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Tayvon Gray, Mitja Ilenič, Christian McFarlane called up to national teams

NYCFC will be well-represented by internationals during the September international break.

Tayvon Gray knows something about winning |

Several New York City FC players will be busy during the September international break: Tayvon Gray, Mitja Ilenič, and Christian McFarlane were called up to their national teams.

In addition, NYCFC II‘s Klevis Haxhari was called up for Albania’s U19, and Brian Flores was called up to the senior Puerto Rican team.

Most leagues around the world press pause for the international break, but MLS will play through the week, with five games scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. NYCFC will not play over the weekend, which means these call-ups will not affect the club’s roster for MLS league games.

Tayvon Gray – Jamaica

This is the first international call-up for Gray, who was called up to the Jamaica national football team. The 21-year-old right-back and central defender was born in the Bronx but is eligible to play for the Reggae Boyz, who will be competing in the CONCACAF Nations League. MLS is well-represented on the team: Gray joins captain Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union), defender Damon Lowe (Philadelphia Union), midfielder Kevon Lambert (Real Salt Lake), and striker Cory Burke (New Jersey Red Bulls).

Jamaica vs Honduras – Fri, September 8, 9 pm ET
National Stadium Independence Park, Kingstown, Jamaica
Jamaica vs Haiti – Tue, September 12, 8 pm ET
National Stadium Independence Park, Kingstown, Jamaica
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Mitja Ilenič – Slovenia U21

A regular with the Slovenia youth teams, Ilenič was called up to the Slovenia U21 squad for their upcoming Euro U21 Qualification matches. The 18-year-old defender played with the U19 back in March, but represented the U21 squad in the past. According to Transfermarkt, Ilenič is both the youngest and the most valuable player on the team.

Bosnia and Herzegovina U21 vs Slovenia U21 – Thu, September 8, 12:45 pm ET
Stadion Grbavica, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Slovenia U21 vs France U21 – Mon, September 11, 12 pm ET
Atletski štadion Bonifika, Koper, Slovenia
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Christian McFarlane – England U17

Does this mean McFarlane will represent England? The 16-year-old NYCFC II defender was called up to the United States Youth National Team back in May along with NYCFC II players Drew Baiera,  Maximo Carrizo, and Jonny Shore. Despite seeing playing time with that US U16 team, McFarlane will now suit up for England in three friendlies that will serve as a warm-up before Euro U17 Qualifications begin in November. McFarlane was born in England, and played with the England U16 team in the past.

It’s notable that the highly-regarded defender is the only player on the England U17 squad not to play for an English team. In fact, there are only a handful of non-English clubs represented by players across all five of England’s youth squads: Ajax, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, and NYCFC.

England U17 vs Portugal U17 – Wed, September 6, 1 pm ET
Pinatar Arena, San Pedro de Pinatar, Spain
England U17 vs Morocco U17 – Sat, September 9, 1 pm ET
Pinatar Arena, San Pedro de Pinatar, Spain
England U17 vs Spain U17 – Tue, September 12, 12 pm ET
Pinatar Arena, San Pedro de Pinatar, Spain
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