Goalkeeper Ryan Thompson of the NASL's Tampa Bay Rowdies has been called up to the Jamaican national team for a pair of matches in Europe next week.
Thompson will depart for London on Sunday and meet up with the Reggae Boyz in time for their friendly against Egypt next Wednesday and then continue on to Lille, France, where Jamaica will test the Brazil-bound French national team on June 8.
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The match against Egypt will be played at Matchroom Stadium, home of Leyton Orient FC in East London. The match against France will serve as France’s final friendly before departing for the World Cup. It will be played at Stade Pierre-Mauroy, home of Ligue 1 side LOSC Lille.
“It’s always a privilege to represent your country,” Thompson said. “I’m pretty excited. I’m looking forward to meeting up with old friends. It’s a blessing from God and I’ll keep working hard. It’s unbelievable to play France before they go to the World Cup. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to represent my country.”
Thompson, 29, joined the Rowdies this winter, returning to the Tampa Bay area after a stellar college career for the University of Tampa. He has one cap for Jamaica, a 2004 match against the U.S. Virgin Islands..
This season, he’s appeared in one NASL match, replacing Matt Pickens in the 24th minute against the New York Cosmos on May 17. Thompson is scheduled to return to the Rowdies following the match against France.
“It’s wonderful news for Ryan,” Rowdies coach Ricky Hill said. “It’s a great honor to be called up for your country. The Rowdies organization is delighted that he’s going to go out and represent us as best he can. He’s worked ever so hard in training since he’s been here. He’s very professional in his outlook. We hope he has a safe journey and has the opportunity to show his abilities for the national team.”