Four Houston Dynamo players have been called up by their respective national teams for the upcoming FIFA international competition break, the club announced today.
Forwards Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto, along with midfielder Boniek García, were called up by the National Autonomous Federation of Football of Honduras (FENAFUTH) yesterday for Honduras’ 2018 FIFA World Cup Intercontinental Playoff series against Australia. This afternoon, the Federación Panameña de Futbol (FEPAFUT) announced that defender Adolfo Machado has been called up for a pair of friendly matches.
Honduras will host Australia on Friday, Nov. 10 in San Pedro Sula and play the Socceroos in Sydney on Wednesday, Nov. 15. The winner of the two-leg series will advance to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia next summer. Los Catrachos finished fourth in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying, earning themselves a chance to play for a spot in Russia. Meanwhile, Australia finished third in its group in Asia World Cup Qualifying, then defeated Syria in a two-leg playoff to advance to the Intercontinental Playoff against Honduras.
Panama, which has already qualified for the FIFA World Cup for the first time in its history, will host Iran on Thursday, Nov. 9 and Wales on Tuesday, Nov. 14. Los Canaleros secured their trip to Russia with a 2-1 victory over Costa Rica on Oct. 10 to capture the third and final automatic qualification spot in CONCACAF.
All four players are expected to join Honduras following Houston’s Audi MLS Cup Playoffs Western Conference Semifinal series against the Portland Timbers. Houston hosts Portland on Monday, Oct. 30 and plays at Portland on Sunday, Nov. 5.
García ranks fourth in Honduran National Team history with 123 career caps and has three goals for the national team. Quioto has appeared in 32 matches for his country and has six goals, four of which have come in 2018 World Cup Qualifying play. At age 21, Elis has already represented his country 22 times and has scored four goals, including two in FIFA World Cup Qualifying action.
In their first season with the Dynamo, Elis and Quioto have both proven to be integral parts to one of Major League Soccer’s most dangerous attacks. Elis tied for second on the team with 10 goals in the regular season and added four assists; and his extra-time goal on Thursday night gave the Dynamo a 1-0 win over Sporting Kansas City, the club’s first playoff victory since 2013. Quioto finished the regular season fourth on the team with seven goals and two assists. García is tied for second on the club’s all-time assists chart with 31.
Machado, also in his first year with the Dynamo, started and played all 90 minutes in 33 of Houston’s 34 games, with his only absence coming the day after he went 90 minutes for Panama in that Costa Rica match to help his country book their ticket to Russia. The defender led all MLS players with 200 clearances this season; and his 81 interceptions in the regular season also led the league.
The Dynamo will host the Portland Timbers on Monday, Oct. 30 at BBVA Compass Stadium at 8:30 p.m. CDT in the first leg of the Western Conference Semifinals, presented by McDonald’s. Tickets for that game start at $28 and are on sale now at HoustonDynamo.com/Playoffs, by phone at 713-276-GOAL and at the BBVA Compass Stadium box office.