Midfielder Junior Burgos and forward Deon McCaulay of the NASL's Atlanta Silverbacks have been named to the preliminary rosters to the national teams of El Salvador and Belize, respectively, ahead of the Central American Cup 2014 (Copa Centroamericana Tigo 2014), which will be played in the United States from September 1-13.
The seven participants in the Central American Cup Tigo 2014 USA – Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama -- were each permitted to include up to 50 players in their initial lists. Each nation must cut its roster to 23 by September 1.
Signed prior to the season, Burgos has scored three goals and registered two assists in 12 league games, and also scored three goals in four U.S. Open Cup matches. His long distance strikes against the Tampa Bay Rowdies (July 12) and New York Cosmos (August 9) were each selected as the NASL’s Play of the Week. Burgos was also named to the NASL Team of the Week following his performance in the Silverbacks’ 1-1 draw at Fort Lauderdale on August 16.
Born in Santa Ana, El Salvador, Burgos is one of 40 players on El Salvador’s preliminary roster. The 26-year-old has yet to earn a cap, though he has been on his national team’s game day roster for prior matches, most recently in 2011. Burgos will join El Salvador on August 25 ahead of a pre-tournament friendly against the Dominican Republic.
McCaulay, also in his first season with Atlanta, has scored three goals in 11 NASL matches and added two goals in four U.S. Open Cup games. He was selected to the NASL Team of the Week for week 4.
A native of the country’s most populous city, Belize City, McCaulay is his national team’s all-time leading scorer. One of 31 players on Belize’s preliminary roster, the 26-year-old has tallied 16 goals in 28 appearances for his country, with 13 of those coming in World Cup qualifiers. McCauley has joined Belize for a pre-tournament training camp.
The Central American Cup will decide the four automatic UNCAF (Central American Football Union) berths for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The fifth-place finisher will earn the right to participate in a two-leg playoff against the fifth-place team from the 2014 Caribbean Football Union Caribbean Cup, for an additional Gold Cup berth. In addition, the champion of the Central American Cup will earn a direct ticket to the Centennial Cup America 2016, also to be played in the United States.