Topey named in Reggae Boyz squad for upcoming fixtures

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

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Central defender Jamoi Topey is set to make his national senior team debut after being listed as the only newcomer in the Reggae Boyz 23-member squad for the final Concacaf Nations League (CNL) qualifying match against El Salvador, as well as an international friendly against Costa Rica.

Topey, 19, has always been a regular member of national youth teams, having represented at Under-15, Under-17 and in the recent Under-20 team that performed so creditably at the Concacaf World Cup qualifiers.

The consistency of the towering defender, who recently joined United Soccer League team Bethlehem Steel on a one-year loan from Red Stripe Premier League club Cavalier FC, won him favour for a spot in Head Coach Theodore “Tappa” Whitmore's squad, which is notably missing Watford defender Adrian Mariappa.

The CNL fixture is scheduled for Saturday at Estadio Cuscatlán in El Salvador, after which the team will hop across to neighbouring Costa Rica for a friendly on March 26 at Estado Nacional de San Jose.

The Jamaicans are currently in fifth position with maximum nine points from three rounds of CNL matches, but with an inferior goal difference of plus 11 to teams sitting above.

Also with nine points are leaders Curacao (plus 21), Haiti (plus 16), Cuba (plus 14) and Canada (plus 14). Martinique, also with nine points, sit in sixth spot with a plus seven goal difference.

The Reggae Boyz' victories were against the Cayman Islands (4-0), Bonaire (6-0) and Suriname (2-1), and another win against El Salvador would see them achieving their twin goal of booking spots in League A and the flagship Concacaf Gold Cup.

However, a slip against El Salvador could potentially hinder at least one of those objectives — League A qualification were they not to end in the top six of the standings.

El Salvador, meantime, are 13th in the standings with six points and currently out of contention for League A and Gold Cup qualification, but a win against Jamaica could dramatically turn their fortunes around for at least one competition.

As such, Reggae Boyz Manager Roy Simpson is aware that there is no room for errors in their task of playing away in Central America.

“It is going to be a tough and a big game as the El Salvador team is in a situation that they need a positive result. Our players are aware and are ready for the challenge...everyone knows the importance of a positive result in El Salvador,” Simpson told the Jamaica Observer recently.

“The game against Costa Rica is continued preparation for the 2019 Gold Cup... players will get an opportunity to help select themselves for future friendly games, the Gold Cup squad, Nations League and World Cup Qualifiers.

“It is important that players understand the importance of being consistently efficient at this level, and to qualify for the Fifa World Cup we must be competitive against the 'big teams' in our confederation,” noted Simpson.

Squad: Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union), Amal Knight (UWI FC), Jeadine White (Humble Lion), Fabion McCarthy (UWI FC), Alvas Powell (FC Cincinnati), Damion Lowe (IK Start), Corey Burke (Philadelphia Union), Darren Mattocks (FC Cincinnati), Michael Hector (Sheffield Wednesday FC), Ladale Richie (Mount Pleasant FA), Kemar Lawrence (New York Red Bulls), Shaun Francis (Louisville FC), Devon Williams (Louisville FC), JeVaughn Watson (Unattached), Kevon Lambert (Phoenix Rising FC), Junior Flemmings (Phoenix Rising FC), Javon East (Portmore United), Ricardo Morris (Portmore United), Dever Orgill (MKE Ankaragucu), Peter Vassell (Los Angeles FC), Brian Brown (Reno 1868 FC), Maalique Foster (Rio Grande Valley FC), Jamoi Topey (Bethlehem Steele).

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