Copa America Centenario: Jamaica Team Preview
Giles Barnes celebrates after providing an assist in Jamaica's 2-1 win over Chile. (Photo: USA Today Sports)

Copa America Centenario: Jamaica Team Preview

The Jamaican National Team travels a short distance to the United States this summer for their second-ever Copa America tournament appearance.

HomarHernandez
Homar Hernandez

Jamaica will be one of six nations representing CONCACAF this summer at the Copa America after gaining qualification by winning the 2014 Caribbean Cup.

The Reggae Boyz found themselves eliminated last summer from the 2015 Copa America in the group stage after three straight weeks of being shut-out 1-0 by the superior opposition of Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina. However, the early exit in Chile allowed Winfried Schäfer's men to enter the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup and surprisingly reach the final where they were defeated 3-1 by Mexico.

Potential Dark Horse?

Jamaica enter the tournament in Group C along with Venezuela and two recognizable national teams in Mexico and Uruguay, who they could possibly gain revenge on by breaking into the two spots that advance to the knockout stages. In the eight matches following the Gold Cup last summer, six being 2018 World Cup qualification matches and the others being international friendlies, they have recorded three wins and one draw, most notably a 2-1 win against defending champions Chile this past Friday. That was their first win against a top-three FIFA ranked national team in history.

Simon Dawkins drills a shot in Jamaica's 2-1 win over Chile. | Photo: Andres Pina/Photosport
Simon Dawkins drills a shot in Jamaica's 2-1 win over Chile. (Photo credit: Andres Pina/Photosport)

Key Player

It is hard to argue that Barclays Premier League champion and Leicester City captain Wes Morgan is not the most recognized player on the national team. Morgan led the previous relegation battle survivors to their first top division league title in their 132-year history at the extraordinary odds of 5000/1. The central defender will be the centerpiece of  motivating the island country to possibly breakthrough the group stage and into the knockout rounds with his leadership and determination on the pitch.

Schedule

Jamaica - Venezuela June 5th, 2016 Soldier Field, Chicago
Mexico - Jamaica  June 9th, 2016 Rose Bowl, Pasadena
Uruguay - Jamaica June 13th, 2016 Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara

Roster

The Jamaica Football Federation announced their 23-man squad through their Facebook page just over a week ago. The list includes a mixture of veterans and youngsters, most that are spread out playing for clubs in Major League Soccer or abroad in Europe. 

Goalkeepers

Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union), Duwayne Kerr (Stjarnan), Ryan Thompson (Saint Louis FC)

Defenders

Rosario Harriott (Harbour View FC), Michael Hector (Reading), Kemar Lawrence (New York RB), Adrian Mariappa (Crystal Palace), Wes Morgan (Leicester City), Damano Solomon (Portmore United), Jermaine Taylor (Portland Timbers)

Midfielders

Rodolph Austin (Brondby IF), Michael Binns (Portmore United), Chevone Marsh (Cavaler Sports Club), Joel McAnuff (Leyton Orient), Garath McCleary (Reading), Andrew Vanzie (Humble Lion FC), Je-Vaughn Watson (New England Revolution), Lee Williamson (Blackburn Rovers)

Forwards

Giles Barnes (Houston Dynamo), Simon Dawkins (San Jose Earthquakes), Clayton Donaldson (Birmingham City), Allan Ottey (Montego Bay United), Dever Orgill (IFK Marieham)

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