Atlanta Silverbacks midfielder FERNANDO GONZALEZ has been called up to the Puerto Rico National Team, the Puerto Rican Soccer Federation announced Monday.
Gonzalez, who suffered a season-ending injury just five games into his rookie season last year, was called up several times in 2011, but was unable to participate due to the injury. Monday’s call-up represents Gonzalez’s first opportunity to take part in a senior national team camp with Puerto Rico.
“It’s exciting to finally have the opportunity to go down there and represent Puerto Rico,” Gonzalez said. “Injuries have delayed my participation, but I’m healthy now and really looking forward to the experience.”
The Tampa, Fla. native, whose father is from Puerto Rico, will report to camp on May 28 in Bayamon ahead of a pair of international friendlies on June 1 and June 3. Puerto Rico will host Nicaragua in both matches at Bayamon Soccer Complex. The matches come in preparation for the team’s most important competition of the year, the Digicel Caribbean Cup, which are the Caribbean Qualifiers for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Gonzalez will be hoping to impress new Puerto Rico National Team head coach Jeaustin Campos, who replaces Colin Clarke, the current head coach of the Carolina RailHawks of the NASL.
The former University of South Florida standout has seen action in two of the Silverbacks’ four games this season, coming in as a substitute against the RailHawks and Tampa Bay Rowdies.