Sporting Kansas City announced Monday that four of the team’s players have been selected by their respective National Teams for international competition this week. Defender Shavar Thomas and midfielders Stephane Auvray and Craig Rocastle will all participate in the Digicel Caribbean Cup, while goalkeeper Jon Kempin joined the United States under-20 team on Sunday ahead of the Torneo de las Americas.
For the second straight week, Thomas is included in the Jamaica squad that enters this year’s Caribbean Cup tournament as reigning champions. Thomas captained the Reggae Boyz to a 0-0 draw against Costa Rica last Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, playing the full 90 minutes in his 31st appearance for Jamaica. The eight-season veteran of MLS will face Antigua and Barbuda on Saturday in Jamaica’s opening match.
While Jamaica received an automatic qualification to the finals as reigning champions, Auvray was influential in qualifying Guadeloupe for the Caribbean Cup’s final stage and will again be among the players available for action when they begin group play against Guyana on Saturday. Auvray captained Guadeloupe in the qualifying round of the Caribbean Cup in October and scored the game-winning goal in a 3-2 victory over Puerto Rico that secured their spot in the finals. Auvray has 16 appearances for Les Gwada Boys, who have reached the semifinals in each of the last two Caribbean Cup tournaments.
Rocastle will be appearing for an international side for the first time upon accepting an invitation from Grenada to make his international debut. Rocastle played in 23 games for Sporting Kansas City in 2010, recording three assists in his first season in MLS. Rocastle becomes the eighth Sporting Kansas City player to take part in a full National Team during the 2010 calendar year. Grenada face hosts Martinique on Friday in their Group H opener.
The top four teams in the Caribbean Cup’s eight-team final round will qualify for the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, to be held in the United States in June 2011.
Kempin was invited to the U.S. under-20 National Team for two games in the Torneo de las Americas, a round robin tournament in Kennesaw, Georgia that will see the United States tested against Colombia on Friday and Mexico on Sunday. Kempin, one of two goalkeepers on the 18-player roster, will be joining Thomas Rongen's squad for his first under-20 selection after previously participating at the under-18 level and taking part in the U.S. Soccer Under-17 Residency Program. The 17-year-old Home Grown Player from Leawood, Kansas reported to camp on Sunday, following action with the Sporting Kansas City U18 Juniors in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
Sporting Kansas City striker Sunil Chhetri also continues his loan with the India National Team, who will play exhibitions against local club sides in Dubai this week. Chhetri suffered an ankle injury in training earlier this month that has kept him out of India’s last three matches as the team prepares for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup to be held in Qatar in January.