Jamaica head coach Theodore Whitmore, who guided the Reggae Boyz to the Gold Cup final in 2017, will be eyeing up another surge in the competition, while Suriname are making their debut and their first appearance in a CONCACAF tournament since 1985.
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Jamaica vs Suriname build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Having never previously won the Gold Cup, Jamaica reached successive finals in 2015 and 2017, the latter of which was under current manager Whitmore, who also masterminded a route to the semi-finals two years ago, and he will be determined to make a splash in the competition once again.
As for Suriname, this is their debut appearance in the competition, but they are certainly not a side to be underestimated. In head coach Dean Gorre, they have a manager who plied his trade at some of Europe’s top clubs during his playing days, including Ajax and Feyenoord, so he will certainly understand the pressures of tournament football.
Jamaica (vs Serbia): Taylor; Fisher, Harding, Mariappa, Moore, Bell; Williams, Lowe, East, Turgott; Gray.
Suriname (vs Canada): Hahn; Leerdam, Donk, Pinas, Haps; Koolwijk, Malone, Chery; Becker, Biseswar, Hasselbaink.
There are a few notable names in the Jamaica squad, including Bayer Leverkusen’s wily winger Leon Bailey, the mercurial Ravel Morrison, who is currently without a club, veteran defender Adrian Mariappa, Bobby Decordova-Reid of Fulham and club team-mate Michael Hector. Suriname meanwhile boast 35-year-old captain Ryan Donk, formerly of West Brom, Galatasaray and Real Betis, as well as Sean Klaiber of Ajax, Rotherham’s Florian Jozefzoon and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s nephew, Nigel Hasselbaink.
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Player to watch: Leon Bailey (Jamaica)
Not for a while have Jamaica had the level of elite talent in Leon Bailey’s bracket. The 23-year-old is simply a sensation and unquestionably Whitmore’s most potent and lethal attacking option. For Bayer Leverkusen, Bailey is a joy to watch, combining rapid movement with an uncanny close control and a tangible end product, having had a direct hand in 17 Bundesliga goals across 2020/21 (nine goals, eight assists). He ranked second each for goals and assists last term for the German club, finishing level on goals with Euro 2020’s top scorer and club team-mate Patrik Schick, while he also completed the most take-ons (74), underpinning his creativity, menace and ferocity on the ball.