San Jose Earthquakes center back Harold Cummings scored Panama’s goal in a 2-1 friendly loss to Ecuador on Tuesday, a match packed with MLS players and one highlight of a busy day in international play for MLSers.
Cummings entered as a second-half substitute for the Houston Dynamo’s Adolfo Machado before thumping home a corner-kick delivery to the far post. Three MLSers played the full 90 at Estadio Rommel Fernandez, all for Panama: Cummings’ Quakes teammate Anibal Godoy and the New York Red Bulls defensive duo of Fidel Escobar and Michael Murillo. Columbus Crew SC’s Cristian Martinez made a substitute cameo for Los Canaleros.
On the other side, Minnesota United’s Romario Ibarra was credited with the game-winning assist for Ecuador, a play skilfully finished by onetime MLS target Enner Valencia, while FC Dallas’ Carlos Gruezo logged 45 minutes for La Tri as a halftime sub.
Ticos, Incas trust in MLS talent
There was a similarly large MLS presence at Estadio Monumental Virgen de Chapi in Arequipa, Peru, where eight MLSers featured in Costa Rica’s wild 3-2 friendly win over the home side.
Andy Polo (Portland Timbers), Raul Ruidiaz (Seattle Sounders) and Yoshi Yotun (Orlando City) all appeared in Peru’s starting XI, while Ronald Matarrita (NYCFC), Francisco Calvo (Minnesota) and Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps) did the same for Los Ticos’ initial lineup.
Honduras’ MLS contingent was heavily involved in Los Catrachos’ visit to Chile, where they were ambushed 4-1 at Estadio German Becker in Temuco by a strong home side led by a brace from FC Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal.
The Dynamo duo of Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto manned their usual spots on opposite flanks, Elis bagging an assist on Honduras’ consolation goal, scored by Alexander Lopez. Behind them, Dallas’ Maynor Figueroa went the full 90 on the back line and LAFC goalkeeper Luis Lopez manned the nets.
Almiron goes 90 for Paraguay
Former Chicago Fire and RBNY coach Juan Carlos Osorio used a quartet of MLS players in Paraguay’s 1-1 draw with South Africa in Durban, a draw the hosts snatched from the jaws of defeat by stunning La Albirroja with an injury-time equalizer from Percy Tau.
Atlanta United’s Miguel Almiron played the entire match, while his Five Stripes teammate Tito Villalba came off the bench in the second half – and both received yellow cards. Portland’s Cristhian Paredes entered at halftime for the visitors, as did the Red Bulls’ Kaku Gamarra.
ATLUTD talent also featured in Venezuela’s meeting with Iran at the Hamad bin Khalifa Stadium in Qatar, another 1-1 draw. Josef Martinez played 74 minutes up top for the Vinotinto, while D.C.’s Junior Moreno went the distance. NYCFC’s Yangel Herrera started and played just over an hour before being replaced by Real Salt Lake winger Jefferson Savarino.
Elsewhere, LAFC’s Andre Horta played 77 minutes for Portugal’s Under-21 squad in a 3-1 home loss to Poland in UEFA U-21 Championship qualifying action, while Seattle’s Nico Lodeiro and Sporting KC’s Johnny Russell were DNPs for Uruguay and Scotland, respectively.