Two Sacramento Republic FC players, forward Kharlton Belmar and goalkeeper Rafael Diaz, have been called up for Concacaf World Cup qualifying this month.
Belmar has been called up for the first time by Grenada. His parents hail from the Caribbean island nation, and he is joining the national team. They’ll face El Salvador in San Salvador on Mar. 26 and will host the U.S. Virgin Islands on Mar. 30.
Diaz has gotten a recall with Dominican Republic after making his debut in January with the Caribbean nation. DR will host Dominica on Mar. 24 and play Anguilla at Inter Miami Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on Mar. 27.
“It is an honor to represent your country and we’re excited for Kharlton and Rafa to take to the international stage as ambassadors of our club,” said Republic FC Head Coach Mark Briggs in a team statement. “We wish them both the best of luck and look forward to their return, as we prepare for the season ahead.”
The good news is if these players stay healthy, they will be back in training camp well before Sac Republic opens up their season, so no competitive games will be missed due to international duty. And while Grenada and Dominican Republic both have uphill climbs to make a deep run in World Cup qualifying, if the players impress on the international stage they could line up more call-ups later this year, for Concacaf Nations League, perhaps. So congratulations to Kharlton and Rafael, stay healthy and best of luck.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.