A host of MLS players were saw action in Friday night's CONCACAF World Cup qualifying slate, though it was a forgettable night for the league's sizeable Jamaican contingent.
Hosting Central American minnows Nicaragua, the 2015 Gold Cup finalists dropped a shocking 3-2 decision, fighting back with a pair of goals after getting themselves into a three-goal hole.
Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake was the unlucky soul in the Reggae Boyz net, while Demar Phillips (Real Salt Lake), Kemar Lawrence (New York Red Bulls) and Alvas Powell (Portland Timbers) all featured on the backline for Jamaica. FC Dallas midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson featured in midfield, while Giles Barnes (Houston Dynamo) and Darren Mattocks (Vancouver Whitecaps) featured in attack, with the latter scoring one of Jamaica's two goals.
The Jamaicans do have a shot at redemption, but they will most likely have to pull out a two-goal win on the road in Nicaragua on Sept. 8.
Elsewhere in CONCACAF qualifying action, RSL's Elias Vasquez and Dallas' Moises Hernandez manned the backline for Guatemala, but Los Chapines fell 1-0 on the road in the first leg of their series against Antigua and Barbuda.
Trinidad and Tobago do not enter World Cup qualifying until the Fourth Round, but still saw action on Friday night against the team they so famously drew against at the Gold Cup, Mexico. The two sides repeated the goalfest from two months ago, drawing 3-3 with the Chicago Fire's Joevin Jones scoring on a free kick and club teammate Daneil Cyrus suffering the misfortune of putting the ball into his own net.
Earlier in the week, Justin Meram put in a performance that he will remember for a long, long time.
The Columbus Crew SC winger scored his first international goal on Thursday, coming on in the 83rd minute and converting a 91st minute penalty kick to give Iraq a 5-1 “home” win – the match was played in Iran – against Chinese Taipei in AFC World Cup qualifying. Meram and Iraq will return to action on Tuesday, when they play the second match of their World Cup qualifying campaign at Thailand.
Things didn’t go as well for AJ DeLaGarza and Guam, who lost 6-0 at Iran in Group D action. DeLaGarza went the full 90 for Guam, who conceded in the 10th, 31st, 34th, 41st, 65th and 89th minutes to fall in Tehran. Former D.C. United defender Brandon McDonald and ex-New England Revolution midfielder Ryan Guy also went the distance for Guam, who will look to improve to 2-1-0 in World Cup qualifying action when they host Oman on Tuesday.
In Friday European action, Italy managed a narrow 1-0 win over Malta in a EURO 2016 qualifier, and New York City FC midfielder Andrea Pirlo started and went the distance for the victors. As a result of the win, Italy move into first place in Group H play.
Robbie Keane and Ireland enjoyed a comfortable outing against UEFA newcomers Gibraltar in their EURO qualifier, posting a 4-0 win as the LA Galaxy man added two more goals to his international total – one a tap-in from one yard out and the second a penalty kick. Colorado Rapids forward Kevin Doyle dressed, but did not see the field for Ireland.
Meanwhile, Montreal Impact defender Laurent Ciman did not feature for Belgium in a 3-1 home win over Bosnia and Herzegovina in a EURO 2016 qualifier.