Atlanta United announced today that four players have received international call-ups for the upcoming FIFA window. Miguel Almirón, Carlos Carmona, Kenwyne Jones and Josef Martinez have each been called-up to the represent their respective countries for important 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying matches from March 23-28. Each player will leave after Atlanta’s March 18 match against Chicago Fire and will return to first team duties prior to the club’s trip to Seattle for a match against the Sounders on March 31.
Almirón, 23, will join Paraguay for CONMBEOL qualifiers against Ecuador on March 23 and Brazil on March 28. He has seven career appearances for Paraguay, debuting with La Albirroja on Sept. 5, 2015 in a friendly versus Chile, and has more recently made six combined appearances in 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying and the 2016 Copa America Centenario. Paraguay (4-3-5, 15 points) currently sits in 7th place in CONMEBOL.
Carmona will also head to South America for qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He’ll represent Chile in matches against Argentina on March 23 and Venezuela on March 28. The 30-year-old midfielder has 47 career international caps and was part of La Roja’s squad at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Chile (6-2-4, 20 points) currently sits in 4th place in the 10-team table.
Jones, a 32-year-old forward and captain for Trinidad and Tobago, will rejoin his national side for qualifiers on March 23 against Panama and March 28 against Mexico. The veteran has scored 23 goals in 76 appearances for his country. Trinidad and Tobago has a pair of vital matches after going winless in their first two matches during the current round of CONCACAF qualifying.
Martinez, 23, will join Venezuela for qualifiers on March 23 against Peru and March 28 against Chile, featuring current Atlanta teammate Carmona. The striker has nine goals in 37 career appearances for La Vinotinto, including a hat-trick in Venezuela’s 5-0 win versus Bolivia in November in World Cup Qualifying. Although Venezuela currently sits in 10th place in qualifying, Martinez is the fourth leading-scorer in CONMEBOL with five goals.
Atlanta returns to action Saturday against Chicago Fire, with all four players available for selection. Kick-off from Bobby Dodd Stadium is scheduled for 4 p.m. and will be televised nationally on UniMas (available in English via SAP). The match will also be streamed on Facebook Live, the first-ever in MLS history, on the Univision Deportes Facebook page.