Sporting Kansas City defender Marcel de Jong has joined the Canada Men’s National Team for a pair of upcoming World Cup qualifiers, the Canadian Soccer Association announced on Friday.
Canada begins the fourth round of CONCACAF qualifying on Nov. 13 against Honduras at BC Place in Vancouver, then travels to face El Salvador on Nov. 17 at Estadio Cuscatian in San Salvador.
De Jong, 29, has made 39 international appearances for Canada since debuting in 2007. He has represented his country in each of the past four CONCACAF Gold Cups and now embarks on his third FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, having previously done so ahead of the 2010 and 2014 tournaments.
De Jong has been a mainstay for Canada in 2015, earning eight caps and helping Canada defeat Belize 4-1 on aggregate in the third round of CONCACAF qualifying in September. He most recently scored a spectacular long-range strike in Canada’s 1-1 friendly draw against Ghana on Oct. 13, the third goal of his international career.
After making more than 225 club appearances over 10 professional seasons in the Netherlands and Germany, de Jong joined Sporting Kansas City in 2015 for his MLS debut. He started 11 of 13 MLS appearances, recording one goal and one assist, and also played two matches in Sporting Kansas City’s run to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title.
Led by head coach Benito Floro, Canada is one of 12 nations in the fourth round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Teams are divided into three groups of four, with the Reds in Group A with Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico. After a double round robin, the top two finishers from each group will advance to the final qualifying round beginning in November 2017.