News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Feb. 2, 2017: Here are the stories making headlines in sports from the Caribbean and its Diaspora for this week.
CARIBBEAN IN THE SUPER BOWL
Caribbean football fans tuning in to the Super Bowl this Sunday, Feb. 5th, will get a chance to cheer on one of their own. Kingston, Jamaica-born NFL player, Patrick Chung, returns to another Super Bowl, sporting the New England Patriots uniform.
Chung told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Zolak & Bertrand at Super Bowl Opening Night this week, that the Patriots defense is well aware of the massive challenge ahead against the Atlanta Falcons’ offense.
“People are going to talk. They can say whatever the hell they want to say,” said Chung. “We’re here for a reason. We’re going to finish this game out. It really doesn’t mean anything until we win this game or play our best. People can say what they want to say.”
Still the Jamaican knows “this is the biggest game, period.”
“It’s the two best teams playing in the biggest game of the year … it’s go time,” he added.
See related story on Chung here.
WEST INDIES CRICKET
Twenty-eight-year-old West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell has been slapped with a one-year ban. The reason? He failed to make his whereabouts known on three separate occasions in 2015 to anti-doping testers. That amounts to a failed drug test under World Anti-Doping Agency rules. Russell’s suspension kicked in on Jan. 31, 2017.
Meanwhile, in other Windies cricket news, the West Indies Cricket Team has a new coach.
Former Australian batsman Stuart Law has been appointed to the post. He replaces Phil Simmons who was sacked last September on disciplinary grounds. Law, the WICB said in a media release, will start his new job from February 15th and his contract is for two years. Law is the third Australian to be named as a West Indies’ head coach.
World’s Olympic legend, Usain Bolt, has broken his silence on what it means to lose one of his nine gold medals on the heels of an International Olympic Committee ruling that teammate in the 4×100-m Beijing 2008 race, Nesta Carter, failed a drug re-test.
Speaking to reporters at Melbourne Airport in Australia this week, where he is ahead of the Nitro Athletics series, Bolt revealed he was initially disappointed but he is not sad.
“Initially (I was) disappointed, of course,” Bolt said. “But in life, things happen. I’m not sad… I’m just waiting to see what’s going to happen. But I gave up my medal.”
Bolt will lead an international team of ‘All Stars’ including Asafa Powell, in the Nitro Athletics series in Melbourne against four other teams representing England, China, New Zealand and Japan.
The first meet starts tomorrow, February 4th, with the other two on February 9th and 11th.
Carter, meanwhile, has said he will appeal the reanalysis of his sample.
Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz will face the US Men’s Major League Soccer squad in an international friendly tonight at the Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, Tenn. Match kick-off time is 7 p.m. EST. The friendly will be the final opportunity for US players to impress manager Bruce Arena ahead of the crucial World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and at Panama in March.
Catch the match on FS1 or UniMas.
There’s plenty of history between the US and Jamaica, with the Americans holding a 13-2-8 record against the Reggae Boyz in 23 matches going back to 1988. The Reggae Boyz is out of the running in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying this year, but they still have plenty to play for in 2017. Jamaica is prepping for this June’s 2017 Caribbean Cup, where they’ll look to defend their title against French Guiana, Curacao and Martinique. That tournament will be closely followed by the Gold Cup in July, where they’ll look to repeat their surprise 2015 run.
Like the US, Jamaica don’t have any of their European-based players available for today’s match so they’ll lean heavily seven players from the league – Andre Blake, Oneil Fisher, Omar Holness, Kemar Lawrence, Alvas Powell, Je-Vaughn Watson and Romario Williams – included on Theodore “Tappa” Whitmore’s 20-man traveling roster.
GOALKEEPERS (3): David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls)
DEFENDERS (8): DaMarcus Beasley (Unattached), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Greg Garza (Atlanta United FC), Chad Marshall (Seattle Sounders FC), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna | MEX), Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Chris Pontius (Philadelphia Union)
FORWARDS (3): Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC)
Allowed to leave camp following Serbia match: Jermaine Jones (LA Galaxy), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls)
GOALKEEPERS (2): Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union), Ryan Thompson (St. Louis FC)
DEFENDERS (7): Sergio Campbell (Unattached), Oneil Fisher (Seattle Sounders), Rosario Harriott (Harbour View), Kemar Lawrence (New York Red Bulls), Damion Lowe (Tampa Bay Rowdies), Alvas Powell (Portland Timbers), Ladale Richie (Montego Bay United)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Dwayne Ambusley (Montego Bay United), Michael Binns (Portmore United), Ewan Grandison (Portmore United), Omar Holness (Real Salt Lake), Kevon Lambert (Montego Bay United), Je-Vaughn Watson (New England Revolution)
FORWARDS (5): Cory Burke (Bethlehem Steel FC), Jourdain Fletcher (Montego Bay United), Owayne Gordon (Montego Bay United), Shamar Nicholson (Boys’ Town), Romario Williams (Atlanta United FC)