News/SportsReggae Boyz

EPL Stars Set to Shine for Jamaica WC Qualifiers

Author: Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rüdd

Reggae Boyz bring in big guns to tackle Dominican Republic and Dominica

Michail Antonio and Bobby Decordova-Reid are the only English Premier League (EPL) aces that Jamaica head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson has named for the Reggae Boyz to gently kick-off their FIFA 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

West Ham veteran hot-shot Antonio and Fulham’s attacking midfielder Decordova-Reid should cause plenty of problems for Dominican Republic (6 June) and Dominica (9 June). Aston Villa’s Leon Bailey is unavailable.

Shotstopper Coniah Boyce-Clarke, defensive duo Di’Shon Bernard and Greg Leigh plus midfielders Karoy Anderson, Daniel Johnson and Kasey Palmer are the other players from England in the 26-strong squad.


The US-based contingent is surprisingly slim with only goalkeepers Jayden Hibbert and Jahmali Waite, defensive trio Jon Bell, Tayvon Gray and Damion Lowe, midfielder Kevon Lambert, and striker Cory Burke selected.

There are seven players in the squad who ply their trade in Jamaica. Namely goalie Shaquan Davis (Mount Pleasant FC), defender Richard King (Cavalier SC), midfielder pair Alex Marshall (Portmore United) and Adrian Reid Jr. (Cavalier SC), and forwards Deshane Beckford (Cavalier SC), Devonte Campbell (Mount Pleasant FC) and Kaheim Dixon (Arnett Gardens FC).

Emerging talent Dixon made his international debut by bagging the winner to defeat hosts Trinidad & Tobago in March, the only goal of two unofficial back-to-back friendlies. The 19-year-old, who scored goals for fun at schoolboy level for Clarendon College, is being closely monitored by European clubs and Major League Soccer teams.

Kingston’s National Stadium plays host on Thursday against the Dominican Republic, who have called up England-based defender Junior Firpo (Leeds United). Three days later Hallgrimsson’s troops will be aiming to be firing on all cylinders when they visit Windsor Park in Roseau to take on Dominica. The 12,000-capacity multi-purpose stadium also hosts cricket matches, with the Boyz expected to drum up a cricket score against the minnows.

These games are part of the double header in Group E, which also features the British Virgin Islands and Guatemala. Teams play each other once, with the top two in the mini-league making progress to the third and final phase of qualifying for the 2026 World Cup finals that will be jointly hosted by Canada, Mexico and the United States.

Hallgrimsson was named as Jamaica head coach in September, handed a four-year deal with his prime aim to navigate Jamaica to only their second ever World Cup finals.

Following these clashes with Dominican Republic and Dominica, the Boyz arrive at Copa America 2024 (20 June-14 July). Despite being underdogs, they will fancy their chances of making the top two to reach the quarter-finals.


Jamaica will tackle Ecuador, a weakened Mexico squad, and Venezuela in the group phase. As the Boyz tend to lift their game at major tournaments, Hallgrimsson will be hopeful of springing some surprises at the Copa America with a much stronger squad likely compared to the one for the World Cup qualifiers.

Goalkeepers | Coniah Boyce-Clarke (Reading, England), Shaquan Davis (Mount Pleasant FC, Jamaica), Jayden Hibbert (Atlanta United 2, USA), Jahmali Waite (El Paso Locomotive, USA)

Defenders | Jon Bell (Seattle Sounders FC, USA), Di’Shon Bernard (Sheffield Wednesday, England), Tayvon Gray (New York City FC, USA), Michael Hector (unattached), Richard King (Cavalier SC, Jamaica), Greg Leigh (Oxford United, England), Dexter Lembikisa (Wolves, on loan at Hearts in Scotland), Damion Lowe (Philadelphia Union, USA)

Midfielders | Karoy Anderson (Charlton Athletic, England), Bobby Decordova-Reid (Fulham, England), Daniel Johnson (Stoke City, England), Kevon Lambert (Real Salt Lake, on loan at San Antonio FC in USA), Alex Marshall (Portmore United, Jamaica), Kasey Palmer (Coventry City, England), Adrian Reid Jr. (Cavalier SC, Jamaica)

Strikers | Michail Antonio (West Ham United, England), Deshane Beckford (Cavalier SC, Jamaica), Cory Burke (New York Red Bulls, USA), Devonte Campbell (Mount Pleasant FC, Jamaica), Renaldo Cephas (Ankaragucu, Turkey), Kaheim Dixon (Arnett Gardens FC, Jamaica), Shamar Nicholson (Spartak Moscow, on loan at Clermont, France)

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