IRVINE, CA —Orange County SC midfielder Eric Calvillo, a native of Palmdale, was named to the El Salvador Men’s National Team roster Wednesday for the team’s Friday friendly against Guatemala in Washington D.C. The game kicks off at 5 p.m. Pacific at Audi Field, home of D.C. United.
If he sees the field, it will be Calvillo’s first time representing the El Salvador Senior National Team.
“I’m extremely excited for this opportunity of getting called up to my national team,” Calvillo said. “I can’t wait to go and (not only) represent my family but also the club. It’s a privilege and I hope to take advantage of this opportunity to be able to continue getting called up especially for the next qualifier games.”
The 23-year-old Calvillo, who is on loan to OCSC from MLS side San Jose Earthquakes, qualifies for El Salvador because of his mother’s heritage. Calvillo represented the U.S. at the U-15, U-17 and U-19 levels, playing alongside current U.S. stars Christian Pulisic and Tyler Adams.
But in January of this year, Calvillo made the decision to represent El Salvador. The 5-foot-7, Calvillo then made three appearances for the El Salvador U-23 team in the 2020 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Mexico this past March.
Calvillo also was a part El Salvador’s preliminary roster for the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup, but was not chosen for head coach Hugo Pèrez’s final squad.
Calvillo has continued to make an impression with OCSC this season, playing in 18 games, scoring a goal and picking up three assists. He also has a team-high 89.8-percent pass accuracy rate.
“Eric has been excellent since stepping through the door,” OCSC interim head coach Richard Chaplow said. “He brings quality on the ball and energy off it and it’s no surprise that hasn’t gone unnoticed by his national team staff, he deserves this opportunity.”
OCSC currently has a record of 9 wins, 8 losses, 7 ties and is in third place in the USL Championship’s Pacific Division. The team returns to action at 7 p.m. Saturday against Oakland Roots at the Championship Soccer Stadium at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine.
A OCSC spokesman said Calvillo is expected to return to the team before the game. How much Calvillo plays for OCSC – if at all – will be determined by his playing time for El Salvador the previous night.
After its Friday game, El Salvador returns to action on Oct. 7, in a 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier at home against Panama. Calvillo will be hoping to impress against Guatemala in order to remain in consideration for a place in that La Selecta squad.
El Salvador (2 points) currently sits seventh in the eight-team qualifying group, which also includes the U.S. and Mexico. The top three teams qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, while the fourth team will enter a playoff against a team from another region.
El Salvador last qualified for the FIFA World Cup in 1982.