With more than 40 international fixtures played in preparation of next month’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, it was a busy night in the world of soccer on Wednesday.
While the ‘Caps first team was in action at BC Place, five different Vancouver Whitecaps FC players saw time for their respective national teams, including two senior national team debuts.
Mattocks and Richards suit up for Jamaica
Making his senior national team debut for The Reggae Boyz, Mattocks played 36 minutes and was his usual self, causing trouble for the El Salvador backline with his speed and clever runs. The 21-year-old rookie was on the pitch for Jamaica’s 66th-minute insurance marker and looks poised for a bright future with the Caribbean nation.
Fresh off his MLS Goal of the Week nomination, Richards earned his 39th cap by helping Jamaica bring home the victory in the final 14 minutes.
Teibert and Mitchell go head-to-head
Across the country in Lauderhill, Florida, midfielder Russell Teibert and the Canadian men’s national team defeated defender Carlyle Mitchell and Trinidad & Tobago 2-0 on a hot evening at Central Broward Regional Park.
Teibert, 19, was subbed on in the 62nd minute and made an immediate impact in his senior national team debut. The Niagara Falls, Ontario, native created two early chances and played a part in Canada’s second goal, sending midfielder Will Johnson through just before he was awarded a penalty.
Although he did not figure on the scoresheet, Teibert earned praise from his teammates and head coach Stephen Hart following the match.
Canada is now unbeaten in four matches heading into their crucial set of World Cup qualifiers versus Panama next month.
Mitchell, meanwhile, started the match and played 70 minutes in his fifth appearance with The Soca Warriors.
Barbara helps Malta make history
Finally, striker Etienne Barbara helped his native Malta capture a record fourth consecutive victory, playing the second half in a 3-2 away win over San Marino. Barbara, who has recorded over 30 international caps with Malta, played a part in the team’s third goal, as his rebound was slotted in by captain Michael Mifsud.
All five players will be back with the team for Whitecaps FC’s much-anticipated Cascadia Cup derby clash at Seattle Sounders FC this Saturday afternoon.