COLUMBUS — Columbus Crew SC today announced that two of its players have received international call-ups: Harrison Afful and Cristian Martinez. Afful is set to join Ghana ahead of a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying match against Kenya. The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying match against Kenya will take place on September 8 in Kenya. Martinez is set to join Panama for an international friendly against Venezuela on September 11 at Estadio Rommel Fernández in Panama City, Panama.
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 travel to Kenya on September 8, with the match marking Ghana’s second match of the final group stage of qualification. Ghana is currently in first place of Group F with a record of 1-0-0.
Harrison Afful has earned 76 caps for Ghana, the most recent of which came as a starter and captain in a 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Egypt on November 12, 2017. Afful is a two-time World Cup veteran, having been a member of the Black Stars’ roster during the 2010 and 2014 editions of the tournament. Afful was also a member of the Ghana National Team during the last four editions of the Africa Cup of Nations, playing every minute of the 2013, 2015 and 2017 tournaments. This season, he has made 25 regular-season appearances (all starts) while scoring two goals and providing five assists for Crew SC.
Panama is slated to face Venezuela in an international friendly on September 11 at Estadio Rommel Fernández in Panama City, Panama. To date, Cristian Martinez has earned two caps for Los Canaleros, with the most recent coming as a starter in a friendly match against Nicaragua at Estadio Nacional de Fútbol in Managua, Nicaragua on March 16, 2016. In addition to his time with Panama’s senior side, the midfielder also featured prominently for Panama at the Under-20 level.
In 2018, Martinez has made 14 regular-season appearances (11 starts) – an MLS career-high – while providing two assists for Crew SC. The 21-year-old registered both of his assists in a 3-1 home victory over D.C. United on March 24, 2018.
Crew SC’s current roster features eight players that have received a senior National Team call-up while with the club: Mohammed Abu, Harrison Afful, Cristian Martinez, Jonathan Mensah, Justin Meram, Zack Steffen, Wil Trapp and Gyasi Zardes.
Crew SC returns to action with a road contest at FC Dallas on Saturday, September 15 (8:00 p.m. ET / CW Columbus, Spectrum Sports, BCSN2, CD102.5 FM, English and Spanish audio broadcasts available on ColumbusCrewSC.com).