Preston North End midfielder Daniel Johnson gets Jamaica Gold Cup call
Preston North End midfielder Daniel Johnson will miss the pre-season programme after joining up with Jamaica’s Gold Cup squad.
The 28-year-old made the final cut for the tournament which is being staged in the United States.
He has flown to Orlando to link up with the squad and could be away until the start of August depending on the progress made by the Reggae Boyz.
All the competing countries in the Gold Cup had to submit in June a preliminary 60-man roster – a number which seemed unnecessarily high.
That has now been reduced to 23 and Johnson made the cut for Jamaica.
He has only played twice for his country before, those games played a few days apart in October last year.
Both were against Saudi Arabia, with Johnson scoring a fine goal from outside the box in the second game.
He had been on Jamaica’s radar for some time but had not previously been able to join up with the squad.
Jamaica are in a group with Suriname and Costa Rica.
They will be joined by a qualifier from a preliminary stage of the tournament which starts on Friday in Fort Lauderdale – 12 countries are taking part in that.
The group stages of the Gold Cup take place between July 10 and 20. Jamaica start against Suriname on July 12 in Orlando.
The quarter-finals are on July 24 and 25, with the semi-finals on July 29.
The final is being played in Paradise, Nevada, on August 1.
North End start their season on August 7 against Hull City at Deepdale.
They are well stocked in midfield to cover Johnson’s absence in pre-season.
From a fitness point of view, he will get his sharpness with Jamaica during the time in the States.
Johnson missed the final games of last season with a calf injury sustained in the 1-1 draw with Norwich City on Good Friday.
In his absence, Frankie McAvoy used Ryan Ledson, Ben Whiteman and Alan Browne as a midfield three.
For the final game against Nottingham Forest, Tom Bayliss started ahead of Whiteman.
Izzy Brown comes into the attacking midfield equation after signing last week.
Brad Potts is an option, while Josh Harrop, Adam O’Reilly and Jack Baxter are back from loans and joined pre-season training.
Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 per month for the first two months. Try us today by clicking here