Commerce City, Colo. (October 5, 2011) - Sanna Nyassi and Omar Cummings had decisions to make this week after both were called in for international duty. Nyassi was called up by The Gambia for an African Nations Cup Qualifier versus Burkina Faso in Gambia on October 8, and Cummings for a friendly in Honduras on October 11.
"Even if we win, our chances of qualifying are slim," Nyassi said of his team's outlook. "So I thought it was better to stay here and help my team make the playoffs. I think it's better to stay then to go all the way to Africa and return with tired legs. I talked to the Federation and they understood everything and said no problem."
The Gambia needs to defeat Burkina Faso in the last match of qualifying to have hope of securing one of two best runner-up spots that would put them in the tournament proper. Nyassi said that there are no flights out of Banjul, Gambia on Sunday, so the earliest he could have started the return back would have been Monday, and with the notoriously long travel that connects through Europe, he would have arrived in Colorado on Tuesday evening.
Cummings was called up last week but did not decide to join the Jamaican until this week. His situation is different since Jamaica is playing in Honduras, and travel their and back takes only one day.
"I wanted to wait to see the result of the Dallas game before deciding if I was going or not," said Cummings Tuesday after training with the Rapids. "A loss would have put us in a more difficult position. And being that our next game is against Salt Lake, it makes it extra special, so I was thinking of not going."
Following the victory over Dallas, the Rapids are now on the verge of qualifying for the playoffs and can do so with a win over Salt Lake combined with with a Portland and Houston draw next week.
Cummings left on Wednesday and is expected to be back in Colorado on October 12, as are midfielder Jeff Larentowicz, who is with the U.S. team for friendlies aganist Ecuador and Honduras, and goalkeeper Stew Ceus, who is with Haiti for World Cup qualifying matches this week.
The Rapids host Real Salt Lake on Friday, October 14 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in the last regular season home match of the year.