FRISCO, Texas – Raúl Fernández won't be joining the Peruvian national team for their final two World Cup qualifiers. And although he was surprised not to be called in, he knows his club team needs him more.
The FC Dallas goalkeeper admits he was expecting to get the call from Peru head coach Sergio Markarián, even though La Blanquirroja have been eliminated in South American qualifying and despite the fact he's ineligible for the first of Peru's two games over this international break due to yellow-card accumulation.
But regardless of all that, Fernández says that it is, “very important,” for him to play with FC Dallas rather than join his national team for their final match against Bolivia.
FCD need a win or a tie at home against Chicago on Saturday (8:30 pm ET, MLS Free Stream of the Week) to stay alive for the postseason before they host another home game against Seattle on Oct. 19. They close out the season on the road against San Jose on Oct. 26.
If FC Dallas fall short in their quest to move up into one of the Western Conferences top five slots, Fernández says he’ll be disappointed for his team, but that he still has no regrets about his decision to join MLS.
“I would never take back that decision because I am happy here,” Fernández told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday through an interpreter. “I think my first year has been good on a personal level, I feel good about it.”
When asked if he would recommend his Peruvian teammates consider signing with the league much as teammate Blas Pérez has done with his Panamanian compatriots, Fernández emphatically answered, “I want!” in English before switching to his native Spanish to elaborate.
“I want them to come here, but it’s up to them,” he said. “It’s their decision what they want to do. But, they have asked me about it and I’ve said, ‘Yes, come to MLS!’ I’m hoping in the next season, some more [Peruvians] will come here, I’d be very excited about it.”