Out of practice striker sharpens skills with Jamaica’s training squad
Cory Burke, whose club career is in tatters, is the only one in Jamaica’s training squad not to be playing locally in the Red Stripe Premier League.
The 27-year-old striker started training on Monday (26 August) as Jamaica head coach Theodore Whitmore runs his eye over the island’s talent ahead of naming his 23-player squad to tackle next month’s CONCACAF Nations League.
Burke had been expected to follow in the footsteps of compatriots Adrian Reid and Luton Shelton by signing for Norwegian top-flight club Valerenga. However, he was unable to obtain the necessary visa to complete the deal.
The Kingston-born hot-shot signed for Major League Soccer outfit Philadelphia Union last year from Jamaica’s Bethlehem Steel, but has been unable to pursue the sport for three months due to complications in renewing his US visa – which cost him a place in the Reggae Boyz’ recent CONCACAF Gold Cup squad.
Burke, training with Red Stripe Premier League champions Portmore United, is looking at options outside the US but wanted to return by his side Philadelphia Union. He last turned out for them on 20 April, bagging a goal in their 3-0 success over Montreal Impact.
A member of Jamaica’s Gold Cup finalists two years ago, Burke has notched an impressive half-a-dozen goals in 16 appearances for the Boyz.
Alongside Burke at Portmore United is promising left wing-back Emilio Rousseau, who has been given the nod by Whitmore for the first time – albeit as part of the national training group.
Rousseau’s team-mates Andre Lewis and Tevin Shaw are also part of Whitmore’s camp being held at the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence in Kingston.
The Boyz will tackle visiting Antigua & Barbuda on 6 September and travel to face hosts Guyana three days later.
JAMAICA: Cory Burke (Philadelphia Union), Alex Marshall, Leonard Rankine, Kaheem Parris, Clifton Woodbine (all Cavalier SC), Shaquille Dyer (Dunbeholden), Kemar Bennett, Ajeanie Talbott (both Harbour View), Kevon Reid, Jeadine White (both Humble Lion), Daniel Green, Kevaughn Isaacs, Ladale Richie (all Mount Pleasant), Andre Lewis, Emilio Rousseau, Tevin Shaw (all Portmore United), Nicholas Hamilton (Tivoli Gardens FC), Amal Knight, Fabion McCarthy (both UWI).
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