Coming off the 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Catalonia earlier this week, Jamaica has named a 20-man squad to take on Suriname and Mexico in the CONCACAF Nations League starting on June 4.

The squad sees the return of striker Shamar Nicholson, who has made himself available after his self-imposed hiatus from the national programme, as he attempted to bed in with Spartak Moscow in Russia. The oft-injured Leon Bailey has also been recalled after spending much of the recent Premier League season on the Aston Villa injury list.

The remainder of the squad includes Andre Blake, Damion Lowe, Richard King, Javain Brown, Devon Williams, Ravel Morrison, Tyreek Magee, Leon Bailey, Rolando Aarons, Amarii Bell, Jamoi Topey, Kaheem Parris, Junior Flemmings, Jamal Lowe, Amal Knight, Atapharoy Bygrave, Daniel Green, Oquassa Chong and Kenroy Campbell.

Notably absent is West Ham’s Michail Antonio, who was among Jamaica’s leading scorers in the shambolic World Cup qualifiers.

Following the June 4 encounter, the Reggae Boyz return to Jamaica a day later before tackling Suriname at the National Stadium on June 7 at 8pm. Jamaica returns to action on June 14 when they play Mexico at the National Stadium in Kingston.

Reggae Boyz striker Shamar Nicholson was in fine form for Spartak Moscow on Wednesday, scoring a hat-trick in their 6-1 win over Kuban at the Otkritie Arena in the Round of 16 of the Russian Cup.

The former Boys Town and Charleroi striker got goals in the 20th, 62nd and 86th minutes to help Spartak advance.

Dutch international Quincy Promes also got two goals in the 6th and 17th minutes while Swedish striker Jordan Larsson, son of former Manchester United and Barcelona forward Henrik Larsson, got the other goal in the 83rd minute.

Spartak Moscow is 13-time winners of the Russian Cup, with their last triumph coming in the 2002-03 season.

Reggae Boyz striker Shamar Nicholson and central defender Allyson Swaby were named by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) as their 2021 Male and Female Player of the year, respectively, on Monday.

Nicholson, who recently completed a move from Belgian Pro League team Charleroi to Russian Premier League outfit Spartak Moscow, scored three goals in 11 appearances for the Reggae Boyz in 2021.

The former Boy’s Town attacker has been in sensational form this season scoring 13 goals in 18 games for Charleroi before making the move to Spartak.

Swaby, who captained the Reggae Girlz for the first time this year, was part of a Roma team that won their first major Women’s trophy in May by defeating AC Milan on penalties in the Copa Italia final after keeping a clean sheet.

On December 21, it was announced that Swaby would be joining National Women’s Soccer League expansion team Angel City FC following the completion of the Supercoppa Italiana this January.

Nicholson will miss the Reggae Boyz January 20, friendly with Peru in Lima but could next be in action for the Boyz on January 27 when they play Mexico in a World Cup Qualifying fixture, while Swaby's Reggae Girlz will next see action in the CONCACAF Women's Championship beginning on February 17.

 

Reggae Boyz striker Shamar Nicholson has signed a four-and-a-half deal to play with Russian Premier League Club Spartak Moscow. The deal that completes his transfer from Belgium to Russia was signed on Tuesday.

The 24-year-old Nicholson, who spent the last two seasons with Belgian club Charleroi where he scored 30 goals in 76 appearances including 13 in 18 games this season, put his signature to his new contract on Tuesday that will see him play alongside teammates Quincy Promes of the Netherlands, Argentina’s Ezequiel Ponce and Nigeria’s Victor Moses.

Nicholson has enjoyed a steady climb to the top of club football globally.

Starting out at Boys Town FC in Jamaica’s Premier League in 2014, Nicholson left for Slovenian club Domazale in 2017. In two seasons there he scored 18 goals in 47 appearances before signing with Charleroi in 2019.

Since he made his debut for the Reggae Boyz in 2017, Nicholson has scored 10 goals in 29 appearances.

 

The Jamaica Football Federation has revealed that Shamar Nicholson suffered a facial fracture during Charleroi FC’s 1-0 loss to Club Brugge in the Belgian Pro League on Sunday.

However, the player will be able to continue playing this season and in the upcoming world cup qualifiers with the use of a protective face shield.

Nicholson was forced to leave the field in the second half of the match after he was hit in the face during a violent collision with Brandon Mechele.

The striker jumped to head a ball on goal but Mechele,  the Club Brugge defender, in challenging for the ball, headed Nicholson in the jaw, rendering the Jamaican unconscious for a short time. Reports on the incident said Nicholson tried to play on after regaining consciousness but was unable to continue and was substituted.

Immediately afterwards, club officials feared Nicholson have suffered a broken jaw but were awaiting the results of additional tests. Their fears were proven valid as Reggae Boyz team manager Roy Simpson confirmed this morning that Nicholson suffered a minor fracture but will be able to continue playing this season with the use of a protective face shield.

Nicholson scored both of Jamaica’s goals in the Reggae Boyz first three World Cup qualifiers in the Octogonal round. He scored Jamaica’s only goal in Jamaica’s 2-1 loss to Mexico and scored the equalizer in a 1-1 draw against Costa Rica in San Jose.

Jamaica’s next round of qualifiers begins on October 7 against the United States. The Reggae Boyz then take on Canada on October 10 before facing Honduras on October 13.

 

Jamaica has named a stronger 23-man squad for today’s World Cup qualifier against Panama at the National Stadium in Kingston. The match time is 5:00 pm (6:00 pm ECT).

The squad includes West Ham striker Michail Antonio, Ravel Morrison and Bobby Reid, who did not play in the Reggae Boyz match against Mexico on Thursday night. Jamaica lost the match 2-1 on a 90th-minute goal from Henry Martin. Alexis Vega had put Mexico ahead in the 50th minute before Shamar Nicholson's 65th-minute strike pulled Jamaica level.

Jamaica was the only team to have lost in the opening round of the CONCACAF qualifiers and are at the bottom of the table. It makes today’s match against Panama, a crucial one.

The full squad comprises Andre Blake, Wesley Harding, Ethan Pinnock, Ravel Morrison, Alvas Powell, Liam Moore, Kemar Roofe, Oniel Fisher, Cory Burke, Bobby Reid, Shamar Nicholson, Junior Flemmings, Dillon Barnes, Javain Brown, Blair Turgott, Daniel Johnson, Michail Antonio, Lamar Walker, Adrian, Mariappa, Kemar Lawrence, Tyreek Magee, Devon Williams and Dennis Taylor.

Meanwhile, the JFF said it is pleased at the onset of the local component of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers with the first home game against Panama at the 'Office' today.

The governing body said the players will miss profoundly the fans and the positive vibes that they are accustomed to at World Cup Qualifiers in the stadium but expressed confidence that the team will perform up to expectations.

"The technical staff of the JFF has assembled a very experienced professional group of players who are committed to an entertaining display of football," the JFF said in a statement.

"The group is comprised of players who have over recent years ensured that Jamaica has maintained a top-50 position in international football, maintain its leading role in the Caribbean and a continuous respectful position in Concacaf. It now includes some players who will make their debut for the country as they also want to help Jamaica achieve the ultimate goal of qualification to another senior men's World Cup.

"The JFF has also worked assiduously with all relevant state authorities and governing football bodies to get the full approval for the hosting of the game and wishes to thank all for making this happen. We urge Jamaicans to increase their observance of the established protocols to fight the Covid -19 pandemic so that we can not only host our next game on October 10 but all remaining six home games."

 

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