July 20, 2018

Schaefer names Boyz squad for Caribbean tour


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xxl_winni_24172326.original.large-4-3-800-567-2-1162-448By Sanjay Myers From Jamaica Observer

National head coach Winfried Schaefer named 11 local-based players in a 22-man squad he will draw from for the upcoming Friendly Internationals on a mini-tour of the eastern Caribbean.

The move is a part of the coach’s drive to assess players in the build-up to the start of the qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Harbour View FC, the reigning national club champions, have four players in the squad, while former winners Portmore United and Waterhouse have three each, and Arnett Gardens FC have one.

The Jamaicans will face hosts Barbados on March 2 before travelling to Gros Islet to tackle St Lucia three days later on the official FIFA Friendly match date.

The St Lucia team was a late replacement for original hosts Grenada on March 5, because, according to the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Captain Horace Burrell, the latter had “challenges and were not able to play this game”, forcing the switch.

Five of the players who ply their trade in England have club duties and are expected to join the team for the second encounter of the two-match tour.

The England-based players are defenders Wes Morgan and Adrian Mariappa of Leicester City and Crystal Palace, respectively; Leeds United midfielder Rodolph Austin; and the Reading pair of wide attackers Joel McAnuff and Garath McCleary.

The six players based in North America, including Philadelphia Union’s goalkeeper Andre Blake — the Major League Soccer number one draft pick — are in pre-season training and are expected to be available for both matches.

Meanwhile, the JFF have added Serbia and Canada to a list of Friendly Internationals to be played this calendar year.

Captain Burrell said the Reggae Boyz have agreed to travel to the United States to face Serbia, qualifiers for the 2014 Brazil World Cup, on May 26 at the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey.

Jamaica are also scheduled to head off to Toronto to battle CONCACAF rivals Canada on September 9.

The federation had previously confirmed match dates with Switzerland in Lucerne on May 30, and former World Cup champions France in Lille on June 8.

Captain Burrell said negotiations are underway to clash with another top-ranked nation on June 4.

Ja squad — Gariece McPherson (Portmore United), Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union), Upston Edwards (Portmore United), Ricardo Morris (Portmore United), Darren Mattocks (Vancouver Whitecaps), Alvas Powell (Portland Timbers), Deshorn Brown (Colorado Rapids), Michael Seaton (DC United), Nicholi Finlayson (Waterhouse), Hughan Gray (Waterhouse), Romario Campbell (Waterhouse), Renae Lloyd (Arnett Gardens), Nicholas Beckett (Harbour View), Dicoy Williams (Harbour View), John Ross Edwards (Harbour View), Kemar Lawrence (Harbour View), Adrian Mariappa (Crystal Palace), Wes Morgan (Leicester City), Rodolph Austin (Leeds Untied), Joel McAnuff (Reading), Garath McCleary (Reading), Je-Vaughn Watson (FC Dallas).

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