Even as Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz continue to bring joy to their supporters, the Reggae Boyz, beaten finalists in the last two editions of the Concacaf Gold Cup, will kick off their 2019 campaign at home in a historic double-header inside Kingston’s National Stadium on Monday, June 17.
It will be the first time that a Gold Cup match will be held outside of North America and Central America, as Costa Rica will host a Gold Cup game for the first time in Central America the previous day.
Theodore Whitmore’s Boyz will open against the group’s seeded team Honduras in the feature event of the doubleheader at 8:00 pm, two hours after Curacao meet El Salvador in the curtain raiser.
Jamaica will be a targeted team following their exploits at the last two editions when they edged the hosts USA 2-1 in the semi-finals in 2015 before losing 1-3 to Mexico in the final.
In 2017 they edged an understrength Mexico 1-0 on a wicked Kemar Lawrence free kick late in their semi-final before losing 1-2 to the US in the final.
They warmed-up for the tournament with a 1-0 win over the US in Washington, DC, last Wednesday, to record their third win over the US at the senior level, and the second time on US soil.
The wily Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey has finally accepted the Jamaica Football Federation’s invite to represent the team and he should make a significant difference to the team, which make them dangerous.
The top two teams from each of the four groups will advance to the quarter-finals, and it was refreshing to hear Whitmore say that the team has shown improvement since initiating a training camp in Montego Bay last Thursday.
We hope that the level of improvement is displayed on the pitch on match day and we wish both teams best of luck.