It has been a very busy day in international soccer, between the start of the Euros and the start of the latest phase in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying. You can get coverage of all of the other key matches from today over at SB Nation Soccer, but I want to highlight the Chivas USA player active internationally today. Defender Ante Jazic, fresh off his strong performance for Canada in a scoreless draw with the United States last Sunday, played the full 90 today in Canada's 1-0 win over Cuba to kick off their World Cup qualification group play. A goal in the 54th minute by Olivier Occean put the visitors ahead, and despite losing goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld to a red card for handling the ball outside the box, they held on to get all three points on the road.
Jazic played the full match, and was deployed over at left back again. He did receive a yellow card in the first half, something that he doesn't usually pick up for Chivas, but given the unfamiliar conditions of playing in Cuba and given the tension of playing in a match that truly counts, it isn't a surprise that players play slightly uncharacteristically. Still, Jazic contributed to a win, and to a clean sheet. For a defender, that's about as good as it gets.Canada's next qualifier comes Tuesday in Toronto against Honduras. Combining the travel time back home from Cuba, plus Jazic's age means it isn't a guarantee he'll get another start next week. That said, there's nothing in the aftermath of the match to suggest he needs to be replaced. I assume if he has the energy to go again, he will. Considering Jazic is the second-oldest player on Chivas' roster and he's the regular left back for the Goats, he may end up needing a rest when he returns to the club. Still, having internationals on the team and seeing them succeed is great for Chivas. Well done Ante!
What do you think? Leave a comment below!