VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC defender Kendall Waston, midfielder Christian Bolaños, and striker Blas Pérez were called up to their respective national teams for the fourth round of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying.
Group 2 of the qualifying tournament features a pair of home-and-away series on the last week of March, with Waston, Bolaños, and the Costa Ricans facing Jamaica, and Pérez and his Panamanian side playing Haiti.
Waston, Bolaños, and Pérez will miss one match for Whitecaps FC when they host Houston Dynamo at BC Place on Saturday, March 26.
On Friday, March 25, Costa Rica visit Jamaica at Independence Park (National Stadium) in Kingston, while Panama travel to Stade Sylvio Cator in Port-au-Prince for their fixture against Haiti. The scenes shift four days later, when Costa Rica host Jamaica at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in Waston's and Bolaños' native city of San José, and Panama and Haiti battle it out at Estadio Rommel Fernández Gutiérrez in Pérez's hometown of Panama City.
GROUP B STANDINGS
1. Costa Rica (2W-0L-0D): 6 points
2. Panama (1W-1L-0D): 3 points
3. Jamaica (1W-1L-0D): 3 points
4. Haiti (0W-2L-0D): 0 points
The top two teams from each group will advance to the fifth round of World Cup qualifying for the CONCACAF region, also known as "The Hex."
Waston, who has six senior international caps under his belt, started in Costa Rica's most recent fixture, a 1-0 friendly loss to Venezuela last month. He recently scored his first goal in senior international play, providing the game-winner in the 1-0 friendly win over Nicaragua last December. The 28-year old centre back figured on the scoresheet for Costa Rica in their last 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying fixture, recording an assist in their 2-1 win against Pérez and his Panamanian side last November 17.
Bolaños has tallied 60 caps for his native country, after coming on as a substitute in both wins over Haiti and Panama last November. A player on Costa Rica's 2006 and 2014 FIFA World Cup teams, Bolaños has two goals for the Ticos, including one versus Guyana in the 2014 World Cup Qualifying tournament.
Pérez holds the third-most senior international caps for Panama with 102 appearances and is Panama’s second all-time leading scorer with 39 goals in his career. He found the net in his last outing with Los Canaleros, a 4-0 win over Cuba in the Copa América Centenario qualifying play-offs. In the last World Cup Qualifying cycle in 2014, the 34-year old forward tallied nine goals in his 18 appearances for Panama.
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