Concacaf unveiled the preliminary rosters for the men’s Olympic qualifying tournament set to take place in Guadalajara, Mexico next month, and four LA Galaxy players have been called up across three countries.
But wait, because it’s a little more confusing than that. Actually, one player, midfielder Efrain Alvarez, has been called up by both Mexico and the United States, an extraordinary development that meant Concacaf had to carve out a paragraph about the situation:
In the preliminary rosters submitted by Mexico and USA both member associations have named the same player (Efrain Alvarez). The player has previously represented Mexico in official youth competitions. The eligibility of this player is a matter between the member associations and the player. Should a change of association be requested it would be subject to FIFA regulations regarding eligibility.
Well, then. It’s worth noting that Alvarez has previously played for Mexico at youth level, and he could play for them in qualifying and then change his mind and play for the U.S. at senior level if he files a one-time switch. If he files the switch now for the U.S., however, then he can’t go back. So he’s got a big decision to make or he may even have to sit out while he’s figuring it out, who knows.
Aside from Alvarez’s situation, there is a second unusual situation, with defender Danny Acosta (on the Galaxy’s roster in 2020 but out for the season after he tore his ACL in preseason) on Honduras’ preliminary roster. Acosta was previously a U.S. youth international but what is particularly strange about his case is in 2019 he was called up by Honduras to play in the Concacaf Gold Cup, but at the 11th hour the player didn’t sign the one-time switch to make his eligibility official and he didn’t play for Honduras at that tournament, nor has he yet to play for Los Catrachos. In spite of that, it looks like they’re still interested in getting him to commit. No word on whether that will happen this time around.
And then there are the two rather straightforward call-ups, of defender Julian Araujo and goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann, both to the United States’ preliminary roster. I think there’s a good chance Araujo will be on the qualifying final roster, and Klinsmann could get a spot, although there’s plenty of competition among six goalkeepers for what will probably be two spots on the final roster.
The final 20-man rosters have to be submitted by March 8, with the tournament opening on March 18. We’ll see what happens among the Galaxy players on the preliminary rosters by then and if they’ll be playing games before the MLS season gets underway.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.