Friday night was chock-full of CONCACAF matches, three of which featured New York Red Bulls players on their team’s international rosters.
Midfielder Sacha Kljestan did not appear for the United States during their annihilation of Honduras, 6-0 in San Jose. Goals were scored by Seattle Sounders’ Clint Dempsey - who took #Get3 to heart by bagging a hat-trick - Toronto FC’s Michael Bradley, LA Galaxy’s Sebastian Lletget and Borussia Dortmund’s boy-wonder, Christian Pulisic. Kljestan looks to take the field on Tuesday night’s match against Michael Amir Murillo’s Panama.
Speaking of Murillo and Panama, Los Canaleros lost a shocker to Trinidad & Tobago 1-0 behind Minnesota United’s Kevin Molino goal in the 37th minute. Panama held the advantage in shots (7 to 6) and possession (53 to 47), but couldn’t convert their chances. Murillo substituted in for Houston Dymamo’s Adolfo Machado in the 75th minute and earned a yellow card seven minutes later. The appearance was Murillo’s 10th cap for the senior Panama men’s national team.
Panama and the US will face each other on Tuesday night in Panama City. The US sits in fourth place in CONCACAF’s Hexagonal table - the final round of World Cup qualifying for the region. Panama is one spot and one point better. The winner will (most likely) take hold of third place in the qualifying group.
Lastly, Haiti defeated Nicaragua in a Gold Cup play-in match 3-1. Jeff Louis scored two for Haiti while Wilde-Donald Guerrier added another. Carlos Chavarría pulled one back for Nicaragua in the 86th minute. Forward Derrick Etienne did not appear for Haiti, but the two teams face off again on Tuesday night, so maybe he’ll get his chance.
The winner of the aggregate across the two legs will become the last entrant in this summer’s Gold Cup. They will find themselves placed in Group A with Martinique and shockingly enough, Panama and the US. (It’s nice how these things work out, right?)
The Red Bulls should have their full complement of international players on Saturday night when they travel to red-hot Houston.