At least two Atlanta United players have been called up to their respective national teams for the next round of World Cup qualifying games. At least two more seem likely and more would love to be re-called.
Striker Josef Martinez (Venezuela) on Friday was called up, joining Miguel Almiron (Paraguay). Martinez suffered a thigh injury the last time he played with Venezuela. That injury caused him to miss 10 games for Atlanta United.
Venezuela will host Colombia on Aug. 31 and play at Argentina on Sept. 5. It has six points from its 14 qualifying matches and doesn’t seem likely to qualify the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Paraguay will play at Chile on Aug. 31 and will host Uruguay on Sept. 5. It has 18 points from its 14 qualifying matches. Almiron said he will fly from Philadelphia to Chile on Sunday to join the national team.
Atlanta United manager Gerardo Martino on Friday said he knew when the team signed Martinez and Almiron that they likely would be called up by their national teams, so he’s ready for the “suffering” that comes with hoping they don’t sustain injuries.
Atlanta United is in seventh in the Eastern Conference and will play at Philadelphia on Saturday. The Five Stripes won’t play again until they open Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sept. 10 against Dallas.
Goalkeeper Brad Guzan seems likely to be called up U.S. manager for Bruce Arena for games against Costa Rica on Sept. 1 at Red Bull Arena and at Honduras on Sept. 5. The U.S. has eight points from six matches.
Centerback Michael Parkhurst said he would like to be called up, but said it’s not something he’s thought about recently. Parkhurst was named to the MLS All-Star team earlier this month. Parkhurst, 33, has made 24 appearances for the U.S. men’s national team. He last played for the team in 2014.
Striker Kenwyne Jones, who suffered an injury with the Trinidad and Tobago national team the last time he was called up earlier this summer, finally is healthy and could also be brought into the team.