The next month contains plenty of occasions to watch stars from the Seattle Sounders on the international stage. Whether it’s European Championship Qualifiers, the Concacaf Gold Cup or the Copa América, members of the Rave Green will be making waves for their respective national teams.
Gustav Svensson The Blågult entered the second round of qualifying for the UEFA 2020 Euros ranked second in Group F on four points (1-1-0), two points adrift of Spain. Sweden picked up another three points on Friday with a commanding 3-0 home victory over Malta. A win against Spain in Madrid (June 10) would catapult the Swedes into first place in the group with six matches remaining. Svensson, who has earned 16 of his 22 international caps since joining the Sounders, featured in three matches for Sweden at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Concacaf Gold Cup
Sounders FC standouts and best friends Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan were both named to Head Coach Gregg Berhalter’s final 23-man roster for the 2019 Gold Cup on Thursday. Morris, 24, has been on the USMNT circuit since he received his first call-up to the Stars & Stripes as a Sophomore at Stanford University back in 2014. The Mercer Island native scored the game-winning goal against Jamaica in the 2017 Gold Cup final, calmly placing a curled effort in the top corner in the 88th minute. Seattle’s Homegrown hero will compete for minutes both on the wing and as No. 9 in Berhalter’s fluid 4-3-3 formation.
Now in his fifth year as a pro, Roldan has cemented his place as a consistent contributor for both club and country. In Berhalter’s tactical system, the California native will most likely occupy one of two advanced midfield positions, which suits his well-rounded skillset.
The United States are favorites to win Group D. They’ll open the tournament with a match against Guyana (June 18) before taking on Trinidad & Tobago (June 22) and Panama (June 26).
National hero Román Torres, who helped his country qualify for their first-ever World Cup in 2018, will once again lead Panama in international competition. Los Canaleros face a tricky path out of the group stage, as both Panama and Trinidad & Tobago will be vying for second place in Group F, which grants them passage to the knockout rounds. The winner of their matchup on June 15 will have massive implications for advancement to the Round of 16.
Trinidad & Tobago
Joevin Jones, who has amassed 76 caps for Trinidad across all competitions, will lead the Soca Warriors through a tricky Group F at the Gold Cup. While they will likely need to defeat Torres and Panama in their group opener, Trinidad will have no fear against the United States, as their 2-1 win over the Stars & Stripes in October of 2017 kept the regional giants out of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Normally a left back or left midfielder at club level, Jones will likely line up as an inverted winger or No. 10 for his national team.
The King of Martinique returns to his throne for the Gold Cup, leading his national team as they seek to navigate a thorny Group A that also contains Mexico, Canada and Cuba. Jordy Delem, who plays center back and defensive midfield for his country, has plenty of international experience, earning 18 caps for Martinique over the years.
The utility defender will need to pick up points in the group opener against Canada (June 15), as the result of the match will likely determine which team advances. What Canada lacks in depth they make up for in top-end attacking talent, which means Delem’s ability to shutdown the likes of Alphonso Davies will be critical.
The Sounders’ newest signing, center back Xavier Arreaga, will hope to parlay his big move into a consistent role with his national team. The 24-year-old defender only has one cap for his country, a 2-1 win over Panama in November 2018, so he’ll bring plenty of youthful exuberance to an Ecuadorian side hoping to progress out of Group C. Placed in a group alongside Uruguay (June 16), Chile (June 20) and Japan (June 24), Arreaga and La Tricolor will need to either finish in the top two spots of Group C or as one of the two best third-place teams if they hope to qualify for the knockout rounds.
Welcome to the club, Xavier!— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) May 8, 2019
Arreaga, 24, joins the Sounders after playing four seasons for Barcelona SC in Ecuador. 🇪🇨 pic.twitter.com/CGPrt5wXFg
Raúl Ruidíaz enters the prestigious Copa América in solid form, scoring in the Sounders’ 2-1 loss to FC Dallas before grabbing an assist in Peru’s tune-up friendly against Costa Rica. La Blanquirroja hope to advance out of Group A, which includes Venezuela (June 15), Bolivia (June 18) and hosts Brazil (June 22). Ruidíaz will face off against fellow MLS danger-man Josef Martinez and Venezuela in their first match at the regional tournament.
Entering the tournament as one of the title favorites, Nicolás Lodeiro and La Albiceleste are among the favorites to lift the Copa America trophy on July 7. Lodeiro, who narrowly missed out on a spot at the 2018 World Cup, put in some strong performances for Uruguay at the China Cup. Competing with a host of technical, clever midfielders, the Seattle’s No. 10 could play a prominent role in Brazil. Uruguay open the tournament with a match against Arreaga and Ecuador (June 16) before taking on Japan (June 20) and Chile (June 24).