CHICAGO (Aug. 30, 2021) – Chicago Fire FC today announced that defender Francisco Calvo and midfielder Gastón Giménez have been called up to the Costa Rica National Team and the Paraguay National Team, respectively, for upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches. Both players traveled on Sunday, following the Club’s match against the New York Red Bulls.
Calvo joins Costa Rica for a three-game stretch in Concacaf’s third round of qualifying. Costa Rica will travel to Panama to face the Canaleros on Friday, Sept. 3, at 8:00 p.m. CT at the Estadio Rommel Fernández in Panama City, Panama. The Ticos will then host Mexico on Sunday, Sept. 5, at 6:00 p.m. CT at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose, Costa Rica. Rounding out the qualifying window for Costa Rica will be a match against Jamaica on Wednesday, Sept. 8, at 8:00 p.m. CT at the Estadio Nacional.
Calvo most recently represented Costa Rica at the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup, featuring in three of the squad’s matches. Costa Rica advanced out of Group C with victories against Guadeloupe, Suriname and Jamaica before falling to Canada in the tournament quarterfinals. The upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifying matches will kick off the third round of qualifying in the region, known as the octagonal due to the eight teams competing for Concacaf’s three direct berths to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Giménez joins Paraguay as the team is scheduled to continue qualifying in South America with three matches, including one that was postponed from earlier in the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Albirroja will visit Ecuador for qualifying Matchday 9 on Thursday, Sept. 2, at 4:00 p.m. CT at the Estadio Rodrigo Paz Delgado in Quito, Ecuador.
The team will then play qualifying Matchday 6 on Sunday, Sept 5, hosting Colombia at the Estadio Defensores del Chaco at 5:00 p.m. CT. Paraguay will remain at home, facing Venezuela on qualifying Matchday 10 at 5:30 p.m. CT on Thursday, Sept. 9.
Giménez most recently represented Paraguay at the 2021 Copa América, helping the team to a 2-0 win against Chile and playing in the 1-0 loss to Argentina. He was called up to represent Paraguay for the first time in October 2020, earning a start in the 2-2 draw with Peru on Oct. 8 and scoring the game-winning goal in the team’s 1-0 win against Venezuela on Oct. 13. He also started and played in the 1-1 draw with Argentina on Nov. 12, and the 2-2 tie with Bolivia on Nov. 17.
Paraguay currently sits in sixth place in the CONMEBOL standings with seven points through six matches played. The top four teams in the standings at the completion of the region's 18 rounds will qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The fifth-place team will enter the inter-confederation playoffs, where they'll compete against representatives from CONCACAF, the Asian Football Confederation, and the Oceania Football Confederation for one of two remaining qualification spots.