International Notebook: Purdy and Palmer continue World Cup qualifying campaigns

Jamaica draws while El Salvador loses

Lovel Palmer, Jamaica National Team

Photo Credit: 
(Jamaica Football Federation)

Timbers midfielder Lovel Palmer (Jamaica) and defender Steve Purdy (El Salvador) both played key roles in the first two games of their respective countries 2014 World Cup qualifying campaigns.

Jamaica have been drawn into CONCACAF’s Group A along with Antigua & Barbuda, Guatemala and the United States, while El Salvador landed in Group B alongside Costa Rica, Guyana and Mexico.

After playing the full 90 minutes in Jamaica’s 2-2 tie with Guatemala (Photos) on June 8, Palmer (above, right) was again deployed by Reggae Boyz head coach Theodore Whitmore for the team’s second World Cup Qualifier in four days. The Timbers midfielder went 90 minutes against Antigua & Barbuda, helping the Reggae Boyz to a 0-0 draw (Highlights). Jamaica is tied for first place in Group A with the United States on four points. The Americans travel to Jamaica on September 7 when World Cup Qualifying resumes before hosting the Jamaicans on September 11.

Fresh off a crucial 2-2 draw in Costa Rica, Steve Purdy went the full 90 for El Salvador once again in La Salecta’s June 12 home match with Mexico. Despite over 1,000 El Salvadorans “welcoming” Mexico their hotel in San Salvador (Spanish), El Tri were able to escape the Estadio Cuscatlan with a 2-1 win thanks to an 82nd-minute, Hector Moreno strike (Highlights). El Salvador will host Guyana in its next World Cup Qualifier on September 7 before heading to Guyana for the return leg on September 11.

Timbers defender Futty Danso is still away on national team duty with The Gambia. Futty started and played the full game in both of the Scorpions recent World Cup Qualifiers: a 1-1 draw with Morocco on June 2 and a 2-1 defeat to Tanzania on June 10. The Gambia now turns its attention to a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Algeria at 11:20 a.m. PT on June 16. Futty and the Scorpions must overcome a 2-1, first-leg defeat to move past the Desert Foxes and on to the next round of qualifying.