Indy Eleven’s Alexander McQueen scored arguably the goal of the round in the opening set of games in the 2022-23 Concacaf Nations League on Saturday night as Grenada put up a solid battle against hosts El Salvador before falling to a 3-1 loss at the Estadio Cuscatlan.
In a contest that featured USL Championship talent on both sides, McQueen scored his first goal for his country in spectacular fashion in the fifth minute. Receiving a pass from El Paso Locomotive FC’s Shavon John-Brown 25 yards from goal, controlled with his first touch and then unleashed a brilliant volley that picked out the bottom-left corner of the net to bring the Spice Boyz level with the hosts.
All five of Grenada’s USL Championship call-ups started in the contest, while four Championship standouts featured for El Salvador, including new Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC signing Jairo Henriquez, who faced off with new teammate Kharlton Belmar on the Grenada side. Locomotive FC’s teammates John-Brown and Eric Calvillo also saw action against each other, with the El Salvador midfielder coming on as a second-half substitute as La Selecta took the advantage in a group that also features the United States ahead of the rematch between the sides on Tuesday in Grenada.
Current and former USL Championship players featured throughout the opening three days of action in the CNL, with 2020 Championship Golden Boot winner Junior Flemmings finding the net for Jamaica as it took a 1-1 draw on the road against Suriname to open its League A campaign.
Flemmings was joined in the Jamaica lineup by Miami FC’s Speedy Williams and Phoenix Rising FC’s Kevon Lambert, each of whom went the full 90 minutes in central midfield. Lambert completed 71 of 80 passes while recording seven interceptions and two shots, while Williams completed 68 of 74 passes and had nine interceptions defensively in a pair of solid displays.
Elsewhere, El Paso Locomotive FC’s Christiano Francois started, and New Mexico United’s Carl Sainte came on as a second-half substitute in Haiti’s 0-0 draw on the road against Bermuda on Saturday night.
San Antonio FC’s Shannon Gomez started and played a role in Trinidad and Tobago’s goal – officially ruled an own goal – against Nicaragua on Friday night. Gomez was joined in the Soca Warriors’ starting lineup by Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC’s Triston Hodge and Memphis 901 FC’s Leston Paul while Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC’s Mekeil Williams came on as a second-half substitute.
FC Tulsa’s Jorge Corrales started and went the full 90 minutes for Cuba, and completed 11 of 13 passes, as his side fell 2-1 to Guadeloupe, while Detroit City FC’s Billy Forbes captained Turks and Caicos, recording four shots and completing 12 of 16 passes in a loss to Bonaire.