Adrian Mariappa (#19) is on Jamaica's current roster for a pair of World Cup qualifiers against Nicaragua in September 2015. (Photo: Mexsport)
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica is back in action looking to build on the momentum generated by a successful summer of football that included a runner-up finish in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Locally-based squad members and those playing in the United States trained Tuesday under the direction of head coach Winfried Schafer. With a third round, first leg World Cup qualifier against visiting Nicaragua slated for Friday at the National Stadium, the 65-year-old German was in an optimistic mood.
“We believe we are confident enough to come out with a good result on Friday,” said Schafer. “Our boys are coming off a high from the Gold Cup and I think that belief and confidence will do us well against our visitors.”
The 2015 Gold Cup may very well prove to be the event that underpins Jamaica as a regular contender for CONCACAF honors into the future. It won Group B by a hefty four points over 2014 FIFA World Cup quarterfinalist Costa Rica, topped regional-rival Haiti (1-0) in the quarterfinals and defeated the defending champion USA in the semifinals (2-1), before falling short to Mexico in the final (3-1).
Though the Reggae Boyz’s current 27-man roster abounds with key performers from the Gold Cup run, others will be missing for various reasons.
Defensive stalwart Wes Morgan – the Leicester City captain – and Leyton Orient midfielder Jobi McAnuff are absent for personal reasons, while inspirational winger Garath McCleary recently returned to the field for Reading after recovering from a calf injury.
One newcomer is midfielder Lee Williamson, a veteran of the English leagues. The uncapped 33-year-old plays for Blackburn Rovers and was previously in a Reggae Boyz training camp more than seven years ago.
(World Cup Qualifying: September 4, 2015, home v Nicaragua; September 8, 2015, away v Nicaragua)
GOALKEEPERS: Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union/USA), DuWayne Kerr (Sarpsborg/Norway), Dwayne Miller (Syrianska/Sweden)
DEFENDERS: Sergio Campbell (Columbus Crew/USA), Upston Edwards (Portmore United), Hughan Gray (VPS Vaasa/Finland), Rosario Harriott (Harbour View), Michael Hector (Reading/England), Lance Laing (FC Edmonton/Canada), Kemar Lawrence (New York Red Bulls), Adrian Mariappa (Crystal Palace/England), Romeo Parkes (Isidro Metapan/El Salvador), Demar Phillips (Real Salt Lake), Alvas Powell (Portland Timbers/USA), Ladale Richie (Montego Bay United), Cordell Simpson (Montego Bay United)
MIDFIELDERS: Rodolph Austin (no club), Simon Dawkins (Derby County/England), Joel Grant (Exeter City/England), Christopher Humphrey (Preston North End/England), Je-Vaughn Watson (FC Dallas/USA), Lee Williamson (Blackburn Rovers/England)
FORWARDS: Giles Barnes (Houston Dynamo/USA), Deshorn Brown (Valerenga/Norway), Andre Clennon (VPS Vaasa/Finland), Darren Mattocks (Vancouver Whitecaps/Canada), Michael Seaton (Portland Timbers/USA)