Houston Dynamo midfielder Lovel Palmer has been included in the Jamaican national team squad for international friendlies against Costa Rica and Peru. The match against Costa Rica will take place at the National Stadium in Jamaica on September 5, with the Peru match following two days later at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
"This is everyone’s dream," said Palmer. "Being here [in Houston], you want to play well for your club, and hopefully you will get a call to the national team. I’m very elated, and I’m happy they recognized my performance. I have to give thanks to the guys here for helping me to play to the best of my ability."
Palmer has 12 caps, the last one coming in a 2-1 loss at Argentina on February 11, 2010, a game in which Palmer assisted on his team's lone goal.
"I think it is great any time a player gets called to his national team," Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said. "It’s truly an honor."
Unfortunately for the Dynamo, Palmer will have to miss the September 5 game at home against the San Jose Earthquakes, a team the Dynamo are battling with for a playoff spot. The first weekend of September is an international fixture date for FIFA, so the club is required to allow Palmer to play with Jamaica.
"It’s tough, but it’s a decision that we make, and I’m sure that the guys are capable enough to play and win the game," said Palmer. "I’m sure Brad [Davis] will be OK, he can play in the position. Corey Ashe is also available and we have the ammunition to go out and get three points. I’ll be sad that I’m going to miss the game, because from what I've heard, it’s a big rivalry because the Houston Dynamo used to be the San Jose Earthquakes, so it’s going to be a tough one. I’m sure the guys will step up to the task and get the job done."
This season the Dynamo have struggled to field a consistent lineup due to red card suspensions, injuries, or national team call ups. Goalkeeper Pat Onstad and defender Andrew Hainault missed the Dynamo's 2-0 win over D.C. United on May 22 after playing for Canada in a friendly against Argentina.
"It was tough for me personally because we were going through a tough patch, and I didn’t want to miss it," said Onstad. "It’s always difficult, but when your national team calls, it’s a huge honor, and it’s something that every player strives for."