Japan test for Reggae Boyz
Marc Stamp, Gleaner Writer
Jamaica will aim to end a losing streak when they face Japan in a friendly international in Nigata, Japan, today. Kick off time is 5:25 a.m. (Ja time).
Coming off a 3-1 away loss to Canada last month and beaten in the last five friendly internationals, Jamaica's Reggae Boyz will look to surprise a Japan team which will feature European stars such as former Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa.
The teams will be meeting for a fourth time. The last encounter in 2002 finished in a 1-1 draw in Tokyo.
Before that, Jamaica beat Japan 2-1, courtesy of a brace by Theodore Whitmore in a historic game in the 1998 World Cup in France. Then two years later, Japan whipped Jamaica 4-0 in the King Hassan Cup in Morocco.
The Reggae Boyz coach, Winfried Schäfer, called up 13 overseas-based players in an 18-man squad. British-based defender Adrian Mariappa is a late withdrawal from the squad.
A key player for Jamaica will be forward Deshorn Brown who is having a stellar season in Major League Soccer. The former St Elizabeth Technical star has scored 12 goals in 24 games.
Cardel Benbow gets a first call up to the senior team. He represented Jamaica in the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in 2011 in Mexico. Benbow, 19, is a former St George's College Manning Cup star.