Jamaica VS USA World Cup Qualifier in Kingston
In a David vs Goliath clash Jamaica is taking on the one of the region;s powerhouses in Football in the US. The game will be played at home in the “Office” AKA the National Stadium Today Friday September 7. This is a World Cup Qualifier where Jamaica is tied atop their group with the USA.
Jamaica VS USA Courtesy of Cocacaf
Below are reports from Jamaica Football Federation and Concacaf
Darren Mattocks, the most exciting first year player in the MLS and the man considered the leading candidate for rookie of the year award in the league, was yesterday named to a Reggae Boyz squad of 24 for an encounter with the United States in group World Cup qualifier at ‘the Office on Friday September 7.
The soon to be 22-year-old made his national team debut on August 15 in a friendly international against El Salvador coming on as second half substitute in Jamaica’s 2-0 win. While he did not find the back of the net Mattocks, has an excellent record as a goal scorer, finding the target 39 times from 47 appearances for Akron University over a two-year period.
His outstanding performances saw him being drafted by the Vancouver Whitecaps in January with the second overall pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. The skillful and speedy six-footer has not disappointed scoring seven goals in 13 games, the most for his team and the most as a rookie. He has taken the second most shots for his team and has 14 shots in all on goal for a conversion rate of 50 per cent of shots on goal.
Also included in the squad is the country’s new central defensive pair of Reading’s Adrian Mariappa and Watford’s Nyron Nosworthy. Both played together at Watford before Mariappa’s off-season move to the Premier League club. Both made their national debut together in a 1-0 win over Guyana at the Catherine Hall Stadium. This encounter will mark their fifth game together for the country.
Rodolph Austin, who earned the status of cult hero after just one game for Leeds United with a performance which saw him bossing the midfield breaking up tackles, spraying passes forward and testing the opposing goalkeeper with a few long-ranged shots, is also included and is expected to be the engine of the team’s midfield.
The Turkey-based Luton Shelton after his double strike against El Salvador, his first goals since the Gold Cup last June, should be full of confidence and eager to extend his record as the country’s leading scorer. His partnership with Ryan Johnson, the man who assisted on both of his strikes against El Salvador should also serve the team well.
Jamaica are seeking to take over the leadership of group A as despite the fact that both teams are on four points after two games in the four-team group, they are being edged out of first place by the United States which have a superior goal difference.
The full squad: Goalkeepers – Dwayne Miller (Syrianska, Sweden), Duwayne Kerr (Strommen, Norway), Jacomeno Barrett (Montego Bay United, Jamaica); Defenders – Jermaine Taylor (Houston Dynamo USA), Adrian Mariappa (Reading FC England), Dicoy Williams (Toronto FC, Canada), Andrae Campbell (Nottodden SK, Norway), Nyron Nosworthy (Watford FC England), Shavar Thomas (Montreal Impact Canada), Lovel Palmer (Portland Timbers USA), O’Brian Woodbine (VPS Vaasa Finland); Midfielders – Rodolph Austin (Leeds, England), Je-Vaughn Watson (Houston Dynamo, USA), Errol Stevens (Arnett Gardens FC, Jamaica), Jason Morrison (Aalesund, Norway), Ewan Grandison (Portmore United Jamaica), Joel Senior (Harbour View Jamaica); Forwards – Luton Shelton (Karabukspor), Turkey, Ryan Johnson (Toronto FC, Canada), Kavin Bryan (Vicem Hai Phong, Vietnam), Dane Richards (Vancouver Whitecaps Canada), Omar Cummings (Colorado Rapids UA), Tramaine Stewart (Aalesund Norway), Darren Mattocks (Vancouver Whitecaps Canada)
By Michael Lewis
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Winless in 18 tries against the United States, Jamaica is determined to see that streak end – and do it in World Cup qualifying.
Tied with the Americans atop Group A in the CONCACAF semifinal round of qualifying with four points apiece, Jamaica can also boost its chances of reaching the final round of qualifying with a win Friday night.
The U.S. limps in without two key players, midfielders Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley, and their most dangerous attacker, Clint Dempsey not match fit. It only adds to the Jamaicans’ confidence.
“Even if those guys were in the lineup, I still think we can beat them,” Jamaica striker Ryan Johnson said. “They’re human, just like the rest of us. It’s all about the team that comes out to play on that day because anything can happen.
“I am very confident in the players that we have here. A lot of people know us. A lot of people still don’t know about a lot of players on our team and how really good they are. It’s on us to show it on that day. There’s been a lot of talk leading up to this game. But now is the time for us to show. ”
In fact, the Jamaica feels this is its time to qualify for their second World Cup, joining the group that went to France in 1998.
“A lot of players are in their prime,” Johnson said. “We just have a good team. We have everything that we need. We have speed, we have technical ability, experience. Those are the main things you need to be a good football team. We have everything. It’s all about of us executing on that day. . . .. I don’t think they’re a better team than us on paper.”
Forward Omar Cummings said coach Theodore Whitmore has prepared the team for this moment.
“A lot of people don’t recognize with what we’ve done or the accomplishments that we’ve made over the last couple of years,” he said.
For the Americans, they have never won a qualifier in Jamaica, trying all four matches – including three goalless draws.
“We are prepared. We are ready to do the job on Friday,” Whitmore said. “We can expect a tough game from the U.S. team on Friday night. We have to be organized and keep the ball and take our chances.”
The last time these two teams met, the United States won 2-0 in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals.
“It was a lot of lessons,” Whitmore said. “We know what cost us the game against this U.S. team in the Gold Cup. Bradley was the one who dominated the game against us in the Gold Cup. Unfortunately, he’s out.”
A win would help the Caribbean side in many ways, from confidence to being more settled for Tuesday’s rematch in Columbus, Ohio.
“If we can take care of business here, the game coming up it could take the pressure off us a little bit,” Johnson said. “If we win this game, maybe we can go into the U.S. and get a point. If we win again, that would be huge.”
It also would have some ancillary benefits.
“It would be a gift for us to celebrate our 50th year,” Whitmore said, referring to the 50th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence from Britain this year.
Anniversary celebrations were held at National Stadium, the Reggae Boyz’ home field, which is better known to fans as The Office. The Jamaicans held a 50-game unbeaten streak at the stadium from 1995-2001 and opponents still find it a difficult place to play.
“In any office, the boss is in charge,” Whitmore said. “That’s how we get the name The Office because we are hard to beat here, especially in my time. We want to maintain that.”