Danso called up by Gambia National Team

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers today announced that defender Mamadou Danso has been called up by the Gambia National Team to participate in a qualification match for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations against Namibia on Saturday, Sept. 4, in Banjul, The Gambia.

Danso, 27, departs for Banjul Monday for his first senior national team camp. He will return Sunday and will not be available for selection for the Timbers’ regular-season home finale Thursday at PGE Park.

A native of Serekunda, The Gambia, Danso has played in 21 games (19 starts) for the Timbers in 2010, registering a goal and an assist. He started his professional career with Portland in 2009, appearing in 16 games and contributing to the backline that shared the league-lead for fewest goals allowed (19) during the 2009 USL First Division season.

The Africa Cup of Nations, also referred to as the African Nations Cup, is the main international soccer competition in Africa. It is sanctioned by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), and was first held in 1957. The Africa Cup of Nations tournament is held every two years; Egypt won the 2010 tournament.

Danso is the second Timbers player this season to be called into a national team camp. In May, midfielder James Marcelin was recalled by the Haiti National Team to play in a friendly against Argentina; it was a warm-up game for Argentina as it prepared for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.