Timbers Get Boost From Johnson, Ricketts Staying

Portland captain, starting keeper not called for int’l duty, available for Seattle match
by Ray Marcham   |   Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Green Logs – column on Portland Timbers (PTFC) & the Portland, Oregon area soccer scene.

The good news this week for the Portland Timbers is that while 3 players are gone for a week, 2 players aren’t going anywhere.

With the international calendar and World Cup qualifying back on the schedule at the same time as 2 massive home matches against the Seattle Sounders and Real Salt Lake, there was a little nervousness over how many players the Timbers would lose to their national teams. But it turned out to not be as bad as first feared.

The 3 who will be gone are Rodney Wallace, Ryan Johnson and Alvas Powell. Wallace will be with Costa Rica for their last 2 CONCACAF World Cup qualifying matches, a Friday night match in Honduras and a home match against Mexico next Tuesday. While the Ticos have already qualified for the World Cup, they can have a big say in whether Honduras and Mexico can make the trip to Brazil.

Johnson and Powell will be with the Jamaican national team when they play the United States in Kansas City on Friday and against Honduras in Kingston, Jamaica next Tuesday. If Jamaica doesn’t beat the US on Friday, that will officially eliminate The Reggae Boyz from the World Cup. But they could still have an impact if they can beat Honduras.

But while Wallace, Johnson and Powell will be gone, Will Johnson and Donovan Ricketts will stay in Portland. Ricketts was left off of the Jamaican team due to a reported broken finger, but there have been no indications that he will not start for the Timbers on Sunday against the Sounders.

As for Will Johnson, he was not chosen for the Canadian national team that will face Australia in at Craven Cottage in London on Tuesday night. Because of Portland’s position in the playoff race and the matches against Seattle and RSL looming large, it was agreed that Johnson, the Timbers captain and Canada’s captain in the Gold Cup, would stay behind and concentrate on Portland’s playoff run.

Of course, the Sounders will also have a big name possibly available for Sunday’s match, as Clint Dempsey was left off of the US roster for their Jamaica and Panama matches by Jurgen Klinsmann because of a hamstring injury. He is expected to play against Vancouver on Wednesday night and in Portland on Sunday. However, Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans were called up by Klinsmann for the last 2 US matches in World Cup qualifying, so Seattle won’t have them available

NEXT UP: October 13 – Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders, JELD-WEN Field, Portland, Ore. 9 p.m. EST, ESPN.

Ray MARCHAM

Nationality:
USA
College:
Washington State
Club Domestic:
Portland Timbers
Club Foreign:
Arsenal
Cascadia native and a fan for as long as he can remember, Ray was brought up on the old NASL. Learned to love MLS. Wanted to play like Clive Charles. Then like Tony Adams. Only dreams, of course.
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