Lorne Donaldson has picked the group of players going to represent Jamaica at the Women’s World Cup in a bid to do well than the previous edition. In another tough group this time, the Reggae Girlz will rely on their prolific scorer Khadija Shaw to pull off a major shock in the tournament. Jamaica are currently placed 43rd in the latest FIFA rankings.
This is only the second time Jamaica are competing on the world stage. Paired in a tough group with Italy, Australia and Brazil, they could not do better than finishing dead last in their first appearance in 2019. Jamaica managed to score only once that too in the final match in the 4-1 loss to the Matildas, co-hosts of this edition. They lost 3-0 to the Selecao in the opener followed by a 5-0 thrashing in the hands of the Azzurri.
Qualification for the Women’s World Cup
Jamaica finished second in their group behind the United States in the 2022 CONCACAF W Championship to qualify for the group stages of the 2023 Women’s World Cup. They were smashed by the holders 5-0 in the meeting but managed wins over Mexico and Haiti. Jamaica’s journey ended in the semi-finals of the Championship, beaten by Canada 3-0, although they grab the third place with a 1-0 win over Costa Rica.
Preparation for the Women’s World Cup
Jamaica played three friendlies after the conclusion of the CONCACAF Championship taking on Japan (1-0 loss) and twice Paraguay (1-0 win and 2-1 loss). They also took part in the 2023 Cup of Nations held in the World Cup venue of Australia with Spain and Czechia also participating. Donaldson’s side lost every single match with Jody Brown and Kameron Simmonds managing the only two goals in the entire contest in the 3-2 close victory against Czechia.
Jamaica Squad for Women’s World Cup
Goalkeepers: Rebecca Spencer (Tottenham Hotspurs), Sydney Schneider (Sparta Prague) and Liya Brooks (Hawaii Surf).
Defenders: Allyson Swaby (Paris Saint-Germain), Chantelle Swaby (FC Fleury 91), Konya Plummer, Dehnisha Blackwood (GPSO 92 issy), Satara Murray (Racing Louisville), Vyan Sampson (Hearts) and Tiernny Wiltshire.
Midfielders: Peyton McNamara (Ohio State), Drew Spence (Tottenham Hotspurs), Trudi Carter, Solai Washington (Concorde Fire), Giselle Washington (Uni of Tenesse), Rachel Jones (Southern Soccer Academy) and Atlanta Primus (London City Lionesses)
Forwards: Khadija Shaw (Manchester City), Jody Brown (Florida State), Tiffany Cameron, Kameron Simmonds (Uni of Tenesse), Kiki Van Zanten (Notre Dame), Mikayla Dayes (Maryland) and Paige Bailey-Gayle (Crystal Palace)
Head Coach: Lorne Donaldson
The attack for Jamaica is their biggest strength with a world-class striker like Bunny Shaw in the ranks. The Manchester striker is not alone as Jody Brown and Kameron Simmonds are also decent scorers. The Tottenham Hotspurs duo, midfielder Drew Spence and goalkeeper Rebecca Spencer could be the difference-maker as well. The team also do not play in a structure so there is an unpredictability which could be used to hurt opposition.
As the heavy losses in the previous editions and the preparatory friendlies suggest, Jamaica struggles defensively. There is less quality in that position compared to others so it is a massive backdrop for the side. Also, Shaw could be left all alone up front if she is devoid of proper service to her. This imbalance the Reggae Girlz to make an impact in the greatest stage of all.
Star Player: Khadija Shaw
Scoring 20 goals in 22 matches of a league season shows the profile of the striker being discussed. Khadija Monifa "Bunny" Shaw fits into that and she wishes to carry that hot streak of scoring form at the 2023 Women’s World Cup. Good with her feet, brilliant with her head and boosted with physicality, Shaw is ready to give defences in Australia and New Zealand a lot to consider. Being the record scorer for her nation, the 26-year-old will shoulder a lot of responsibility to get her team out of a tough group and in the knockouts.
How will Jamaica lineup at the World Cup?
Jamaica Women’s World Cup Fixtures
Sunday, 23 July 2023
France vs Jamaica
Saturday, 29 July 2023
Panama vs Jamaica
Wednesday, 2 August 2023
Jamaica vs Brazil
Jamaica opens their campaign in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup against France. Les Bleus have a talented squad in their arsenal and will be a tough opponent for the country from the Caribbean. The second group stage game against Panama is the one Donaldson’s side will target to register a victory. Their faith will then dangle on the last match in August if they fail to beat France as Brazil could be an even bigger challenge if their qualification to the knockout is not sealed by then.
Jamaica are certainly capable of being a considerable threat to their opposition but it looks tough for them to earn at least the runners-up spot in the group. Brazil and France boast more quality than them and are favourites to make the knockouts. Upsetting any of them could open the gates for them but it is only if. Jamaica looks to be exiting the group stages of the World Cup for consecutive tournaments.