KINGSTON, JAMAICA – The Jamaica men’s national team is ready to kick off the Concacaf Gold Cup in front of its people as it welcomes Honduras at the Independence Park Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica on Monday night.
The Reggae Boyz finished second at the previous two editions but are managing expectations and focused solely on getting a win in their group opener.
GK Andre Blake shares no resentment for the heartbreaking fashion in which he left the 2017 final due to a hand injury and says Jamaica just want to put its best foot forward.
“It’s always good when you can get to the finals two times in a row, but we haven’t won anything yet” said Blake. “We just have to go out there and understand that there’s no pressure. I think both times that we got to the finals, not a lot people believed in us. We were pretty much the underdogs and I don’t mind if it stays that way.”
Jamaica and Honduras face off for a fifth occasion at the Gold Cup and the 24th time overall. Each side has two wins with Jamaica taking the latest encounter in the 2011 edition.
The teams aren’t the only ones with history, but also the players themselves. Blake will face off against a few familiar foes from Major League Soccer in Honduras attacking duo Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto.
“Two very good players, I know they’re very fast,” said Blake. “It’s not going to be easy to defend them. As professionals, we have to look forward to players like those in games like these so I think the guys will be ready.”
To add to the occasion, this encounter will be part of Jamaica taking part in hosting the Gold Cup. Blake and his teammates will hope the support of the home fans will propel them to victory.
“It is a big moment for Jamaica in the Gold Cup,” said Blake. “We’re just looking forward to going out there and giving a very good team performance.”