Several current and former MLS players featured for Venezuela in Thursday's shock 1-1 road draw against South American power Brazil. The result snapped a 15-match home win streak in World Cup qualifying for Brazil that dated back to March 2016.
Real Salt Lake winger Jefferson Savarino played a crucial role in his extended substitute appearance, providing the game-tying assist in the 85th minute after subbing in for former Vancouver Whitecaps FC forward Sergio Córdova at halftime. Savarino received the ball on the right flank, took a few economical touches and then whipped in a cross for teammate Eduard Bello, which the Mazatlán winger sent home with a stunning bicycle kick.
In addition to Savarino's key late-match contribution, La Vinotinto were also spurred on by the New England Revolution's Christian Makoun, who started at left back, and FC Cincinnati's Junior Moreno, who subbed into the midfield in the 67th minute.
MLS' influence on Venezuela's squad extended beyond those three players, with former MLSers Yangel Herrera, Yeferson Soteldo, Cristian Cásseres Jr. and Córdova all earning minutes en route to the historic result. Inter Miami CF striker Josef Martínez and Chicago Fire FC left back Miguel Navarro also made the bench, but did not feature.
Venezuela now sit sixth (1W-1L-1D) in Conmebol's 2026 World Cup qualifier standings. The 2026 World Cup, co-hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico, will feature an expanded 48-team field, opening up seven possible qualifying spots out of South America (the top six qualify; the seventh goes to a playoff).
La Vinotinto will look to take advantage and earn their first-ever bid to the sport's biggest event. They are currently the only Conmebol nation to never play at a World Cup.
To close out the October international window, Venezuela host Chile on Tuesday evening (5 pm ET).