Boyz jet off to Chicago
MIAMI, United States (CMC):
Jamaica's Reggae Boyz are set to leave Miami today for Chicago to begin what is expected to be a difficult campaign in Group C of the historic Copa Centenario on Sunday.
All but two members of the squad assembled in Florida for a short camp, following their 2-1 victory over Chile last Friday in Vina del Mar, and have been undergoing final preparation for the June 3-26 showpiece in the United States.
Captain Rodolph Austin, who plays his football in Denmark, joined the squad on Monday, while defender Wes Morgan is set to link up with the contingent in Chicago today.
Morgan recently captained Leicester City to their historic capture of the English Premiership title.
On Monday, Jamaica further enhanced their match preparation with a 2-0 victory over American Premier Soccer League side, Boca Raton FC, at the Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.
England-based Joel (Jobi) McAnuff and Dever Orgill, who plays in Finland, both scored in the game where most of the squad got time on the pitch.
Since then, the squad members have gone through their medicals and light pool sessions.
Jamaica, who qualified for the Copa Centenario by virtue of being the reigning Caribbean Cup champions, will be hoping to build on their performance in last year's CONCACAF Gold Cup when they reached the final of that tournament.
They played unbeaten in the preliminaries before edging Haiti in the quarter-finals, shocking the United States in the semi-finals and clinching a spot in the final against Mexico, where they eventually lost.
Jamaica open their Copa campaign against Venezuela at Soldier Field on Sunday, then follow up against Mexico on June 9 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, before closing out against Uruguay at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.
The Reggae Boyz contested last year's Copa in Chile, losing all three of their preliminary games 1-0 against Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina.