Ambroise Oyongo was named to a 25-man squad called up by Cameroon for its African Cup of Nations qualification matches against the Democratic Republic of Congo (in Congo, 9/6) and Ivory Coast (in Cameroon, 9/10).
New York Red Bulls have yet to formally announce the call-up on its website (as of the morning of 8/23), though the traditional RBNY communications method - a tweet from a player's personal Twitter account - has been deployed:
Welcome back to the national team of Cameroon proud of myself and thanks to NYRB and my teammates. pic.twitter.com/cDQ3cJQpjd— oyongo bitolo A (@OyongoA) August 23, 2014
The call-up is for matches being played during a FIFA-mandated international break, so it is to be assumed Oyongo will travel to play for his country. It is, of course, a privilege and honor for the player.
It is also to RBNY's credit: Oyongo made his international debut for Cameroon in July 2013, well before he came to MLS in March 2014. But that has been his one and only cap for country to date. Breaking into the Red Bulls' first team has clearly put him back on his national team's radar - and being seen as a place where young players can get themselves noticed and advance their careers is no bad thing for any club.
In RBNY's case, with the regrettable set-backs to the careers of Connor Lade and Ryan Meara since they flirted with international duty (for USMNT and Ireland, respectively), it is encouraging to see young (ish - Oyongo is 23) players once more stepping up from reserves to first team to the international game.
So congratulations, Ambroise! Here's hoping you make the starting lineup.
Of course, there is a downside to Oyongo's rapid rise: he'll miss games. The Red Bulls are already due to lose Tim Cahill to Australia's September friendlies, will probably lose Roy Miller to Costa Rica's Copa Centroamericana campaign (9/3 - 9/13), and have Michael Bustamante anchoring an injury list that may or may not also include Ian Christianson and Bobby Convey.
Fans should also keep an eye on Cameroon's progress in the September qualifiers. The games are competitive and contribute to determining which teams will play in the 2015 African Cup of Nations in Morocco (January 17 - February 8). If Oyongo does well - and it is to be hoped that he does - he may yet be involved in the duration of Cameroon's qualifying campaign, which will mean up to four more games spanning the October and November international breaks.
Still, this should not detract from Oyongo's achievement.
Well done, Ambroise - we're rooting for you. Bring us some indomitable back from Cameroon for RBNY, will you?