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The Reggae Girlz.
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By NAN Sports Editor

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. June 7, 2018: Here are the top stories making Caribbean sports news for the week ending, June 7, 2019:

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FIFA WORLD CUP – Meet The Reggae Girlz Team Facing Brazil Sunday In Grenoble

Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz will have their first challenge of the 2019 Women’s World Cup tourney as they take on Brazil on Sunday, June 9th at the Stade des Alpes, Grenoble. The match time is 9:30 a.m. ET (8:30 a.m. Jamaica time) and can be seen on FS1

Jamaicans and Caribbean soccer fans globally are pumped to see the underdog team compete in their first ever World Cup, ranked at 53rd globally.

They will then have to face Italy at Stade Auguste-Delaune, Reims on June 14th and Australia on June 18th. It will be a tough challenge for the team which is making its maiden appearance at the Cup.

Florida-based coach Hue Menzies volunteered his services for a while to help the team achieve its milestone.

The full team includes:

Captain – Konya Plummer, #5

Captaining the national team at the age of 21 tells you everything you need to know about Plummer. Blessed with leadership skills, the centre-back started all five games during Jamaica’s run to third place at the Concacaf Women’s Championship, helping make history as the first Caribbean nation to qualify for the Women’s World Cup.

Goalkeeper – Syndney Schneider, #1

After a successful freshman season with the UNC Wilmington Seahawks and experience with multiple Jamaica youth national teams, goalkeeper Schneider’s moment arrived during the Concacaf Women’s Championship when she put in a player-of-the-match performance in a 1-0 win over Costa Rica. The tall keeper may only be 19, but that didn’t stop head coach Hue Menzies from starting her in four of their five matches at the Concacaf Women’s Championship.

Cheyna Matthews

Nicole McClure, #13

One of Jamaica’s heroes during their run to World Cup qualification, McClure was brought on to replace Sydney Schneider in goal for a do-or-die penalty shootout against Panama. With a spot at France 2019 at stake, the 29-year-old made two saves to earn her country third place at the Concacaf Women’s Championship and qualify for their first Women’s World Cup.

Yazmeen Jamieson, #23

Born in Toronto to a Jamaican father and Grenadian mother, Jamieson’s journey to joining the ranks of the Reggae Girlz began with an unexpected tryout while visiting the country in 2013. Now that journey continues on the world’s stage for the 21-year-old shot-stopper, who recently joined New Zealand’s Papakura City FC.

Chanel Hudson-Marks, #3

Brought in by head coach Hue Menzies for Jamaica’s January 2019 camp, Hudson-Marks earned her senior debut against Chile on 28 February. The agile 21-year-old wing player’s ability to stretch the field often opens up space for her team-mates. Speed runs in the family, too; Usain Bolt is one of Hudson-Marks’ cousins.

Marlo Sweatman, #9

Sweatman, 24, played in all five matches during Jamaica’s historic third-place finish at the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship. A complete player with playmaking abilities at the base of the Reggae Girlz’s midfield, Sweatman’s football journey has taken her from Oregon to the Netherlands and to Hungary.

“Den-Den” Blackwood, #14

“Den-Den” Blackwood made her senior debut for the Reggae Girlz during their qualifiers for the Concacaf Women’s Championship in 2018. The 22-year-old forward had an instant impact, scoring two goals in qualification matches to help her side reach the regional competition that would eventually seal a first-ever World Cup berth.

Dominique Bond-Flasza, #16

Bond-Flasza, 22, will always be known for scoring the winning penalty kick that sent Jamaica to their first-ever Women’s World Cup. Born in New York to a Polish father and a Jamaican mother in 1996, the well-travelled Bond-Flasza, who primarily plays as a right back, played a key role in the Reggae Girlz’s qualification journey.

Lauren Silver, #2

A versatile player that head coach Hue Menzies can rely on to perform in multiple positions, Silver can play as a holding or central midfielder and at full-back. The 26-year-old was a crucial member of the side that helped Jamaica qualify for their first-ever Women’s World Cup, playing in three matches at the Concacaf Women’s Championship in their run to finishing with the bronze medal.

Allyson Swaby, #17

Forming an important partnership with captain Konya Plummer at the heart of the Jamaican backline, Swaby played a key role throughout the Reggae Girlz’s historic Concacaf Women’s Championship 2018 campaign. The 22-year-old added a new piece to her football development with a move to Roma in Italy’s top division, and will be joined at France 2019 by her younger sister Chantelle.

Toriana Patterson, #19

You can bet on the fact that Patterson will have an extra eye on Jamaica’s Group C match against Italy as the centre-back has club experience with Bari. The 25-year-old, New York-born Patterson made one start and a couple of substitute appearances during Jamaica’s historic run to third place at the Concacaf Women’s Championship.

Chantelle Swaby, #4

Once part of USA’s youth set-up, Swaby, 20, is a Connecticut-born defender and midfielder who just completed her junior season at Rutgers University, where she helped the Scarlet Knights reach the NCAA tournament. Her older sister, Allyson, will also represent Jamaica on the backline at France 2019.

Havana Solaun, #6

Solaun, 26, is a leader on the field from the attacking midfield position. Equally comfortable breaking on the counter and picking out passes in possession, she finished her collegiate career at the University of Florida as captain and one of the most accomplished attackers in school history. Stops at USA’s Seattle Reign and Washington Spirit led to her signing with Norway’s Klepp IL in 2019.

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Chinyelu Asher, #7

The USA-born Asher, 26, played in every game of her junior and senior seasons at Purdue University and the University of Louisville, respectively, showcasing her consistency. Well-travelled in her club career, the central midfielder has won a championship with Colombia’s Independiente Santa Fe and joined Norwegian side Stabaek at the end of 2018.

Ashley Shim, #8

The 25-year-old forward offers plenty of pace for head coach Hue Menzies to deploy in the Reggae Girlz’ attack. A focal point for Florida International University, Shim led the Panthers in goalscoring (eight) during her junior season. Her senior debut for Jamaica came against the Dominican Republic in August 2015.

Sashana Campbell, #12

Absent from the Reggae Girlz senior squad for a four-year stretch, Campbell triumphantly returned in 2018 during the run to their first-ever qualification for a Women’s World Cup. The attack-minded 28-year-old midfielder represents Israeli side Maccabi Kishronot Hadera at club level.

Jody Brown, #10

Brown is the youngest player the Reggae Girlz are bringing to France. At 17 years old, she’s proven her goalscoring prowess on every level of Jamaica’s youth set-up, culminating with being recognised as the top young player at the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship. Her hat-trick against Cuba sparked a 9-0 win.

Khadija “Bunny” Shaw, #11

“Bunny” Shaw, a goalscoring prodigy now grown into an imposing centre forward, enters this World Cup having persevered through tremendous personal tragedy. The 22-year-old has lost four brothers and two nephews during her lifetime, four of whom were victims of gang-related violence in her hometown of Spanish Town, Jamaica.

Tiffany Cameron, #15

Born in Toronto, Cameron appeared in multiple friendlies for Canada’s senior team. The 27-year-old forward made the switch to Jamaica after their historic run to qualification for France 2019, earning her first cap against Chile on 28 February. Cameron’s passport is well-stamped; she has competed for top-flight clubs in Germany, Israel, USA and Norway.

Trudi Carter, #18

Carter plays primarily as a forward but has contributed plenty of assists throughout her career. She signed her first professional contract with Roma of Italy’s Serie A in 2018. Carter, 24, started two matches during Jamaica’s historic run to finishing in third place at the Concacaf Women’s Championship and scored four goals during the Concacaf Caribbean Women’s Qualifiers prior to that.

Olufolasade Adamolekun, #21

A promising, USA-born prospect eligible to represent Nigeria, the United States and Jamaica, Adamolekun chose the Reggae Girlz. The 18-year-old forward debuted for the senior side on 28 February 2019 against Chile after joining the team for January camp. She also represented Jamaica at the 2018 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship.

Mireya Grey, #22

The speedy 20-year-old Seattle-born striker was a late addition to the Jamaica squad, joining up as a replacement for the injured Kayla McKoy. Grey came through the national youth ranks but made her debut for the senior Reggae Girlz just a few weeks before France 2019, impressing in a 3-1 win over Panama.

The Jamaica Tourist Board will host watch parties for the match on Sunday across the US and Canadian Diaspora as follows:

New York:  Milk River Restaurant, 960 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY.

Fort Lauderdale: Grand Café, 12389 Pembroke Road, Pembroke Pines, FL.

Baltimore: Island Quizine, 8128 Liberty Road, Windsor Mill, Maryland

Toronto: Jamaica Canadian Association, 995 Arrow Road, Hall 3, Toronto.  

“We are excited that the Reggae Girlz have qualified to represent Jamaica on the global soccer stage,” said Donovan White, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism.  “We are so proud of the Reggae Girlz and invite the Jamaican and Caribbean Diaspora and friends of Jamaica to come out in their colors and cheer on the team in the opening match in their historic World Cup campaign.”

What’s Up With Umpire Chris Gaffaney And Those Calls Against The West Indies?

Shai Hope of Australia batting during the Group Stage match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between Australia and West Indies at Trent Bridge on June 06, 2019 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Andy Kearns/Getty Images)

In their second match of the 2019 Cricket World Cup, the West Indies team, fresh from their win over Pakistan, came close to beating Australia, losing by just 16 runs.

And Australia can thank New Zealand born umpire Chris Gaffaney for that.

Especially since the Windies star player, opener and master blaster Chris Gayle was ruled out on a delivery which should have been a free hit. Gayle was caught plumb in front of his stumps by Australian pacer Mitchell Starc in the 5th over of the Windies innings.

Umpire Gaffaney failed to notice the error by Starc and ruled Gayle out.

Before his dismissal in the fifth over, Gayle had survived twice from being dismissed during the third over from Starc as both the reviews went his way. On the first occasion, the ball kissed the stumps but bails didn’t come off giving Gayle a reprise before he survived a caught behind appeal after taking another review in the same over.

Then skipper Jason Holder was given out lbw, even though TV replays showed the ball had pitched outside the line of leg stump. Luckily for Holder that decision was successfully overturned.

Gaffaney’s errors did not go unnoticed by many former cricketers including Windies Kieron Pollard who took to Twitter to tweet: “Time and time again we tend to be on the wrong end of decisions… and the masses are not vociferous bcuz y……. Piss piss poor decision making in this game and it continues … it is blatantly alarming.”

“I am sorry but the umpiring in this game has been atrocious,” said Michael Holding, while commentating for OSN Cric, in the UAE.

Windies player Carlos Brathwaite described some decisions as “frustrating” and “dodgy” and suggested that West Indies players are on the wrong end of decisions more often than their opponents.

But despite the umpiring mishaps, Shai Hope and Skipper Holder answered the Aussie’s total of 288, with 273 for 9.  Hope made a gutsy 68 runs while Holder added 51 to help the Windies come within shy of winning the match,

The Windies next World Cup match-ups are as follows:

June 10 v South Africa, Southampton, 7.30pm Australian EST

June 14 v England, Southampton, 7.30pm AEST

June 17 v Bangladesh, Taunton, 7.30pm AEST

June 22 v New Zealand, Manchester, 10.30pm AEST

June 27 v India, Manchester, 7.30pm AEST

July 1 v Sri Lanka, Durham, 7.30pm AEST

July 4 v Afghanistan, Leeds, 7.30pm AEST

The ICC’s list of official broadcasters is here.

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