International Notebook: Timbers contributing to 2014 World Cup qualifying campaigns
It was a busy weekend of soccer across the world, with four Timbers players taking part for their respective national teams. Jake Gleeson, Futty Danso, Lovel Palmer and Steve Purdy all played for their countries this weekend in a variety of different tournaments and qualifying rounds.
After suffering a 2-0 loss to New Caledonia in the semifinals of the OFC Nations Cup on June 8, Gleeson and the All Whites played Solomon Islands in the third-place match on June 10, winning 4-3 with Gleeson in goal. As a semifinalist in the OFC Nations Cup, Gleeson and the All Whites advanced to the final round of Oceania World Cup qualifying, which takes place in September.
Danso, playing in World Cup qualifying with The Gambia, played the full 90 minutes in a 2-1 loss to Tanzania on June 10. That was after Danso played the entire game in a 1-1 draw with Morocco on June 2. With World Cup qualifying over for The Gambia until next fall, Danso and the Scorpions will play Algeria on June 16 in 2013 African Cup of Nations qualifying. The Gambia will have to overturn a 2-1 loss in the first-leg match against Algeria on February 29 to advance to the next round of 2013 ACN qualifying.
Playing for his home country of Jamaica, Palmer and the Reggae Boyz began 2014 World Cup Qualifying on the right foot, beating Guatemala 2-1 on June 8, with Palmer playing the full 90. Next up for Palmer and Jamaica is a World Cup qualifying match at Antigua & Barbuda on June 12.
Purdy and his El Salvadorian side drew Costa Rica 2-2 on June 8 in World Cup qualifying, with Purdy playing the entire match. Unfortunately, the intra-Timbers rivalry with midfielder/defender Rodney Wallace was not to be as Wallace did not suit up for his the Ticos squad due to injury. El Salvador hosts Mexico on June 12, continuing World Cup qualifying.