Here are five things we learned now that the international break is over...
Sands of Time
There’s no getting around the disappointment of the US Men’s National Team failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. But if you can bring yourself to look on the bright side, NYCFC Homegrown Player James Sands has helped the Young Yanks to the top of their group at the U-17 World Cup in India and already through to the next round after 2 matches. Sands has gone the full 90 in both and drawn rave reviews. How far can they go?
Yangel Herrera earned widespread recognition for his own performances at a youth World Cup with the U20 iteration in South Korea last June – where the central midfielder lead La Vinotinto to the tournament final and was awarded the Bronze Ball in the process. Now he’s doing it on the senior level (again) – where he scored the lone goal in Venezuela’s first away qualifying victory of the campaign to knock Paraguay out of contention. The goal made him the first player to score at least one goal for Venezuela at every age group – U15, U17, U20, and now the national team. More to come we’re sure…
Jack Harrison was let out of the cage as he took the field for England’s Young Lions for the first time ever. He came on for a cameo appearance in the 88th minute to help his side to a 3-1 UEFA Euorpean Championships qualifying win over Scotland in Middlesbrough last Friday. He followed that up with a start vs. Andorra where he looked quite comfortable helping England to another U21 Euro qualifying victory. Hopefully just the start for Jack and England.
Kwame for Canada
NYCFC rookie Kwame Awuah has made great strides in his first season under Patrick Vieira – and it shows in his consistent call ups to the Canadian National Team. They most recently took the field in Houston and fell 0-1 to El Salvador in a friendly to benefit Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Kwame is still awaiting his senior debut – but as he continues to build his profile with regular call ups it should come soon.
Pura Vida in Russia
Our Ticos are in! Rodney Wallace and Ronald Matarrita helped Costa Rica earn qualification for the Russian World Cup on the back of a dramatic 95th minute equalizer from Vancouver Whitecaps’ Kendall Waston. It’s the second straight World Cup berth for Costa Rica, but fingers crossed we will see the first appearances from our two left-sided stars. Pura Vida!