COLUMBUS — Columbus Crew SC today announced that four of its players have received international call-ups: Harrison Afful, Cristian Martinez, Jonathan Mensah and Justin Meram. Afful and Mensah are set to join Ghana ahead of two 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying matches against Sierra Leone, scheduled to take place on October 12 and October 16. Martinez is slated to join Panama for a friendly against Japan on October 12 and a friendly against South Korea October 16. Meram joins Iraq ahead of a friendly contest against Argentina on October 11 and a friendly against Saudi Arabia on October 15.
Ghana is currently in Group F of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying stage, along with Ethiopia, Kenya and Sierra Leone. The top two teams of each group automatically qualify to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations to be held in Cameroon. The Black Stars are set to host Sierra Leone at Baba Yara Stadium in Accra, Ghana on October 12, before traveling to National Stadium Sierra Leone in Freetown, Sierra Leone to face the Leone Stars. Ghana is currently in first place of Group F with a record of 1-0-1.
Harrison Afful has earned 77 caps for Ghana, the most recent of which came in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying match against Kenya at Moi International Sports Centre in Nairobi, Kenya on September 8, 2018. Afful represented the Black Stars’ in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Jonathan Mensah has earned 56 caps with the Black Stars, with his latest cap coming in a 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Congo at Stade Municipal de Kintele in Brazzaville, Congo on September 5, 2017. Mensah is a two-time FIFA World Cup veteran, having been a member of the Black Stars’ roster during the 2010 and 2014 editions of the tournament.
Panama is slated to face Japan in an international friendly on October 12 at Denka Big Swan Stadium in Niigata City, Japan before traveling to Cheonan Stadium in Cheonan, South Korea to take on South Korea. To date, Cristian Martinez has earned three caps for Los Canaleros, with the most recent coming as a starter in a friendly match against Venezuela at Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City, Panama on September 11, 2018. In addition to his time with Panama’s senior side, the midfielder has also featured prominently for Panama at the Under-20 level.
Iraq is scheduled to take on Argentina in an international friendly at Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 11 before facing Saudi Arabia four days later at King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Justin Meram last played for the Lions of Mesopotamia on March 27, 2018 in a friendly contest against Syria at Basra Sports City Stadium in Basra, Iraq. To date, Meram has earned 27 caps with Iraq, including participating in the AFC Asian Cup 2015, where he made four appearances and helped the Lions of Mesopotamia reach the semifinals of the tournament.
Up next for Crew SC is a road contest against the Montreal Impact at Stade Saputo tomorrow, Saturday, October 6 (3:00 p.m. ET / CW Columbus, Spectrum Sports, BCSN2, CD102.5 FM, English and Spanish audio broadcasts available on ColumbusCrewSC.com).