As expected, Arturo Alvarez saw his name called by El Salvador for their CONCACAF Gold Cup squad. But the Real Salt Lake attacker has some unexpected MLS company on the national team: Steve Purdy.
The Portland Timbers fullback received his first call-up to the Salvadoran national team by head coach Rubén Israel for the regional tournament, which starts next month.
Like Alvarez, the 26-year-old Purdy was born in the US of Salvadoran parentage and is also a product of the United States youth system. Former El Salvador manager Carlos de los Cobos — now head coach of the Chicago Fire — reached out to both players to convince them switch their international allegiance during his time in charge of Los Cuscatlecos.
The 25-year-old Alvarez has 16 caps for El Salvador, including in 2010 World Cup qualifying.
The two MLSers are the only players on the 23-man roster who play their club ball outside of El Salvador. However, they’re joined by four former MLSers in Deris Umanzor, Ramón Sánchez, Eliseo Quintanilla and Osael Romero.
El Salvador were drawn into Group A in the Gold Cup and open play against Mexico on June 5 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. They will first play a tuneup friendly against fellow Central American side Honduras in Houston on May 29.
FULL EL SALVADOR ROSTER:
Goalkeepers: Miguel Montes (unattached), Dagoberto Portillo (Once Municipal/El Salvador), Juan Gómez (Luis Ángel Firpo/El Salvador)
Defenders: Steve Purdy (Portland Timbers), Luis Anaya (Universidad/El Salvador), Marvin González (Águila/El Salvador), Deris Umanzor (Águila/El Salvador), Reynaldo Hernández (Vista Hermosa/El Salvador), Víctor Turcios (Luis Ángel Firpo/El Salvador).
Midfielders: Arturo Álvarez (Real Salt Lake), Shawn Martin (Águila/El Salvador), Ramón Sánchez (Águila/El Salvador), Osael Romero (Águila/El Salvador), Gilberto Baires (Atlético Marte/El Salvador), Edwin Sánchez (Universidad/El Salvador), Jaime Alas (Luis Ángel Firpo/El Salvador), Xavier García (Luis Ángel Firpo/El Salvador), Eliseo Quintanilla (Luis Ángel Firpo/El Salvador), Dennis Alas (Luis Ángel Firpo/El Salvador)
Forwards: Léster Blanco (Isidro Metapán/El Salvador), Andrés Flores (Isidro Metapán /El Salvador), Rodolfo Zelaya (Alianza/El Salvador), Rudis Corrales (Alianza/El Salvador)