Jamaica international Leon Bailey is expected to represent his nation at the upcoming CONCACAF Gold, as a protracted dispute with the national football governing body seems to have come to an end.

The 22-year-old Bailey had previously turned down numerous invitations to represent the Caribbean nation, the most recent coming in October of last year.  On that occasion Bailey had agreed to play against Bonaire but later refused after his brother Kyle was not invited to the squad.

According to both parties, however, the impasse seems to be at an end with the player potentially making his debut against the USA in an upcoming friendly international.

“Chris Samuda worked hard with some things and the minister has also given her support. We love our country and we want to play for our country,” Bailey’s agent and guardian Craig Butler said.

President of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Michael Ricketts also confirmed that things have been smoothed over.

“Leon Bailey will be called because the coach and I have had discussions recently, and he will be invited both for the friendly in the U.S. and also for the Gold Cup tournament,” Ricketts said.

“I think that coach (Donovan) Duckie has interest for the brother (Kyle) for the Olympic squad because he did indicate to me that he has an interest in inviting him for the Olympic squad,” he added.

“We are looking forward to having them here, and we just hope that we will be able to put the past behind us and just restart the whole thing of just having him (Bailey) in the national set-up.”

Cubie Seegobin, the agent who represents Yohan Blake says he is still to understand why Jamaica’s track and field bosses refused to allow the 2011 World Champion to run the 4x200m relay at the IAAF World Relays this weekend.

Windies captain Jason Holder has hailed the contribution of young players John Campbell and Shai Hope who have made promising starts to their careers so far.

The 25-year-old Campbell and 21-year-old Hope put on a world record 349 runs partnership as the team steamrolled Ireland in the opening match of the One Day tri-nation series.  The century was the first for Campbell in six games, but he had otherwise been off to solid start in prior matches, leading to a healthy average of 49.60.

Hope has perhaps been even more impressive as his follow-up century against Bangladesh in a losing effort, carried him to 2056 runs in 51 ODIs, making him one of the quickest Windies players to 2000 runs.

“Both of them have played well (Campbell, Hope) Shai especially, he’s probably been our most consistent player over the last two years.  It’s been really good to see him backing up performance the way he has done,” Holder said.

“I just saw a stat coming up that he is the quickest West Indian to 2000 runs, which is a really phenomenal feat.  I saw the list of guys on the tv and its really good for him to be in that company,” he added.

“If he continues he could be one of our best ODI players to ever play.  Performances like that from young players is something we definitely looking for.”

President of the Jamaica Football Federation Michael Ricketts has offered congratulatory messages to members of the World-Cup bound Reggae Girlz squad who graduated from university this week.

Khadija Shaw (Bachelor of Science in Communications from the University of Tennessee), Deneisha Blackwood (Bachelor of  Science, Sports Management from the University of West Florida) and Chanel Hudson-Marks (Bachelor of Science, Marketing Management from the University of Memphis), attended graduation ceremonies on Thursday.

Ricketts was full of praise and pride for the recent graduates who, incidentally are among the 24-member squad named to play against Panama at the National Stadium in Kingston on May 19.

"On behalf of the people of Jamaica and football fans, in particular, I wish to extend the most sincere congratulations to Khadija 'Bunny' Shaw, Deneisha Blackwood and Chanel Hudson-Marks,” Ricketts said in a statement issued on Thursday.

“These degrees by members of the senior Reggae Girlz were achieved in four years in the main alongside a period of excellence in football as they played for college, club and country whilst studying.

"If there is any doubt in the minds of any young Jamaican girl that you cannot successfully combine playing sports at the highest level and achieving your best academically, you can look at the lives of these Senior Reggae Girlz who will in less than a month participate on the highest stage of world football."

Ricketts said the JFF offers its congratulations to these women as shining examples of hard work, discipline, achievement and excellence.  The JFF, he said, is confident that all the others in school will rise to the occasion and accomplish their dreams.

He encouraged football fans to show their real pride in the Reggae Girlz by turning out in their thousands on Sunday, May 19 at 6:00 pm at the National Stadium when the team plays Panama in their last international friendly on home soil before the FIFA Women's World Cup.

Seven-time world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and the reigning World U20 sprint double champion Briana Williams will match strides at the fourth staging of the Racers Adidas Grand Prix set for the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday, June 8, 2019.

Indian Premier League (IPL) team Mumbai Indians will oversee the entire rehabilitation process of Windies pace bowler Alzarri Joseph.

The 22-year-old got his IPL career off to a lightning quick start after claiming a historic 6 for 12 in 3.4 overs.  Tragedy, however, struck for the bowler soon after as he injured his shoulder while fielding for the team in the very next game. 

The damage not only ruled the player out of the rest of the IPL season but also out of the upcoming ICC World Cup.  Despite the bowler not taking part in the rest of the tournament, the club is willing to foot the entire recuperation bill.

  "He has been in Mumbai throughout and his situation was assessed, and the surgery was done on April 30. He is currently recovering and has no movement on the shoulder as it is strapped. One of his family members is here to stay by his side. All his treatment and rehab will be taken care of by MI. He will be shifting to the MI guest house in Navi Mumbai and continue physiotherapy for the next two to three months at the Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital,” a source familiar with the situation told IANS.

 "After this, he will undergo rehab and hit the ground at the Mumbai Indians academy. It should ideally take around four to five months and even his family member shall stay with him during this phase.”

 

Columbus Crew ended their losing run to upset LA Galaxy in MLS, while Atlanta United extended their winning streak on Wednesday.

Columbus snapped a five-match losing streak with a 3-1 victory over the Galaxy, who slumped to their second consecutive defeat.

Gyasi Zardes haunted his former club with the opener, tapping in a Robinho cross from the left in the 27th minute.

He turned provider for Columbus' second, Federico Higuain collecting his pass before firing into the bottom corner from just inside the area.

Hector Jimenez made it 3-0 in the 66th minute as the Crew closed out their victory despite Daniel Steres' late goal.

The Galaxy remain second in the Western Conference, while Columbus climbed into fifth in the Eastern Conference.

In Georgia, defending champions Atlanta recorded a third straight win courtesy of a 2-0 victory over Toronto.

Hector Villalba's close-range finish in the first half was followed up by Julian Gressel's strike in the second.

Atlanta are seventh in the Eastern Conference on the back of their fourth league win of the campaign, while Toronto are fourth.

Montreal Impact moved level on points with the leaders in the east thanks to a come-from-behind 2-1 win over New York Red Bulls.

Meanwhile, Nemanja Nikolic's double guided Chicago Fire to a 5-0 thrashing of New England Revolution.

El Salvador are through to the next round of the CONCACAF U17 Championship after getting the better of Jamaica’s young Reggae Boyz in their round-of-16 clash at the IMG Academy Field 11 on Wednesday.

El Salvador ran out 2-1 winners courtesy of 45th opener from Styven Vasquez and a strike that put the game out of reach from Jorge Flores in the 70th minute of play.

The Reggae Boyz would pull one back from Rajay Wright in the 82nd minute.

The two teams were close in a number of areas, with the El Salvadorians taking their chances and making the difference between the teams.

The first goal of the game, for instance, was an absolute howler after Vasquez, swinging a cross into the box, must have thanked his lucky stars with the delivery making a mockery of goalkeeper, Shamar Haffendon’s position.

The Reggae Boyz would not get back into the game after that.

Top Windies T20 batsman Kieron Pollard will return to his home nation of Trinidad and Tobago ahead of the new Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season.

The 31-year-old previously represented the twin-island republic in Twenty20 cricket as part of a national team that contested the now defunct Caribbean Twenty20 league.  Since the inception of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) the big batsman has plied his trade elsewhere.  He spent five seasons with Barbados Tridents and the last one with St Lucia Stars.

Pollard has, however, been named the franchise player for the Trinbago Knight Riders for the upcoming edition of the tournament.

"We are delighted to welcome Pollard back home and it's great to continue our efforts to bring as many Trini boys home as possible," Venky Mysore, the team director, said in a statement.

"I can't wait for the reaction of the fans when Pollard takes the field at our opening game on 4 September."

The Knight Riders, who have won the two previous editions of the tournament, previously had both T&T nationals Darren and Dwayne Bravo, Denesh Ramdin and spinner Sunil Narine in its ranks as T&T nationals.  Pollard previously captained the Barbados Tridents.

  Windies all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall has once again launched a bid to improve upon his fitness, generally regarded as a major stumbling block to this inclusion in the senior team.

The 26-year Antiguan native is yet to receive a call to Windies squad, despite consistently performing well at both the regional and Windies A level.  In the most recent Regional Super50 competition, Cornwall took 54 wickets in nine matches at 17.68 apiece to be crowned the competition’s top bowler. 

The Leeward Islands Hurricanes talisman has also dominated at the West Indies A level on both home and overseas tours and currently boasts 256 first-class wickets at an average of 23.

Standing at an estimated 6’5 tall and close to 300 pounds, Cornwall has made several attempts to improve on his overall fitness but is seemingly yet to make any significant progress on achieving the required fitness level.  Cornwall is, however, hoping his latest stint with noted trainer Ronald Rogers will pay dividends.

“Training-wise, I am trying to get as fit as I can because I think I am preparing for India,” Cornwall told the Antigua Observer.

“It’s nothing in terms of getting to a particular weight but just to see how far I can get as quickly as possible between now and June,” he added.

The Windies are expected to host India during a full tour scheduled for June.

“It is something that I am up for and something I am happy about so it’s just up to me now to put in the work.”

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce fancies Jamaica’s chances in the 4x200m relay at this weekend’s IAAF World Relays in Yokohama, Japan.

Cricket West Indies has expressed sadness at the passing of Seymour Nurse, the outstanding batsman from Barbados, who represented the West Indies between 1960 and 1969.

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