COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (Wednesday, May 4, 2011) - Republic of Ireland national team manager Giovanni Trapattoni announced today that Colorado Rapids forward Caleb Folan is among the 33 players named to the provisional squad for three upcoming matches. The Republic of Ireland will play Northern Ireland on May 24 and Scotland on May 29 in the Carling Nations Cup, which will be played at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. The following week, Ireland will face Macedonia in a Euro 2012 qualifier in Skopje, Macedonia on June 4.
"We follow him, he has scored goals and has no injury so we wait for him to come in," Trapattoni told The Irish Times about Folan. "He said he's happy to come and we're happy to have him."
The final squad for all upcoming matches will be selected from the 33-man list and announced in near future. Colorado play at New York on May 25, host Sporting Kansas City on May 28, and host the Philadelphia Union on June 4. Folan has started five matches for the Rapids and scored two goals so far this season.
Folan's first appearance for Ireland was as a 90th minute sub in a 2010 World Cup Qualifier against Cyprus on Oct. 15, 2008, which Ireland won 1-0. He has earned seven total caps for the national team and contributed the assist on Robbie Keane's 87th minute goal in a 1-1 draw against Italy on April 1, 2009, also a World Cup Qualifying match. His last appearance for Ireland was in a 1-0 win over South Africa on September 8, 2009.
The 2011 Carling Nations Cup is the first installment of the biennial, round-robin tournament played between the Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales National Teams. The Republic of Ireland has already earned three points after defeating Wales 3-0 on Feb. 8.
The UEFA EURO 2012 is the 14th edition of the European Championship that is held every four years. The Republic of Ireland has only qualified for the UEFA EURO tournament twice, the first time in 1964 where they advanced to the quarterfinals but were eliminated in a 1-0 loss to Spain. The second was in 1988 which saw the Republic of Ireland advance to Round 1 of group play but fail to finish as one of the top two teams in the four-team group. The UEFA EURO 2012 will be the last 16-team finals before the tournament expands to 24 teams in 2016.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND PROVISIONAL ROSTER:
GOALKEEPERS: Shay Given (Manchester City), Keiren Westwood (Coventry City), David Forde (Millwall)
DEFENDERS: Richard Dunne (Aston Villa), John O’Shea (Manchester United), Kevin Foley (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Damien Delaney (Ipswich Town), Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa), Seamus Coleman (Everton), Kevin Kilbane (Huddersfield Town), Stephen Kelly (Fulham FC), Paul McShane (Hull City).
MIDFIELDERS: James McCarthy (Wigan Athletic), Glenn Whelan (Stoke City), Marc Wilson (Stoke City), Darron Gibson (Manchester United), Aiden McGeady (Spartak Moscow), Keith Fahey (Birmingham City), Liam Lawrence (Portsmouth FC), Keith Treacy (Preston North End), Stephen Hunt (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Stephen Ward (Wolverhampton Wanderers).
FORWARDS: Andy Keogh (Wolverhampton Wanders), Anthony Stokes (Celtic FC), Caleb Folan (Colorado Rapids), Jon Walters (Stoke City), Robbie Keane (West Ham United), Shane Long (Reading FC),
Also called up on a provisional basis subject to fitness:
Seán St. Ledger (Preston North End), Damien Duff (Fulham FC), Darren O’Dea (Ipswich Town), Keith Andrews (Blackburn Rovers), Kevin Doyle (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
TRAPATTONI NAMES 33 MAN PROVISIONAL SQUAD (OFFICIAL WEBSITE)
PLENTY TO PONDER FOR TRAPATTONI (IRISH TIMES)