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The Voice

Boyz settle in
published: Tuesday | November 16, 2004

By Audley Boyd, Assistant Sport Editor

National coach Sebastiao Lazaroni watches the Reggae Boyz during a recent training session at the National Stadium in Kingston. - IAN ALLEN/Staff Photographer

MICAH HYDE has joined the list of Reggae Boy casualties ahead of tomorrow night's crucial CONCACAF World Cup qualifier against the United States.

The British-based midfielder injured his thigh in a weekend game for his club.

It made him the second player to be omitted from the Jamaican roster for that purpose, following an ankle injury to another midfielder, Oldham Athletic's Jermaine Johnson.

Technical Director Sebastiao Lazaroni, however, was philosophical in his response to the news of Hyde's unavailability, choosing to focus on the task at hand and nothing else.

"No complaints, no complaints," he told The Gleaner. "No weather, no injuries, let's go try and play the game and respect the America team and try to qualify.

"We've got to try to play and win the game," the Brazilian added after the team's training session at Columbus Crew's practice stadium yesterday.


All 18 members of the Jamaican squad that flew from Kingston participated in the routine in rather chilly conditions. They went through a 25-minute warm-up before playing a half-field scrimmage for another 20 minutes.

The game was played at a very lively pace and both goalkeepers, Donovan Ricketts and his reserve Aaron Lawrence, were kept busy as most of the players, especially the attackers ­ Ricardo Fuller, Damani Ralph, Deon Burton, Fabian Davis, Jermaine Hue and Andy Williams ­ were keen on shooting.

Shoot they did and scored many goals.

The training actually started just about a couple of hours after the team arrived ­ at approximately 4:00 p.m. ­ almost nine hours after the team set out from Kingston on a route that saw them making connections in Miami and Atlanta.

Signs of jet lag evidenced in the hotel lobby quickly disappeared in the work-out that Lazaroni said was designed "just for stretching to recover as some of them had played yesterday (Sunday) and they had a

long flight".

Some amount of attention was aimed at new boy Jason Euell, who was having his first workout with the team, as well as Harbour View midfielder Hue who hit a hat-trick in Wray and Nephew National Premier League action Sunday to boost his chances.

Hue, and another long-time squad member, Fabian Davis, looked keen to impress and showed that with an urgency to shoot at goal and play the ball.

Euell, on the other hand, seemed keen to get the ball while feeling his way into the new family fold.

"It felt good just to train with the team, especially after flying a whole day, just to get a run with them," said Euell, the Charlton Athletic midfielder who had been long sought after by the Jamaica team.

"I'm getting to know everyone slowly. Tomorrow we'll get a good training and I'll get to know everyone and see where we go from there," he added.


The Jamaicans are in a three-way tussle for the second qualifying spot from Group One. They have six points, one more than third place Panama and two ahead of last place El Salvador.

The Salvadoreans and Panama will play in Panama City.

The United States have already qualified, on 11 points.

"It's a big game, everyone wants to play," Euell pointed out. "I'll be happy to play," reiterating that "it's a big game and we want to get to the next round.

"But if I don't play, I'll be happy with whoever plays and hope for the best for them."

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