Jamaica has produced some of the best male footballers in the CONCACAF region who have applied their trade in some of the top leagues around the world. Yardhype.com curated a list of what is believed to be the best starting eleven based on performance for the senior Jamaica Men’s National team aka the Reggae Boyz.
The formation selected for the team is a traditional 4-4-2 formation and the coach for the team is René Simões while the captain of the team is Theodore ‘Tappa’ Whitmore.
Goal Keeper: Andre Blake
Defenders: Ricardo ‘Bibi’ Gardner, Ian ‘Pepe’ Goodison, Wes Morgan, Demar Phillips
Midfielders: Allan ‘Skill’ Cole, Theodore ‘Tappa’ Whitmore, Peter Cargill, Andy ‘the bomber’ Williams
Forwards: Luton Shelton, Deon Burton
We will start with the defenders, as Jamaica is known for having a mean defence, especially when they qualified for the France 98 World Cup. At left-back is former Bolton captain Ricardo ‘Bibi’ Gardner, right back sees Demar Phillips getting the nod despite being a left-back who has scored seven goals in 72 matches for Jamaica as a defender.
The two central defenders are both highly respected by Jamaican/English Fans, which include iconic defender Ian ‘Pepe’ Goodison and the former Leicester City captain Wes Morgan who led them to an English Premier League title in the 2015-2016 season.
Three-time MLS goalkeeper of the year Andre Blake is arguably the best goalkeeper Jamaica has ever produced, edging the number one jersey over the excellent Warren Barret who helped the Boyz to the World Cup in 1998.
The midfield is led by former Reggae Boyz head coach Theodore ‘Tappa’ Whitmore who scored two goals in the World Cup to secure Jamaica’s first-ever victory at the showpiece event. Saint Ann native Peter Cargill will partner with Whitmore in the middle of the field.
The silky Andy ‘the bomber’ Williams and the youngest player to represent the men’s national team Allan ‘Skill’ Cole close out the midfield positions. Canadian-Jamaican Williams who played as a midfielder for Real Salt Lake in Major League Soccer was one of the standout players for the Boyz post-World Cup. On the other hand, Skill Cole is one of the most decorated Jamaican footballers in Jamaica’s history, helping Jamaica to secure second place in Cancacaf behind Mexico during his time.
Deon Burton is credited with scoring some of the most crucial goals for Jamaica in their World Cup qualification process for the 98 World Cup and gets the nod over Jamaica’s second top goal scorer Onandi Lowe in one of the two forward positions.
In the final forward position is Jamaica’s leading goalscorer Luton Shelton, who has a total of 35 goals in 75 games. The former Harbour View player played football all over Europe, including the UK, Turkey, Norway, Russia and Sweden.
Check out some notable mentions below:
Lindy Delapenha was the first star footballer from out of Jamaica, he is the first Jamaican to play on a professional level in England. Delapenha played for UK clubs such as Portsmouth, Middlesbrough and Mansfield Town from 1948 to 1960.
Warren Barrett who could have replaced Andre Blake on the list was the number one goalkeeper for the Reggae Boyz and captain of the 1998 World Cup squad. Barrett played an impressive 108 times for the national team.
Leon Bailey represented Bayer Leverkusen, and Genk before moving to Aston Valley, he is arguably one of the best talents from out of Jamaica over the last decade. However, his many sub-par performances for the national team see him narrowly missing out on this list, never the less, with many years ahead of him, it’s highly possible that he makes the list at a later time in his career.
Onandi Lowe along with Warren Barret might be the two most warranted names to make the list who were not included. Lowe who is from Kingston played in many different positions in the national team and is regarded as the most versatile Reggae Boy of all time. He is the second leading goal scorer for the Reggae Boyz and played at club level most notably for Rushden & Diamonds in England.