International fixtures are in full swing at the moment, and some current and former Chivas USA players have been involved in the past week. Let's take a look at some of the action:
First, the U.S. Men's National Team had a pair of friendlies last week, starting with a 4-2 loss to Belgium in Cleveland last Wednesday, and a 4-3 win over Germany in Washington, D.C. Former Chivas USA players Brad Guzan and Sacha Kljestan were on the roster for both friendlies as well as the upcoming World Cup qualifiers, and both featured in one of the friendlies last week.
Kljestan started in the Belgium match and played 81 minutes in all. Jurgen Klinsmann publicly backed Kljestan ahead of the match as a starter in the central midfield, and many believe Kljestan got the nod at least in part because he plays professionally in Belgium as a member of that country's back-to-back defending champs Anderlecht. But truthfully, the USMNT played a choppy game, and Belgium were simply overpowering. Kljestan looked pretty good early on, but as the visitors piled on the goals, his contributions receded further and further.
Meanwhile, Guzan also featured in the Belgium loss, as a second half substitute for Tim Howard. In his 45 minutes of work, Guzan allowed three goals and made one save. Statistically, it wasn't a great night for Guzan, but pundits were not blaming him for any of those goals.
The U.S. plays three World Cup qualifiers this month, beginning Friday against Jamaica in Kingston, Tuesday against Panama in Seattle, and June 18 against Honduras in Salt Lake City. Will Kljestan and Guzan see any action in those matches? We'll keep our eyes peeled and let you know!
While the USMNT has former Chivas USA players on their squad, the Mexico U-20 squad has a current Goat, Julio Morales. The striker, and Mexico, continued and concluded their Toulon Tournament play, with a 1-1-2 record, which wasn't good enough to advance to the title game this year.
Morales, after starting and scoring in the tournament opener against Nigeria, sat out the next match, a 1-0 loss to Brazil Friday. From there, El Tri managed a 3-3 draw against Portugal Tuesday. Marco Bueno got Mexico started with a quick goal in the 1st minute, but they needed two goals from Jose Abella to ensure the draw. Morales came off the bench in this game in the 67th minute. They concluded the tournament with a 1-1 draw against Belgium Thursday but Morales did not feature.
Mexico finished group play in the Toulon Tournament with 5 points and finished in 3rd place in Group B.
An article of note that came out recently about Morales was featured on the Spanish wing of MLS' website. The writer makes tentative comparisons to Chicharito - fair or not?
The final U-20 World Cup roster for Mexico should be announced shortly, and Morales could get the call, although we'll have to wait and see. Mexico begins play in the World Cup June 22 against Greece. We'll let you know if there are any developments on this front.
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