Six Orlando City players were named to the 40-man provisional national team rosters for their respective countries ahead of the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup, which begins June 15.
Forward Tesho Akindele, midfielder Will Johnson and rookie centerback Kamal Miller all were selected to represent Canada. Rookie forward Benji Michel was chosen by Haiti. Left back Danilo Acosta was selected by Honduras. And goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh was named to Trinidad and Tobago’s roster.
No Orlando City players were selected for the United States men’s national team roster.
Orlando City is 4-6-3 (15 points) through 13 matches so far this season.
The final 23-player rosters will be unveiled the first week of June. This year’s Gold Cup features 16 participating nations.
There will be a break in MLS competition from June 2 (after the Lions play the Montreal Impact) until the Lions play D.C. United on June 26. The Gold Cup final is on July 7. After the D.C. United game, Orlando City has league matches on June 29 (at Columbus Crew SC), July 3 (versus the Philadelphia Union) and July 6 (at Philadelphia).
Akindele has seen consistent minutes so far this season for the Lions. He scored two goals, his third and fourth of the season, in Orlando City’s 5-1 victory over FC Cincinnati on Sunday to get back on track after a bit of a drought. Johnson is another fairly regular starter. The veteran defensive midfielder was called up to Canada’s national team earlier this year, but he had to sit out due to a concussion.
Miller, a rookie, has impressed when he’s been given opportunities to play. Veteran players like Lamine Sané have spoken about his upside and he started the team’s season opener.
Michel was called up to Haiti’s men’s national team earlier this season, but he told Pro Soccer USA he declined the call-up in order to focus on his first season as a professional. Michel has started one match for Orlando City so far this season. The Homegrown forward played a full 90 minutes in the Lions’ 2-1 loss to the Seattle Sounders.
Danilo Acosta was called up to the USMNT in January 2018, but he hasn’t received a call-up recently. He was Orlando City’s starter at left back/left wingback for the team’s first three matches of the season, but João Moutinho has started 10 of the Lions’ last 11 matches in place of Acosta. He told Pro Soccer USA he’s enjoying the competition for minutes.
See all of the provisional rosters here.
Méndez called up
Ecuadorian midfielder Sebas Méndez was called up to his national team for the 2019 Copa América in Brazil.
Méndez, 22, is one of four MLS players called up to Ecuador’s men’s national team. The other three are Carlos Gruezo from FC Dallas, Xavier Arreaga of the Seattle Sounders and Romario Ibarra of Minnesota United.
Méndez, who in in his first season with the Lions, is frequently one of Orlando City’s most active players on match day.
The 2019 Copa América runs from June 14 to July 7, so Méndez stands to miss roughly the same amount of time as the players called up to national teams for the Gold Cup. Ecuador’s first match of the competition is against Uruguay — the first match of Group C — on June 16. Japan and Chile are the other two teams in Group C.
See the full roster here.