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LAFC’s Rodolfo Zelaya earns El Salvador recall

Forward comes in from the cold for his country.

MLS: Los Angeles FC at Sporting Kansas City Peter G. Aiken

Rodolfo Zelaya has endured a rocky debut season with Los Angeles Football Club so far, but the forward has gotten a big boost, as he’s been called up by El Salvador head coach Carlos de los Cobos for upcoming Nations League games against St. Lucia and the Dominican Republic.

Zelaya hasn’t played for El Salvador in a couple years, and left off the Gold Cup roster this summer. It seemed the 31-year-old was done with international soccer.

But lo and behold, he’s back. El Salvador will play St. Lucia on Sept. 7 in El Salvador, and at the Dominican Republic on Sept. 10 in the inaugural Concacaf Nations League, Group B League B play. Zelaya has 21 goals for his country, and is likely the best Salvadoran player of his generation, so bringing him in from the cold probably isn’t the worst idea.

In terms of club form, perhaps the national team call-up will jumpstart his prospects stateside. Injured and lacking fitness for most of the season, Zelaya didn’t make his debut until late June and has played just four games in MLS so far, scoring one goal in 118 total minutes, which has been a disappointing return considering how potent LAFC’s attack is.

But Zelaya is on a two-year deal with LAFC (although there are rumors in the Salvadoran he could be on his way out at season’s end) and he’s been loaned out to USL Championship side Las Vegas Lights FC to get game time and also hopefully get him in rhythm. He’s made two appearances so far for Eric Wynalda’s side.

Zelaya is the seventh player who will be out for the September international window for LAFC, joining Walker Zimmerman, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Eduard Atuesta, Brian Rodriguez, Peter-Lee Vassell and Diego Palacios. Since Zelaya hasn’t been a regular contributor this season, his absence from the Sept. 7 game at Orlando City should be something LAFC can deal with.

Congrats to Fito on the call-up and best of luck on international duty.

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