The Reggae Boyz, Jamaica’s national football team will be competing against the U.S. in a CONCACAF qualifying match for the 2006 World Cup on Wednesday, August 18, at the National Stadium in Kingston.ÊJamaica has never beaten the U.S. at football but is determined to mount a formidable challenge in order to vie for one of the three prestigious CONCACAF spots to qualify for the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany.ÊMembers of Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz, based in the U.S. and Europe, began arriving this weekend to join their Jamaican-based teammates to participate in preparations for the match, which will be televised live on Wednesday night at 7:00 PM (EST) on ESPN2.Ê Head coach, Sebastio Lazaroni, and technical director Carl Brown have scheduled two days of training that will concentrate on the team’s tactical and mental approach.
The game is a highly anticipated event, as the entire country of Jamaica rallies around the Reggae Boyz in a show of national pride as they face their daunting challenge.
“Sport has long been an integral element of our tourism marketing efforts because there is a dynamic link between the two,” commented David Shields, Deputy Director of Tourism for the Jamaica Tourist Board.Ê“Our athletes are some of our finest envoys to the world, who, through their sport, embody the spirit of Jamaica.”
This fact was most prominently exemplified by the Jamaican Bobsleigh team, which captured the hearts and minds of the world during their pursuit of Olympic glory back in 1988.ÊMore recently, the Reggae Boyz have gained global support and become ambassadors of the Jamaican culture as they’ve traveled the world, competing against the best, and will have the full support of the Jamaica Tourist Board on their ‘Journey to Germany.’
Jamaica entered its first World Cup tournament in 1966 and has been on a quest for a title ever since.ÊIn 1998, Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz became the first English-speaking Caribbean team to make it to the World Cup finals, which were played that year in France.
Wednesday’s match is an important milestone on their path to returning to the finals, and the Reggae Boyz are primed to continue the honored tradition of Jamaican football.