22 MLS Players Named to FIFA World Cup Provisional Rosters
Approximately one-half of the participating countries at the 2018 FIFA World Cup have announced their provisional rosters for this summer’s tournament, as 22 MLS players representing six different countries have received the call to play.
Additional roster updates will be announced over the coming days, with several MLS players awaiting their fate for their national teams. Costa Rica and Panama led all countries among MLS players called, while Mexico named three Los Angeles-based players to its roster (LA Galaxy’s Jonathan and Giovani dos Santos and Los Angeles Football Club’s Carlos Vela).
Included among the players are LAFC defender Steven Beitashour and Orlando City SC defender Amro Tarek. Beitashour represented Iran at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but had not been called into the national team since. Fresh off winning a historic treble with Toronto FC in 2017, Beitashour has helped LAFC to a strong MLS start, scoring one goal and adding three assists for the second-place team in the Western Conference. Tarek, meanwhile, was one of two MLS players called into Egypt’s provisional roster, joining LAFC defender Omar Gaber . Tarek, who has one cap for Egypt, earned a call amid a standout first season with Orlando, helping the Lions to a club-record six consecutive victories earlier this season.
The Mexican trio playing in LA have all been named to Juan Carlos Osorio's provisional 28-man squad, which was announced on Monday.
LAFC's Carlos Vela and LA Galaxy brothers Giovani and Jonathan dos Santos all made the initial cut, but the former El Tri head coach noted that if the World Cup started tomorrow, both dos Santos brothers would not be able to play as both are dealing with injuries.
Costa Rica, who will be looking to match their performance from the 2014 World Cup, named their 23-man roster on Monday. It includes six active MLS players including team captains Kendall Waston and Francisco Calvo, as well as Johan Venegas, whom Minnesota loaned to Saprissa for the year.
Elsewhere in CONCACAF, World Cup debutantes announced their 35-man provisional squad that included a bevy of familiar names. Seven current MLSers were named to Hernan Dario Gomez' initial list, which also included many former MLS players.
LAFC right back Omar Gaber and Orlando City center back Amro Tarek have made the cut for Egypt's 29-man FIFA World Cup provisional squad announced Monday, while Gaber's club teammate Steven Beitashour has been named to Iran's preliminary roster as well.
Seattle Sounders center back Kim Kee-hee was not named to Korea Republic's provisional roster.
Former NY Red Bulls forward Tim Cahill was included in Australia's 32-man list announced back on May 6.
Current Red Bull defenders Fidel Escobar and Michael Murillo were named to Panama's 35-man provisional roster on May 14
2018 FIFA World Cup Provisional Rosters:
Group A: Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uruguay
Group B: Iran, Morocco, Portugal, Spain
Group C: Australia, Denmark, France, Peru
Group D: Argentina, Croatia, Iceland, Nigeria
Group E: Brazil, Costa Rica, Serbia, Switzerland
Group F: Germany, Korea Republic, Mexico, Sweden
Group G: Belgium, England, Panama, Tunisia
Group H: Colombia, Japan, Poland, Senegal