Nashville SC USMNT

Jhonder Cádiz, Aníbal Godoy called to World Cup Qualifying squads

I mentioned the other day that international squad news was not yet complete, and lo, it has come to pass that Jhonder Cádiz and Aníbal Godoy will join their respective national teams for upcoming World Cup Qualifying matches (joining Alistair Johnston and Randall Leal – though Leal’s are Nations League and friendly matches, not qualifiers).

Cádiz has earned three past call-ups for Venezuela, failing to make it onto the pitch in a 2013 friendly match against El Salvador, but playing 18 minutes in a 2018 match (a 2-0 win) against United Arab Emirates and 45 minutes against Ecuador (a 1-1 draw) in 2019. Should he see the field this week, it would be his third cap – but first competitive one for El vinotinto.

Venezuela plays Bolivia Thursday in La Paz, and Uruguay at home next Tuesday in Caracas. The team is currently in eighth place in CONMEBOL’s single-table qualifying structure, with the top four automatically headed to Qatar next November, and the fifth-place team advancing to an inter-continental playoff match. Bolivia is the minnow of the region, while Uruguay is direct competition for one of the final couple spots, so these games are of paramount importance for the qualifying effort.

Other MLS players called in for Venezuela include Atlanta United’s Ronald Hernandez and Josef Martinez, Júnior Moreno of DC United, New York Red Bulls’ Christian Cásseres, José Martinez of Philadelphia Union, and FC Dallas’s Freddy Vargas.

Godoy cleared the 100-cap mark for Panama in March. The holding midfielder has also scored a single goal for his country, in a 2014 friendly against El Salvador.

Panama is currently second in Group D in Concacaf World Cup Qualifying (on goal differential), and will face Anguilla Saturday and group-leading Dominican Republic next Tuesday. The Canaleros have to win Group D to advance to the next round of qualifying, so running up a healthy goal-differential margin on Anguilla (the D.R. beat them 6-0) would provide a little margin for error going into the all-important group-deciding game. A win would see Panama play a two-legged tie against the winner of Group C (likely Honduras or Curaçao) the following Tuesday and Friday.

The only other MLS player called in by Panama is LA Galaxy midfielder Carlos Harvey.

Thanks to MLS taking a pause during the international window – and the easing of quarantine restrictions in comparison to last year – neither player should miss any time with the Boys in Gold due to this international call-up (this is also the case for Johnston with Canada and Leal for Costa Rica), though if Jhonder impresses enough to be retained for Copa América, he could be away from Nashville through as long as July 10. Nashville has yet to officially exercise its purchase option in the loan agreement with Portuguese club Benfica to keep him past June 30 – so it’s theoretically possible he’s played in Gold for the last time (though the expectation is that NSC signs him on a permanent basis).

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