LAFC goalkeeper rejects El Salvador call up to retain USMNT eligibility

LAFC goalkeeper Tomas Romero is dreaming big, with El Salvador’s soccer federation announcing that the 20-year-old has rebuffed La Selecta to maintain the possibility of playing for the US men’s national team.

Romero signed with LAFC last February after his Homegrown rights were acquired from the Philadelphia Union, building out the Black & Gold’s depth beyond Pablo Sisniega. He spent the 2019 season in college, helping lead Georgetown University to the Division I NCAA national title.

El Salvador are currently preparing for Concacaf First Round World Cup qualifiers, with upcoming Group A games against the U.S. Virgin Islands and Antigua and Barbuda. Their group winner will advance to Second Round qualifiers and continue chasing a Qatar 2022 spot.

The New Jersey native was part of El Salvador’s squad at the Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament this past March. He started their final Group B game vs. Haiti, a 2-1 win that wasn’t enough to book passage into the determinative semifinal round that ultimately sealed Mexico and Honduras as the region’s representatives at the upcoming Japan Summer Olympics.

Romero awaits his MLS debut, though has featured in two games for Las Vegas Lights FC under head coach Steve Cherundolo, a former USMNT right back. This past offseason, LAFC announced a USL affiliate partnership with Las Vegas that's geared toward youth development. Further, Romero made 17 appearances with Philly's USL Championship affiliate during his Union Academy days.

Romero has made LAFC’s bench for several MLS matches, though Sisniega is currently Bob Bradley’s first-choice option. It all paints the picture of a prospect with upside, a young goalkeeper whose career is only in its infancy.