KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC- A strong 25 man Jamaican squad was leaving here yesterday to face Panama in an all important CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying football match in Panama City today.
The squad, made up of a combination of UK, Scandinavia, USA, and home-based players, has completed two days of intensive training.
“I am happy because everybody was focused in training,” said head coach Winfried Schäfer.
“We are looking forward to the game in Panama City and everybody is aware of what they need to do.”
Schäfer said he will be employing a 3-5-2 formation when they oppose Panama in their crucial match at the Rommel Fernandez Stadium, Panama City.
“We have changed our system; we have come back to a 3-5-2 (formation) what the players played before in Jamaica because everyone plays this system before in their club in England,” said the German-born Schäfer, following Wednesday night’s final training session at the National Stadium East field.
The Jamaican squad includes controversial striker Marlon King who was lured out of retirement, discarded striker Luton Shelton as well as new faces in Leicester City captain Westley Morgan, and Reading wingback Shaun Cummings.
Goalkeeper Richard McCallum has replaced Dwayne Miller, who sustained an injury in training Wednesday night.
“I have watched our match here when we played against them and so I think our team is prepared and everybody knows what we have to do in Panama,” said Schafer.
Both teams have met on 13 occasions, with the 76th-ranked Jamaicans registering two wins while the 40th ranked Central Americans secured six draws and five defeats.
The last meeting between Jamaica and Panama ended in a 1-1 stalemate.
“We have talked to the players about what they have to do,” said Jamaica’s head coach.
“The left defender from Panama, the number four and 19 are very good on the left side and we’ve to stop these players”.
The USA lead the hexagonal play-offs on 13 points, followed by Costa Rica on 11, Mexico eight, Honduras seven, Panama six, and Jamaica lying at the bottom with a two points.
The three top finishers will advance to Brazil 2014, with the fourth place team set for a home-and-away decider with the champions from Oceania.
SQUAD: Adrian Marriappa, Alvas Powell, Chris Humphrey, Daniel Gordon, Darren Mattocks, Donovan Ricketts, Richard McCallum, Garath McLeary, Gariece McPherson, Jermaine Anderson, Jermaine Beckford, Jermaine Johnson, Jobi McAnuff, Kemar Lawrence, Lloyd Doyley, Luton Shelton, Marlon King, Marvin Elliott, O’Brian Woodbine, Rodolph Austin, Ryan Johnson, Shaun Cummings, Theo Robinson and Wes Morgan