Reigning World Championships triple gold medalist Noah Lyles expressed his admiration for Jamaica and its vibrant track and field culture during a press conference at the Jamaica Pegasus on Friday. Lyles, who will be competing at the Racers Grand Prix at Kingston's National Stadium on Saturday night, shared how he is treated like a rock star in Jamaica and the influence his Jamaican girlfriend, Junelle Bromfield, has had on him.

Lyles, who donned a full Jamaican-inspired Adidas kit at the press conference, highlighted the stark contrast between the reception he receives in Jamaica compared to the United States.

 "Yeah, I'd say especially in the US, you have to pick and choose your places where you're going to run at. You know, if you go to Eugene, Oregon, of course, they're going to turn out a good crowd for Prefontaine and for US championships, but they're mostly a distance-involved love. Of course, they love all the events, but really distance.

"I'll go to New York, but all the other cities, it's like, 'Ah, you might get something good, you might not'. It's a coin flip, unless it's the Olympics. When you go to Jamaica, I tell everybody you're treated like a freaking rock star. It's nothing that you're gonna get anywhere else.

"Like all of a sudden, people know who you are and they're giving favours for you and they act like you're freaking Will Smith or something. I'm like, goodness gracious. Me and Junelle were here last year in October, late October, and we were just here for three days, and I went to the hotel and once they figured out who I was, and it was like, 'Oh, no, no, you can't stay in that room, you gotta stay in this room.' I'm just like, 'it's just three days.'

 "It's like, 'no, no, no, no, you gotta stay here. You gotta stay here.' I'm just like, oh, wow. I'm not used to that treatment."

 Lyles also spoke about the significant influence of his girlfriend, Junelle Bromfield, on his style and connection to Jamaica. Bromfield, herself a notable athlete, encouraged Lyles to embrace the local culture through his attire.

 "So, you know, my girlfriend, Junelle Bromfield, she saw that the kit on the Adidas website probably about two, three weeks ago, and she was like, 'Oh, we all gotta get the kit. Cause, you know, she's gonna be here and my pops is probably gonna come down with her during Olympic trials just to have somebody close by. And she was like, 'We all gotta have our kits.' And she's like, 'Well, we should go down in matching gear, so I got mine.

 "She doesn't like the media, so she's not here, so you can't see her physically, but she also has hers."

 Lyles' presence at the Racers Grand Prix is highly anticipated, with fans eager to see him perform in the Jamaican capital. His enthusiasm and respect for Jamaican culture, coupled with his stellar track record, make him a standout figure in the athletics world. On Saturday night, he will line up in a quality field of sprinters that will include Kenya's Ferdinand Omanyala, Great Britain's Zharnel Hughes and Jamaica's Oblique Seville, who will be making his 100m debut.

 As Lyles prepares to take the track at Kingston's National Stadium, his embrace of Jamaican culture and his charismatic personality continue to endear him to fans both locally and internationally. The Racers Grand Prix promises to be an exciting event, with Lyles undoubtedly adding to the thrill and spectacle of the night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Herdman described Toronto FC goalkeeper Sean Johnson as an MLS legend ahead of Saturday's meeting with D.C. United at Audi Field. 

Toronto sit sixth in the Eastern Conference standings after playing out a goalless draw with the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday.

That was their first clean sheet since April 21 (a 2-0 win over the New England Revolution) but their sixth overall in MLS play this year. Only Charlotte FC have more, with seven.

"When the big man is called on, he brings it," Herdman said after their win over the Union. "This man, he's starting to become a bit of an MLS legend. 

"He's on 400 games now in MLS and probably doesn't get the recognition he deserves… 10 clean sheets for TFC. 

"I can't say enough about the big man. He's done a hell of a job for us this season."

D.C. sit 10th in the standings after going four games without a victory, losing 4-2 at CF Montreal in midweek. 

Troy Lesesne criticised his side for making rookie mistakes after that game, saying: "We put ourselves in a hole and we can't make these types of mistakes, those are hard lessons to learn.

"Particularly on the road, with some of the form we've been in over the last three matches… it just sets the tone."

PLAYERS TO WATCH 

D.C. United – Christian Benteke

Benteke scored both of D.C. United’s goals in their midweek defeat, his fourth multi-goal MLS match of the season. 

The only D.C. United players with more in a single regular season are Luciano Emilio (five) in 2007 and Raul Diaz Arce (five) in 1996.

Toronto FC – Federico Bernardeschi 

Bernardeschi attempted five shots and set up four chances for team-mates on Wednesday. 

The Italian has been directly involved in 94 shots this season (57 shots, 37 chances created), the fourth-most in MLS.

MATCH PREDICTION – D.C. UNITED WIN

Toronto's scoreless draw with Philadelphia on Wednesday took them to 23 points for the season, surpassing their total from the entirety of last year (22). 

However, D.C. are unbeaten in their last seven home games against Toronto (three wins, four draws), also losing just one of their last four on home soil overall. 

Toronto have also won just one of their last five regular-season games after winning their previous three. D.C.'s energetic approach could catch them out. 

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

D.C. United – 48.8%

Toronto FC – 25.5%

Draw – 25.7%

Denis Bouanga believes Los Angeles FC got a much-needed wake-up call when they lost to San Jose Earthquakes, as they prepare to face FC Dallas on Saturday.

LAFC lost 3-1 to the Earthquakes on May 5, but have since won all six of their games in all competitions, keeping a clean sheet in each of the last five.

They extended that run with a 2-0 win over Minnesota United at home on Wednesday and are now just three points behind Western Conference leaders Real Salt Lake in third.

Bouanga has praised the response from LAFC, saying, "I think that losing to San Jose was a good wake-up call for us.

"We are LAFC but every club against us wants to win. The MLS is starting to have good players in good teams. We also have good players, but that was a big wake-up call.

"We've come back with a simple base - the forwards are scoring; the defenders are defending well and that's why we've had six wins and five clean sheets. I'm really happy, and I think everybody else is about the results."

Dallas sit in 12th with just 13 points following a three-match winless streak, including a 3-1 loss on the East Coast against LA Galaxy in midweek.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

LAFC – Denis Bouanga

Since May 11, all eight goals scored by LAFC in MLS play have been scored or assisted by either Denis Bouanga (three goals, three assists) or Mateusz Bogusz (three goals, one assist).

The only MLS players who had at least three goals and three assists in the month of May were Bouanga and Cincinnati’s Luciano Acosta.

Dallas – Patrickson Delgado

All three of Delgado’s goals this season in all competitions have come in Dallas' last three matches.

The Ecuadorian is one of five MLS players currently under the age of 21 with at least three goals in 2024 and one of two of those from outside the United States (also Venezuela’s Kevin Kelsy).

MATCH PREDICTION: LOS ANGELES FC WIN

The home side won all four meetings between Los Angeles and Dallas over the previous two seasons. LAFC has never lost at home against Dallas (W4 D1), winning the last four in a row after drawing the first meeting in 2018.

Indeed, Los Angeles have won six straight matches in all competitions with the last five all being shutouts. LAFC have one longer winning run in team history (seven straight in July-August 2022), but the five straight clean sheets make for the longest shutout streak by the club.

Meanwhile, Dallas suffered a 3-1 defeat to LA Galaxy on Wednesday, their second straight game allowing three goals and the fourth time doing so in league play this season. Over the previous two seasons, the club allowed three or more goals in four total league games (twice in both 2022 and 2023).

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

LAFC – 57.2%

Draw – 22.2%

Dallas – 20.6%

Eric Ramsay wants Minnesota United to move on quickly from their poor run of form, starting with Sporting Kansas City on Saturday.

Minnesota were on a five-match winning run in the MLS, but have failed to win either of their previous two outings, drawing with Colorado Rapids before losing to Los Angeles FC in midweek.

They still sit fourth in the Western Conference, though, and are only five points behind leaders Real Salt Lake.

Ramsay remains optimistic despite their recent form, but admits they need to address the problems sooner rather than later.

"The general level of performance [in the last game] was obviously far better than the one before," he said.

"We certainly showed some positive steps, but I know the big thing for us is that we approach Saturday's game with real positivity in a real constructive way. We've got to see [the loss to LAFC] for what it is and move on swiftly.

"We really want to look in the mirror hard, and we've got to go and meet the conditions on Saturday with everything that we've got."

Kansas City sit at the opposite end of the table, with just 11 points after winning only two of their games so far this season.

After suffering their sixth consecutive loss, Peter Vermes admitted they have a tough test ahead of them due to their poor start.

Not good. We're in last place in our division, so we're not in a good spot," said Vermes.

"We've got to keep fighting. I can't sit here and say there's no effort because there is, for sure. We've just got to cut down these mistakes. We've got a good group, and something's got to turn our way, and then we can ride that."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Minnesota United – Robin Lod

Lod has recorded a goal contribution in six straight home matches. This is the third-longest regular-season streak of goal contributions in home appearances in the Loons’ MLS history after a 13-match streak by Lod himself in 2020-21 and a seven-match run by Darwin Quintero in 2018.

Sporting Kansas City – Martinos Tzionis

Tzionis scored his first goal of the season on Wednesday, becoming the 12th different Kansas City player to score in regular-season play in 2024, most in MLS.

MATCH PREDICTION: MINNESOTA UNITED WIN

Minnesota ended a four-match losing streak against Kansas City with a 2-1 victory on April 27. Minnesota have never defeated Kansas City twice within a single regular season.

The Loons recorded a 2-1 win over Portland in their last home match. Minnesota have not won two straight at Allianz Field in all competitions since wins over Austin FC and Houston Dynamo in August 2022.

Meanwhile, Kansas City have lost six consecutive regular-season matches for the first time since a seven-match losing streak in 2006. Sporting are winless in nine straight league matches and could equal the longest single-season winless run in club history at 10 (set in 2011, matched in 2023).

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Minnesota United – 52.5%

Draw – 24.3%

Sporting Kansas City – 23.2%

Emil Forsberg has praised the New York Red Bulls' confident attacking threat ahead of their game against Orlando City on Saturday.

The Red Bulls currently sit fourth in the Eastern Conference, only behind city rivals New York City FC due to having one less win than them this season.

They bounced back in style from their derby defeat to NYCFC in midweek, beating Charlotte FC 3-1 with an impressive second-half performance.

Forsberg was full of praise for the way his team play, particularly in the final third.

"When we play with tempo, it's hard to get us," he said. "And I think that's the most important thing - to play with confidence.

"When we are straightforward, that's key for us. When we win the ball, we put those hard passes forward and go with everybody."

Orlando City, meanwhile, sit eight points below them in 11th after winning just one of their last four matches.

While they only drew with Chicago Fire on Wednesday, they did end a run of three games without hitting the back of the net.

Oscar Pareja reiterated the Lions’s need to improve if they want to reach the final series.

He said: "It's important that we can keep our minds calm and see the things that we need to get better. We take [the draw against Chicago Fire] and look to improve against New York."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

New York Red Bulls – Emil Forsberg

Forsberg scored goals one minute and 45 seconds apart in the Red Bulls' win on Wednesday. It was the fastest two goals by a Red Bulls player since Daniel Royer scored one minute and 43 seconds apart against Seattle Sounders in July 2017.

Orlando City – Facundo Torres

Torres has scored four goals against the Red Bulls in regular-season play, tied for his most against any opponent along with Chicago Fire, whom he scored against on Wednesday.

MATCH PREDICTION: NEW YORK RED BULLS WIN

The Red Bulls have not lost any of their last nine MLS home matches (W6 D3, incl. playoffs) dating back to last October. New York has not had a longer home unbeaten run in MLS play (incl. playoffs) since a 14-game streak in April-October 2016.

However, Orlando are unbeaten in five matches against the Red Bulls in all competitions (W4 D1) after having never gone more than two in a row without a loss against New York before.

Orlando have lost only six of their 24 regular-season away matches since the start of last season, including going unbeaten in five straight on the road. Only FC Cincinnati (four) have fewer road losses since the start of last season than the Lions (tied with Real Salt Lake).

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

New York Red Bulls – 51.3%

Draw – 24.7%

Orlando City – 23.9%

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez are expected to feature when Inter Miami host St. Louis City in MLS on Saturday, with the Herons looking to bounce back from a midweek defeat.

Miami saw a 10-match unbeaten run in league play halted on Wednesday, as they were beaten 3-1 by Atlanta United.

That result came despite Messi and Suarez returning to Gerardo Martino's lineup, having both missed a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps last weekend.

According to assistant coach Javier Morales, both players will be fit and available for this week's match as Miami target a return to winning ways.

"Everyone is optimum to play," Morales said. "Today we will train, and the coaching staff will watch players but there is no physical problem. 

"Afterwards we will talk to the players but most of all Martino will feel the game and what it needs. 

"But we will play the strongest team to conclude this part of the season strongly before the international window. Everyone is fit and wants to play.

"The plan was always to play the strongest side against St. Louis, the result on Wednesday did not modify that strategy."

St. Louis have lost three successive games to slide to 11th in the Western Conference standings, three points outside the wild-card places.

They were beaten 2-1 by the Seattle Sounders on home soil last weekend, and head coach Bradley Carnell knows a swift response is important.

"I challenge the staff, the players challenge me, and then we try to execute on gameday," Carnell said after that defeat.

"None of us are happy with the situation, let me be clear. We've experienced far better, we've had a lot more joy and a lot more smiles on our faces.

"But we get up in the morning and we go again. That's the message for the boys."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Inter Miami – Lionel Messi

Messi scored Miami's only goal in their defeat to Atlanta on Wednesday. 

It was the first time Messi's club had lost a match in which he scored for over three years, since he netted for Barcelona in a 2-1 loss to Celta Vigo in May 2021.

St. Louis City – Eduard Lowen

Lowen recorded his 17th MLS assist for St. Louis against Seattle last Saturday, setting up a goal for Tomas Totland. His 17 assists have set up goals for 10 different team-mates.

MATCH PREDICTION – INTER MIAMI WIN

St Louis have lost three straight regular-season matches for the first time in franchise history. 

They had lost just three of their previous 18 regular-season matches in a run dating back to last September, winning five and drawing 10 in that span.

St. Louis did beat Miami 3-0 in the teams' first meeting last July, but a lot has changed since that game, which was the Herons' last before Messi debuted in the Leagues Cup six days later.

Miami's 3-1 loss to Atlanta was their first home defeat with Messi in their starting lineup, having previously won 10 and drawn one of 11 matches with the Argentine starting on home turf.

They are strong favourites to bounce back with victory over struggling opponents this weekend. 

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Inter Miami – 59.8%

St. Louis City – 19.1%

Draw – 21%

Two of the top young Bahamian javelin throw prospects, Dior-Rae Scott and Taysha Stubbs, have committed to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Scott and Stubbs, both 16, are two of the premier female javelin throwers in the region and globally as well.

They both won gold medals at the 51st CARIFTA Games in St. George’s, Grenada, in April this year.

Scott threw a personal best and new CARIFTA record 52.53m to win gold in the Under-17 section while Stubbs threw 50.94m to win the Under-20 section.

Those marks are among some of the best in the world for the age-group.

Scott is tied for fourth on World Athletics’ Top Performance List for under-18 girls in the 500-gram javelin event, and Stubbs is sixth in that same division, but in the 600-gram javelin event.

They will both look to emulate the success of Nebraska standout Rhema Otabor, a Bahamian NCAA champion in the women’s javelin who will be looking to defend her title as a collegiate senior at this year’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

The Nebraska senior is currently the NCAA leader in the event this season with 59.12m done at the Drake Relays on April 24.

She took silver at the 2023 Pan Am Games in Chile with a personal best 60.54m.

After being snubbed for the previous tour of Pakistan, Guyana's Shabika Gajnabi makes a return to the West Indies Women’s team, as the Selection Panel named a 15-player squad for the eagerly anticipated series against Sri Lanka.

This exciting series, which starts next month, will feature three One Day Internationals (ODIs) and three T20 Internationals (T20Is), with the first match taking place on Saturday, June 15, in Galle.

Gajnabi, who along with her compatriots Ashmini Munisar and Plaffiana Millington were left out of the squad that enjoyed a successful outing in Pakistan, has been refitted in the Shane Deitz-coached team in place of Jannillea Glasgow.

The team is once again led by Captain Hayley Matthews who has been in exceptional form, supported by Vice-Captain Shemaine Campbelle.

Lead Selector Ann Browne-John explained the significance of the tour.

“The ODI series serves as a crucial stepping stone towards automatic qualification for the Women’s Cricket World Cup, providing an essential opportunity for the team to gain more valuable points in the Women’s Championship. The tour also allows the squad, during the T20I series, to continue to prepare for the upcoming T20 World Cup, which takes place in September in Bangladesh," Browne-John said.

"The similar Indian subcontinental conditions will help the team to refine their skills strategies, build synergy, and assess their strengths and areas for improvement against quality opposition. The experience gained here will be invaluable as they progress towards the T20 World Cup, ensuring they are well-prepared and in peak form for the challenges ahead," she added.

The ODI series in Galle from June 15-21 is part of the ICC Women's Championship, with the top five teams and hosts India automatically qualifying for the Cricket World Cup in 2025. The West Indies Women are currently sitting seventh in the table with, Sri Lanka eighth but level on points.

The team departs the Caribbean on Sunday for a seven day training camp in Colombo to prepare and acclimatise ahead of this important tour.

Full squad: Hayley Matthews (Captain), Shemaine Campbelle (Vice-Captain), Aaliyah Alleyne, Shamilia Connell, Afy Fletcher, Cherry Ann Fraser, Shabika Gajnabi, Chinelle Henry, Zaida James, Qiana Joseph, Chedean Nation, Karishma Ramharack, Stafanie Taylor, Rashada Williams, Kate Wilmot

Match schedule

Saturday, June 15- 1st ODI at the Galle International Stadium, Galle

Tuesday, June 18- 2nd ODI at the Galle International Stadium, Galle

Friday, June 21 - 3rd ODI at the Galle International Stadium, Galle

Monday, June 24- 1st T20I at the Mahinda Rajapaksha International Cricket Stadium, Hambantota

Wednesday, June 26 - 2nd T20I at the Mahinda Rajapaksha International Cricket Stadium, Hambantota

Friday, June 28- 3rd T20I at the Mahinda Rajapaksha International Cricket Stadium, Hambantota

Phil Neville believes Portland Timbers' hard work is starting to show ahead of their game against Houston Dynamo on Saturday.

The Timbers have won three of their last four games, including both at home in that run, and sit ninth in the Western Conference.

Against Austin FC on Wednesday, they kept their first clean sheet of the season with a 2-0 victory.

Neville is hopeful Portland can continue to build on their recent momentum as they look to close the gap to the teams above them.

"There's a good cohesion to the team and a good structure. The players are now doing their jobs and doing it to the ability that you expect," Neville said.

"The last two or three games we've seen a continuation of the work we've been doing. We knew we had a lot of work to do to change things here and that it would take time, and I'm super proud of them all.

"If we really believe in what we're doing and have confidence to be the team that we can be, then we have to go again on Saturday. There's no looking back and resting on your laurels. You've got to be ruthless and got to be relentless."

Houston sit eighth in the league, two points better off than Saturday's opponents, and won 3-1 against Colorado Rapids in midweek.

"This is a team that is always thinking to go forward," assistant coach Juan Guerra said.

"We're very focused on playing attractive possession style soccer to go forward and be able to create opportunities. On [Wednesday], it went in, and I hope it keeps going in, starting with Saturday."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Portland Timbers – Evander

Evander scored his seventh goal of the season on Wednesday to go along with five assists in his 12 appearances this season. The only other Timbers player to record 12 goal contributions in his first 12 games of a season was Diego Valeri in his 2017 MVP season.

Houston Dynamo – Latif Blessing

Blessing has found the net in consecutive games for the first time in almost five years, since doing so for Los Angeles FC in August 2019.

Blessing's two goals in the last week came after he had scored just two goals in his previous 89 MLS appearances dating back to the start of the 2021 season.

MATCH PREDICTION: PORTLAND TIMBERS WIN

With their win at Austin on Wednesday, the Timbers have won three of their last four matches (L1) after winning just two of their first 12 matches this season (D4 L6). Portland's 2-0 win over Austin on Wednesday also ended a run of 20 straight matches allowing a goal.

However, the Dynamo have won three straight matches against Portland after going winless in the previous eight meetings (D3 L5). Neither team have managed four straight wins over the other in all competitions.

Houston won for just the second time in nine matches in all competitions with a 3-1 victory over Colorado on Wednesday. It was the Dynamo's first three-goal performance since their last visit to Portland, a 3-1 win on Decision Day last season.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Portland Timbers – 42.1%

Draw – 26.7%

Houston Dynamo – 31.2%

Nick Cushing is looking forward to New York City FC's next home game against San Jose Earthquakes on Friday and asks the fans to "build an atmosphere".

NYCFC are on a four-match winning run and beat derby rivals New York Red Bulls 2-1 in their most recent outing at Citi Field.

That run means they sit in third in the Eastern Conference and are eight points behind leaders Inter Miami.

NYCFC have the opportunity to close the gap to second place with Cincinnati not in action this weekend, and Cushing is hopeful the fans can give the team an added boost as they try to maintain their recent winning streak.

"I love playing in front of our fans," Cushing said.

"I love playing at home. It is the last game before we get a bye week and an international break, and it's Friday night under the lights.

"The Red Bull game was amazing because of the atmosphere, the crowd, the amount of fans we got in, and the way that we played.

"We just want to make sure that we deliver a performance every game that makes people want to come to the stadium. A performance that makes people excited and makes them want to make a noise and build an atmosphere.

"We encourage fans to be super noisy for us because it helps us. We want to keep adding wins. I'm excited, and I want to make sure that we start the game in a way that makes us really work together – ourselves and the fans – and then go and get another win."

San Jose, meanwhile, sit second from bottom of the Western Conference, eight points off a playoff spot.

They have not won any of their last three outings, though their last win did come on the road when they beat Colorado Rapids 3-2 on May 12.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

NYCFC – Tayvon Gray

Gray has recorded the assist on the winning goal in each of NYCFC's last two matches.

It is the first time in his career that he has recorded an assist in consecutive MLS matches as he had recorded just one assist in his previous 33 games dating back to September 2022.

San Jose Earthquakes – Cristian Espinoza

Espinoza recorded his eighth assist of the season in San Jose's draw with Austin on Saturday, setting up a goal for Jeremy Ebobisse.

Ebobisse is the seventh different player Espinoza has recorded an assist for this season – the only player he has set up twice is Amahl Pellegrino.

MATCH PREDICTION: NEW YORK CITY FC WIN

New York City have won five of their six all-time meetings with the Earthquakes (D1), including the last four in a row. NYCFC has scored multiple goals in all five wins, including scoring 10 times in their home matches against the 'Quakes (all wins).

Indeed, NYCFC have won seven of their last eight matches (L1), including the last four in a row, and could equal the longest regular-season winning streak in club history (five straight in 2019).

Meanwhile, San Jose have won only two of their last 48 regular-season road matches against Eastern Conference opposition (D11 L35) dating back to May 2012. The Earthquakes have managed to draw each of their last three road matches against Eastern teams, including a 1-1 draw at Nashville in April.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

NYCFC – 59.5%

Draw – 21.2%

San Jose Earthquakes – 19.3%

Gerardo Martino refused to comment on suggestions that Lionel Messi was saving himself for the Copa America, following Inter Miami's 3-1 defeat by Atlanta United.

Despite his 11th goal of the season - and first in three games - Messi was unable to prevent a first loss in 11 MLS matches for the Eastern Conference leaders at Chase Stadium.

Saba Lobjanidze scored in each half to put 12th-place Atlanta in control and, though Messi halved the deficit, Jamal Thiare struck in the 73rd minute to snap the visitors' nine-game winless streak.

Messi, who was back in the starting line-up after missing Miami's 2-1 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps last time out, will soon link up with Argentina ahead of their Copa America title defence, which starts in a couple of weeks' time.

Martino was asked whether he thought the eight-time Ballon d'Or winner's focus was distracted by the forthcoming tournament in the United States, where the reigning world champions will seek their third silverware in four years.

"No, I will not speculate if Messi is saving himself for Copa America because [that question has] no validity," the head coach said.

On Miami's performance, he continued: "The first feeling is that we were missing one more gear compared to Atlanta, and that was evident in the first half and during the second half. 

"It was a night where the team regressed compared to other games. I think we were very well outmatched, and they beat us well.

"The conditions were favourable, much more for us than them. But their position on the table is deceiving, and they showed that."

Senior Reggae Girlz Head coach Hubert Busby expressed pleasure with the foundation laid at the team’s first in-person engagement since his reappointment, and he believes it sets a good tone for the remainder of the camp in Brazil.

Busby and his squad –with the exception of Jody Brown, who was scheduled to arrive late –went through what he said was a lively two-hour session to hit the ground running ahead of the two-match friendly series against The Female Canaries on June 1 and June 4.

While the games will aide Brazil’s preparations for the upcoming Paris Olympic Games, for Busby and his team, the outing is more about rekindling their competitive spirit, as it represents the first assignment together for the core group of players after almost nine months apart.

Those Girlz that represented at last year’s Fifa Women’s World Cup withdrew their services after the Olympic qualifiers against Canada in September, citing nonpayment and mistreatment from Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) among their reasons.

Now reunited, Busby pointed out that the first session was to get the Girlz reacquainted with the structures the team plans to implement going forward.