Watford skipper Troy Deeney could play for the Reggae Boyz if he wanted to, and the country’s federation, The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has asked him as much.

Jamaica Reggae Boyz assistant coach Jerome Waite believes the team was guilty of underrating its opposition in an uninspiring 2-0 win over lesser-ranked Aruba in Nation’s League action at the National Stadium on Saturday.

In the end, the Jamaicans scraped out a win courtesy of goals from Devon Williams and Shamar Nicholson but much more had been expected with approximately 129 places between the teams in the rankings.  It was the second time the Jamaicans faced the inhabitants of the tiny island, with a population of somewhere in the region of 106,314. 

Visibly annoyed spectators at the Jamaica National Stadium, galled by the home team’s misplaced passes and sloppy turnovers, clearly expected a result similar to the 6-0 beating administered to the visitors during a 1997 Caribbean Cup fixture.

“We won 2-0 and it could have been better, but we looked a little lacklustre,” Waite said following the match.

“One of the things that I believe contributed to that is that the opposition didn’t seem to have much to offer, so we went into a super-slow gear.  It’s not what we are capable of doing and when we play better opposition we have a tendency to rise to the occasion,” he added.

“Despite that, we have to understand that it’s a job and it’s our duty to continue doing what we need to do, which is to play our best at all times,” he added.

 

 

 

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz struggled to an unimpressive 2-0 win over Aruba, ranked at number 195 in the world, in the their Group C Concacaf Nations League Group C fixture at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday.

The victory, however, stretched Jamaica’s perfect record to three straight victories and kept them atop of the group with maximum nine points.

The Reggae Boyz, who are ranked at number 47 in the world, had previously crushed Antigua and Barbuda 6-0 at the Catherine Hall Sports Complex in Montego Bay, before beating Guyana 4-0 away.

The defeat kept Aruba at the bottom of the four-team standing without a point.

The Reggae Boyz looked on course for another big victory after Devon Williams handed them a 13th-minute lead. However, that was not the case as the Reggae Boyz, watched by 4,500 spectators at the venue, could only increase the lead on the stroke of full time after Shamar Nicholson was set up by a Lamar Walker’s through pass.

Nicholson, who had kicked a penalty very high over the crossbar in the 75th minute, spared his blushes in the dying moments of the match to wrap up the victory.

The penalty kick earlier was awarded following a challenge on substitute Javon East inside the box.

The teams will meet again in Curacao on Tuesday at 6:00 pm (Jamaica time), in the home-and-away tie.

 

Reggae Boy Leon Bailey will not play for the country when it takes on a pair of games against Aruba in October.

The Reggae Boyz begin their CONCACAF Nations League tie against Aruba at the National Stadium in Kingston on October 12 but then move on to Curacao for the away leg two days later.

Bailey’s unavailability was confirmed when scans showed a muscular tear following Bayer Leverkusen's UEFA Champions League game against Locomotiv Moscow.

Bailey has proved a little underwhelming, since coming into the Reggae Boyz line up for, first the Gold Cup, and now the CNL, but managed to score his first goal for the outfit earlier this month as the side crushed Antigua & Barbuda 6-0.

Bailey will be absent for about a month and won’t be available until November 15 and 18 when the Reggae Boyz take on Antigua & Barbuda and Guyana.

Jamaica were to have their next CONCACAF Nations League away game against Aruba on October 15 but that has been changed to a fixture in Curacao.

According to reports, Aruba’s home field, did not meet the FIFA and CONCACAF standards to host international fixtures.

The Reggae Boyz have played at the Ergilio Hato Stadium before when they visited Bonaire in Nations League action from last year.

It has been 22 years since the Reggae Boyz last played Aruba in a 6-0 affair and based on the start the team has had, that kind of result could be on the cards for the tiny island nation.

The Reggae Boyz started League ‘B’ positively, winning their first two games against Antigua & Barbuda and Guyana, 6-0 and 4-0 respectively.

Aruba, on the other hand, have found the league’s Group C a rough place to be, losing their games to remain rooted to the foot of the table without a point. Aruba lost to Antigua & Barbuda 2-1, before suffering a 1-0 loss to Guyana.

The tie between the teams could be well and truly over with the Reggae Boyz first facing them in a home game at the National Stadium in Jamaica on October 12.

Theodore Whitmore, head coach of Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz said that Jamaica couldn’t afford to be complacent now that the team has climbed up the latest FIFA World Rankings released on Wednesday.

Striker Shamar Nicholson grabbed a brace while Bundesliga star Leon Bailey netted his debut goal for Jamaica in a comfortable 6-0 win over Antigua and Barbuda in the CONCACAF Nation’s League on Friday.

It was Nicholson who got things going for the home team, much to the delight of the crowd, at the Montego Bay Stadium when he found the back of the net in the 9th minute.  Another debutant, Bobby Reid, added another for the team in the 31st minute with Nicholson returning to safely put the game away by adding another in the 51st minute.

FK Partizani forward Brian Brown added to that lead five minute after coming on to the pitch as a substitute for Junior Flemmings.  Bailey, in his fifth game for the national team, got his maiden international goal in the 77th minute with midfielder Peter Vassell rounding off the scoring in the 81st minute.

The Reggae Boyz have been drawn in group B of the tournament and will next travel to Guyana.  In group B’s other game, Guyana defeated Aruba 1-0.

 

One of the heavyweights in the Concacaf Nations League, the Jamaica’s men’s national team will be one of the favorites to win their group in League B.

Theodore Whitmore’s side finished Concacaf Nations League Qualifying in eighth place and were denied participation in League A only by goal difference.

Jamaica won their first three qualifying matches by a combined score of 12-1 but had their attack shut down on their final matchday.

The team’s only defeat in CNLQ came away at El Salvador, 2-0, a match their foes needed to secure the final spot in the Gold Cup.

Jamaica’s run in qualifying saw them secure a spot in the Concacaf Gold Cup for themselves and were later named as one of the tournament’s co-hosts.

Hosting a Gold Cup match for the first time, Jamaica opened the tournament with a win against Honduras. The next two matches ended in draws but were enough to win the group.

A 1-3 loss to the United States in the semifinal denied the team a third consecutive final.

Jamaica now turn the page and begin play in the Nations League, drawn in Group C along with Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda and Aruba.

The Reggae Boyz open at home against Antigua and Barbuda before traveling to Guyana to kickoff Nations League play on Friday.

In other games, from League B tomorrow, Aruba play Guyana and Montserrat host the Dominican Republic.

United Kingdom-based players Daniel Johnson and Bobby Reid have received maiden calls to Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz squad for their CONCACAF Nations League group games against Antigua and Barbuda early next month.

Reggae Boy Dever Orgill opened his account in the Turkish Super League on Saturday, helping his side, Ankaraguchu, earn a 1-1 draw with Kayserispor.

The goal, scored in the 59th minute of the encounter, was the 29-year-old’s seventh goal for the club.

Kayserispor would cancel out Orgill’s strike all the way in the 90th minute. Orgill joined Ankaraguchu in January from Austrian club Wolfsburger for €1 million.

He also scored two goals for Jamaica at the CONCACAF Gold Cup earlier this summer.

Craig Butler, the agent and adoptive father to Bayer Leverkusen star and Jamaica international Leon Bailey, says Jamaica’s football coaching staff is too defensive-minded during games, and he believes their egos will not improve the country’s football.

The Reggae Boyz will kickstart their Nations League group stage effort on Friday against Antigua and Barbuda at the Montego Bay Sports Complex on the island’s north coast.

The game will be played on September 6, leaving the Reggae Boyz, who last played in the Gold Cup, ending their campaign in the semi-finals, with little turn-around time before their game against Guyana on September 9.

The team will leave the island September 7 for that fixture.

Coach of the Reggae Boyz, Theodore Whitmore, is under no illusions about how important these games are, expressing those sentiments to key executives of the Jamaica Football Federation just recently.

“It is important that that then edn of the group phase the country finishes in the top six in CONCACAF in order to be in the best position entering the World Cup qualifiers in September 2020,” he said.

Whitmore was appealing to the executive members for support in the next few months, saying even after that, all international fixtures took on significance.

"Even after finishing in the top six in November 2019, it will be important to maintain that position through other FIFA international match dates down to June 2020, so I am urging total focus and support through the next couple of months in the first instance," he said.

Rule changes in the region, mean that only the top six teams will be allowed to play in qualifiers for a direct place in the World Cup.

The teams finishing outside of that top six will play for FIFA’s half-spot, meaning they will play against each other for the right to play against the team that finishes fourth from the top-six.

That game will be played in a home-and-away format and will determine another fixture of the same nature against a team from another region. Those two will then play for a World Cup berth.

The hexagonal will feature 10 games for each team, beginning in September.

There will also be games in October and November this year, before a restart in March of 2021. The games conclude in September of 2021, just over a year before the World Cup.

MLS All-Stars Andre Blake and Kemar Lawrence are hoping to pave a path for future generations of Jamaican players, after creating history at this year’s edition of the All-Star Game.

The duo's appearance in a match-up against Spanish La Liga team Atletico Madrid will mark the first time two Jamaicans have been selected on the same All-Stars team.

 Blake, the Jamaica national team captain, and Lawrence, once of its best defenders, represent a growing list that opted to play their football in North American as opposed to heading straight to the European leagues.

The list, which includes the likes of Alvas Powell, Darren Mattocks, and Peter-Lee Vassell are crucial cogs in Jamaica national team that has made it to three straight Gold Cup semi-finals and two finals.

“It should motivate the kids back there to help them to believe the sky is the limit,” Blake told Pro Soccer USA. “And they just have to keep working hard, worry about nothing and everything will take care of itself,” he added.

“It definitely brings a lot of inspiration.  Even those who did not believe are starting to believe right now. That’s always a good thing for me. I always want to inspire youths, to have them believe in their dreams and believe that anything is possible. For me and him, it’s definitely a big thing. We have to keep going and keep knowing that the sky is the limit and understand there are always younger generations that are looking up to us.”

 

 

Jamaica have been drawn in Group D alongside Costa Rica, Portugal, and Barbados for the 2019 Concacaf Boys’ Under-15 Championship at the IMG Academy campus in Bradenton, Florida from August 4-11.

 The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) on Friday announced the groups and schedule for the championship.

Jamaica will open their campaign against Costa Rica on August 4 at 8:00 am. The young Reggae Boyz will next play Barbados on August 5 at 10:00 am and then they round off their preliminary round game against Portugal on August 7 at 8:00 am.

The youth tournament, which will provide access to international football for over 750 boys from across the Concacaf region, will be disputed in two rounds. For the first-round group phase, the 42 participating teams have been divided into three divisions according to the Concacaf Men's Under-17 Ranking as of 2019, ensuring sporting balance and a minimum number of four matches for each team.

Division One will be made up by the top 14 ranked Concacaf teams, as well as Slovenia and Portugal. The 16 teams have been divided into four groups of four teams each (Groups A-D). After round-robin play, the four group winners and the four second-place finishers will advance to the quarterfinals to play for the Championship. The third and fourth place finishers will play an additional match to determine their final position in the division. 

GROUP A: Mexico, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Curacao
GROUP B: United States, Haiti, Guatemala, Suriname
GROUP C: Canada, El Salvador, Slovenia, Guadeloupe
GROUP D: Costa Rica, Jamaica, Portugal, Barbados

Division Two will be made up by the next 15 best ranked Concacaf teams and Israel. The 16 teams have been divided into four groups of four teams each (Groups E-H). After round-robin play, the four group winners will advance to the semifinals to play for the divisional championship. The second, third and fourth place finishers will play an additional match to determine their final position in the division. 

GROUP E: Nicaragua, Guyana, Cayman Islands and Bahamas
GROUP F: Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Grenada, Martinique
GROUP G: Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Israel, Belize
GROUP H: Bermuda, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Division Three will be made up by the lowest 10 ranked Concacaf teams. The teams have been divided into two groups of five teams each (Groups I and J). After round robin play, the group winners will advance to the divisional final, while the remaining teams will play an additional match to determine their final position in the division. 

GROUP I: Bonaire, US Virgin Islands, Anguilla, French Guiana, Saint Maarten
GROUP J: Saint Martin, Dominica, British Virgin Islands, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands

Jamaica’s under-23 team will be in for a fight after their opponents in tomorrow’s final first-round CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament showed class in dismissing Dominica 4-0 at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Cmplexo in Kingston.

The young Reggae Boyz, who started as favourites to win Group A, found a stubborn Dominica and had to come from behind to draw the game 1-1.

With just three teams in the group after Guyana pulled out, St Kitts and Nevis would find themselves with a glorious opportunity to go top with their game against Dominica to come on Friday.

St Kitts and Nevis took that chance, burying the Dominicans under four unanswered goals to take sole leadership of the group headed into the final game against Jamaica on Sunday.

With just one team from each group going through to the next round of Olympic qualifying, the Jamaicans face a must-win situations, while St Kitts and Nevis just need a draw.

In Group D, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico will be in an almighty fight. The two play tomorrow at the Estadio Panamericano, San Cristobal. Both teams have three points but Puerto Rico, who beat St Lucia 1-0 yesterday, have a goal difference problem after the Dominican Republic trounced Antigua and Barbuda 4-0 on the same day.

With four teams in that group though, both teams will have a chance to qualify when the Dominican Republic, faces St Lucia and Puerto Rico faces Antigua and Barbuda. Despite that, neither will want to lose tomorrow because they could face an uphill task come the final game.

In Group B, being played at the Ulrich Sports Complex Soccer Field, Cuba’s under-23s lost 1-0 to Barbados, who were playing their first game of the group after Trinidad and Tobago pulled out, making that a three-team affair as well.

Cuba had, earlier in the week, beaten the US Virgin Islands 2-0, but now face an anxious wait, as Barbados now have the change to go to six points and take sole leadership of the group and a spot in the next round.

Group C of the competition, which involves the Cayman Islands, Grenada, and Haiti, kicks off on Wednesday.

Cayman and Grenada play at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex in George Town on Wednesday, while Grenada tackles Haiti on Friday at the same venue.

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