Jamaica name strong overseas-based U-20 Girlz squad
More than half of Jamaica's under-20 women's squad for the Concacaf Championship in the Dominica Republic will come from overseas as the girls get set for their crucial next qualifying phase or the FIFA U20 World Cup.
The 20-member squad of nine USA-based players and one each from the UK and Canada will meet up with the nine local-based girls ahead of their May 20 departure for the tournament, which will run from May 22-June 3.
Among the notable selectees was Frazsiers Whip pair of Natoya Atkinson and Shaniel Buckley, along with overseas-based University of Florida player Njeri Butts and West Bromwich Albion's Una Moy Lue.
The Hugh Bradford-coached Jamaicans will play alongside seven-time defending champions USA, Canada and Panama in Group A, with Mexico, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico and the Dominica Republic to contest Group B.
Following action in the round-robin phase, the two best teams from each group (four in total) will advance to the competition's knockout stage.
All knockout stage matches (semifinals, third-place and final) will be played in a single-match elimination format, with the two finalists and the third-place winner qualifying for next year's FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup.
The upcoming assignments are expected to be a tough test for the young Reggae Girlz, who comfortably got to this stage after carving out an easy 6-0 winner over Anguilla, followed by a 2-0 win over Bermuda and a hard-fought 2-0 win over Honduras to punch their ticket to the championship.
Jamaica's best place at the championship to date has been fourth place, which they achieved in 2006 after they were defeated 4-1 by Mexico in the third-place play-off.
Jamaica's Shakira Duncan lit up the tournament group stage in 2008 where she netted a tournament-leading six goals along with USA's Michelle Enyeart and Kelley O'Hara.
Squad: Andrene Smith (Excelsior High/Frazsiers Whip FC), Shaneil Buckley (Excelsior High/Frazsiers Whip FC), Una Moy Lue (West Bromwich Albion - UK), Davia Richards (Hill College/ Frazsiers Whip FC), Liha Williams (Garvey Maceo High/Cavalier SC), Taijah Fraser (Middle Tennessee State University - Canada), Tiny Seaton (Excelsior High/Frazsiers Whip FC), Kaitlyn Ennis (FC Prime - USA), Natoya Atkinson (Denham Town High/ Frazsiers Whip FC), Destiny Powell (Excelsior High/Frazsiers Whip FC), Akeila Johnson (Excelsior High/Frazsiers Whip FC), Janiel Mignott (Excelsior High/Frazsiers Whip FC), Amelia Zanten (Eclipse Select - USA), Liya Brooks (Hawaii Surfers - USA), Avery Johnson (Charlotte Country Day - USA), Maya Raghunandanan (Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals - USA), Anaiyah Robinson (Challengers Soccer Club - USA), Njeri Butts (University of Florida - USA), NjerI Lewis (Tophat Gold - USA) and Katie Oakley (Georgia Southern University - USA).