International Notebook: Ryan Johnson & Donovan Ricketts feature for Jamaica in loss to Mexico

Johnson almost finds an equalizer while Ricketts supplies five saves in 1-0 WCQ loss to El Tri

Ryan Johnson, Jamaica

Photo Credit: 
(Getty Images)

Qualifying for the 2014 World Cup resumed last night and numerous Portland Timbers players were involved in some of the first matches of the CONCACAF Hexagonal stage.

Timbers forward Ryan Johnson and goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts both got the start for the Reggae Boyz in their 1-0 loss against Mexico in Kingston. Aldo de Nigris gave the Mexicans the lead with a 49th minute header. Johnson almost equalized with a wicked header in the 54th minute only to be denied via a spectacular save from Jesus Corona. Ricketts was credited with five saves in the match and his clutch performance kept Jamaica in the match throughout.

The loss keeps Jamaica at the bottom of the group with a 0-2-2 record. They next host the United States this Friday at 6:30pm PT (beIN SPORT) before visiting Honduras on Tuesday, June 11 at Estadio Tiburcio Carías Andino in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, at 6pm PT.

Defender Futty Danso (The Gambia) and midfielder Rodney Wallace (Costa Rica) have also been called up by their respective national teams for upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

All four players will miss at least one league match at the Chicago Fire on June 8. Both Danso and Wallace will also miss the regular-season match against FC Dallas on June 15.

Danso joins The Gambia National Team for a pair of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. The Scorpions play host to the Ivory Coast on Saturday, June 8, at Independence Stadium in Bakau, The Gambia. The team then visits Morocco on Saturday, June 15, at Stade de Marrakech in Marrakech, Morocco. Through three matches, The Gambia is in fourth in Group C of CAF World Cup qualifying.

Wallace and Costa Rica face three World Cup qualifiers from June 7-18. Costa Rica will play host to Honduras on June 7 at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San José at 7pm PT. The Ticos then take on Mexico on the road June 11 at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City at 5pm PT, before returning home to play host to Panama on Tuesday, June 18, at 7pm PT.

Through three matches of the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Costa Rica sits in third place with four points (1-1-1). The top three countries in CONCACAF earn automatic berths in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.