Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Rapids Lose Ihemelu to National Call-Up

Colorado Rapids' general manager, Charles Wright, casually mentioned on the From The Pitch radio show last night that Rapids' defender, Ugo Ihemelu, had been called up to the Canadian national team. No mention of it on the Rapids' website which has been quick to point out that Pablo Mastroeni has remained in the US squad for this weekend's pre-World Cup qualifier against Barbados whom they also play next week. Anybody know if his sending off against Argentina will prevent him from taking part in the games against Barbados? Anyway, a quick check on the Canadian soccer federation website does reveal that Ihemelu is indeed in the Canadian squad for their game in a similar pre-World Cup qualifier series against St.Vincent and the Grenadines. Full details below.
Congratulations to Ugo who could theoretically play for Nigeria and the US as well. The DU soccer coaches were telling me a couple of months ago that the Canadian national team coach was looking at Ugo. The only thing is it leaves us a little short at the back for this weekend's game against Toronto. No Ugo, no Erpen, an unfit Petke and no Mastroeni to cover in front. I'll get the skinny tomorrow on the predicted starting line-up at BMO Field.


Allen said...

Ugo to the Canadian National team? For some reason I thought he had not only played for the US at a youth level but had a cap with the full men's squad. Double checking Wikipedia shows he has a cap in 2006.

Sure that he can do this?

Nick Thomas said...

Fair point. I assume the Canadians checked this out beforehand. I really don't know the regulations. Thanks for pointing this out Allen.

Bonji said...

Let the "trade Ugo to Toronto FC" begin.

Bonji said...

His cap on Wiki may not have been a FIFA A level match.

Koala said...

That should prove to hurt. Ugo, while he has had a couple of lapses this season, has been our best defender recently. His tackle on Buddle save a blowout versus LA.

But, I was surprised as well that Canada has called him up. Just like Allen mentioned, I thought he had a cap for the US team, but obviously it wasn't enough to keep him off the pitch for Canada. I wonder if there are any other countries we need to know about.

I'm scared for our backline. Even with Erpen, Ugo, and 4 defenders, we looked like crap early in the LA game. This leaves Gomes and Keel, by my recollection, to start in the back. Let's hope our midfield learns how to play it up a little better.