Chile exam for locals
Local-based players can expect an opportunity to play when the Reggae Boyz take on world number-three ranked Chile in a football friendly international in Santiago this Friday.
The Boyz leave the island today with six local-based players making up the squad which will compete in the Copa Centenario, which runs from June 2-26 in the United States.
Jamaica team manager, Roy Simpson, told The Gleaner that in discussions with head coach Winfried Sch‰fer, the emphasis has been on exposing local players and looking at other options.
"The Chile game is to look at the local players and areas that need addressing. Chile is a good team, but on any given day, Jamaica can beat Chile. The coaching staff is hoping for the best result, but we have to be practical. They are better than us, but we want to get the specific objectives and roles the coach has for the players. Once those objectives are met, we should be good going into the Copa Centenario," he explained.
Simpson added that the local selection has been settling in nicely and expects a good account from those who will be given the opportunity.
"The local players we have selected, we try to be consistent. There is Ottey (Allan), who we believe it's the time for him to show what he's about. Vanzie (Andrew) is a midfielder, and a youngster getting an opportunity like that he hopes he will stand up. Michael Binns is at an age where he should be on par with the pros; Rosario Harriott, with his height and pace, can be a regular international.
"But the harder they work, the more opportunity they'll get, and we are confident this bunch will give a good account of themselves," he said.
Portmore's Damano Solomon completes the list of local players.
The overseas-based players are Garath McCleary, captain Rodolph Austin, Andre Blake (GK), Ryan Thompson (GK), Michael Hector, Wes Morgan, Dever Orgill, Clayton Donaldson, Giles Barnes, Jobi McAnuff, Duwayne Kerr, Je-Vaughn Watson, Lee Williamson, Simon Dawkins, Adrian Mariappa, Kemar Lawrence and Jermaine Taylor.
Meanwhile, Austin and Blake will join the team after the Chile game at the team's training camp in Florida, while Morgan will join up for the first game in Chicago.
"We are ready to have another good summer," Simpson said, reflecting on last year when the team played creditably in the Copa America (as a guest team) and followed up with a historic runner-up finish at the CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States.