swedish National Team teammates as they began their qualification hopes for Euro 2020. In both of Sweden’s matches Svensson came on as a second half substitute but that’s where the similarities between the matches ends.
In the first match, Sweden had a routine 2-1 win over Romania. Gustav came on in the 68th minute and picked up a yellow card in stoppage time. The second match is where things get really interesting.
Sweden entered the half trailing 1-0 to Norway. They extended the lead to 2-0 in the 59th minute thanks to a Joshua King goal. Svensson entered the match when it was still 2-0 in the 66th minute and that’s when things started to pop off. 4 minutes later, Sweden pulled one back to make it 2-1 in the 70th minute when Svensson’s teammate, Viktor Claesson, was first to the rebound after Norway’s keeper saved a penalty. Sweden then equalize in the 86th minute, on an own goal. They went ahead in stoppage time to make it 3-2 at 90+1. Norway equalized at the death with a goal by former MLSer Ola Kamara.
Are you tired reading that? I’m tired typing that. Despite the thrilling match, Svensson played less than 45 minutes across the two matches. He should be just fine once he returns to Seattle.
Jordan Morris & Cristian Roldan
Jorstan Mordan. The inseparable duo played prominent roles for the new era of Greggggg Berhalter’s U.S. Men’s National Team this past week.
Last Thursday, the US took on Ecuador in Orlando, FL and Jordan Morris started on the right wing. It was billed as the first “real” game under Berhalter’s tenure with the national team, and that really showed. Morris looked like he was learning a new position, but did manage to get a beautiful cross off after darting down the right wing. It was ultimately ruled to be offside, so Gyasi Zardes’ whiff didn’t matter. Morris was subbed off in the 68th minute.
Roldan came on when Morris went off, but for the injured Weston McKennie.
On Tuesday night, the US took on Chile in Houston, TX and this time the roles were reversed. Cristian Roldan started this one, and Jordan Morris came off the bench. This match was definitely the more exciting of the two, and Roldan played a big role in it. In the first half Roldan had two interceptions that turned into goal scoring chances.
Morris came on with 11 minutes to spare, but fell victim to the lack of service from his teammates.
Jordy played 90 minutes in Martinique’s CONCACAF Nations League Qualification match against Guadeloupe. Martinique won all 4 of their qualification matches, so we might be seeing Delem face off against Sounders’ teammates this summer at the Gold Cup.
To round off the list, Trey Muse played 90 minutes in the U-20s last tuneup match before the U-20 World Cup this summer. The US beat Japan 2-1.