Gordon Williams, Gleaner Writer
One of Jamaica's most experienced players, and a key contributor in the Reggae Boyz' current World Cup qualifying (WCQ) campaign, will miss next month's Caribbean Cup to address more "personal matters."
Jermaine Taylor, who last week was named by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) in a 24-man training squad for the region's top tournament, plans to get married on December 7. Jamaica kick off their Caribbean Cup title defence the following day, but the 27-year-old will not be with the national team in Antigua and Barbuda.
"No am not going to play it," Taylor stated in a text message sent Saturday, " ... not going to be available."
Taylor, who has played several roles for Jamaica in the 2014 WCQ campaign, including central defence, wing back and central midfield, planned to officially inform the JFF about getting married, and his request for time off, by email. He said he told a JFF official in mid-October he needed to be excused from the Caribbean Cup.
Taylor is in the United States preparing with Houston Dynamo for the Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup final against the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday. Club and national team commitments have kept the Portland native busy in 2012. In January, Taylor started preparations for the MLS campaign, including training camp and preseason tournaments, which officially kicked off in March. He played 27 MLS regular season games, starting 26, and three play-off matches for Houston, plus the CONCACAF Champions League.
Taylor also appeared in several internationals, including WCQ games in June, September and October, helping Jamaica to the CONCACAF final round.
The JFF's Caribbean Cup squad includes players from Jamaica's local competitions, MLS and overseas clubs outside Britain. Taylor and club teammate Je-Vaughn Watson, who is also in the squad, are the only Boyz involved in MLS Cup 2012. Darren Mattocks and Dane Richards, of Vancouver Whitecaps, were the last players in Jamaica's Caribbean Cup squad involved in MLS action. Vancouver were eliminated on November 1.
Taylor, who has earned more than 60 caps for Jamaica's senior team, doesn't believe his absence will hamper the Boyz' chances of retaining the Caribbean Cup.
"Jamaica has many other players," he said last Thursday.