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Melbourne's Hernandez named for key qualifiers

Melbourne Victory star Carlos Hernandez has been selected in a 26-man squad for Costa Rica's key 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Mexico and El Salvador next month.

Hernandez will miss Melbourne Victory's Round 5 match against Newcastle Jets at Etihad Stadium on Thursday, September 3 in preparation for Costa Rica's fixtures against Mexico in San Jose on September 5 and El Salvador in San Salvador on September 9.

Costa Rica is on track to make its third consecutive FIFA World Cup appearance, leading the final stage of CONCACAF qualifying with 12 points from six matches, two ahead of closest rivals USA and Honduras.

The top three teams from the CONCACAF group of six will progress directly to next year's tournament in South Africa, with the fourth-placed team to face the fifth-best team from South America for another berth.

Hernandez, who netted two stunning goals in Melbourne Victory's Round 2 clash against Brisbane Roar less than two weeks ago, was part of Costa Rica's squad at the 2006 FIFA World Cup and has made three appearances in qualifiers this year.

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