On the club front, things aren't going very well at the moment for Chivas USA, but there's a bit of good news coming out on the international front, as two Chivas players are involved in 2014 World Cup Qualifying during this international "break" (Chivas were one of only two MLS teams playing this weekend).
Let's start out with Ante Jazic, who was called up again for the Canadian National Team by coach Stephen Hart for these latest CONCACAF group stage qualifiers. Canada has a home-and-away series this month against Panama, and in their first match, Friday in Toronto, Canada defeated Panama 1-0. D.C. United's Dwayne De Rosario scored the winner, on a quick free kick taken by Atiba Hutchinson late in the game, and the home team hung on for the victory. Jazic started and played a full 90 minutes in defense for his country, and helped them earn another clean sheet this year.Canada plays Panama away on Tuesday, and it will be a pivotal match for their hopes of going to the hexagonal round of CONCACAF qualifying. At the moment, Canada sits atop Group 3 with 7 points, halfway through the current group stage. If they can pick up points on Panama, that should help them get closer to at least a second-place finish and advancement to the hexagonal. Three points would of course be ideal, but even a point would help them and prevent Panama from moving up the standings. Still, it will likely go down to the final match, as Honduras is also in the mix in this group. Stay tuned!
Meanwhile, Chivas' other international away on duty was of course Oswaldo Minda, who was called in to Ecuador's national team for the recent CONMEBOL qualifiers. Ecuador beat Bolivia 1-0 at home Friday on a penalty converted by Lokomotiv Moscow's Felipe Caicedo in the second half. Minda was an unused substitute in the match, one that was described by SB Nation Soccer's Kevin McCauley as "dull."
With the win, Ecuador maintains pace in CONMEBOL, which is a single table system, currently sitting in third place just a point behind region leader Argentina. Considering the top four are guaranteed to make the World Cup, Ecuador are in prime position at this point, although there are still more games to be won before they can punch their ticket. A quick aside: Alejandro Moreno's Venezuela has fallen off the pace, and currently sit in sixth place. Of course, Moreno hasn't been called up this year, so maybe there's something to Venezuela's flagging form...
Ecuador will be back in action Tuesday against Uruguay in Montevideo. Uruguay has been struggling lately, but they still sit only a point behind Ecuador, so this will be a big match. We'll keep you posted on the match and whether Minda sees any time on the road.
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