Louisville City FC goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh received his first career national team call up this week, and he’ll head straight to the highest level as a member of Trinidad and Tobago’s squad in upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
Ranjitsingh, a native of Canada whose father immigrated from Trinidad, leaves Sunday to train with the Senior Men’s Team. He could then be selected to play Sept. 2 against Guatemala in Port of Spain and Sept. 6 against the United States in Jacksonville. The latter will air on Fox Sports 1.
“I’ve been working toward this my whole life training and trying to improve myself,” said Ranjitsingh, who isn’t guaranteed to start or play in the World Cup qualifiers. But he’ll be among a group of just three keepers even selected as active for a standout team.
Trinidad and Tobago sits atop its qualifying group for the 2018 World Cup in Russia with 10 points. That’s ahead of the U.S. (7), Guatemala (6) and St. Vincent and the Grenadines (0).
“On my birth certificate it doesn’t say it, but I grew up in a Trinidad house,” Ranjitsingh said. “That was the culture — the food, everything — and it’s so close to my heart. It’s great to be able to represent the country.”
While with the national team, Ranjitsingh will miss just one LouCity game, the club’s Sept. 3 contest at FC Montreal. The move is the first to a senior national team for a LouCity player and second international call up following midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye’s chance to play with Canada’s U23s earlier this year.
Ranjitsingh has posted a 0.90 goals against average and 70.7 save percentage in USL play this season, helping Louisville clinch a playoff spot with five games left in its United Soccer League season.
“It’s fantastic for Greg and speaks volumes about the work Thabane Sutu is doing with our goalkeepers,” Louisville City FC coach James O’Connor said of the call up. “We can all be very proud of the work we are doing here, as it’s a fantastic achievement to have developed a player to the international level in 18 months.”
Ranjitsingh signed with LouCity in 2015 as a rookie out of Division Mercer University in Macon, Ga. He took over the starting role for the USL club in May, opening with a string of five clean sheets, and has remained in goal ever since.
LouCity’s other keeper, Tim Dobrowolski, is also a rookie out of Division I Loyola University Chicago. There, he was named two-time Missouri Valley Conference Goalkeeper of the Year and is in line to see his first action between the posts with Ranjitsingh away next month.