Wed | Dec 8, 2021

‘You reap what you sow’

Pundits cite limited preparation, lack of familiarity for Reggae Boyz’s 4-1 loss to USA

Published:Friday | March 26, 2021 | 12:24 AMDaniel Wheeler - Staff Reporter
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USA’s John Brooks duels for the ball with Jamaica’s Andre Gray (left) during their international friendly 
match at SC Wiener 
Neustadt stadium 
in Wiener 
Neustadt, Austria, 
yesterday.
USA’s John Brooks duels for the ball with Jamaica’s Andre Gray (left) during their international friendly match at SC Wiener Neustadt stadium in Wiener Neustadt, Austria, yesterday.
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Humble Lion head coach Andrew Price and Waterhouse head coach Marcel Gayle say a lack of familiarity and limited preparation were the key factors in the senior national men’s football team’s 4-1 defeat to the United States in their international...

Humble Lion head coach Andrew Price and Waterhouse head coach Marcel Gayle say a lack of familiarity and limited preparation were the key factors in the senior national men’s football team’s 4-1 defeat to the United States in their international friendly played at the SC Wiener Neustadt stadium in Austria yesterday.

Goals from Sergiño Dest in the 34th minute, Brenden Aaronson in the 52nd minute, and a brace from Sebastian Lletget took the Americans towards their 17th overall victory against the Reggae Boyz. Jamal Lowe, who was among the eight England-based players called up, got the lone goal for the Jamaicans in the 70th minute on his international debut.

Preparations for the friendly got off to a bad start as the local training camp which started on March 15 was cancelled after one day because of the need for players to obtain their Austria visas to travel. The delegation’s arrival in Austria on Monday meant that head coach Theodore Whitmore only managed two training sessions before the game. Gayle said that the lack of time with the players was consequential.

“It was a setback because the coach would have needed some more time to see these players together as a cohesive unit and [he] could have tweaked certain things before the game,” Gayle said. “Losing 4-1 looks bad, but I think he can take positives from some of these players [yesterday].”

UNRESOLVED CONTRACT ISSUES

A number of players refused the invitation for the friendly as the contract dispute between members of the team and the Jamaica Football Federation remains unresolved.

Whitmore said that despite the limited time together, he was pleased with how the team applied itself throughout the 90 minutes.

“We were okay up to the 65th minute,” Whitmore said. “We created chances. Obviously, you could see the chemistry wasn’t there, the cohesiveness [wasn’t there]. A lot of turnovers. But for a team [two days] together, I thought they did well. My only concern was the local players. You could see the difference with them not being in competition.”

Six of the eight England-born players made their international debuts, including Lowe who plays for Swansea City, and Reading defender Liam Moore.

Price said that the composition of the team with the debutants and the local players who haven’t played competitively for a year made gelling difficult.

“I wouldn’t put it down to haphazard preparation, but a lack of familiarity with the players. A lot of them were called up for the first time and you have the rest of the team [local players] who haven’t played for over a year,” Price said. “They haven’t played in any active competition for an extended period of time and it definitely showed today against a US team that has its players playing continuously in Europe.”

The Americans made the breakthrough after sustained pressure in the 34th minute, thanks to Dest who unleashed a powerful shot beyond the outstretched arm of goalkeeper Jeadine White. Seven minutes after the break, Aaronson doubled USA’s lead, firing from close range. Despite being under pressure for the majority of the match, Lowe gave the Jamaicans hope, lifting the ball past goalkeeper Zack Steffen and into the net in the 70th minute to reduce the deficit to one. But Lletget restored USA’s two-goal advantage in the 83rd minute and added another on the stroke of full time to secure the win.

daniel.wheeler@gleanerjm.com

USA JA

Shots 28 9

Shots on goal 8 3

Possession 70% 30%

Passes 550 244

Passing Accuracy 86% 71%

Fouls 18 15

Yellow Cards 1 0

Red Cards 0 0