Jonny Steele may not be seeing as much playing time as he would like for the New York Red Bulls, but that hasn’t prevented Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill from calling in the midfield workhorse for international duty.
No, Northern Ireland are not featuring in this year’s World Cup, but they are playing a role in the preparation for it, taking on both Chile and Uruguay in their lead-up to the tournament.
Northern Ireland travel to Montevideo to take on Uruguay on May 30th and round out their international involvement with a match against Chile in Valparaiso on June 5th.
With Tim Cahill and Roy Miller preparing for World Cup action, Steele saw his first starting minutes since April 12th in a 2-0 loss to Toronto FC. While a vital part of the Red Bulls’ Supporters’ Shield winning 2013 season, the Northern Ireland international has been relegated to spot duty this year with Eric Alexander taking firm command of the left.
Steele’s work last season earned him his first international cap later that year, appearing as a 67th minute substitute in a 1-0 loss to Turkey.
There are no direct Red Bull matches between May 30th and June 5th. However, New York do take on Sporting KC on the 27th and New England on the 8th, making him questionable for either fixture.
Here is the full roster:
Carroll (Southampton), McGovern (Falkirk), Carson (Portsmouth), Lafferty (Burnley), McLaughlin (Liverpool), Hughes (QPR), McCullough (Doncaster), Donnelly (Fulham), Baird (Burnley), Davis (Southampton), Norwood (Huddersfield), Ferguson (Newcastle), Evans
(Blackburn), Clingan (Kilmarnock), Steele, (New York Red Bulls) Paton (Dundee United), McGinn (Aberdeen), McKay (Inverness Caledonian Thistle), Paterson (Huddersfield), Ward (Derby), Shiels (Rangers), Magennis (Aberdeen).