After beating world number three ranked Chile 2-1 in their most recent warm-up match, Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz are in high spirits as they get ready for the start of the Copa America Centenario.
The Boyz are drawn alongside Mexico, Uruguay and Venezuela in Group C, and bow into action on Sunday, June 5 in Chicago.
Though considered to have an outside chance of getting out of the group stage, the team that beat defending Copa America champions Chile will be further strengthened with the arrival of captain Rudolph Austin, goalkeeper Andre Blake, forward Simon Dawkins and defender Wes Morgan.
Despite losing all three of their matches in the 2015 Copa America by 1-0 margins, the Boyz certainly did not disgrace themselves and subsequently made it to the finals of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Coach Winfried Schaefer who guided the team to the Gold Cup finals, noted that spirits are high in the camp, and he fully expects the team to do well.
The Boyz are currently in training camp in Miami as they prepare for the Copa. On paper, they match up well with Venezuela, and should they maintain the tactical discipline evident against Chile, should prove a handful for the Venezuelans.
For the Copa America Centenario, the 10 teams from CONMEBOL will be joined by six teams from CONCACAF. Jamaica, the Caribbean Cup champions, Costa Rica, winners of the Copa Centroamericano, and Mexico and the United States, who are perennial Gold Cup winners, are among the specially invited teams.
Haiti and Panama will also participate after qualifying through the play-offs.
This year marks the first time that the tournament will be held outside of South America. The tournament commences on June 3, with hosts United States facing Colombia.
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