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Is Jamaica about to get a whole lot better for the Hex?

Nov 17, 2012, 4:59 PM EDT

Jamaica's Rodolph Austin is challenged by Geoff Cameron of the U.S. in their 2014 World Cup qualifying soccer match in Kingston Reuters

Between the 2011 Gold Cup and their recent win over the United States, Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz have gotten pretty scary. They’ve firmly reclaimed the threat they posed while qualifying for the 1998 World Cup, and with today’s news coming from the north, the Jamaicans might be ready to get a whole lot scarier (at the expense of a CONCACAF competitor).

According to TSN’s Luke Wileman, the Jamaican federation is hoping to add two Premier League players for their Hexagonal push:


De Guzman, a midfielder for Swansea, has been a source of frustration for Canadian fans, with a will-he won’t-he vibe from the younger brother of Julian leaving some wishing he’d just go away. Eligible to play for four countries (Canada, the Netherlands, Jamaica, the Phillipines), odds are he will.

Hoillett, a 22-year-old attacker for Queens Park Rangers, hasn’t been as overt flirtatious, though he did play for Canada at youth levels. That he could turn around and play for Jamaica (after previously saying he would consider playing for England) is potentially Hargreavesian.

If one or both of these players join Jamaica, it would have a major impact on CONCACAF’s final round of qualifying. Jamaica would go from an underdog to make the World Cup to a slight favorite to finish in the top three (along with Mexico and the United States). Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama — the three nations that seemed set to tussle with Jamaica for a spot behind the big two — could be left fighting for the fourth place playoff spot.

That’s all on paper, of course. Who knows how any of these teams will play (except Mexico)? Jamaica could have trouble assimilating their new players and be left scrapping in the Hex’s bottom half. They could also get a bigger boost than anticipated and make like very interesting (and scary) for the United States.

This will definitely be a story to watch over the next two-to-three months.

  1. slxc - Nov 17, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    Jamaica does not give much of a fight, I think he will fight for the fifth and sixth in the final round: The qualifiers will be Mexico, USA, Honduras and Panama.

    • tylerbetts - Nov 17, 2012 at 10:47 PM

      I wouldn’t be quite the confident. Jamaica, without either of these two players, had 2-1 and 0-1 results against the USA. That’s going to give them serious confidence. I wouldn’t be shocked to see them get at least 4th place and the intercontinental playoff.

  2. footballer4ever - Nov 17, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    This final phase will be so tightly fought that not even Mexico will have it easy unlike the previous phase. I predict Panama will be a surprise and play spoiler for more than 1 team out there. My wish is for USA, Honduras and Panama take the first 3 spots and Jamaica take 4th spot. Mexico? Meh!!!!

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