International roundup: MLS players set to feature across five 2022 World Cup qualifiers in South America

Pedro Gallese - Peru - pumped up

It was an action-packed Tuesday for MLS players on international duty with players from the league featuring in all five 2022 World Cup qualifying games played in South America, which followed action in 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying and the 2020-21 UEFA Nations League.

Here's everything that went down:

Ecuador 6, Colombia 1

Two MLSers featured for Ecuador as they hosted neighbors Colombia. Seattle center back Xavier Arreaga and Orlando City center midfielder Sebastian Mendez both got the starting nods for La Tri as they helped open a full slate of South American World Cup qualifying with a great result, topping Colombia emphatically by a lopsided 6-1 score.

It was an eventful day for Arreaga, as the defender got on the scoresheet with a goal in the 39th minute as part of Ecuador's torrid start to the match to extend the first-half lead to 4-0.

Additionally, Arreaga had an assist in the match, but also conceded the penalty kick that was converted by James Rodriguez in first-half stoppage time for Colombia's only goal after he was whistled for clipping down Duván Zapata in his own penalty box.

The LAFC duo of  Diego Palacios and Jose Cifuentes both left Ecuador camp after testing positivefor COVID-19.

Venezuela 2, Chile 1

MLS players started on on both sides as Venezuela hosted Chile. La Vintotinto featured D.C. United's Junior Moreno and New York Red Bulls midfielder Cristian Casseres Jr., who were in the lineup alongside former MLSers Jefferson Savarino and Yangel Herrera.

Chile manager Reinaldo Rueda, meanwhile handed the start to Portland Timbers forward Felipe Mora.

It was Venezuela that won the match, jumping on top with an early 9th-minute goal from Luis Mago and getting an 81st-minute game-winner from Salomón Rondón.

Moreno went the full 90 minutes for Venezuela, while Casseres played the first 78 minutes before subbing off. Mora, meanwhile, went 76 minutes for Chile before exiting the contest.

Paraguay 2, Bolivia 2

New York Red Bulls playmaker Kaku came off the bench to score a 72nd minute equalizer as Paraguay tied Bolivia, a result that will be disappointing for the home side. Chicago midfielder Gaston Gimenez started the match for the Paraguayans and went 83 minutes.

Watch Kaku's goal below:

Uruguay 0, Brazil 2

LAFC forwards Diego Rossi and Brian Rodriguez were on the bench for Uruguay and Rodriguez entered the match with a half-hour to go in a comeback attempt with his side already down 2-0 at home at the Estadio Centenario in Montevideo.

The comeback did not materialize and Rossi did not come into the match for the side coached by Oscar Washington Tabarez, who saw his star forward Edinson Cavani pick up a red card.  

Peru 0, Argentina 2

Argentina were another South American power that sealed the match in the first half on the road in Peru.

It was a second straight loss for Peru, which fielded a starting lineup featuring Orlando City No. 1 Pedro Gallese in goal and D.C.'s Edison Flores

Seattle's Raul Ruidiaz (81st minute) and Portland winger Andy Polo (71st minute) came off the bench, while San Jose left back Marcos Lopez, and NYCFC center back Alex Callens were also on the bench but did not enter the game.

Mexico 2, Japan 0 

Inter Miami midfielder Rodolfo Pizarro got the start for El Tri as they faced off against Japan in a friendly on neutral soil, while LA Galaxy midfielder Jonathan Dos Santos was not in the matchday squad for Mexico's 2-0 victory.

Mexico would continue its strong form, taking the 2-0 result on the strength of two second-half goals that came within five minutes of each other, first from standout striker Raul Jimenez in the 63rd minute before Hirving Lozano added the dagger in the 68th. 

France 4, Sweden 2

Seattle Sounders midfielder Gustav Svensson was with the Sweden squad as they faced their toughest test of the year, away to reigning world champions France in the UEFA Nations League. But after captaining his country for the first time in a friendly vs. Denmark a week ago, Svensson started on the bench for the second straight outing following a 2-1 win against Croatia over the weekend.

The defense-minded midfielder wouldn't see the field with Sweden needing at least a point and some help from Portugal against Croatia to stay in Nations League A. They would get the help they needed in the other game, but despite pulling within a goal late on the Swedes couldn't find the all-important equalizer and conceded a fourth with the final kick of the match, dropping down to the second level for the next Nations League campaign.

Central African Republic 0, Morocco 2

New England Revolution midfielder Wilfried Zahibo faced Morocco for the second time in four days in AFCON qualifying, with the same outcome. Zahibo started once again for the underdog CAR and went 81 minutes, but once more the North African powerhouses, again led by Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech, made their superior quality count in a 2-0 win.

Though they sit last in their group, Zahibo & Co. are just two points off a qualification place and control their own destiny with one game remaining against each of their rivals for qualification.

Rwanda 0, Cape Verde 0

Philadelphia Union midfielder Jamiro Monteiro once again went the full 90 minutes as Cape Verde earned a scoreless draw at Rwanda in the fourth round of six in AFCON qualifying. The point pulled the islanders into a tie on points with Mozambique for a berth in the tournament proper, and the two countries will meet when qualifying resumes in March. 

Colorado Rapids defender Abdul Rwatubyaye, who spent the 2020 season in the USL Championship on loan with Colorado Springs, went the distance for Rwanda.

Madagascar 1, Ivory Coast 1

Minnesota United right back Romain Metanire has been a fixture for Madagascar, and once again started and played the full game for the Barea as they came back to earn a credible 1-1 draw with the Ivory Coast. The point keeps them level with their opponents on seven points apiece atop Group K, with Ethiopia lurking one point behind them with two games remaining.

Sierra Leone 0, Nigeria 0

Sierra Leone tied Nigeria for the second time in four days, but without any of the goals and fanfare that accompanied their incredible comeback from four down to tie 4-4 over the weekend. Minnesota forward Kei Kamara went the full 90 minutes for Sierra Leone, who are now long shots for qualification with a four-point deficit to make up over the last two qualifiers.

Jamaica 2, Saudi Arabia 1

D.C. fullback Oniel Fisher went the full game for the Reggae Boyz as they topped Saudi Arabia 2-1 in a friendly, avenging a 3-0 defeat from three days prior.