MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Local football boss Captain Horace Burrell has expressed confidence about Jamaica's chances of beating the United States (US) in their crucial semi-final round CONCACAF World Cup Qualifier at the National Stadium.
The Reggae Boyz have never beaten the US at the senior level, having lost 10 and drawn eight of their 18 meetings to date.
But Burrell, speaking Thursday night at the Manchester Football Association awards ceremony in Mandeville, believes week after next Friday's game in Kingston could be a turning point.
"We have never beaten the United States at the senior level, but this current group of players are determined more than ever to break that jinx," the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president said.
"We will have a team like a well oiled machine ready for action," he added, "and I can assure you that the Reggae Boyz will once again make Jamaica proud, so come out in your numbers and support the team."
Jamaica and the US, who are also scheduled to meet in the return fixture on September 11 in Columbus, Ohio, are tied atop Group A of their qualification group on four points after two games.
The top two teams from the group will advance to the final round of qualifiers.
Meantime, Burrell also sought to dispel the notion that youth football in Jamaica is stagnant, using the recent success of the Under-20 squad in the KSAFA Champions League as a reference point.
"When you look at our youth teams, you will see that we are doing something right," he argued.
"Only yesterday (Wednesday) our national U-20 team defeated a Premier League team out of Montego Bay to win a tournament. They are going to be bowing into action soon and if that is anything to go by then we can expect great things.
"Recently, the U-17s qualified for the World Cup in Mexico and we are hopeful that the U-20s will do likewise," said the CONCACAF executive committee member.
Burrell also used the opportunity to lobby for financial support from corporate Jamaica.
"Yes, we do get support from the Government, but that monthly subvention is not enough because football is by far the biggest sport," he lamented.
"We have nine teams, four overseas coaches, and we also have to pay for air travel for all of these teams, so again I am asking for support because the Reggae Boyz will make Jamaica proud once again."