RR callups
Mike Fiechtner

Four Sounders FC players called into international duty

SEATTLE, WASH. – Sounders FC announced today that Xavier Arreaga (Ecuador), Nouhou (Cameroon), Raúl Ruidíaz (Peru) and Brad Smith (Australia) have been called-up for international duty. Arreaga and Ruidíaz are set to join their respective squads for CONMEBOL 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers and the 2021 Copa América in Brazil. Smith joins Australia for four Oceania World Cup Qualifiers in Kuwait, while Nouhou and Cameroon are set to play a pair of friendlies in Vienna. Additionally, Tacoma Defiance forward Alec Díaz has been called-up to Puerto Rico’s squad for a pair of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers.

Arreaga, who started two FIFA World Cup Qualifying matches in November (scoring his first international goal vs. Colombia on November 17), finds himself back in the La Tricolor squad, looking to continue his streak of starts. He was first called-up for a friendly in 2018 and has a total of 10 caps to date. The Ecuadorian squad faces off against Brazil and Peru in World Cup Qualifiers on June 4 and June 8, respectively, before kicking off 2021 Copa América action on June 14.

Ruidíaz, currently leading Sounders FC in scoring and ranking second in the MLS Golden Boot race with six goals this season, gets the nod for two more 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying matches and this summer’s Copa América for Peru. La Blanquirroja face Colombia on June 3 before squaring off against Ecuador on June 8, prior to starting Copa América play on June 18. Ruidíaz has 46 career caps for Peru dating back to 2011, getting 19 starts and netting four goals.

Nouhou, who has played every minute thus far in 2021 for Seattle, is set to join Cameroon for a pair of international friendlies against Nigeria on June 4 and Senegal on June 8, both in Vienna, Austria. Nouhou has one senior international cap for Les Lions Indomptables, in addition to a pair of appearances at the U-20 and U-23 levels.

Smith, ranking second on Sounders FC with three goals this season, joins Australia for four FIFA World Cup Qualifiers all based in Kuwait City, Kuwait. The Socceroos are set to face Kuwait (June 3), Taipei (June 7), Nepal (June 11) and Jordan (June 15). Smith has 22 career international caps for Australia after making his debut on September 4, 2014.

Díaz, who led Tacoma Defiance with six goals in 2020, joins Puerto Rico for a pair of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers against the Bahamas on June 2 and Guyana on June 8. Díaz, who joined Sounders FC Academy in 2015, has five career international caps for El Huracán Azul

Sounders FC (5-0-3, 18 points) enters the June international break unbeaten through eight matches and atop the Supporters’ Shield race, conceding just three goals so far this season, none from open play. The club resumes MLS regular season action on Saturday, June 19 at the LA Galaxy (6:00 p.m. PT / JOEtv, Prime Video, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM).