Early this morning the Hungarian Federation announced their international call-ups for the upcoming FIFA break. On the list were Sporting Kansas City regulars Krisztian Nemeth and Botond Barath.
Hungary will be involved in two games during the break against Azerbaijan and Wales as a part of UEFA Euro Qualifying. Hungary will play Azerbaijan on Saturday, June 8th and they will play Wales on Tuesday, June 11th.
Sporting KC have a game on Saturday June 7th against Toronto FC in Canada. If Nemeth and Barath accept the call-ups they would have to miss the Toronto game.
A Real Depth Crisis
At their positions, things are looking pretty weary with all the injuries SKC are currently dealing with. Nemeth is literally the only healthy center forward on the roster with Erik Hurtado out with a knee and wrist injury. His timetable for return was right around this Toronto game originally but with his new wrist surgery, that could be delayed. Even if Hurtado was available, it’s unlikely he’d have 90 minutes of fitness in him.
There are other options who can and have played center forward in the past. This season Yohan Croizet has lined up there (but really, where hasn’t he lined up). Additionally, Daniel Salloi has played that role in the past, but he recently left practice with an injury too. Johnny Russell can probably play in the middle as well but with all the injuries there is no wing depth to replace any of those players as they move centrally. Another potential option is to play a false nine with one of the many midfielders on the roster. Gianluca Busio would be an intriguing option.
As for Barath, as of this writing, he’s already played in seven MLS games (six starts) for 562 minutes. That’s only three games he’s not appeared in this season with the injuries to Matt Besler and Andreu Fontas around him. There are only four center backs on the roster currently. Besler is likely to return, maybe as early as this weekend. If he and Fontas aren’t available, that leaves Graham Smith and.... maybe Nicolas Hasler to play in central defense. Then again, Hasler is currently filling in at right back for an injured Graham Zusi and there is no further depth at that position.
In other words, these injuries are coming at a poor time. Act surprised.
The Hungarian National Team currently sit in third place (out of five) in Group E for UEFA Euro Qualifying. They are in the group with the aforementioned Wales and Azerbaijan as well as Slovakia and Croatia. Everyone but Azerbaijan has three points after two games played (Wales and Azerbaijan have only played one game).
Qualifying continues through November 2019. The top two teams from each group automatically qualify for the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament. However, 16 additional teams will go into the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying playoffs with four teams advancing to the full tournament.