SEVERAL Stoke City stars were in international action for their respective countries on Friday evening.
Republic of Ireland trio Glenn Whelan, Marc Wilson and Jonathan Walters all featured in Martin O’Neill’s first game in charge at home to Latvia, whilst Geoff Cameron and Brek Shea played roles in the United States’ goalless draw against Scotland.
Cameron played the full 90 minutes for the US, whilst Shea came off the bench to impress boss Jurgen Klinsmann with a very impressive 30 minute outing.
The Texan did his hopes of forcing himself into contention for a spot on the plane to the World Cup Finals in Brazil next summer absolutely no harm – shining during the latter stages of the encounter at Hamden Park.
Cameron displayed his central defensive credentials with a very polished performance at the back, keeping Steven Fletcher at bay for the duration of the game, a player he is likely to come up against n next weekend’s Premier League showdown with Sunderland.
Meanwhile, Whelan and Wilson both came through 90 minutes as O’Neill’s reign in charge of Ireland got off to the perfect start thanks to a comfortable 3-0 victory in Dublin.
Jonathan Walters also got his first taste of action under the new management set-up, by featuring from the bench for the last 20 minutes – earning himself his 22nd cap.
Kenwyne Jones also played the full duration of Trinidad and Tobago’s 1-0 success against Jamaica in Kingston, and will be hoping to help his side to a double over their Caribbean rivals when they collide again on Tuesday.
Elsewhere, Jack Butland was a relative bystander as the England Under 21 side wracked up an impressive 3-0 victory against their Finland counterparts, to maintain their spot at the top of their European Under 21 Championship Qualifying group.
The action doesn’t end their for the jet-setting Potters as more friendly matches are pencilled in for the coming days.
Wilson Palacios and his Honduras teammates will be looking to make a name for themselves in a glamorous showdown with Brazil in Miami in the early hours of Sunday morning, whilst Asmir Begovic is also out in the States for Bosnia’s clash with Argentina in Missouri on Tuesday night.
Cameron and Shea have made the short journey from Scotland to Austria for a clash that could see them come up against Potters teammate Marko Arnautovic in Vienna.
The three W’s, Whelan, Wilson and Walters will all be hoping to help Ireland build upon Friday night’s convincing victory at home to Estonia in a more testing encounter away in Poland.