Could an up-and-coming MLS player make the grade at the international level in Central America?
That's the word from Seattle Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid, who discussed Sounders midfielder Cristian Roldan's international prospects for either Guatemala or El Salvador during training Wednesday.
“Roldan could play for Guatemala right now and could probably play for El Salvador right now,” Schmid said, according to The Seattle Times. “… We’ve talked about that on numerous occasions.”
According to Matt Pentz's Seattle Times' report, Roldan, born and raised in Southern California, is eligible for each of the Central American countries through his parents. He has been called up to the US U-20 national team, but did not make the US roster for the 2015 U-20 World Cup, only featuring in two friendlies to date at any age group for the USMNT. And of course, Roldan could potentially opt to wait for possible USMNT senior call-ups in the future, something Schmid noted could be the best option in the long run.
Guatemala, which split a pair of World Cup qualifiers with the US in the past week, featured two MLS players, FC Dallas defender Moises Hernandez and Columbus Crew SC midfielder Rodrigo Saravia, in the starting XI, and a third, Colorado Rapids midfielder Marco Pappa, came off the bench in both games. El Salvador also has some current MLS influence, with Orlando City SC midfielder Darwin Ceren featuring for the side.
Roldan wouldn't be the first US-eligible player to have three potential options on the international level. One example is US midfielder Joe Corona, who, like Roldan was born and raised in California but was also eligible for Mexico and El Salvador and pondered his options before deciding on the USMNT in 2012.