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LAFC international update: Romero starts in Olympic qualifying; Kaye sits for Canada

Some national team news in the midst of training camp.

2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

LAFC aren’t incredibly active in the current international window — with CONMEBOL postponing their World Cup qualifiers this month, a large contingent of black-and-gold players have stayed in training camp, but two players have been called up and their teams were in action on Thursday.

New LAFC goalkeeper Tomas Romero got the start for El Salvador’s U-23 National Team in their final game of Concacaf Olympic qualifying, a 2-1 win over Haiti in Group B play. This was Romero’s first action of the tournament, and it was El Salvador’s first win as well, which coincidentally came courtesy of former LAFC man Josh Perez scoring a first-half brace. Romero’s performance drew rave reviews from Salvadoran fans, who want to see him feature for the full senior team.

But unfortunately the good result was too little, too late for El Salvador, because they did not advance out of group play and are therefore out of contention for the Tokyo Olympics. On the bright side, Romero will likely get a regular run with Las Vegas Lights FC this season in the USL Championship.

Meanwhile, Canada opened Concacaf World Cup qualifying Thursday and they scored a big win, 5-1 over Bermuda in Orlando, Florida. Cyle Larin drew the headlines with a hat trick for Canada, while LAFC midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye was a surprise unused sub for John Herdman on the night. However, it may be that Herdman planned to keep Kaye fresh, with Canadian stalwart Atiba Hutchinson due to return to his club side Besiktas after the Bermuda game. If that’s the case, then Kaye could get run in the next game, against the Cayman Islands on Sunday.

Since World Cup qualifying has just started it’s too early to make any big pronouncements, but with Canada in a group with four Caribbean minnows, they will be expected to win every game en route to advancing. They’re off to a good start, and we’ll see if they can continue that progress to wrap up the FIFA window on Sunday.

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