Over the international break, many D.C. United players took to the pitch to represent their country. Four players received call-ups to their respective teams: Junior Moreno for Venezuela, Chris Durkin for the U-20 U.S. team, Donovan Pines for the U-23 U.S. team, and Paul Arriola for the senior U.S. team.
The Black-and-Red made an impact on the pitch for each of their respective sides. Junior Moreno played the full 90 minutes in Venezuela’s 3-1 win over Argentina. It was the first international match for Lionel Messi since the World Cup, but his return was spoiled by two first-half goals from Salomon Rondon and Jhon Murillo, giving Venezuela a 2-0 lead at the half. Messi tried to spur a comeback with a goal in the 59th minute, but a penalty for Josef Martinez sealed Venezuela’s 3-1 victory.
The U-20 U.S. men’s national team took a trip to Spain to prepare for the upcoming U-20 World Cup in Poland. 19-year-old midfielder Chris Durkin came on as a substitute in the 46th minute in the U.S.’s 2-2 draw against France, and he started in their 2-1 victory over Japan, coming off in the 64th minute for Juan Pablo Torres.
Another D.C. United Academy star, Donovan Pines, traveled to Spain with the U-23 U.S. men’s national team. They played matches against Egypt and the Netherlands to kick off the 2020 Olympic cycle. Donovan Pines played the first half in their match against Egypt, where they ultimately fell 2-0. He came on as a substitute for the final fifteen minutes in the team’s scoreless draw against the Netherlands.
Paul Arriola was the final representative for the Black-and-Red over the international break. He started in both matches for the senior U.S. men’s team, playing roughly 65 minutes in their match against Chile and 75 minutes in their match against Ecuador. Arriola is earning consistent minutes under new U.S. head coach Gregg Berhalter, instilling confidence that he may become a regular starter for both club and country.
With the international break over, D.C. United is hitting the road to take on Orlando City SC this weekend. The match will kickoff at 6:30 PM ET on Sunday, March 31st on Fox Sports 1.