Per the team, D.C. United midfielder Markus Halsti has been recalled to his national team to play for Finland in Euro 2016 qualifiers on October 8 (at Romania) and October 11 (home vs. Northern Ireland). He should not expect to miss any playing time for D.C., as the games fall in the 16 day window between games againts New York City FC and the Chicago Fire.
At the country level, Halsti's Finland team needs a few things to go right in order to advance. They are currently 4th in Group H qualifiers, putting them 3 points out of third place and a playoff series with another third place team in Euro qualifiers in order to advance. Additionally, Finland's last two games are with the second and first place teams in the Group, respectively. Hungary (the current third place team in the Group) hosts the Faroe Islands on October 8 and plays at Greece on October 11. Faroe and Greece are the bottom two teams in the Group, so the Hungarians seem to hold the cards.
"Two tough games. It what it is. It's three point games all around. But it's nice to have the chance. At least we have the chance," Halsti said, when asked about the task in front of the Finns. He also shared his thoughts on the travel for the qualifiers earlier in September, and balancing it with the travel in Major League Soccer. "From New York to Greece. Back to Finland, then here, and after a couple of days, Colorado. A bit of traveling, not that used to it, but [I] just have to make the best of it."
"I knew it was going to be a big challenge. It was one of the biggest things about moving here. But I was expecting for it to be worse. That's the Finnish way of thinking about it, thinking about the worst. It wasn't that bad, but it wasn't that easy. It takes a toll. I try to keep the same routine. The main problem is the time difference. But the coaches understand. Ben [Olsen] and the coaches understand that when I'm back, the first training it's not wise for me to go 100 [percent]."