Matching up against Chile key – Schaefer
Jamaica senior men's football team coach, Winfried Schaefer, said how his Reggae Boyz match up against the world number-three-ranked football team and defending Copa America champions Chile will be most important when the teams meet in a friendly encounter on May 27 at the Estadio Sausalito in Vina Del Mar, Chile.
"This is a friendly match, a test match. I want to win all matches, and this is important. But the important thing is to see the players against the number-three team in the world, and the number-three team is Chile," he told The Gleaner.
However, he has no intention to select his best team for the upcoming friendly, as some players (local and overseas-based) have just completed their season and he intends to rest players he consider to be tired for this match.
"I can tell you that this practice game is not a game we will play with our best players. It's very short (close) after the season for many players, like Wes Morgan. He played 2014-2015 (EPL) season after he played Gold Cup and Copa America and he played through the 2015-2016 season. He had no rest and he needs rest, he cannot come direct to Chile to play. If he has no rest; maybe he is injured in the Copa America Centenario, and for us it's very important, The Copa America Centenario, that is our priority," he insisted.
Continuing, Schaefer said: "We cannot play with 11 local-based players. We have 23 players. We have (Jermaine) Taylor coming, (Adrian) Mariappa can play and I want to see (Giles) Barnes in another position. But maybe 'Messi' (Chevonne Marsh) plays or (Allan) Ottey, I don't know. The players played a very hard season; Chile is a test match, and I want to see the players, but it's clear all cannot play," he reasoned.
He also noted that the Federation has already submitted a 40-man provisional squad to the organisers for the Copa America Centenario, which will be held in the US from June 3-26. A final squad of 23 will be selected.
The deadline for submitting the final Copa America squad is May 20.