Reggae Boyz Full Complement Now in Japan

BY L BRONSON - CNW SPORTS

reggae boyz world cup
Costa Rica’s Alvaro Saborio, left, and Jamaica’s Adrian Mariappa try to head (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Veteran English defender Adrian Mariappa and former Manchester United prodigy Ravel Morrison arrived in Kobe, Japan, late Friday night (local time) to complete the 19-man roster for Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz.

The Jamaicans were originally down to compete in three games against Japan last Thursday in Sapporo, Serbia on Monday and against Japan’s Olympic team next Saturday.

However, the first game against Japan was canceled after Jamaica was not in a position to field a complete team of 11 players as only 10 players had arrived in the East Asian country up to match time.

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Several English-based players were denied boarding at their connecting gate in Amsterdam on Sunday due to COVID-19 test result anomalies.

They ended up returning to England to get their test results sorted and most of them only arrived in Japan on Thursday.

Head Coach of Reggae Boyz Theodore Whitmore had originally selected 30 players for the tour of Japan, but there were many late withdrawals including regular captain and goalkeeper Andre Blake, who decided to remain with his Major League Soccer club Philadelphia Union, as well as striker Cory Burke, defender Kemar Lawrence, among others.

There was also another travel bungling which forced other players to abort the trip while en route.

The games are being used to provide valuable match practice to build team chemistry, bonding and understanding ahead of the CONCACAF Gold Cup in the US next month, as well as the FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign which kicks off in September.

The full list of players in Japan now is Jeadine White, Dennis Taylor, Javon East, Luca Levee, Damion Lowe, Devon Williams, Kemal Malcolm, Oniel Fisher, Kevaughn Isaacs, Kevon Lambert, Liam Moore, Curtis Tilt, Wes Harding, Amari’I Bell, Andre Gray, Dillon Barnes, Adrian Mariappa, Ravel Morrison, and Blair Turgott.

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