Jose Martinez is joining the Venezuela national team for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers, after all.
The 25-year-old midfielder left Philadelphia this morning to fly to Colombia to join up with Venezuela team ahead of Friday night’s qualifier. Venezuela also hosts a qualifier against Paraguay on Tuesday, meaning he will miss five games in total after he’s required by MLS rules to quarantine for 10 days.
Jonathan Tannenwald, of the Philadelphia Inquirer, reported Wednesday that FIFA’s intervention forced the Union’s hand in releasing Martinez after announcing on Tuesday that he would not being going.
Not having El Brujo in the lineup will be a blow to the Union on the field with head coach Jim Curtin required to make do without his starter in the thick of a congested schedule leading into playoffs.
Curtin said Tuesday that Warren Creavalle will likely not be ready to start the match, which means he could go with a midfield four of Brenden Aaronson, Anthony Fontana, Jamiro Monteiro and Alejandro Bedoya. Jack Elliott at the 6 could also be an option since he’s played there more than any of the other options Curtin has at the position. Cole Turner has played just three minutes all season and offseason signing Matej Oravec still hasn’t featured.
Oravec in fact has played just one competitive game since joining the Union in preseason, a match the 22-year-old started at center back for Slovakia’s U21 team in a UEFA U21 qualifier last month.
¡SÍ VIAJA! ✈️— VIP Sport Agency (@VIPSportAgency) October 7, 2020
Luego de las gestiones de la @FVF_Oficial y la carta de la FIFA enviada al @PhilaUnion, "El Brujo" @JoseAndresMT8 SÍ dirá presente con la @SeleVinotinto .
Vuelos de HOY:
9:45 AM. Philadelphia - Miami.
4:10 PM. Miami - Medellín.
8:05 PM. Medellín - Barranquilla. pic.twitter.com/Vg6FyOKtl1