SAN JUAN, Puerto RIco - Loyola University Maryland men’s soccer junior-to-be Matt Sanchez is slated to be the starting goalkeeper tonight for the Puerto Rican National Team as the commonwealth begins qualifying for the 2016 Olympics.
Puerto Rico will play the island nation of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines tonight at Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium in Bayamón, Puerto Rico in Group 4 play of Caribbean Zone qualifying. Sanchez and his side will then face Suriname on Friday and Trinidad and Tobago Sunday to wrap up group action.
The group’s winner will advance to the Caribbean semifinal on August 14 with the winners of the semifinals meeting two days later. Both finalists will advance to the CONCACAF qualifying tournament that will be played in the United States in October.
Last season, Sanchez’s first at Loyola, he played ever minute in goal for the Greyhounds, playing to a 1.04 goals against average while registering four clean sheets. He was a two-time Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week and earned 1-1 double-overtime draws in three matches against nationally-ranked opponents (UMBC, Boston University and the U.S. Naval Academy).
This spring, Sanchez received his first call-up to the National team after playing with the Puerto Rican U-20 side. He has started each of the last four games in goal, playing in friendlies against Canada and Bermuda and in 2018 FIFA World Cup CONCACAF Second Round Qualifying against Grenada; he logged a clean sheet in the first leg of that qualifier.
Click here for more from Federación Puertoriqueña de Fútbol about this weekend’s matches.