Los Angeles Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts has been a fixture for his country for some time. Ricketts played all eight of Jamaica’s 2010 World Cup qualifying matches and started for Jamaica in the 2009 and 2005 Gold Cups.
Thus, it is no surprise that he has been called upon to help Jamaica usher in this World Cup cycle. Ricketts will try and help the Reggae Boyz on the long road to qualifying for the 2014 World Cup with a warm-up match against rivals Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday.
Ricketts is likely to start in goal for the Boyz.
“It’s always an honor to play for your country, but sometimes you can’t go because of club commitments,” said Ricketts, who last played for Jamaica in the 2009 Gold Cup. “It’s not necessarily that you don’t want to play for your country, but sometimes their schedule is hectic and sometimes club comes first.”
Club seemed to come first this time around. A report in Jamaican daily The Gleaner said the Jamaican FA was threatening to approach FIFA over the Galaxy’s alleged denial to release Ricketts. But the big 'keeper said there was nothing to that report.
“The Jamaican federation jumped and put something in the paper but later apologized,” Ricketts said. “It was just a slight misunderstanding.”
Potential controversy notwithstanding, Ricketts is approaching the match against the Soca Warriors with excitement and confidence. If nothing else, Trinidad and Jamaica should provide an electric atmosphere.
“It’s like a Chivas-Galaxy game," he said. "It’s always a close rivalry between us and Trinidad. Every game is a competitive game between us, and I’m looking forward to it.”
As far as predicting a winner, Ricketts didn't hold back his confidence.
“We’re going to win down there on their turf,” he said. “Jamaica is the better team.”
Not only does Jamaica have the better soccer team, but Ricketts also ensured that their national beer – Red Stripe – was better than Trinidad’s Carib.
“Red Stripe, mon!” he exclaimed.