PANAMA CITY, Panama — Donovan Ricketts is the elder statesman of Jamaica's Reggae Boyz.
It was close toss-up between him and debutant defender Wes Morgan, for he was the outstanding player for Jamaica in Friday night's CONCACAF World Cup qualifier against Panama away.
While Morgan distinguished himself at the heart of Jamaica's defence, Ricketts was busy plucking out balls aimed at his goal whenever the frustrated Panamanians found a way through.
Plus, the game was Ricketts' 100th as an international, and that in itself, is worthy of commendation of a man who started out more than 16 years ago at the senior level.
"It's a special feeling because not many players get to play 100 games at this level, so I have to say it's one of my crowning moments in my football career," said the 35-year-old Portland Timbers goaltender.
Never one to dwell on self-glory, Ricketts quickly turned the focus on his team's 0-0 draw against Panama on Friday night in a Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifying match where victory was a must to put the crusade on track.
"It wasn't really a brilliant performance, but we had a job to do and get three points; it wasn't pretty, but we stuck to the task and fought hard even when we went down to 10 men."
The true leader he is, Rickets, popularly called 'Tall P' for obvious reasons, was modest when asked about his input on Friday, preferring instead to shower praise on his teammates.
"For me, it was just a regular game and I mopped up whenever I was called to mop up... nothing special.
"However, Wes Morgan was outstanding last night (Friday) as he really defended well, and Mr (Shaun) Cummings wasn't bad either, and was solid when he was at left back and when he was switched to the right, so overall it was pretty impressive from our debutants last night," said the former Los Angeles Galaxy standout.
Looking ahead to Jamaica's next assignment on Tuesday, Ricketts said in a must-win match-up, goals have to be scored, a lack of which has put the Reggae Boyz's World Cup desires in shambles.
"As you can see, we haven't been scoring. So in a must-win game we must defend as well as we did in the last game and put away our chances. If we don't win, then it's all over, so we must come out and score goals because we have quality strikers," he argued.