Five Things to Know: JamaicaHydrated by BioSteel
Coming off a 3-0 win over Haiti to open Group A action at the 2022 Concacaf W Championship, the U.S. Women’s National Team returns to action on Thursday, July 7, taking on Jamaica at Estadio BBVA in the second game of group play. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. local / 7 p.m. ET with broadcast coverage available on Paramount+ and the ViX App.
The Reggae Girlz, who last cycle became the first Caribbean nation to qualify for a FIFA Women’s World Cup, upset hosts Mexico, 1-0, on Monday night in their first match of the Concacaf W Championship, which now serves as the region’s qualifying tournament for both the 2023 World Cup as well as the 2024 Summer Olympics.
With both nations looking to continue their winning ways and secure all-important positioning in the group standings, get ready for Thursday’s match with Five Things to Know about Jamaica.
LAST TIME OUT
Jamaica opened the Concacaf W Championship with a 1-0 victory over Mexico on Monday evening at Estadio Universitario. The Reggae Girlz took the lead in the eighth minute off a header from star striker Khadija “Bunny” Shaw, who beat her defender inside the six-yard box and redirected the set piece service from Deneisha Blackwood inside the right post.Mexico had an opportunity to equalize just eight minutes later, but a header from forward Diana Ordonez clattered off the post and back into play. Jamaica had the opportunity to double its advantage in the 35th minute after it was awarded a penalty kick after VAR confirmed a handball by Mexico in the penalty area, but the attempt by Jamaica’s Havana Solaun sailed off target. Both Ordonez and Solaun, who scored Mexico’s first and only World Cup goal, played internationally at the youth level for the United States.
Trailing 1-0 at the half, Mexico pushed for an equalizer throughout the final 45 minutes but could not find the back of the net as Jamaica held on for its first-ever win over Mexico in a Concacaf Qualifying match.
Blackwood and Rebecca Spencer, the Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper who played a fine match to earn the shutout, both received yellow cards in the match and will carry those cautions into Thursday’s meeting with the USA. Per competition rules, two yellow cards received by a player in different games will result in a one-game suspension for the following match. Single yellow cards will reset after the conclusion of the group stage.
INSIDE THE ROSTERTwelve of the 23 players on Jamaica’s roster for the 2022 Concacaf W Championship were on the 2019 team that represented Jamaica in its inaugural World Cup in 2019. Highlighting that group are Solaun, who scored Jamaica’s goal in the Reggae Girlz’ 4-1 group stage loss to Australia and Shaw, team captain and dynamic striker who now plays her club soccer for Manchester City in the FA Women’s Super League.
JAMAICA WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER BY POSITION
Goalkeepers (3): 1-Sydney Schneider (Kansas City Current, USA), 13-Rebecca Spencer (Tottenham Hotspur FC, ENG), 23-Yazmeen Jamieson (Unattached)
Defenders (5): 2-Satara Murray (Racing Louisville FC, USA), 3-Vyan Sampson (Charlton Athletic, ENG), 4-Chantelle Swaby (Rangers FC, SCO), 12-Jayda Pelaia (Arizona State, USA), 17-Allyson Swaby (Angel City FC, USA)
Midfielders (10): 5-Jade Bailey (Liverpool FC, ENG), 6-Havana Solaun Nelson (North Carolina Courage, USA), 7- Chinyelu Asher (Aik Fotboll, SWE), 9-Drew Spence (Unattached), 11-Khadija Shaw (Manchester City FC, ENG), 14-Deneisha Blackwood (Unattached), 15-Kalyssa Vanzanten (University of Notre Dame, USA), 16-Paige Bailey-Gayle (Unattached), 18- Trudi Carter (FC Gintra, LTU), 20-Atlanta Primus (London City Lionesses, ENG)
Forwards (5): 8-Kayla McCoy (Rangers FC, SCO), 10-Jody Brown (Florida State University, USA), 19- Tiernny Wiltshire (Unattached), 21-Olufolasade Adamolekun (University of Southern California, USA) 22-Mireya Grey (Unattached)
SERIES HISTORY: USA vs. JAMAICA
Thursday’s match in Monterrey will be the fifth meeting all-time between the USA and Jamaica and the fourth in a Concacaf Qualifying match. The USA has won each of the four previous meetings between the sides by shutout, the most recent of which came on June 13, 2021, during the WNT Summer Series friendlies. That match resulted in a 4-0 victory for the USA in Houston, Texas behind first-half goals from Carli Lloyd, Lindsey Horan and Midge Purce. Alex Morgan added an insurance tally in second-half stoppage time for what was her 110th career goal.
The most recent clash in Concacaf Qualifying came during the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign. when the USA defeated Jamaica, 6-0, on October 14, 2018 in Frisco, Texas. The victory, which came in the semifinal round of the tournament, qualified the Americans for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. Morgan and Tobin Heath both tallied braces in the win, and Julie Ertz and Megan Rapinoe also found the back of the net in the victory over the Reggae Girlz.
Jamaica and the USA also squared off in World Cup Qualifying in 1994 – a 10-0 victory for the Americans in Montreal, Canada – and in Olympic Qualifying in 2008, a 6-0 win for the USA in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
While Jamaica has not been a particularly common foe for the USA, many members of this Jamaica roster will be familiar to American players and fans alike. Four players – Solaun (North Carolina Courage), goalkeeper Sydney Schneider (Kansas City Current), and defenders Satara Murray (Racing Louisville FC) and Allyson Swaby (Angel City FC) – are active in the NWSL while another four players on this Jamaica roster – defender Jayda Pelaia (Arizona State), midfielder Kalyssa Vanzanten (Notre Dame) and forwards Jody Brown (Florida State) and Olufolasade Adamolekun (Southern California) – compete collegiately in the United States. Solaun also represented the USA at the 2010 Concacaf Women’s Under-17 Championship and is a club teammate of USA goalkeeper Casey Murphy with the North Carolina Courage.
Recently appointed Jamaica head coach Lorne Donaldson is also a very familiar figure in American soccer. Donaldson, who was born in Jamaica and played for the Jamaican Men’s National Team, is the Executive Director of Coaching for Real Colorado, where he coached current USWNT forwards Mallory Pugh and Sophia Smith during their youth club careers. A longtime fixture on the Colorado soccer scene, Donaldson’s first match as head coach of the Reggae Girlz was the July 4 victory over Mexico.
REGGAE GIRLZ VYING FOR RETURN TO WORLD CUP
Jamaica’s win over Mexico to start the 2022 Concacaf W Championship furthers the momentum from a historic 2018 Qualifying campaign for the Reggae Girlz. At that tournament, Jamaica finished second in Group B, bouncing back from an opening 2-0 loss to Canada to defeat Cuba, 9-0, and then topping Costa Rica, 1-0, to advance out of the group. After falling to the top-ranked USA in the semifinal, Jamaica faced Panama in the Third-Place Match with a spot in the 2019 FIFA Women’s Cup on the line. Tied 2-2 at the end of regulation and extra time, the Reggae Girlz prevailed on penalty kicks, 4-2, to become the first Caribbean nation to qualify for the Women’s World Cup. At France 2019, Jamaica competed in Group C against Brazil (3-0 loss), Italy (5-0 loss) and Australia (4-1 loss).
With an eye on getting back to the World Cup in 2023, the Reggae Girlz completed an undefeated campaign during the Concacaf W Qualifiers to win Group C. Jamaica won all four of its matches against Bermuda (4-0 win on Feb. 17), Grenada (6-1 win on Feb. 20), Cayman Islands (9-0 win on April 9) and Dominican Republic (5-1 win on April 12) to advance to the eight-team championship round. Shaw led Jamaica with nine goals in qualifying, while Brown and Jodi Carter scored five goals each.