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4 World Cup Qualifying meetings for USL Championship & League One to circle this week

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 06/04/24, 4:55PM EDT


As the road to the FIFA 2026 World Cup begins in earnest in Concacaf, here are the games and players to watch

El Salvador's Bryan Tamacas, Trinidad and Tobago's Shannon Gomez, Jamaica's Jahmali Waite and Bermuda's Zeiko Lewis will be aiming for success in World Cup Qualifying over the upcoming week of games.

Thirty-five nations across Concacaf will kick off the second stage of FIFA 2026 World Cup Qualifying this week with sights set on the three berths to join the United States, Canada and Mexico in the finals when they kick off in two years on these shores.

There’s plenty of USL Championship, League One and League Two representation in the squads across the region – as well as call-ups from countries in Asia, Africa and Europe for this June’s international window – with a total of 41 players from the three divisions potentially in action over the next week.

Here are four games to watch in the Concacaf region, and a full list of who’s going to be on international duty.

Antigua and Barbuda vs. Bermuda
Wednesday, June 5 – 3 p.m. ET

Two playmakers from the USL Championship and League One should square off in what’s a key opening game for both Antigua and Barbuda and visitors Bermuda with New Mexico United’s Dayonn Harris in line for his first national team appearance for the Benna Boyz against longtime Bermuda standout Zeiko Lewis of Union Omaha. With Honduras the favorite to advance as group winner, and a solid Cuba squad backed by the Las Vegas Lights FC's Raiko Arozarena also in the group, finding all three points to open the stage before each side faces the Cayman Islands before the end of the window would be big for either nation. Lewis and Harris can provide the attacking threat to make that happen.

Trinidad and Tobago vs. Grenada
Wednesday, June 5 – 7:30 p.m. ET

The Soca Warriors have been on the rise in recent months, almost advancing to the Copa America before falling to Canada in a one-match playoff in March. There are a quartet of Championship and League One players aiming to maintain that momentum with Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC’s Noah Powder and Real Gill being joined by San Antonio FC’s Shannon Gomez and Hartford Athletic’s Triston Hodge in this squad, which will look to take victory against Grenada and Central Valley Fuego FC winger Shavon John-Brown in its opening group stage game.

Jamaica vs. Dominican Republic
Thursday, June 6, 6:30 p.m. ET

Jamaica goes into Group E play with the positive momentum of reaching the semifinals of the 2023-24 Concacaf Nations League and advancing to the Copa America this summer, and for El Paso Locomotive FC goalkeeper Jahmali Waite the upcoming two games represent a big opportunity. With regular starter Andre Blake sidelined following injury, Waite should get the call for the Reggae Boyz’s opening two contests of WCQ, and alongside Hartford Athletic’s Deshane Beckford and San Antonio FC’s Kevon Lambert they’ll look to make a good start at home to the Dominican Republic, which could feature Las Vegas Lights FC rising star Edison Azcona.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines vs. El Salvador
Sunday, June 9, 4 p.m. ET

Sitting at No. 81 in the FIFA World Rankings, El Salvador is on paper the favorite to be one of the top two teams in Group F, but the side’s recent form could make this the most interesting of the groups in Qualifying. With five active USL Championship players in their squad – Oakland Roots SC’s Bryan Tamacas, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC’s Jairo Henriquez, North Carolina FC’s Nelson Flores and El Paso Locomotive FC’s Amando Moreno and Joaquin Rivas – La Selecta needs to get off its current winless run at home to Puerto Rico – which features 10 players from the Championship and League Two in its squad – before it heads to take on North Carolina FC’s Oalex Anderson, Hartford Athletic’s Kyle Edwards and a St. Vincent and the Grenadines side that’s shown attacking explosiveness in the past.

USL Championship, League One & League Two Players selected for International Duty – June, 2024

Antigua & Barbuda (1) – Dayonn Harris (New Mexico United)

Belize (1) – Deshawon Nembhard (Central Valley Fuego FC)

Bermuda (1) – Zeiko Lewis (Union Omaha)

Burundi (1) – Irakoze Donasiyano (Oakland Roots SC)

Cuba (1) – Raiko Arozarena (Las Vegas Lights FC)

Dominican Republic (1) – Edison Azcona (Las Vegas Lights FC)

El Salvador (5) – Bryan Tamacas (Oakland Roots SC), Nelson Flores (North Carolina FC), Amando Moreno (El Paso Locomotive FC), Jairo Henriquez (Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC), Joaquin Rivas (El Paso Locomotive FC)

Grenada (1) – Shavon John-Brown (Central Valley Fuego FC)

Guinea-Bissau (1) – Bura Nogueira (San Antonio FC)

Haiti (2) – Duke Lacroix (Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC), Belmar Joseph Jr. (Cedar Stars)

Jamaica (3) – Jahmali Waite (El Paso Locomotive FC), Kevon Lambert (San Antonio FC), Deshane Beckford (Hartford Athletic)

Malta (1) – Yannick Yankam (Lexington SC)

Nicaragua (1) – Emmanuel Gomez (Central Valley Fuego FC)

Philippines (1) – Zico Bailey (New Mexico United)

Puerto Rico (10) – Nicolas Cardona (Miami FC), Giovanni Calderon (Ventura County Fusion), Juan O’Neill (Black Rock FC), Noeh Hernandez (River Light FC), Isaac Angking (Rhode Island FC), Jaden Servania (North Carolina FC), Sebastian Cutler (Manhattan SC), Roberto Ydrach (Tampa Bay United), Sidney Paris (AFC Ann Arbor), Adrian Biaggi (Bavarian United SC)

Rwanda (1): Nshuti Innocent (One Knoxville SC)

Sierra Leone (1): Emmanuel Samadia (Hartford Athletic)

South Sudan (1) – Machop Chol (San Antonio FC)

St. Lucia (1) – Peter Pearson (Des Moines Menace)

St. Vincent and the Grenadines (2) – Oalex Anderson (North Carolina FC), Kyle Edwards (Hartford Athletic)

Trinidad and Tobago (4) – Noah Powder (Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC), Shannon Gomez (San Antonio FC), Real Gill (Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC), Triston Hodge (Hartford Athletic)

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