Guatemala head coach Ivan Sopgeno (pictured) conducts a national team training session at the Project Goal facility. (Photo: Luis Rolando Solares)
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala – Guatemala head coach Ivan Sogegno has called up 24 players in advance of a World Cup Qualifying, third-round series next month, the Federación Nacional de Fútbol de Guatemala announced Thursday.
The Chapines will face host Antigua & Barbuda on September 4 at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, before welcoming the Benna Boys to Guatemala City’s Estadio Mateo Flores four days later.
“There are no easy opponents,” said Sopegno. “We have brought in new people. Because there are few training sessions we’ll have together, we cannot make major changes.”
The roster is highlighted by the inclusion of five foreign-based players, three from clubs in the United States and two from Europe: Stefano Cincotta (Chemnitzer/Germany), Moises Hernandez (FC Dallas/USA), Minor Lopez (Atletico CP/Portugal), Marco Pappa (Seattle Sounders/USA) and Elias Vasquez (Real Salt Lake/USA).
Goalkeeper Ricardo Jerez, who has played in 12 all-time World Cup qualifying matches, had reached an agreement not to be named to the squad, so Sopegno replaced him with David Guerra.
Also missing from the side are Comunicaciones midfielders Jose Contreras and Jean Marquez, both out with injuries. The six-time defending Guatemalan champion and 2015 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League participant is still well represented with seven selected players.
Recently nationalized Honduran Gerson Tinoco has been given an opportunity to earn his first cap.
In qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Guatemala defeated Antigua & Barbuda twice (3-1 home, 1-0 away). Veteran forward Carlos Ruiz scored in each of those outings.
(World Cup Qualifying: September 4, 2015, away v Antigua & Barbuda; September 8, 2015, home v Antigua & Barbuda)
GOALKEEPERS: Víctor Ayala (Antigua GFC), David Guerra (Universidad de San Carlos), Paulo Motta (Municipal)
DEFENDERS: Carlos Castrillo (Comunicaciones), Moises Hernandez (FC Dallas/USA), Wilson Lalin (Comunicaciones), Dennis Lopez (Municipal), Ruben Morales (Comunicaciones), Jose Carlos Pinto (Antigua GFC), Elías Enoc Vásquez (Real Salt Lake/USA)
MIDFIELDERS: Jorge Aparicio (Comunicaciones), Stefano Cincotta (Chemnitzer/Germany),Brandon de Leon (Comunicaciones), Alejandro Galindo (Antigua GFC), Kendell Herrarte (Comunicaciones), Carlos Mejia (Comunicaciones), Marco Pappa (Seattle Sounders/USA), Aslinn Rodas (Xelaju MC), Fredy Thompson (Antigua GFC)
FORWARDS: Minor Lopez (Atlético CP/Portugal), Luis Martinez (Xelaju MC), Carlos Ruiz (Municipal), Gerson Tinoco (Coban Imperial)