Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
Jermaine Taylor is eager to regain his place in the Reggae Boyz starting 11 for Friday's World Cup Qualifying (WCQ) Group A football match against the United States (US) at 'The Office', having missed the opening two matches against Guatemala and Antigua and Barbuda.
Jamaica and the US have both amassed four points from two games, but the latter hold a superior goal difference and this match, to be followed by a return game on the 11th, could hold the key to which team ends up topping the group.
Taylor was forced to sit out the Boyz 2-1 win over Guatemala, as he was sent off in Jamaica's 2-0 loss to the US in the Gold Cup quarter-finals on June 19, 2011.
"I didn't play in the first two games. The initial one against Guatemala I was out on suspension and the second one the coaching staff said to me 'Jermaine, we are not going to change the team', and I had no problem with it," Taylor said to The Gleaner yesterday ahead of training at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona-based Jamaica Football Federation training centre.
Taylor was captain of the team during a friendly international against Costa Rica back in March when he was sent off in the first half. He has since witnessed a new central defensive partnership forged between Reading's Adrian Mariappa and Watford's Nyron Nosworthy.
"They (Nosworthy and Mariappa) are good players, but I want to play," Taylor stated.
"I am just sitting, waiting on my chance again or my turn to play. We have a good squad, there are a number of defenders and everybody wants to play and everybody is fit, but the coach's decision is final," he added.
If the 27-year-old central defender is given the starting nod against the US, he is aiming to play for the entire match.
"Right now I am just going to try my best and keep myself on the pitch for the 90 minutes, because if you go down a player it can cost your team," Taylor shared.
"This is a game that you really want to keep everybody on the pitch because the United States team is a very good team," he added.
Taylor, who plays for Houston Dynamo in the US Major League, concedes that he regrets the recent red cards he has received, but he has to put them behind him and intends to revert to a simpler and calmer game.
"This is not something that I wanted to happen, but sometimes things are going to happen and it is out of my control," Taylor said.
"Sometimes you have to put an angry side of you in the game, and if it augurs well for the team where I am going to get some tackles in, then I am going to do so because sometimes a little bit of that changes the game," he added.