Five senior Montreal Impact players were called up by their respective national teams this week. From Russia to El Salvador, here is where the Bleu-blanc-noir players are going for these international games.
Laurent Ciman, Belgium
2018 WORLD CUP QUALIFYING
Belgium v. Bosnia-Herzegovina, Friday, October 7 at 2:45pm in Brussels, Belgium
Belgium v. Gibraltar, Monday, October 10 at 2h45pm in Faro, Portugal
Currently tied in first place with three Group H points, Belgium has a crucial game for the top position against Bosnia-Herzegovina, this Friday at 2:45pm, before going to Portugal to face minnows Gibraltar next Monday. With Kompany and Vermaelen not available for selection, Laurent Ciman could start for one of these two games. Everything is possible with a new manager, Roberto Martinez, supported by legendary French striker Thierry Henry, now retired.
UPDATE: Ciman played an important part in Belgium's two wins this past week, entering the game in the 21st minute against Bosnia-Herzegovina for the injured Jordan Lukaku before starting the match against Gibraltar. Belgium won 4-0 on Friday and 6-0 on Monday.
Anthony Jackson-Hamel, Canada
Canada v. Mauritania, Thursday, October 6 at 2:35pm in Marrakech, Morocco
Canada v. Morocco, Tuesday, October 11 at 3pm in Marrakech, Morocco
The Canadian national team is rebuilding after getting knocked out of World Cup qualifying and with manager Benito Floro not returning. This first senior international call-up for the striker from Quebec City comes after a strong finish to the USL season with FC Montreal, during which Jackson scored six goals in his last nine games.
UPDATE: Jackson-Hamel earned his first caps for Canada, entering the game against Mauritania in the 69th minute and against Morocco in the 61st. Canada won 4-0 against Mauritania and lost 4-0 against Morocco.
Ambroise Oyongo, Cameroon
Cameroon v. Olympique de Marseille, Wednesday, October 5 in Marseille, France
2018 WORLD CUP QUALIFYING
Cameroon v. Algeria, Sunday, October 9 at 3:30pm in Blida, Algeria
A regular fixture in the Lions indomptables’ starting XI, we should see Ambroise Oyongo play a lot of minutes under Cameroon’s colours for this important Group B game. Algeria and Cameroon will battle Nigeria and Zambia to earn the only qualifying berth for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, given to the top team in the group.
UPDATE: After playing 45 first-half minutes in a 1-1 draw against Olympique de Marseille, Oyongo started the World Cup qualifier against Algeria, a positive 1-1 draw for Cameroon.
Michael Salazar, Belize
Belize v. Honduras, Saturday, October 8 at 6pm in Belmopan, Belize
Called-up for the first time in three years by the Belize national team, Michael Salazar will don the Belizean jersey for this friendly against the Honduran neighbours. This would be the 23-year-old winger’s fifth international appearance.
UPDATE: Salazar played the full 90 minutes in the Jaguars' friendly defeat of 2-1 against Honduras.
Johan Venegas, Costa Rica
Costa Rica v. Russia, Sunday, October 9 at noon in Krasnodar, Russia
Having qualified for CONCACAF’s Hex, Costa Rica travels to the next World Cup host for a friendly game to prepare for the final qualifying round, which starts with a game against Trinidad-and-Tobago, in Port-of-Spain. Venegas will have a round trip of close to 16,000 km for this international friendly.
UPDATE: Venegas also raked in 90 international minutes for his country in the 4-3 win against Russia, the winner coming from Joel Campbell's penalty in the 92nd minute.
Mathieu Choinière et Marques Antoine, Canada U18
Canada v. El Salvador, Friday, October 7 in San Salvador, El Salvador
Canada v. El Salvador, Sunday, October 9 in San Salvador, El Salvador
Finally, two Montreal Impact Academy prospects will take part in the Canada U18 development camp in El Salvador. Centre back Marques Antoine and midfielder Mathieu Choinière will fly with the young maple leafs in this month of October for two friendly games against El Salvador, on Friday and Sunday.
UPDATE: This Central American internship went not too badly for the young Canadians, sharing the spoils of both games against El Salvador by the score of 1-1 and 2-2 respectively.