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Jose Martinez says he isn’t joining Venezuela for World Cup qualifiers

The Philadelphia Union midfielder will not be released for upcoming matches

Morgan Tencza

Jose Martinez’s dream to represent his country will be put on hold.

The Philadelphia Union midfielder confirmed via Twitter on Monday that he will not be joining the Venezuela national team for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers on Oct. 9 and 13.

Martinez’s agency sent a tweet on Sunday saying that the 27-year-old was not released by the Union.

Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin said discussions about whether to release Martinez for the qualifiers had gone back and forth “probably 25 times” when asked about his status after Saturday night’s loss to Toronto FC in Connecticut.

Curtin previously said there was a lot to consider in terms of required quarantines for him returning to the team and whether or not he would get playing time in the two games. Given the congested schedule, Curtin said Martinez leaving for international duty could potentially mean him missing as many as five games.