Jamaica looks ahead to upcoming tests

Forward Owayne Gordon (pictured), who plays for Montego Bay United, could be called up for Jamaica's friendly in June against host Peru. (Photo: Jamaica Observer)

KINGSTON, Jamaica -- As Jamaica plans for the Caribbean Cup finals and the CONCACAF Gold Cup, head coach Theodore Whitmore will use only locally-based players for a friendly on June 13 at Peru.

The former Reggae Boyz star says it’s an opportunity for them to earn places on the big-event roster.

“For our friendly international against Peru, it is a grand chance for the local players to show what they are made of,” Whitmore commented. “As we prepare for the semifinals of the Caribbean Cup and prepare for the Gold Cup, this is the last chance for the locals to execute and impress me in order to get into the squads of Caribbean Cup and the Gold Cup.”

The defending champion Jamaicans are aiming for a seventh Caribbean Cup crown, which – if successful -- would leave them one behind record-holder Trinidad and Tobago.”

“It is a fierce rivalry between Jamaica and Trinidad in football, cricket, music and the list goes on,” expressed Whitmore. “Winning it would draw us to seven Caribbean Cup titles and give us bragging rights in the region.”

While tournament squads have yet to be formulated, Whitmore noted his pleasure in regard to the performances of two European-based players.

“Adrian Mariappa and Michael Hector have had immaculate seasons this season in the Premier League (Watford) and Bundesliga (Eintracht Frankfurt), respectively,” he remarked. “These are players who I want for both the Caribbean Cup and the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

“They can be a good example for the local defenders as they can give advice and tell stories about what it is like to play at a higher level, so I am excited about this summer ahead.”

In two all-time meetings, Jamaica has never beaten Peru (2006: 1-1 draw; 2010: 1-2 loss).


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