For one last time in 2021, a handful of Toronto FC players are headed on World Cup Qualifying duty with their respective national sides.
With Yeferson Soteldo not in Venezuela’s squad due to injury, TFC’s representation will be completely CONCACAF-based in November, as Jonathan Osorio, Richie Laryea, Eriq Zavaleta and Kemar Lawrence gear up to don their national team jerseys yet again.
Canada will have their sights set on continuing their bright start to the final round of qualifying, while El Salvador and Jamaica have some ground to make up in order to close in on the pack above them.
So, let’s dive into the schedules of our four international Reds and their countries ahead of some crunch WCQ fixtures:
Canada - Jonathan Osorio, Richie Laryea
It’s safe to say that the Canadian men’s national team have established themselves as one of the teams to beat in this Octagonal.
Historic results against Mexico and Panama during the October international break showcased exactly why John Herdman’s men have the entire country behind them on their quest to Qatar.
Jonathan Osorio and Richie Laryea have firmly established themselves as staples in Herdman’s squad, as both TFC stars grabbed a goal contribution each in October (Osorio goal v. Mexico, Laryea assist v. Panama).
Sitting pretty in third, a momentous October will have Osorio, Laryea and co. hungry for more as the CanMNT craze heads to Edmonton for the month.
With both of Canada’s November matches taking place at Commonwealth Stadium, Les Rouges will first mark the halfway point of their campaign in their opening game against Costa Rica (Sept. 12th) before hosting Mexico (Sept. 16th) in a mouth-watering clash to conclude one of the greatest years in the program’s history.
El Salvador - Eriq Zavaleta
Despite recording their first victory in the Octagon last month against Panama, El Salvador then fell to two consecutive defeats, which now has them sitting second from bottom in the table.
Moreover, La Selecta have quite the task ahead of them if they are to genuinely contest for a place in Qatar after recording just five points from a possible 18.
He may have been selected in October, but a concussion kept Eriq Zavaleta out of his team’s win over Panama and defeats to Costa Rica and Mexico respectively.
Zavaleta, who has overseen eight clean sheets in his 11 appearances for El Salvador, will undoubtedly be looking forward to a return to international action when he and his compatriots host Jamaica on November 16th and when they travel to Panama City to take on Panama (Nov. 16th).
Jamaica - Kemar Lawrence
Four points from three games last month saw Jamaica move off the bottom of the table into sixth, where they are now five points behind the automatic qualification spots.
Kemar Lawrence has played every single minute of Jamaica’s six matches so far, notably helping his side keep two clean sheets in their last two games, as well as providing an assist back in September against Costa Rica.
In the Reggae Boyz’s opening October fixture against El Salvador (Nov. 12th), Lawrence will clash with TFC teammate Zavaleta as both nations hunt for a crucial victory.
To finish off the month and the year, Jamaica welcomes the United States to Independence Park in Kingston (Nov. 16th) in a bid to avenge their 2-0 defeat from matchday four.