Toronto Players Busy Over Break
The September international break is underway and Toronto FC will have several players representing their respective countries in World Cup and Gold Cup Qualification matches.
Toronto will be one of the host locations en route to 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. Canada will play the first of its two matches against Panama on Friday, September 7 at BMO Field. TFC fullback Ashtone Morgan and midfielder Terry Dunfield are with the squad. They will fly out to Central America for the second match on September 11. Panama leads Group C with six points from two matches. Canada, on four, could overtake the Panamanians with a win and a draw over these two legs. Top two teams advance to the final round of WCQ with Honduras and Cuba also competing for places.
Goalkeeper Freddy Hall could be a busy man with Bermuda – no longer in World Cup contention – playing three games in Group 1 of the Caribbean Cup from September 7-11. On Friday, Hall’s side takes on Puerto Rico, followed by Haiti on Sunday and Saint-Martin next Tuesday. All matches will be played in Port-au-Prince, Haiti with the group winner and runner-up advancing to the second round. Top four teams from the tournament qualify for CONCACAF Gold Cup.
One Caribbean power that will bypass the cup for now in favour of WCQ is Jamaica. As the reigning champion, they are already through to the final round of the tournament and can instead focus on trying to win a spot in Brazil 2014.
Toronto defender Dicoy Williams and winger/forward Ryan Johnson will be with the Reggae Boyz for two WCQ matches against the United States during this window. The first one will be played in Jamaica (September 7) followed by the return leg in Columbus four days later. U.S. leads Group A on goal difference, Jamaica is second ahead of Guatemala and Antigua and Barbuda.
Far away from CONCACAF destinations, centre back Darren O’Dea will be with Ireland in a European WCQ match in Kazakhstan. The Euro 2012 nation will want a strong start to Group C that features Germany, Sweden, Austria and Faroe Islands. Kazakhstan-Ireland will take place on September 7 at the Astana Arena in the northern part of Central Asia.