Jamaica Reggae Boy forward Leon Bailey is convinced the unit can produce plenty of quality once they get things right, but admittedly expects a tough outing against Argentina.

The Jamaicans will clash with Argentina, at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, for only the fourth time in the team’s history and the debut outing for new head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson, who officially took over the post last week.

The Reggae Boyz have lost all three previous encounters but performed creditably in the team’s last meeting at the 2015 Copa America Centenario, where they narrowly lost 1-0 to the Lionel Messi-led outfit.  Bailey is looking forward to his first taste of the high-profile fixture.

“There are a lot of quality players in the team, we just need to put together, obviously it’s a system that the coach will be improvising but we should be able to do good things and hopefully come away with a result,” Bailey said.

“It’s going to be a good game, the first game for the manager as well, but it should be exciting for everybody playing against a good opponent and I think we just have to be focused and work hard for the whole game.”

Reggae Boyz starting line-up

Andre Blake

Leon Bailey

Daniel Johnson

Ravel Morrison

Shamar Nicholson

Bobby Reid

Damion Lowe

Michael Antonio

Adrian Mariappa

Javain Brown

Amari'i Bell

 

Aston Villa’s Leon Bailey and West Ham United’s Michail Antonio headline a 23-member Reggae Boyz squad to face two-time World Cup winners Argentina in an International Friendly in the United States on September 27.

The squad, unveiled by the Jamaica Football Federation on Monday, also includes six reserves.

This will be the third meeting between the two teams.

They first met in the group Stages of the 1998 FIFA World Cup when Argentina secured a 5-0 victory while their second time opposing each other came 17 years later in the Group Stage of the 2015 Copa America with Argentina once again coming out on top 1-0.

The full squad reads as follows:

  1. Michail Antonio – West Ham United 
  2. Shamar Nicholson - Spartak Moscow
  3. Andre Gray - Aris 
  4. Kaheem Parris- Dynamo Kyiv
  5. Daniel Johnson - Preston North End 
  6. Bobby Reid -  Fulham 
  7. Damion Lowe -  Inter Miami 
  8. Leon Bailey -  Aston Villa 
  9. Ravel Morrison -  DC United 
  10. Kevon Lambert -  Phoenix Rising 
  11. Jonathan Russell -  Huddersfield FC 
  12. Kevin Stewart -  Blackpool 
  13. Amari Bell -  Luton Town 
  14. Gregory Leigh -  Ipswich Town 
  15. Joel Latibeaudiere -  Swansea City 
  16. Jamoi Topey-Mount Pleasant 
  17. Javain Brown Vancouver -  Whitecaps FC 
  18. Jamal Lowe- AFC Bournemouth 
  19. Richard King -  Cavalier SC 
  20. Adrian Mariappa -  Macarthur FC 
  21. Kemar Foster (GK) - Waterhouse FC 
  22. Dillon Barnes (GK) -  QPR 
  23. Jahmali Waite (GK) -  Pittsburgh Riverhounds 

 

RESERVES 

  1. Maliek Howell -  University of Memphis
  2. Ricardo Thomas -  Dunbeholden 
  3. Demario Phillips -  Mount Pleasant 
  4. Jourdain Fletcher -  Unattached 
  5. Corey Burke - Philadelphia Union 
  6. Coniah Boyce Clarke (GK) -  Reading FC

 

Reggae Boy Leon Bailey described his first goal of the 2022-23 Premier League as “special.”

Bailey scored for the equalizer for Aston Villa against defending champions Manchester City at Villa Park on Saturday.

He latched on to a pass from English midfielder Jacob Ramsey to slot home a left-footed strike past City goalkeeper Ederson to salvage a 1-1 draw with the champions.

“That goal was a special one for me but I have to congratulate Jacob (Ramsey) on that fantastic run that he made to pick me out and I’m just grateful that I can help the team,” he said in a post-match interview on Aston Villa’s YouTube channel.

“It felt great and amazing to see Villa Park light up again,” he added.

Bailey’s Villa haven’t had the start to the season that they would’ve wanted, sitting 17th in the table with just four points from six games, but he said he hopes Saturday’s result gives them a much-needed energy boost.

“I think this is what we need to give us the confidence to score more goals,” Bailey said.

“Not just the players, the fans needed that energy back and I think we gave that to them. We gave ourselves a lot of confidence to move forward in the coming games and build on this. Manchester City is a top team, one of the best in the world for me. For us to stay focused for 90 minutes and keep working for everybody was really special today and it felt like a win even though it wasn’t,” he added.

Villa will next head to the King Power Stadium on September 10 to do battle with 2015-16 champions Leicester City.

 

 

 

 

 

Manchester City dropped points for the second time this season in the Premier League as Leon Bailey cancelled out Erling Haaland's opener to earn a 1-1 draw for Aston Villa.

Pep Guardiola's side failed to have a shot on target in the first half, yet they went ahead five minutes after the interval when Haaland prodded home from close range for his 10th goal of the season.

City were made to pay for a host of missed chances after that as Bailey rifled in with 16 minutes remaining to send Villa Park wild, delighting under-pressure home boss Steven Gerrard.

The second-placed champions moved to a point adrift of leaders Arsenal, who face a test against improving Manchester United on Sunday, while Villa climbed to 17th spot.

City started in typically dominant mood, with Kyle Walker blazing over and Kevin De Bruyne lashing wide inside the opening 10 minutes.

Villa withstood that early pressure, though, and almost took the lead in the 38th minute when Ollie Watkins' effort was deflected narrowly wide by John Stones.

City went ahead in the 50th minute with their first shot on target, Haaland stealing in at the back post to convert De Bruyne's looping cross.

The former Borussia Dortmund striker almost had a second shortly after the hour mark, yet his instinctive effort was kept out by the legs of Emiliano Martinez.

De Bruyne then clipped the top of the crossbar with a free-kick from 20 yards, before Martinez again denied Haaland.

Villa snatched a point on a rare foray forward as Bailey whipped home from 15 yards after being picked out by Jacob Ramsey.

Jamaica international Leon Bailey has vowed to silence his critics ahead of the new season after an underwhelming start to life in English topflight football.

The 24-year-old winger joined English Premier League (EPL) club Aston Villa last summer amid a flurry of high expectations for everyone involved in the deal.  The player has, so far, failed to live up to many of those expectations.

Bailey’s problems have in the main stemmed from being unable to take the pitch.  Two thigh injuries and an ankle injury saw the players miss significant time on the sideline.  In fact, the forward has only been able to take part in 18 matches, with just 7 starts.

The player has given glimpses of his tremendous potential in a cameo against Everton last September, assisting one goal before scoring a belter.  Bailey suffered a season-ending injury but has since returned to action for the Jamaica national team where he scored in the CONCACAF Nation’s League.  It is a trend the forward intends to continue.

“Talk the same talk you did last season,” Bailey warned his critics via Instagram.

“New season incoming, I’m coming for everything they said I couldn’t achieve, mark my words.”

 

Coming off the 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Catalonia earlier this week, Jamaica has named a 20-man squad to take on Suriname and Mexico in the CONCACAF Nations League starting on June 4.

The squad sees the return of striker Shamar Nicholson, who has made himself available after his self-imposed hiatus from the national programme, as he attempted to bed in with Spartak Moscow in Russia. The oft-injured Leon Bailey has also been recalled after spending much of the recent Premier League season on the Aston Villa injury list.

The remainder of the squad includes Andre Blake, Damion Lowe, Richard King, Javain Brown, Devon Williams, Ravel Morrison, Tyreek Magee, Leon Bailey, Rolando Aarons, Amarii Bell, Jamoi Topey, Kaheem Parris, Junior Flemmings, Jamal Lowe, Amal Knight, Atapharoy Bygrave, Daniel Green, Oquassa Chong and Kenroy Campbell.

Notably absent is West Ham’s Michail Antonio, who was among Jamaica’s leading scorers in the shambolic World Cup qualifiers.

Following the June 4 encounter, the Reggae Boyz return to Jamaica a day later before tackling Suriname at the National Stadium on June 7 at 8pm. Jamaica returns to action on June 14 when they play Mexico at the National Stadium in Kingston.

 Jamaica international Leon Bailey has vowed to not give up in the face of a difficult season at English Premier League (EPL) club Aston Villa.

The 24-year-old winger is back on the sideline for a third spell this term after leaving the field just before half-time last weekend.  It appears the player picked up what looked to be an ankle injury.  Aston Villa coach Steven Gerrard confirmed that the prognosis is not as bad as first feared but the player will still miss the team’s fixture against Burnley this weekend.

"Leon Bailey won't make the game," the manager told a news conference on Friday. "He left the pitch last week and unfortunately this game will come too soon. I don't think we're dealing with a serious issue... but he won't be at Burnley.”

The injury is the third for Bailey, who has had a stop-start season to life at the club, with a thigh injury previously putting him on the sidelines for weeks, on two separate occasions.  For his part, the forward is determined to recover from his early setbacks and looks determined to return before the end of the season.

“This season has been very tough, but God gives the hardest battles to his strongest soldiers. The most important thing is to overcome all those obstacles in your way & never give up, that’s what makes you a solid/stronger individual,” Bailey posted via social media platform Instagram.

“I just wanna say I really appreciate all the love and support from everyone & I’ll be back VERY soon.”

The full extent of the latest injury to Aston Villa and Jamaica forward Leon Bailey is yet to be determined but the team’s head coach Steve Gerrard sympathizes with the player’s situation.

On Saturday, the 24-year-old hobbled from the field five minutes before half-time, having suffered what appeared to be an ankle injury.  The setback was the latest in an up and down season for the winger.

Previously, Bailey spent lengthy spells on the sideline having injured his thigh on two separate occasions.  Since moving to the club from Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen, the attacker has shown flashes of tremendous potential but struggled to stay fit.  Gerrard admits the situation has been frustrating for everyone.

"It’s an ankle issue. In terms of the extent and the damage, I’m sure he’ll be MRI scanned in the next 24 to 48 hours. I’m really disappointed and frustrated for him because he’s worked really hard to get back, he’s been training ever so well,” Gerrard said.

Bailey started only his second match, since returning from injury, against Leicester last weekend, the coach had promised to give the player an opportunity to play his way back into form.

"We wanted to give him another opportunity off the back of Leicester to really try and keep him in the rhythm. You see how he started the game he nearly scores with a fantastic effort and a top save from Tim Krul,” Gerrard said.

"Not too far after that he’s got to come off the pitch. He’s frustrated, we’re frustrated and I’m sure the supporters are as well.”

  

Aston Villa coach Steve Gerrard believes Jamaica international Leon Bailey’s struggles are likely down to a lack of game time and has vowed to give the player enough chances to play into rhythm.

The 24-year-old winger has shown sparks of brilliance since making the move from Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen last summer but has faced lengthy spells on the sideline after struggling with injury.

 Bailey has started just two of the club's last 18 league fixtures, but a thigh injury saw him miss over nine weeks of action.  The player started the club’s last game against Leicester City but was less than impressive. 

"I think that if you asked Leon, that’s what he wants and craves. I was pretty pleased with his performance last week, he should have scored early on after six or even minutes to put us in the lead,” Gerrard said when asked of the player’s desire for game time.

 "He might put that down to a lack of game time and rust and getting in the rhythm. But Leon is a big talent and we want to keep him moving, keep giving him game time and the opportunity to get back in his own rhythm,” he added.

The Jamaican could be in contention for the starting line-up against Norwich tomorrow, but Gerrard remained tight-lipped.

"We know that when he is in that rhythm he’s a top player. I haven’t confirmed my team to the boys for obvious reasons and I haven’t confirmed it to any of my staff, you know, a couple of hours before the game I’ll confirm that team and you’ll have to wait and see what options I decide."

 

 

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard insists Jamaica international Leon Bailey merited a start against Leicester on Saturday, after a week of solid training.

Bailey’s addition to the starting line-up was a bit of a surprise, given the fact that it was just his second time in a starting line-up in 2022.

Bailey previously played the full 90 minutes against Wolves at the start of the month, but aside from that has been restricted to coming off the bench on six occasions since returning from injury.

"I thought it was a performance in the right direction for Leon. He's trained ever so well in the last week, 10 days. I think he's had a frustrating time. We spoke about that in the week, the likes of Bertrand Traore and Leon Bailey, ball carriers for us, people who can make the difference and help get the team up the pitch, especially when you're away from home against a Brendan Rodgers team,” Gerrard explained, following the match.

"At times, you're going to need people who can get you from one end of the pitch to another. That was the thinking behind his selection but, also, he's arguably been our best trainer and I want to reward people like that. He's doing it on a daily basis and I can't ignore people who are showing me that they deserve game time. So, all in all, I'm happy with his performance,” he added.

Despite missing a golden opportunity to put the team ahead, however, Gerrard is confident the player can contribute meaningfully before the end of the season.

"I thought he should have put us one up early on but, listen, I'll forgive him for that because he's in the right place. I'm sure with more game time, more sharpness and, if more opportunities fall for him again, I'm sure he can help us move forward."

Jamaica wrapped up their Concacaf World Cup Qualifying campaign for Qatar 2022 with a comeback 2-1 victory over Honduras on the 14th and final matchday of the Third Round of CWCQ on Wednesday night at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica.

Honduras enjoyed the better start of the two sides and grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 18’. 

After a VAR review, the referee ruled there was a penalty for Honduras and Angel Tejeda stroked home the spot-kick to give the Catrachos the advantage.

Jamaica looked to get back on level terms and they would get the 1-1 equalizer in the 38’ with a penalty conversion from Leon Bailey.

The momentum was with Jamaica and the Reggae Boyz took their first lead of the contest just moments before the halftime whistle with Ravel Morrison burying a shot off a corner kick to make it 2-1 to the home side.

Jamaica aimed to extend their advantage in the second half, while Honduras tried to find a way back on even terms, but in the end, no goals could be found in the second 45 minutes, as Jamaica saw things out to collect the three points.

Jamaica winger Leon Bailey is suggesting that Jamaica's failed world cup campaign was partly due to players in the squad who lacked the required attitude and approach.

The Aston Villa player made the suggestions while speaking with Sportsmax following Jamaica's 1-1 draw with El Salvador at the National Stadium on Thursday night in what was one of Reggae Boyz more encouraging performances of the campaign. After falling behind in the 21st minute, Jamaica rallied to equalize in the 72nd minute and had several opportunities to win the game.

Head coach Paul Hall included several local players in the squad and Bailey believes that those players exhibited the kind of attitude that was far different to that of other players who were not available for the match.

“There was too much ego in the team and I’m happy that things have been changed a little bit," said Bailey.

"We have guys who want to listen and learn and go forward. We had too many hotheads in the team, too many players who don’t like to listen. Everybody has to want to listen. Nobody’s bigger than the game.” 

Jamaica failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar but Bailey says the performance against El Salvador has provided a template of how the team can move forward.

“We haven’t made it to the World Cup but tonight showed that we are a good team. We can play football and compete. I feel like we can build on this going forward. We showed a lot of character and eagerness to learn,” he said.

 

Reggae Boyz attacker Leon Bailey says he feels sharp after playing all 90 minutes of the team’s 1-1 draw in their World Cup Qualifier against El Salvador at the National Stadium in Kingston on Thursday.

The visitors took the lead in the 21st minute through an Eriq Zavaleta header off a corner before the Reggae Boyz equalized in the 72nd minute through Queens Park Rangers striker Andre Gray.

“I enjoyed the game today. I think the team enjoyed the game today and it was exciting for the fans. I thought we were brilliant in defense and attack but we didn’t take the chances,” Bailey said in an interview with SportsMax after the game.

“I felt good. Haven’t played 90 minutes in a long time. There’s much more room for improvement but I feel sharp, comfortable and ready to go,” he added.

A long time is right. The Aston Villa man hadn’t played the full 90 minutes of a game since a Premier League fixture against Southampton on November 5th.

He endured a long spell on the side-lines after suffering a muscle injury against Manchester City in December.

Jamaica have two more games in the span of five days and Bailey says he’s unsure how much of a part he’ll be able to play in those.

“I’m not sure what the plan is. I’ll speak to coach and see but, obviously, as I said, I haven’t played a full 90 minutes in a long time and having three games in such a short time, we’ll have to see how much minutes I’ll be able to play in the other two games or maybe I’ll just play one game. We don’t know,” he said.

The Reggae Boyz will next take on Canada on Sunday before ending their World Cup Qualifying campaign against Honduras at the National Stadium on March 30th.

 

 

 

 

 

Interim Reggae Boyz Head Coach Paul Hall has named a 24-man squad for the final three FIFA World Cup qualifiers against El Salvador, Canada and Honduras.

Jamaica international Leon Bailey made another appearance from the bench in Aston Villa's 1-0 loss to Arsenal on Saturday, amidst recent reports the forward has been unhappy with the substitute role.

Since returning from a long layoff due to injury last month, the player has been sparingly used by Aston Villa head coach Steven Gerrard.  In total the player has appeared from the bench in five of seven games, failing to feature at all in the other two.

In total Bailey has played 91 minutes, his longest spell of 21 minutes came against Arsenal on Saturday, which was equalled his time against West Ham last week.  It’s a situation his agent and stepfather Craig Butler insists has left the player feeling unhappy.

“He doesn’t like the bench, never will like the bench because he’s the type of guy that always wants to play. He’s been on the bench a couple of times and it really got him riled,” Butler was quoted as saying recently.

Bailey is expected to return to international duty for Jamaica next week, having missed the previous round with a troublesome thigh injury.  Jamaica, who are already eliminated from the competition, will face El Salvador and Canada.

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