Five Things to Know About Jamaica

Photo Credit: Mexsport/Concacaf

The U.S. Women’s National Team topped Group A at the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship after outscoring opponents 18-0 to book a spot in the crucial semifinal round. Now, the team is set to face Group B runner-up, Jamaica on Oct. 14 (7 p.m. CT; FS1, UDN), with the winner advancing to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup

Here are five things to know about Jamaica:

GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Sydney Schneider (UNC-Wilmington, USA), 13-Nicole McLure (Sundsvalls DFF, SWE)

DEFENDERS (8): 17-Allyson Swaby (Hottur, ISL), 4-Chantelle Swaby (Rutgers University, USA), 6-Christina Chang (Miami FC Surge, USA), 16-Dominique Bond-Flasza (PSV Eindhoven, NED), 15-Jadyn Matthews (Cornell University, USA), 5-Konya Plummer (Florida Kraze Krush, USA), 12-Sashana Campbell (Maccabi Krishronot Hadera, ISR), 19-Toriana Patterson (Tti Bluebonnets, USA)

MIDFIELDERS (9): 8-Ashleigh Shim (Unattached), 7-Chinyelu Asher (Washington Spirit Reserves, USA), 14-Deneisha Blackwood (Florida Kraze Krush, USA), 20-Giselle Washington (Concord Fire, USA), 11-Khadija Shaw (University of Tennessee, USA), 2-Lauren Silver (Unattached), 9-Marlo Sweatman (Unattached), 18-Trudi Carter (Unattached)
FORWARDS (1): 10-Jody Brown (Montverde Academy, USA)

The USA has only played Jamaica twice in its history, both in Concacaf qualifying tournaments. The first was in World Cup qualifying in 1994, a 10-0 win in Montreal, Canada. The most recent meeting came at the qualifying tournament for the 2008 Olympics that was played in Ciudad Juarez in Mexico. The USA opened that tournament with an 6-0 victory over Jamaica that featured goals from Carli Lloyd and Tobin Heath, along with two from Abby Wambach and one each from Heather O’Reilly and Lauren Holiday. Jamaica is trying to make history and become the first Caribbean team to qualify for a FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Defender Jadyn Matthews scored against the USA during the Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship last fall, equalizing at 1-1 late in the game, but the USA scored seconds later to take the 2-1 victory. Mathews, who hails from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., is a freshman at Cornell. Along with goalkeeper Sydney Schneider and Mathews, two other players on Jamaica’s roster – Giselle Washington and Jody Brown – played against the USA at the last Concacaf U-20 Women’s Championship.

In what can be considered a mild upset, Jamaica advanced out of Group B in second place after a 2-0 loss to Canada, followed by a 1-0 victory against Costa Rica on a goal from Khadija Shaw and a 9-0 rout of Cuba. Jody Brown scored a hat trick against Cuba with Shaw, Deneisha Blackwood from the penalty spot, Christina Chang and Marlo Sweatman adding single goals, while Sashana Campbell, who plays in Israel, scored twice. The results were good enough to eliminate Costa Rica, which needed to win by two goals heading into the match to have a chance to advance, but instead fell to Canada, 3-1, in its final group game.

Khadija Shaw, who plays at the University of Tennessee, scored the lone goal for the Reggae Girlz against Costa Rica, tallying less than 30 seconds into the second half. Jamaica, which has just one player playing domestically and four players playing in Europe, has quite a few U.S. connections. Jamaica’s goalkeeper is 5-foot-10 UNC-Wilmington sophomore Sydney Schneider, who hails from Dayton, N.J. Her grandparents were born in Jamaica and she played for Jamaica in the CONCACAF U-20 Women's Championship last November.

Jamaica has three players currently playing NCAA college soccer with almost all the post-college age players also having played college soccer in the USA. Defender Chantelle Swaby plays at Carli Lloyd’s alma mater, Rutgers University.Jamaica head coach Hue Menzies is the Executive Director for the Florida Kraze Krush based outside of Orlando and he has two players from the club on this World Cup qualifying roster.

Jamaica qualified for the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship by winning its First-Round group in the Caribbean zone qualifying over Haiti, Martinique and Guadeloupe. Jamaica went 3-0-1 in the preliminary competition, scoring 18 goals while allowing just two, both in a 2-2 draw with Haiti. Shaw scored eight of 18 goals, including six in a 13-0 romp over Guadeloupe.