With MLS play set to resume this weekend, a busy international break came to an end for a handful of Toronto FC players:
On the heels of topping their group in the first round of Concacaf’s World Cup Qualification process, Canada played two further matches this window: the two legs of their second round home-and-away series against Haiti.
The first match was played on Saturday in Port-au-Prince at Stade Sylvio Cator, where the Canadians emerged victorious by a 1-0 scoreline.
Both Jonathan Osorio and Richie Laryea started in Haiti, coming off in the 82nd and 78th minutes respectively. Osorio helped calm the nation’s collective nerves early when he set up Cyle Larin’s goal in the 14th minute.
On Tuesday, back in Chicago, Canada’s temporary home base, Osorio started again as the Canadians sealed progression to the third round of qualification, the Octogon, with a 3-0 win at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois, advancing 4-0 on aggregate.
Liam Fraser was an unused substitute in both matches.
Having reached the final phase of Concacaf qualification for the first time since 1997, Canada now look forward to a busy fall and spring, with 14 matches spread over five international windows between September 2021 and March 2022.
It all begins on September 2 with a home match against Honduras. Canada will then travel to face the USA on September 5 before returning home for a match against El Salvador on September 8.
Eriq Zavaleta will join his Canadian teammates in the Octogon as El Salvador dispatched Saint Kitts and Nevis by an aggregate score of 6-0 in their second round tie.
Zavaleta played the full 180 minutes over the two legs, winning 4-0 in the away leg at Warner Park in Basseterre and following it up with a 2-0 win in San Salvador at Estadio Cuscatlan.
La Selecta advanced to the third and final round of Concacaf’s qualification process and like Canada they await September’s window. El Salvador open with a pair of home dates against the USA and Honduras before travelling to Canada.
Chris Mavinga was not involved in DR Congo’s 1-1 draw with Mali as they wrapped up their friendly series on June 11 in Tunisia.
Having missed out on the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, The Leopards are bracing for the second round of CAF World Cup Qualification, currently scheduled to take place over the three fall windows later this year.
Yeferson Soteldo was included in La Vinotinto’s 28-man squad for the Copa America, which kicked off in Brazil this past weekend, but he continues to train with TFC as he recovers from injury.