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Reggae Boyz’ New Coach Trip Begins In The US against Argentina

Author: Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rüdd

Hallgrimsson opts for six of the best strikers to try to outshine Messi

Jamaica will tackle two-time World Cup winners Argentina in an exhibition match at the Red Bull Arena in the New Jersey on Tuesday (5pm ko).

Heimir Hallgrimsson, the newly-appointed head coach whose four-year deal officially kicks off next year, takes the helm in the United States with a much stronger squad than usual.

His Reggae Boyz’ 22-player squad includes eight players from England, five who ply their trade in North America and three who compete in the Jamaican Premier League.


With the Boyz having constantly struggled to find the back of the net, Hallgrimsson has opted for a lethal set of half-a-dozen strikers. These include a trio who compete in the EPL, Michail Antonio (West Ham United), Bobby Decordova-Reid (Fulham) and Jamal Lowe (AFC Bournemouth).

Four Reggae Boyz swarm an Argentine player in the 2015 Copa America tournament

Goalkeeper and captain Andre Blake plus defender Curtis Tilt have also been included, despite not being named in the initial 23-player squad. Swansea City defender Joel Latibeaudiere as well as midfielders Jonathan Russell (Huddersfield Town) and Kevin Samuel (Arnett Gardens FC) were originally picked, but were not part of the delegation that arrived in New Jersey on Saturday.

It is a tough ask against Argentina, among the favourites to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, who are on a staggering unbeaten run of 34 games. They boast a star-stunned team that includes Paris St-Germain hot-shot Lionel Messi, who bagged a brace in their 3-0 success over Honduras on Saturday.

Jamaica opted for Icelandic coach Hallgrimsson rather than appoint London-based Paul Hall, who failed in the World Cup qualifiers as interim head coach. Yet the Boyz have only lost once in five matches since they were demolished 6-0 by Catalonia at the Spanish city of Girona in May.

Jamaican Merron Gordon is now part of Hallgrimsson’s set up. He relinquished his role as interim head coach, having held Qatar to a 1-1 stalemate but losing 3-0 to Morocco with a second-string squad at August’s Austria Mini Football Tournament in Vienna.

Hallgrimsson has brought a pair of coaches to the Jamaica set up. Swede John Wall, whose roles have included video analyst for Finland, joined as assistant coach with Icelandic Guomundur Hreidarsson appointed as goalkeeping coach.

The Jamaican Football Federation have another friendly lined up for Hallgrimsson to run his eye over his squad members, but have yet to disclose their opponents.


Facing global giants Argentina seems like a tough baptism of fire for Hallgrimsson.
Yet when he guided Iceland to the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia, his unfancied side brilliantly held Argentina 1-1 in Moscow so the plaudits were out.

But he has only had a short time with the Jamaican squad, so he may not be able to mastermind another shock result but will give it his best shot.

Goalkeepers (4) | Dillon Barnes (unattached), Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union, USA), Kemar Foster (Portmore United), Jahmali Waite (Pittsburgh Riverhounds, USA)

Defenders (8) | Amari’i Bell (Luton Town, England), Javain Brown (Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Canada), Richard King (Cavalier FC), Gregory Leigh (Ipswich Town, England), Damian Lowe (Inter Miami FC, USA), Adrian Mariappa (unattached), Curtis Tilt (Wigan Athletic, England), Jamoi Topey (Cavalier FC)

Midfielders (4) | Leon Bailey (Aston Villa, England), Daniel Johnson (Preston North End, England), Kevon Lambert (Phoenix Rising FC, USA), Ravel Morrison (D.C. United, USA)

Strikers (6) | Michail Antonio (West Ham United, England), Bobby Decordova-Reid (Fulham, England), Andre Gray (Aris, Greece), Jamal Lowe (AFC Bournemouth, England), Shamar Nicholson (Spartak Moscow, Russia), Kaheem Parris (Dynamo Kyiv, Ukraine)

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