Reggae Boyz head to USA for must-win clash
Marc Stamp, Gleaner Writer
Jamaica's national senior football team will embark on a tough journey today to tackle the United States of America (USA) in a must-win game in order to keep their slender chance alive of qualifying for next year's World Cup finals in Brazil.
The Reggae Boyz will face a USA team that has already qualified from CONCACAF to the World Cup. However, the desperate Jamaicans should not expect any favours from the Americans.
USA leads the six-nation hexagonal round on 16 points, ahead of Costa Rica (15) who have also qualified, followed by Honduras (11), Mexico and Panama on eight points apiece with Jamaica lying at the bottom on four points.
Looking at the table, Jamaica needs to win against USA when the teams meet on Friday at the Sporting Park in Kansas City, US, starting at 5:30 p.m. (6:30 local time).
"It's very important for us to beat the USA. We are trying our best to get the necessary results in the next two games. The team have a slim chance of getting the play-off spot, so we are not concentrating on anything else but to win," Captain Horace Burrell, president of the Jamaica Football Federation, told The Gleaner yesterday.
"We will go to the US and carve out a victory and will be hoping that other results go our way," Burrell added.
Meanwhile, head coach Winfried Schafer called up Waterhouse midfielder Romario 'Rom Rom' Campbell to the 22-man squad named for the must-win encounter. Campbell is among five local-based players who are scheduled to leave today at 6:30 a.m. for Kansas City. The overseas-based players will join the others there.
Notable omissions from the squad are Luton Shelton, Marlon King and goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, who broke a finger in training.
The full squad is Dwayne Kerr, Daniel Gordon, Marvin Elliott, Jermaine Johnson, Ryan Johnson, Joel McAnuff, Darren Mattocks, Theo Robinson, Shaun Cummings, Jermaine Taylor, Westley Morgan, Alvas Powell, Adrian Mariappa, Jevaughn Watson, Rodolph Austin, Demar Phillips, Deshorn Brown, Richard McCallum, Gariece McPherson, Jermaine Anderson, Romario Campbell and Kemar Lawrence.
CONCACAF WCQ points standings
USA 8 5 12 10 5 5 16
Costa Rica 8 4 21 10 5 5 15
Honduras8 3 23 1110 1 11
Mexico 8 1 52 4 7-3 8
Panama 8 1 52 7 9-2 8
Jamaica 8 0 44 3 9-6 4