Jamaica international Andre Blake insists will be business as usual but acknowledges the significance of the moment as he prepares to make a 200th appearance for Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise.

Should the player make the starting line-up, as expected, against Atlanta United on Wednesday it should mark his 200th appearance for the club, the second most in franchise history and most for a goalkeeper.

The goalkeeper was the first overall signing of the Union in the 2014 MLS Superdraft and 9 years later has gone on to be one of the club's most consistent and recognizable players.  The goalkeeper who led the team to the MLS Supporters Shield in 2020 and second place in the U.S Open cup in 2014, 2015, and 2016 was also named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 2016 and 2020.

“In a sense, it’s just another number, just another game,” Blake told the Daily Times. “That’s what keeps me humble. But in another sense, it’s a great achievement. You’d have to be in the league for quite a number of years to be able to have 200 starts. It’s a big deal, obviously, but it’s how you look at it. I’m very happy for that moment, but the show must go on.”

Blake has recovered from an early tumultuous spell in 2015 after injuring his right then his left knee.

Veteran Jamaica Reggae Boyz defender Adrian Mariappa has branded the team's recent 3-0 loss to Morocco in the Austria Mini Football Tournament, on Wednesday, as a valuable learning experience.

The team that consisted of mostly players based in Jamaica, for the most part, struggled to keep up with their African counterparts who created plenty of opportunities before goals from Ahmad Hammoudan (33), Mohamed Nahiri (74th), and Reda Slim (80th) decided the contest.

With several players making their debut and a few more with just a handful of appearances, Mariappa who has logged 64 caps for Jamaica, insists it’s all just part of the valuable learning process.

“We were disappointed with the result but there were plenty of positives to take out of the game.  Playing against good opposition who have been together a long time, we only came together recently…a lot of guys were making debuts, just playing with each other.  It was a learning experience,” Mariappa said.

“It was good for the boys to gain experience playing against good sides on decent pitches as well and to able to show what they can bring to the table,” he added.

The Reggae Boyz will next be in action when they play against World Cup hosts Qatar on Friday.

An understrength Jamaica Reggae Boyz proved to be no match for World Cup-bound Morocco who cruised to a 3-0 win in the Austria Mini Football Tournament at the Ernst Happel Stadium on Tuesday.

Although the Jamaicans put together periods of enterprising play, it was the Moroccans who the more dominant from the outset and looked more likely to take the lead. 

Ahmad Hamoudan ensured that they did take advantage of their early domination, in the 33rd minute, slotting the ball past Jamaica custodian Amal Knight at the far post.

Despite creating few chances, the Jamaicans continued to remain defensively resolute but were undone by another defensive error in the 73rd minute.  Experienced defender Jason Mariappa was forced to bring down a surging Ahmad Hamoudan in the penalty area. Mohammed Nahiri slotted the resulting spot kick past Knight to double the lead.

Morocco continued to press to increase the lead and finally did so when Reda Slim was picked out at the post from a deft cross and headed the ball into the back of the net in the 80th minute. 

The Jamaicans will next be in action against World Cup hosts Qatar on Friday at 10:00 am.

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz will play one game less for the upcoming mini tournament in Austria following the cancelation of the team’s fixture against Ghana.

Originally, the 23-man squad, who arrived for the Austria Mini Football Tournament in Vienna on Wednesday, were expected to have fixtures against Ghana, Qatar, and Morocco on the 20th, 23rd, and 26th.

With the rest of the teams already settled in, however, the African nation Ghana is yet to arrive.  As a result, Jamaica’s fixture that was scheduled to be played against Ghana on Saturday has been cancelled.  Ghana is still expected to take part in the tournament as they are scheduled to arrive on the island on Saturday.

Jamaica's fixtures against Morocco on the 23rd and Qatar on the 26th are scheduled to go ahead.  The tournament will kick off with Morocco vs Qatar on Saturday.  The majority locally-based squad will be managed by newly appointed interim coach Merron Gordon.   

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has named a majority locally based squad for the country’s upcoming three-game mini tournament in Austria.

The football competition, which will take place at the Ernst-Happel-Stadion, has been put on by Qatar as part of their preparations for the FIFA World Cup later this year.

In addition to Qatar, the Reggae will be joined at the tournament by Morocco and African nation Ghana, who will also be making an appearance in Qatar for the global football showpiece.

 Of the 27 players named in the Jamaica squad, 20 ply their trade in the country’s local league.  The exceptions are experienced defender Adrian Mariappa who will join from Australia’s McArthur FC, Jevani Brown who represents EFL League One club Exeter City, Oquassa Chong (Esbjerb fb), Venton Evans (Greenville Triumph) Damani Osei                    
(Santa Clara), Jourdain Fletcher (Gokulam Kerala) and Maliek Howell (University of Memphis).

The Reggae Boyz will tackle Ghana on August 20, followed by matches against Morocco on the 23rd and Qatar on the 26th.  The team will be coached by Merron Gordon who will be assisted by Vassell Reynolds.

  

Full squad

Kemar Foster         Waterhouse FC

Amal Knight            Harbour View FC

Eric Edwards               Arnett Gardens FC

Colorado Murray      Harbour View FC

Trayvone Reid           Harbour View FC

Ricardo Thomas        Waterhouse FC

Ky-Mani Campbell        Waterhouse FC

Richard King                 Cavalier SC

Denardo Thomas         Waterhouse FC

Demario Phillips               Dunbeholden FC

Fabion McCarthy         Dunbeholden FC

Nickoy Christian             Dunbeholden FC

Ramone Howell             Waterhouse FC

Ronaldo Webster            Cavalier SC

Jourdain Fletcher             Gokulam Kerala

Maliek Howell               University of Memphis

Earl Simpson                  Arnett Gardens FC

Odane Pennycooke       Tivoli Gardens FC

Tarick Ximines                Mount Pleasant FC

Alwayne Harvey           Mount Pleasant FC

Adrian Marriapa.             McAuthur FC

Damani Osei.                     Santa Clara Broncos         

Shamari Dyer                      Harbour View           

Oquassa Chong                    Esbjerb fb

Venton Evans                           Greenville Triumph                 

Jevani Brown                          Exeter City

Nicholas Hamilton               Harbour View FC

Jamaica’s senior men's football team, the Reggae Boyz, is set to play Morocco, Qatar and Ghana in a four-team tournament to run from August 20-26, 2022.

Jamaica international Ravel Morrison will once again be on the move after announcing his departure from English club Derby County.

The 29-year-old former standout youth prospect signed with the then Championship club at the start of last summer, following his release by Dutch side ADO Den Haag.  The midfielder went on to have a decent campaign for derby, scoring 5 goals in 37 appearances.

Following the club’s relegation from the second division, however, a number of players and the team’s manager, former Manchester United star Wayne Rooney, have announced their departure.  The Reggae Boy confirmed his departure from Pride Park via social media platform Instagram.

Thank you @dcfcofficial all the players, staff & fans for making me feel at home, was a season full of ups and downs but was a real honour to be part of such a wonderful club," Morrison wrote.

"I wish everyone at the club success moving forward."

The player has had loan spells with Birmingham City, QPR, and Cardiff City and spells aboard with Lazio, Atlas, and Ostersund. He returned to Sheffield United in 2019 for a season, before another single season in the Netherlands concluded with him moving to the East Midlands.

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz secured a spot in the next round of the Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship following a 2-0 win over Antigua and Barbuda on Wednesday.

Goals from Zion Scarlett and Jahmari Clarke, on either side of half-time, ensured that the team would at least finish third in Group H and condemned their Caribbean neighbours to a winless goalless campaign.

That does not mean that the Jamaicans had things all their own way, with Antigua and Barbuda showing plenty of fighting spirit, and goalkeeper Coniah Boyce-Clarke doing his best to keep the Reggae Boyz at bay.  There was very little to be done when Scarlett was given too much time in the area and spun away from the attending defender to find plenty of space to put the ball wide of a stranded Boyce-Clarke in the 41st minute.

With the Antiguans failing to find a way to get back on level terms Clarke made full points for the Jamaicans safe in the 81st minute from the penalty spot after substitute Tyler Roberts was brought down in the area by Antigua defender Dajun Barthley.  Barthley was later ejected from the game by referee Rubiel Vázquez after reviewing the VAR system.  The Jamaicans will now face Haiti on Sunday in Tegucigalpa.

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz cruised to a comfortable 3-1 win over Suriname in group A of the Concacaf Nation’s League at the National Stadium on Tuesday.

After a fairly even opening stanza, which saw Suriname slightly shade the scoring chances, it was Derby County midfielder Ravel Morrison who gave the Jamaicans the lead, with an inch-perfect free-kick, in the 16th minute.

Plucky Panama, however, mounted an almost immediate response and were back on level terms five minutes later.  The speedy Yanic Wildschut, who was played in over the top, from just over the half-line, left a flat-footed Jamaica defense trailing in his wake before blasting the ball wide of Jamaica custodian Amal Knight 6-yards away from goal.

The Reggae Boyz refused to be kept quiet and would take the lead again in the 43rd minute.  The influential Morrison would find himself involved again.  This time the midfielder showed off a silky touch to bring down a lofted pass into the area and played the ball back to Junior Flemmings, who drifted across the area before firing a shot that wrong-footed Suriname goalkeeper Warner Hahn.

The Jamaicans were a much more dominant unit in the second half and capped that advantage off with another goal in the 70th minute.  This time, Jamal Lowe was played through on goal by Shamar Nicholson, following Suriname’s loss of possession, and easily placed the ball wide of Hahn.

The win saw Jamaica move to the top of the three-team group A, after a 1-1 draw between the teams on Sunday.  Mexico, the other team in the group, are yet to play a match.

Jamaica Football Federation General Secretary Dalton Wint appears to have yielded to the demand of the Reggae Boyz that he resigns his position.

Wint has been the target of the players’ ire after being left stranded in Suriname on Saturday night, June 4, after their 1-1 draw with the host country. The JFF had failed to make proper arrangements for the players to return to Jamaica, an embarrassing situation that the players laid squarely at the feet of the beleaguered general secretary.

According to a statement reportedly coming from the players, “it was the straw that broke the camel’s back” and they refused to go on unless Wint resigned from his post. JFF President Michael Ricketts confirmed on Monday that the board had met to discuss the situation but up to later that day, there was no official word regarding the board’s position on the demand made by the players, who Sportsmax.TV understands refused to train in preparation for the return match against Suriname on Tuesday evening.

However, in a statement released late Monday night, the JFF signalled that an end to the impasse is in sight.

“The General Secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation, Mr Dalton Wint, has given his unequivocal and irreversible commitment to submit his resignation from the post,” the JFF said. “The Board of Directors of the JFF look forward to receiving same soonest. Other relevant information regarding this matter, will be shared with the country in the coming days.”

Meantime, Jamaica’s Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports, revealed its part in getting the players home from Suriname early Monday morning.

Minister Olivia Grange revealed that her ministry intervened to facilitate the safe return of the irate players, who returned to Jamaica at approximately 7:15 am Monday.

“On Saturday, June 4, 2022, I was advised of challenges being experienced by the Reggae Boyz delegation in Suriname. I was made to understand that travel arrangements for their return to Jamaica, after the match against Suriname on Saturday, had been cancelled and my assistance was being sought,” the minister said in a statement.

 “I was told that because the players had to return in time for another match, normal flight schedules would not allow for their return. On my instructions, a number of steps were taken by my Permanent Secretary and the General Manager of the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) to assist in addressing the problem.

 “A company was identified from which we could charter a flight in the short time frame. Reggae Boy Leon Bailey was instrumental in identifying the charter company.

“We were advised by the company identified that the charter flight would cost US$105,000.00 which had to be paid immediately in order for the aircraft which was in Mexico to be released to pick up the team in Suriname. Unfortunately, with this taking place over the weekend, the circumstances prevented the SDF from accessing the required banking services.”

 As a result, Minister Grange said, JFF President Michael Ricketts contacted Christopher Williams, CEO of PROVEN and Chairman of the Premier Football Jamaica League (PFJL) to assist with the identification of the required funds and the Government of Jamaica through the SDF committed to ensuring that the funds advanced would be repaid.

“Based on the commitment of the Government, Mr Williams put the necessary mechanisms in place to advance the payment for the charter flight, with the firm understanding that he would be reimbursed in the shortest possible time,” the minister explained.

“All the parties involved were aware of the urgent need to act, bearing in mind the risk of the Jamaican delegation being stranded in Suriname, and the players not being able to honour the fixture scheduled for Tuesday, June 7, 2022,” the minister continued, adding that she spoke directly to the players, who she said were upset with the JFF Administration which they blamed for the crisis.

The players, she said, then agreed to play the game in Suriname on schedule.

“The Under Secretary for the Diaspora, Protocol and Consular Affairs Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFAFT) played a critical role in securing the landing and fly over permits. The team from the Ministries were in negotiations from Saturday afternoon until early Monday morning to ensure that the permits were received,” the minister said.

  “I will be writing to the JFF requesting a detailed report on the matter and my team and I will continue to work closely with the JFF and the Reggae Boyz as we are also aware of other matters of concern related to the management of what is possibly the most popular sport in Jamaica.”

 

Head coach of the Jamaica Men’s National Football Team Paul Hall expects his Reggae Boyz to be better defensively in their return Concacaf Nations League contest against Suriname at the National Stadium on Tuesday.

Both teams played out a 1-1 draw at the Flora Stadium in Paramaribo on Saturday after Junior Flemmings gave Jamaica the lead in the 39th minute before an Amal Knight own goal in the 84th meant the points were shared.

“We need to make more improvements defensively,” said Hall in a pre-match press conference on Monday.

“I thought we gave them a little bit too much respect attacking us and allowed them to get through some shots at us which forced Amal (Knight) to make some really good saves, especially early on,” he added.

In the game on Saturday, the hosts were able to get off 10 shots, a statistic Hall says his team will need to bring down at home to secure the win.

“I’m looking for the boys to really make it a fortress at the back and just really focus on trying to be stingy with the number of efforts that we allow Suriname to make on us,” Hall said.

 Coach Hall also pleaded to the Jamaican supporters to make their presence felt at Tuesday's game.

"I want the supporters to come to the match tomorrow. I want them to show us that they're on our side. We need them to bring us over the line, we need that support," he said.

 

 

Reports are emerging that Reggae Boyz Head Coach Paul Hall has resigned his position and the players have refused to move forward unless Jamaica Football Federation General Secretary Dalton Wint tenders his resignation.

It is a position with which JFF President Michael Ricketts appears to agree. Sportsmax.TV has obtained a Whatsapp voice note created Saturday night in which a player speaking on behalf of the team, is heard demanding Wint’s resignation and President Ricketts seemingly agreeing with the players.

“On behalf of the team, captain, vice captain, we are asking Mr Wint to resign. That’s the only way we move forward. Can we get your word on that?” said an unidentified player.

A voice sounding like the JFF president responded, “I am saying I agree.”

“You agree as the president. Okay,” the player said in reply.

This latest fallout stems from a situation that developed in Suriname on Saturday night where the Reggae Boyz played to a 1-1 draw with the home side in their opening match of the CONCACAF Nations League.

After the match, the players came to the realization that they did not have a return flight to Jamaica for the return match on June 7. Unconfirmed reports indicate that Jamaica was to have shared a charter flight with the Suriname national team back to Jamaica on Saturday night. However, Jamaica is alleged to have failed to come up with their share of the cost of the flight.

The players are reportedly still in Suriname.

Calls to both JFF President Ricketts and General Secretary Wint went unanswered up to the time of publication on Sunday.

It is unknown what arrangements are being made for the players to get back to Jamaica to prepare for their match against Suriname and their upcoming match against Mexico on June 14.

 

Jamaica Reggae Boy striker Andre Gray is attracting attention from English Championship club Reading FC after recently parting ways with relegated Watford.

The forward has been a part of the Watford squad since 2017 but spent the last season on loan at Queens Park Rangers.  During his stint at Queens Park Rangers, Gray scored 10 goals as they narrowly missed out on the play-offs.

Gray has had a productive stint in Championship football since joining Burnley in 2015.  The forward notched 20 in 52 at Brentford and 33 in 78 at Burnley before making a reported £17m switch to Hertfordshire in 2017.

According to reports, the player has also drawn interest from Birmingham and Preston North End where another Jamaican Daniel Johnson is a part of the squad.

Jamaica striker Shamar Nicholson and Spartak Moscow lifted the 2022 Russia Cup on Sunday following a 2-1 victory over Dynamo Moscow.

A Gerard Deulofeu hat-trick powered Catalonia to a 6-0 drubbing of the Reggae Boyz in Spain on Wednesday.

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