Accomplished magazine featuring Thierry
Jamaica Hex Projection
While the play of the Jamaica Reggae Boyz at the 2014
World Cup Brazil has wavered, my opinion on their
chances has not. I maintained that home field and a
revamped offense was their way to success. This was
apparent after watching the Caribbean Championship in
Antigua where it was obvious to me that the Reggae Boyz
offensive strategies needed fine tuning; It seemed like
the only logical explanation after watching
Jamaica under coach Theodore "Tappa" Whitmore with such
talented players (compared to the opposition) was sent
packing at the group stage of the CFU tournament with
only one goal scored and a winless (0-2-1) record.
Little did I know that Jamaica’s scoring problem
would have resurfaced at the semi-final round of the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers (WCQ)
where the Reggae Boyz did
advance to the final (Hexagonal’) round, but that was
after approaching the last group match of the round
trailing both USA and Guatemala, on points and on goal
difference. Luckily, the Reggae Boyz was the beneficiary
of a USA victory against Guatemala while all the other
chips fell in place.
As the last Caribbean hope in the Hexagonal (final)
round, the Boyz had delivered on home field to that
point, so a revamped offensive should have been the main
concern of coach Whitmore to put teams away.
Understandably, Jamaica scoring problem was masked when
the Reggae Boyz opened the Hex' with a well-deserved
historic 0-0 draw at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico and
the hype attract an expected sold out crowd for the next
game against Panama in Kingston. But the hype and
momentum did not transformed into goals before a sold
out crowd at the “Office” in Kingston.
The Reggae Boyz took an early lead but Panama equalized
and took over the play for a 1-1 final score. Jamaica
has since scored just one goal in four matches and is
the first team in the 2014 Hex’ to lose at home; not
once, but twice. After a (third consecutive) 2-0 loss in
Honduras, Coach Whitmore did the honourable thing and
The JFF in its wisdom, hired the ever
experienced German Winfried 'Winnie' Schafer as head
coach of the Reggae Boyz. Vin Blaine, head of the
Jamaica women’s program, was named as Schafer’s
assistant for the remainder of the 2014 campaign.
Surprisingly, Schafer has made it clear that he was not
in Jamaica to change the style of play, but more to
change the mentality of the players. But, I think that
he will soon discover that he will have to change the
Reggae Boyz style of play somewhat, in order to produce
the goals needed to win games.
It is no secret that Jamaica has to win its four
remaining games to stand any realistic chance for a top
four finish. The Boyz is in last place in the six-team
standings with just two points and two goals scored. My
hunch is that we may see (as per the 2010 W-C campaign)
the Reggae Boyz play a wide open style to end their 2014
campaign on a positive note. But the million dollar
question is, will it also be too little, too late?
For the complexion of the race to change from its
present state into Jamaica's favour, more teams will
have to lose at
Pick up SSR Magazine Vol. 9 called ‘Accomplished’ from
www.ssrmagazine.com and read what Whitmore and some of
the Reggae Boyz’ had to say about their Hex’perience
before the September break.
Vol 9 Accomplished (Thierry Henry)
Produced by Aldwyn McGill
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