By Michael Lewis
BRONX — Rodney Wallace won’t be available to play for New York City FC against the Philadelphia Union Saturday.
The forward is flying down to Costa Rica Thursday to join his national team teammates for a pair of home World Cup qualifiers next week. The Ticos host Panama June 8 and Honduras June 13.
Of the five City players called in for international duty, Wallace was the lone player who left prior to the weekend. NYCFC welcomes the Philadelphia Union at Yankee Stadium at 1 p.m. Saturday.
So, defenders Ronald Matarrita (Costa Rica), who is recovering from a high ankle sprain, and Maxime Chanot (Luxembourg), midfielders Miguel Camargo (Panama) and Kwame Awuah (Canada) are still in the states, head coach Patrick Vieira confirmed during his post-game press conference after his team’s 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution Wednesday night.
They will leave after the Philly game, although Matarrita might not go because he is recuperating for his injury, a club official said.
Awuah, a rookie, has received his first call-up for the Canadian national team. He is eligible to participate in a home send-off friendly match in Montreal against Curacao June 13 as part of the team’s build up to the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Camargo was recalled for Panama’s World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica (June 8) and Honduras (June 13).
Chanot was selected in for Luxembourg’s World Cup qualifier against the Netherlands.
Wallace, who has four goals and three assists in 13 appearances this season, had an active first half for City Wednesday night. He headed an attempt wide left in the eighth minute, sent a shot wide right in the 27th minute and fired a shot on target that Knighton snared two minutes later.