Sun | Apr 23, 2017

Local experts praise players coach

Published:Thursday | July 23, 2015 | 7:00 AM

Local experts believe the writing was on the wall for Jamaica's historic win over the United States in their Gold Cup semi-final in the United States yesterday.

The Reggae Boyz have only ever beaten the United States once at senior level and yesterday's win was even more significant and historic as it put the Boyz in CONCACAF's premier football championship decider for the first time.

Former national assistant coach, Bradley Stewart, says team spirit and confidence have been high since the tournament started, and defensively they are difficult to break down.

"I always felt they had a good chance of winning," Stewart said.

"The confidence that the coach has in the players and the confidence the players have in themselves have all been showing and, I thought a lot of that came through in the game," Stewart added. "If we turn over the US and then Mexico ... then our stocks would sore sky high."

Harbour View's general manager, Clyde Jureidini, also believes this win will have a wonderful ripple effect on the national football programme and team. He, too, thinks a lot of credit must go to the defensive unit for the result and the performance throughout the tournament..

"The US would have been the favourites, they would have the history of more victories (against Jamaica) and have more big game experience, so they are always favoured to beat Jamaica.

"But coach Klinsmann starting a 5-3-2 formation was a major blunder ... and Jamaica used the space to play more confidently and stronger in midfield, got our attack going and scored two excellent goals. It was a deserved victory. Our defensive discipline helped us a lot, we managed the game professionally and the two dead-ball situations provided clear evidence that we came prepared," he noted.

Arnett Gardens and national under-23 assistant coach Jerome Waite agreed that the team was well prepared and are now reaping the fruits of the preparations.

"The preparation from the Copa (America) led to what the team is doing now.

"We also have to give coach Sch‰fer credit. He is out of Germany and was up against another German coach (Juergen Klinsmann), but the silver fox outsmarted the young fox," he added.