FC Tampa Bay defender JP Rodrigues has officially been called up to the Guyana Senior National Team for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. Rodrigues will be available for selection for Guyana's matches against Bermuda on Friday, September 2 and versus Barbados on Tuesday, September 6.
"It's an honor anytime you can represent a country," said Rodrigues. "When it is a World Cup qualifier, it means a lot to the country and to me as well. I am very excited about it."
Rodrigues will be leaving Tampa Bay for team camp on Monday, August 29th and returning to FCTB on Wednesday, September 7th. Rodrigues has started in 19 of FC Tampa Bay's 22 matches this season, seeing action in 1,686 minutes, third-most on the team.
"We are on a great run right now, despite the tough loss on Saturday, and I am confident the team will do fine with or without me," added Rodrigues. "We have a deep roster and the guys are playing well right now."
Guyana’s current position in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking ensured them a bye through the first round of qualifying matches in the CONCACAF Zone. The Golden Jaguars played a number of friendlies against their regional rivals prior to their upcoming qualifying matches. Guyana is trying to qualify for its first-ever World Cup.
"Every time you can play for the National Team, it is phenomenal and such a great honor," said FC Tampa Bay assistant coach David Hayes. "He has obviously shown that he is capable of playing at this level and the next level as well. It is great for our club because it shows the high level of players we have here and the type of players that want to play for FC Tampa Bay."