Waterhouse and Cavalier secured spots in the Jamaica Premier League (JPL) finals after semi-final wins over Mount Pleasant and Tivoli Garden at the Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence on Wednesday.

The victories were earned in contrasting fashion, with Waterhouse coming from behind to secure a 1-1 draw with Mount Pleasant, for a 2-1 aggregate win, and Cavalier playing to a 0-0 draw with Tivoli to add to a 1-0 first-leg win.

Needing to overcome an early deficit, Mount Pleasant charged back into the tie early on the back of a fiercely struck free-kick from in-form forward Jourdaine Fletcher who found the back of the net on the 6th minute.

However, Waterhouse were back in the lead just minutes before the halftime break, with Rafiek Thomas tapping home from five yards away, three minutes into time added on.  The final will be the second consecutive for Waterhouse.

In the other game, Tivoli spurned a golden opportunity to level the tie from the penalty spot after being awarded a spot-kick in the 83rd minute.  Kemar Flemmings effort was, however, saved by Jeadean White and Devroy Grey fired the rebound, which fell to his feet, high over the crossbar.  The final will take place at the same venue, at 2:30 pm on Saturday.

 

At 34-years-old, West Indies big-hitter Kieron Pollard admits these days there is great satisfaction in showing younger players he has plenty left in the tank, despite the realization that time is slowly catching up to him.

On Monday, the West Indian captain became the first player in history to take 300 wickets and 10,000 runs in T20s, after taking two wickets and making 15 runs for Indian Premier League team Mumbai Indians.

Over an outstanding career, the all-rounder is now second behind Chris Gayle on the all-time list with 11,217 runs and 8th on the all-time bowling list in terms of wickets taken.  Perhaps fitting Gayle was among one of the wickets he claimed on the way to the special milestone.  While proud of what he has accomplished in the sport, the dynamic player is keenly aware of a new generation of cricketers eager to make their own mark on the sport.

“Age is catching up with me because (there are) young guys in the dressing room, so I have to continue to show them that, ‘listen, I still got it,” Pollard said after the game.

“So, most of the time, it’s just to show these young guys what I can do,” he added.

“For me, you are just supposed to do what the team requires. As an individual, I know what I can do in all the facets of the game, and whenever I get the opportunity just try to do my best.”

The Jamaica men’s team will replace South Africa for the Sunshine Girls upcoming tri-nation series, which will also include Trinidad and Tobago.

Originally the three teams were expected to part in the series, which was scheduled to begin on October 9th.  The fixture opponents have, however, been modified after South Africa pulled out of the series due to countries rising number of Covid-19 cases. 

With short notice to find a replacement, the decision was made to employ the assistance of the country’s male team.  The dates for the fixtures have now also been moved forward, with the opening game of the tri-series now expected to be on the 14th.

The Jamaicans ranked fourth in the world, are expected to play against in a three-match series dubbed the ‘Vitality Roses Reunited’ set for London, in September.  Many of netball’s top teams will be looking to step up their preparations with the Commonwealth Games set to take part in Birmingham, England next year.  The Jamaican team has not played in international competitions since the World Netball Cup in 2020.

 

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz have been hit by another injury ahead of next month’s round of World Cup qualifiers with forward Cory Burke ruled out of the matches.

The 29-year-old player was a hardworking physical presence at the top of the line-up for the team in the first three fixtures of the final round, against Mexico, Panama, and Costa Rica.

The player, however, went down with an injury during a recent training session and while it was hoped that he would have not missed more than a few days, the prognosis puts the striker’s recovery period at six weeks.

The Jamaican national team will resume competed in the qualifiers with a match away to the United States on October 7th.   The other two matches for the round will include a home game against Canada three days later and end with an away trip to Honduras.

The team has been hit by bad injury news in recent weeks with forward Shamar Nicholson also a doubt for the round after suffering a broken jaw.  Winger Leon Bailey will also not be available after suffering a thigh injury while in action for Aston Villa.  Reading’s Liam Moore is also likely to be unavailable after spending a few weeks on the sidelines after also sustaining an ankle injury.

Cedella Marley, CEO of the Bob Marley Group of companies) currently in her seventh year as Global Ambassador for the Jamaica Women’s Football Programme, is now expanding her advocacy and commitment to the women’s game.

Her new Football is Freedom Initiative will provide tools and resources for the development and growth of women’s football throughout the Caribbean and Latin America as well as diaspora communities in the United States.

“In the process of my role as ambassador, I have taken note of the crucial role that football can play in empowering young women; through opportunities for education and professional advancement - both on and off the pitch,” Marley said.

“Through the Football is Freedom Initiative we can expand our efforts to other countries in the region and eventually beyond.”

The core mission of FIF is to support the development of women’s football at the grass-roots level in the region by funding existing programs and academies in the islands and in diaspora communities in Canada and the United States, supporting the growth and development of national teams by staging an annual exhibition match and mini-tournament to provide a quality training experience and raise funds that will go directly into the women’s programs of the participating federations as well as invest in the holistic wellness of the players by funding scholarships and programs that assist players with skill sets and tools to help them succeed outside of football once that time comes.

The launch of Football Is Freedom centres around an international friendly fundraising match between the national women’s teams of Jamaica and Costa Rica. In addition to helping fund the new initiative, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to each national team.

Marley is particularly pleased that Costa Rica will join Jamaica on the pitch at DRV PNK Stadium.

“In 2014, I was honoured to attend the FIFA U-17 WWC finals in Costa Rica (as the guest of the late Capt. Horace Burrell). The Costa Rican federation's investment in women's football has helped to inspire my own ideas about the impact that the women’s game could have once given the proper support. Having two of our strongest female teams come together like this is a chance to demonstrate the potential depth and power of women’s football in this region,” she said.

The Reggae Girlz and Las Sele both arrive in South Florida on October 18 for a week of training and a two-game series. In adherence to FIFA- mandated COVID protocols, the delegations will be housed in protective isolation during the camp. The first match will be a closed-door scrimmage, and the finale will be a fundraising match open to the public. The camp is the result of a combined effort by the Bob Marley Foundation, Rita Marley Foundation, and Reggae Girlz Foundation.

The match is being presented by Cedella Marley in association with Black Tower Agency.

Costa Rican and Jamaican Federations expressed the importance of the upcoming camp and the initiative itself to women’s football in the region.

“For the Costa Rican Football Federation it is a true pleasure to be able to participate in the first edition of the "Football is freedom" Festival. From a sporting perspective, the fact that our female players can compete with a team of such high calibre as the Jamaican team is immensely important,” said Gustavo Araya, FEDEFUTBOL General Secretary.

“And of course, getting the chance to participate in the beginnings of what this foundation is going to do makes us proud. The first edition of this festival, set to be held in Florida, will be of utmost importance for our players as they look ahead to the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. We will also use this opportunity to show how a foundation like this can impact young girls and get them excited about sports.”

Meanwhile, JFF President Michael Ricketts commended Marley for the initiative that he said will prove to be invaluable.

“I would like to wholeheartedly commend and congratulate our Reggae Girlz Ambassador Cedella Marley and her team. “Football is Freedom” can only help to broaden the interest and quicken the expansion of women’s football in Jamaica and the wider region,” he said.

“We are particularly proud that the initiative is being launched around a camp and an international Friendly game involving the Reggae Girlz. This will serve as invaluable preparation for their World Cup Qualifiers which begin in November. The Jamaica Football Federation stands ready to offer whatever assistance necessary to ensure the success of this venture and we look forward to participating vibrantly going forward.

“On behalf of every aspiring female footballer throughout Jamaica, I wish this progressive vision every

success.”

In addition to the main event, Sunday’s festivities will include a pre-game kickoff party and fan zone experience with games, entertainment, and food trucks as well as a community marketplace showcasing small businesses and organizations from the South Florida diaspora communities.

There is also a musical halftime performance.

The event will also be sponsored by Visit Fort Lauderdale, KICS International, Bob Marley Foundation, and Riddims Marketing.

Tickets will be available through Ticketmaster beginning October 6th. For information about group ticket purchases please contact the production office directly via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

For vendor/food truck information please contact Riddims Marketing (954) 251-1643.

Further details about the event and the initiative are available in the Football Is Freedom app which

can be downloaded in the Google Play and I Tunes stores October 6th

.

Former Cricket West Indies head of corporate communications and Director of Communications for Guyana’s chief opposition party, Imran Khan, has died after a brief battle brought about by Covid-19 complications.

Khan who worked for several years with regional cricket’s governing body, formerly known as the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), had spent the last 8 days in the intensive care unit before going into respiratory failure on Tuesday.

At the time of his death, Khan, who was 43, worked for the Alliance For Change (AFC) as head of their communications unit. During the coalition APNU+AFC’s time in office from 2015 to 2020, he also sat on several State Boards including that of the National Communications Network (NCN).

On Sunday Khan had expressed thanks for the outpouring of support he had received and vowed to keep fighting.

“Thank you for all your love, prayers, messages of encouragement, and support. I am overwhelmed beyond explanation and I am in excellent spirits…Please be assured that I am fighting and there is no giving up. One Love,” he wrote.

According to numerous reports, the communications expert was not vaccinated and did not have any underlying disease.  Khan’s wife, Tammy,  an attorney, later also tested positive for the disease and was admitted in the ICU but was discharged on Monday.

FC Cincinnati have announced they have sacked head coach Jaap Stam.

The former Manchester United and Netherlands defender departs with Cincinnati second bottom in the Eastern Conference after just four wins from 25 games.

Tyrone Marshall, who is head coach of the Under-19 team, takes over on an interim basis while a permanent replacement is sought.

Stam joined the club in May 2020 and presided over 47 games with the MLS club, but won just eight, drawing 13 and losing 26.

The team's poor form forced club president Jeff Berding to take action, with Stam followed out of the door by assistant coaches Said Bakkati and Yoann Damet.

"During our nearly two-month process to identify the next general manager for FC Cincinnati, it was apparent that a head coach change was necessary. Therefore, after a great deal of deliberation, the club has made the decision to now move to the future with Jaap no longer serving as head coach," Berding said. 

"We believe a change in leadership is in the best interest of the club at this time, and a new general manager will lead the search for a new head coach. We thank Jaap for everything he has done for FC Cincinnati during his time here, and we wish him the best as he can now head home to be with his family."

Berding also had words of support for former Jamaica international Marshall, who joined the club this year from Real Salt Lake.

"Tyrone has been a valuable addition to our coaching staff since he arrived earlier this year with plans to be the future coach of our MLS2 team," said Berding. 

"He has shown his coaching ability and leadership qualities, and he is the right person to inject new energy into the locker room and help our squad finish 2021 strong with an eye to the future."

West Indies Women Head Coach Courtney Walsh was impressed by the young bowlers, Qiana Joseph and Sheneta Grimmond, who performed well in the recent series against South Africa but insists that there is a need for greater levels of consistency from them.

Joseph, the 20-year-old left-arm spinner from St Lucia, was the leading wicket-taker for the West Indies Women with five wickets in the four ODI matches she played at an average of 19.40 and economy rate of 3.38.

Speaking to the media late last week, Walsh lauded Joseph’s performance during the series.

“Obviously, Qiana has played before but it’s the first time we were looking at her to play the role she did and she did it in both competitions; very, very satisfying,” Walsh said.

“We haven’t had a left-arm spinner for quite some time, most teams struggle against that or have that in their set up, so from a coaching perspective, it was something I had been very keen to have a look at and she has answered the right questions.

“She did well, it was very satisfying with her performance and how she went about it so it is definitely something to work on to give us those options with the bowling.”

Grimmond, the 23-year-old right-arm off-break bowler from Guyana, played in just two matches in the ODI series but four wickets at an average of 13.00 and an economy of 3.66.

“Grimmond came into the last two games and did well in the last game from a bowling perspective, so that is also another good question answered,” he said while also singling out Trinidadian Karishma Ramharack for praise on the strength of her best bowling figures of 3-8 in the T20 series.

“Ramharack did well in the T20 in the game she played and won Player of the Match, so these are some of the positive signs, what is lacking is the consistency and that is what we have to work on and which we will keep working on,” Walsh said.

“We want them to execute more consistently and once that is happening then it will give us more chances of winning games.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seattle Sounders beat Sporting Kansas City 2-1 to reclaim top spot in the Western Conference in MLS on Sunday.

Cristian Roldan and Will Bruin scored to lift the Sounders to the summit in the west, leapfrogging hosts Sporting KC.

Sporting KC were on a three-game winning streak against Seattle – the longest active winning run against the Sounders as no team had won four in a row versus the franchise since San Jose Earthquakes in 2012-13.

But Seattle ended that skid against Sporting KC – Roldan opened the scoring in the 31st minute at Children's Mercy Park, where the Sounders star got on the end of Brad Smith's cross.

Bruin doubled the lead against the run of play 10 minutes into the second half after heading home at the far post.

Entering the fixture, the Sounders conceded an MLS-low 20 goals this season, with opponents scoring with just 7.2 per cent of their shots, also lowest in the league. Seattle had also outperformed their expected goals against by 8.1 this season (20 conceded, 28.1 expected).

The Sounders were breached by Johnny Russell on the hour mark, but Seattle held on for victory to sit two points clear of Sporting KC in the west.

Elsewhere, Austin – bottom of the Western Conference – stunned fifth-placed LA Galaxy 2-0, while Chicago Fire held second-placed Nashville to a 0-0 draw in the east.

West Indies Women Head Coach Courtney Walsh believes middle-order batter Rashada Williams is on the verge of breaking into the first team following her outstanding series against South Africa.

For a record third year in a row, Jamaica’s standout shooter Jhaniele Fowler has been voted MVP of the West Coast Fever franchise of the Suncorp Super Netball League. She is now also the first winner of the Stacey Marinkovich Medal.

The MVP Award was renamed the Stacey Marinkovich Medal this season to honour the former captain and coach’s legacy at the club, which included being appointed inaugural captain and coaching 104 games, including two Grand Finals.

Fowler won the Stacey Marinkovich Medal with 55 votes ahead of captain Courtney Bruce with 35 votes and rising star Sunday Aryang with 21 votes.

“I am very grateful for all that this team has invested in me as a person and as a player and always believing in me, year in, year out,” said Fowler, who topped the scoring this past season with 883 goals at 96 per cent accuracy.

 “Since I’ve been here in 2018, I’ve only wanted to do my best by this club to perform my best.

“I’m so much more mature in my game and in my personal life since I’ve been here and I’m very grateful for that. This wouldn’t have been possible without my amazing teammates so I’m very thankful to them too.”

In her four seasons in Super Netball, Fowler has scored 3455 goals for the Fever. Her 57 offensive rebounds were second overall and she was the Nissan Net Points leader board with a total of 1611 points.

The towering Jamaican recently signed for two more years with the Fever.

Portland Timbers continued their impressive form with a 6-1 demolition of Real Salt Lake in MLS, while Philadelphia Union edged Atlanta United.

Sibling pair Diego and Yimmi Chara were among the goals as the Timbers – unbeaten in six matches – eased past RSL at Providence Park on Saturday.

Felipe Mora, Dairon Asprilla, Jaroslaw Niezgoda and Cristhian Paredes also scored for the Timbers, who have netted in 16 consecutive matches against RSL (including play-offs) – the second longest streak against any opponent in their history, behind the 17 straight versus Dallas from August 2012 to March 2018.

The Timbers led 2-1 at half-time before putting RSL to the sword in the second period to match their six-game unbeaten streak from September-October last season.

Portland are fourth in the Western Conference, six points behind leaders Sporting Kansas City, while RSL occupy the seventh and final play-off position in the west.

Los Angeles FC are three points outside the top seven following their 2-0 defeat to San Jose Earthquakes, while Vancouver Whitecaps are also on 33 points after topping Dallas 1-0.

The Union defeated Atlanta 1-0 thanks to Kacper Przybylko's goal with less than 20 minutes remaining.

Back-to-back wins sent Philadelphia up to fourth in the Eastern Conference as Atlanta's three-game winning streak came to an end to leave them eighth in the east and outside the post-season positions.

In other results, Supporters' Shield leaders New England Revolution were 2-1 winners over Orlando City.

The Revolution extended their MLS single-season record for wins by one-goal margins to 16. Nine of New England's last 10 MLS victories have come by a one-goal margin.

It continued Orlando's misery against New England – the team have never won at the Revolution (D1 L5), the only side they have visited more than three times without recording a victory in MLS play.

DC United prevailed 4-2 against FC Cincinnati, New York Red Bulls overcame rivals New York City 1-0, defending champions Columbus Crew won 2-1 against Montreal, Houston Dynamo lost 2-0 to Minnesota United, while Colorado Rapids and Toronto played out a 0-0 draw.

Cavalier and Waterhouse will take 1-0 advantages to the second legs of the Jamaica Premier League (JPL) playoffs after narrow wins in their first leg matches, at the Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence, on Saturday.

With the game seemingly drifting towards a scoreless draw, Colin Anderson left entered the field of play to make a telling impact.  Just 30 seconds after replacing Shaniel Thomas, Anderson was played through on goal by Nickache Murray and sprinted onto the brilliant through ball to round Tivoli goalkeeper Kewong Watkins and slot into an empty net to give Cavalier a precious first-leg lead.

The second match between Waterhouse and Mount Pleasant was a similarly cagey affair with both sides crafting good opportunities to take the lead.  It was Waterhouse who took one late on, however, when Shaquille Bradford was set up by Kymani Campbell.  The angle was a difficult one but his fierce shot managed to creep through the legs of goalkeeper Shaven Paul at his near post, in the 79th minute.  Paul will, however, be slightly disappointed having been up to what would have been considered by many to be more difficult efforts throughout the match.

The teams will meet at the same venue on Wednesday for the second leg starting at 2:30pm.

MVP head coach, Stephen Francis, is content to take a wait-and-see approach when it comes to reports that track star Elaine Thompson-Herah could be planning to leave the club.

According to reports earlier this week, the double Olympic champion had submitted a letter to the club that stated her intentions to sever ties ahead of the new season.  Later in the week, however, the athlete denied the reports suggesting that they may have arisen out of her not starting training as yet.

The athlete is, however, not back due in training as yet and Francis insists that while he is not jumping to conclusions the future remains uncertain.

“From my perspective, we start back training sometime in October, the 18th or 19th…and my philosophy, as usual, is to see who turns up,” Francis told Jamaica television station TVJ.

“What my experience tells me is that sometimes athletes, in general, especially those that come from a lower expectation level.  In other words, not much was expected from them, they are usually unable to separate themselves from people who hop on to their bandwagon,” he added.

The 29-year-old is coming off her best season to date.  Thompson-Herah successfully defended both the 100m and 200m title at the Olympics and joined with former MVP athlete Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Shericka Jackson, and Briana Williams to win the 4x100m relays.  The sprinter later went on to record a blistering time just outside Florence Griffith-Joyner’s longstanding 100m record.

The MVP track club is no stranger to athletes leaving the club at the peak of their career with Fraser-Pryce and Melanie Walker also having secured moves away after years of success.

 

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