Loc: Miramar, FL, USA
Jamaica,USA in U-17showdown|
Published: Thursday | January 27, 2011 0 Comments
Jamaica's Under-17 team meets Captain HoraceBurrell.
Adrian Frater, News Editor
Jamaica and their United States counterparts, who are now fine-tuning their preparation for next month's CONCACAF Under-17 Championship, will get a chance to assess their state of readiness when they square off in the first of two friendly matches at Jarrett Park in Montego Bay, at 3 p.m. today.
While the US team - which won the last completed championship in 2007 and has arguably the best record in the CONCACAF region - should start favourites to win the two-game series, the local team, fresh from a six-week training camp in Brazil, will be anxious to show that they are in fine fettle.
In fact, while not making any prediction going into today's game, experienced national head coach Wendell Downswell said fans will see a much more mature team than the one which shared a two-game series 1-1 with Canada late last year.
"We are ready from both a mental and physical perspective going into this first game against the United States," said Downswell.
"The players are all very anxious to put on a display (showing) what they learnt during their stay in Brazil," he added.
Downswell said he is seeing a kind of maturity with which he is most impressed, and he has every confidence that at the end of CONCACAF Under-17 Championship, which will be played in Jamaica February 12-27, Jamaica will be one of the four qualifiers for the upcoming FIFA Under-17 World Cup.
"The team is very confident down to the last man and they are very serious about the task ahead," noted Downswell. "The fans are going to see a kind of maturity never previously seen in this team."
As with the Jamaica team, the United States aggregation, which flew into the island on Tuesday and has been working out at the Breezes Rio Bueno Hotel in Trelawny, is beaming with confidence.
"This seven-day camp in Jamaica is basically to get a feel of the conditions so we intend to use the time here wisely," said the United States team's head coach Wilmer Cabrera.
"After these two friendlies against Jamaica, the squad will return to Florida where we will train before we return to Jamaica for the championship on February 10."
Jamaica's bid to impress will revolve around skipper Omar Holness, Patrick Palmer, Odean Clarke, Andre Lewis, Jason Wright and Romario Williams, while the United States should be quite potent with the likes of Matt Dunn, Jordon Allen, Marc Pelosi, Jack McBean and Paul Arriola.