Jamaica’s top five footballers of 2020
Jamaica’s footballers had noteworthy performances in their various leagues around the world in spite of unusual circumstances in 2020. These are The Gleaner’s top five performers for the year based on their impact for both club and country.
5. Junior Flemmings
Flemmings was the most outstanding player in the United Soccer League (USL) Championship, the second tier of US Soccer, this season. He scored 14 goals and provided three assists for Phoenix Rising during the regular season.
4. Khadija Shaw
Jamaica’s most prolific goalscorer of all time continued to shine in 2020 with French club Bordeaux. In her debut season, she scored 10 goals from 15 appearances, becoming the team’s second highest goalscorer and tied for fourth among the league’s best goalscorers.
3. Shamar Nicholson
The former Boys’ Town forward was impressive in his debut season with Belgian Pro League club Charleroi FC, scoring nine goals and providing one assist in 25 matches to help them finish third last season. This term, the 23-year-old has netted six times and has four assists in 18 matches to put his team third in the standings.
2. Andre Blake
The national goalkeeper Blake registered eight clean sheets and pulled off 63 saves in 21 matches this season for Major League Soccer club Philadelphia Union. Although he missed the play-offs after he fractured a hand in a 2-1 win over Chicago Fire, his outstanding displays before still earned him the Goalkeeper of the Season award, for the second time in his career, and saw him nominated league MVP.
1. Leon Bailey
The Reggae Boy and Bayer Leverkusen winger is once playing at the standard football observers expect of him. With only half the German Bundesliga season completed, he has already matched his best season (2017-18) when he had nine goals and six assists. This season, Bailey has netted four goals and provided five assists in helping his team to second in the Bundesliga table, while in the Europa League, his five goals and two assists ensured Leverkusen finished atop their group to book a spot in the play-off round.