US National Team

International Roundup | A debut goal, historic draw and crucial qualifiers for Revs quartet

10_18_23 Esmir Bajraktarevic United States Under-23s

Four New England Revolution stars are set to return to the club this week after representing their countries on international duty.

DeJuan Jones (United States Men’s National Team), Noel Buck (England Under-19s), Christian Makoun (Venezuela) and Esmir Bajraktarevic (U.S. Olympic Team) were selected for October’s fixtures, lining up for friendlies, training camps or crucial tournament qualifiers.

With a superb goal, an historic draw and a competitive debut, there were plenty of memorable moments for our Revs men, who are now making their way back to Foxborough ahead of Saturday’s MLS Decision Day clash with the Philadelphia Union.

Homegrown Player Bajraktarevic enjoyed an unforgettable moment with the U.S. Olympic Team, celebrating his call-up to the roster with the opening goal in a 2-1 win over Mexico in Phoenix, Arizona.

The 18-year-old was invited to take part in a training camp for the 2024 Paris Olympics, and played a key role in their first win of the cycle. Introduced from the bench on 32 minutes, he broke the deadlock in first half stoppage time, cutting inside and drilling a low effort from outside the box into the bottom corner.

The midfielder also featured in Tuesday’s 4-1 triumph over Japan – again brought on as a substitute on 63 minutes – as preparations for the USA’s first Olympic adventure since 2008 began with a bang.

One of the youngest players in the squad – one of three born in 2005 – Bajraktarevic will also be age-eligible to play at the 2025 FIFA U-20 World Cup and 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, Christian Makoun also helped Venezuela to an historic draw away to Brazil, as Eduard Bello’s stunning late overhead kick earned a precious point on Matchday Three of their 2026 Conmebol World Cup qualifying campaign.

Makoun started the game and completed the full 90 minutes at left back, aiding his side’s push for a maiden ticket to the tournament, ending Brazil’s 15-game winning streak in home qualifiers in the process.

La Vinotinto then followed up the draw with a thumping 3-0 win over Chile, lifting themselves to fourth in the qualification standings. Makoun was named on the bench at the Estadio Monumental de Maturín but did not feature.

Venezuela are hoping to book a World Cup spot for the first time, as the only Conmebol nation never to have competed at the tournament. With the 2026 edition – co-hosted in the United States, Canada and Mexico – to include an expanded 48-team field, seven South American teams can qualify (the top six in the standings will progress automatically, while the seventh will face a playoff).

Elsewhere, Revolution Homegrown Player and Arlington, Mass., native Noel Buck received his second selection to the England Under-19s team, for the Three Lions’ 2023/24 U19 European Championship qualifiers.

Simon Rusk’s side picked up three draws against Montenegro (0-0), Wales (1-1) and Austria (0-0) in Group 12, with Buck introduced for the final nine minutes of the tie with Wales.

The results mean England must wait to discover whether they have earned a place at next summer’s finals. The Young Lions finished third in the group with only the top two guaranteed progression to the elite round of qualifying. The third-placed team with the ‘next best’ record against the top two in their section will also go through, but several other groups are yet to be finalized.

The only England U19 player based at a club outside of Europe, Buck was born and raised in the U.S. but holds dual citizenship and is eligible to represent England and Wales through his father. He could still represent the Stars and Stripes but would need to file a one-time change of association to do so, having now featured in official competition for the Young Lions.

The MLS ’22 Under 22’ starlet found the net on his maiden England camp, firing home on his first start in a friendly against Switzerland.

Finally, defender DeJuan Jones was named to the USMNT roster for the fourth time, but was an unused substitute in both friendlies against Germany and Ghana.

The Stars and Stripes fell to a 3-1 defeat to Germany, despite opening the scoring through Christian Pulisic in Hartford, Connecticut, but stormed to a 4-0 triumph over Ghana with Giovanni Reyna bagging a brace, and Pulisic and Folarin Balogun also on the scoresheet in Nashville, Tennessee.

Jones has seven international caps to his name and notched an assist on his last appearance for the U.S., teeing up Ricardo Pepi in September’s 4-0 friendly win over Oman. The left back also crafted two goals in four starts at the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup, and tallied three assists in three games for the Revs before departing for National Team duty.