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How Sounders performed on international duty

Xavier Arreaga remains with his respective national team, but Raul Ruidiaz was dropped by Peru for Copa América.


The Seattle Sounders are in the middle of their much-needed break from MLS play, but five Sounders were called into action to play over the past 10 days with their national teams.

Only three have seen time with their teams, however.

Tacoma Defiance’s Alec Diaz was initially called into camp with Puerto Rico, but did not end up leaving his teammates. Diaz stayed with the Defiance and started in their 2-0 loss to the Las Vegas Lights last weekend.

Brad Smith returned stateside after suffering what was termed a “minor” injury that nonetheless cut his international adventure short. The good news is that the injury does not appear to be serious, and coach Brian Schmetzer said he should be available for the match against the LA Galaxy on June 19.

The remaining Sounders on international duty continue to represent their respective teams. Here’s how they’ve fared so far:

Nouhou (Cameroon)

Nouhou joined Cameroon for a pair of friendlies against Nigeria on June 4 and 8 in Austria. The Sounders’ centerback did not feature in Cameroon’s 1-0 victory in the first match, but started at left back m and played the entire match to help The Indomitable Lions keep a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw in the return matchup.

Up next: Nouhou’s international stint is over, with Cameroon only having a pair of friendlies on the schedule. He should be back in time for the Sounders’ match against the Galaxy.

Xavier Arreaga (Ecuador)

Unfortunately for Arreaga, Ecuador is off to a rough start as COMEBOL World Cup qualifying resumes. Arreaga started both matches for Ecuador, but took two losses to damage their standing towards qualification for the 2022 World Cup. Ecuador suffered a 2-0 loss to Brazil on the road, which was hardly unexpected. They followed that up with a 2-1 loss to Peru on home soil. Ecuador is still comfortably in the qualification places for the World Cup, but could have given themselves a cushion had they been able to grab at least one result.

Up next: Copa América — assuming it still happens — begins on June 13. Arreaga’s Ecuador starts its campaign against Colombia on the same day. Arreaga will be gone through June at the earliest.

Raul Ruidiaz (Peru)

Peru picked up its first win of the qualifying campaign, in the aforementioned 2-1 victory on the road against Ecuador. Ruidiaz did not feature in the victory, but did come off the bench in Peru’s first match — a 3-0 loss to Colombia. Peru currently sits at the bottom of COMEBOL qualifying with a 1-4-1 record and a -8 goal differential. Qualification to the 2022 World Cup seems unlikely, at least at this point.

Up next: Peru will hope for better luck in Copa América, but they’ll do it without Raul Ruidiaz, who was dropped by coach Ricardo Gareca for the tournament. Presumably, that means that Ruidiaz will be fully available for the Sounders’ upcoming fixtures.

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