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Svensson, Torres and Lodeiro take next steps toward 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia

SEATTLE, WASH. – Three Sounders FC players have taken their next steps toward the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, as Román Torres (Panama) and Nicolás Lodeiro (Uruguay) have been named to their nations’ respective provisional rosters. Additionally, Gustav Svensson (Sweden) has made his country’s final roster for the summer tournament in Russia. Panama named its 35-man provisional roster on Monday, May 14, with Torres among the current list of names that will compete for the final assortment of 23 players representing the CONCACAF nation in Russia. Lodeiro was part of Uruguay’s announcement this afternoon, naming him to the South American nation’s initial list of 26 players. Meanwhile, Svensson has already made his country’s final roster for the world’s biggest sporting event, as manager Janne Andersson announced his finalized team earlier today. FIFA requires that the final 23-man rosters are finalized by Monday, June 4 at the latest, with both Torres and Lodeiro still in contention.

Svensson, 31, has 10 career caps for Sweden since 2009. He has become a consistent callup of late, most recently making four appearances in 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying, including both legs of a victorious playoff series with Italy. In the second leg vs. Italy, Svensson was an injury substitute and logged a 71-minute performance in a scoreless draw to clinch a World Cup berth for the Blågult for the first time since 2006. Sweden is set to play in Group F alongside Germany, Mexico and South Korea.

SWEDEN GROUP STAGE SCHEDULE

DATE               OPPONENT                  LOCATION
June 18            South Korea                  Nizhny Novgorod Stadium
June 23            Germany                       Fisht Olympic Stadium
June 27            Mexico                          Ekaterinburg Arena

As captain of the Panamanian National Team, Torres, 32, has 92 career international appearances and 14 goals, including the decisive strike in a 2-1 win over Costa Rica in the final match of the 2018 World Cup Qualifying cycle, sending his nation to the FIFA World Cup for the first time. In all, he started all nine of his appearances in 2018 World Cup Qualifying, scoring two goals. Since making his international debut against South Africa in the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup (where Panama finished second), Torres has led Los Canaleros to the 2009 Copa Centroamericana championship, a second-place finish at the 2013 Gold Cup and a third-place finish at the 2015 Gold Cup. In Russia, Panama has been placed in Group G with England, Belgium and Tunisia.

PANAMA GROUP STAGE SCHEDULE

DATE               OPPONENT                  LOCATION
June 18            Belgium                        Fisht Olympic Stadium
June 24            England                        Nizhny Novgorod Stadium
June 28             Tunisia                         Mordovia Arena

Lodeiro, 29, has 57 caps and four goals in his international career, including seven appearances across the last two FIFA World Cups in 2010 and 2014. He most recently was a big part of Uruguay’s qualification for Russia, starting four of eight appearances and scoring the game-winning goal against Venezuela on October 6, 2016. In 2010, he was part of the Uruguay World Cup team that fell to the Netherlands in the tournament’s Semifinal Round, and in 2014 he helped La Celeste reach the Round of 16 before falling to Colombia. Lodeiro also helped his country win the 2011 Copa America trophy and represented Uruguay at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. At this summer’s World Cup, Uruguay is competing in Group A alongside host country Russia, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

URUGUAY GROUP STAGE SCHEDULE

DATE               OPPONENT                  LOCATION
June 15            Egypt                            Ekaterinburg Arena
June 20            Saudi Arabia                 Rostov Arena
June 25            Russia                          Samara Arena

After completing a three-match stretch over nine days that concluded Sunday with a 1-0 loss at Portland, Sounders FC heads into a bye week from MLS play. Brian Schmetzer's side returns to action on Saturday, May 26 against Real Salt Lake on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field (2:00 p.m. PT / JOEtv, YouTube TV, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM).

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