Thursday, December 14, 2023

Jamaica All-Time Greatest Team

 This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

Gold Cup 2015

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index

This is my selection of All-Time Team for Jamaica and Jamaican diaspora.  Both players who were capped by Jamaica and any other national teams are qualified to be on this fantasy team. The key factor is contribution to Jamaican football. The number 23 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the World Cup Finals.

When I first started to work on the original Jamaica/Jamaican Diaspora in 2017, I wanted to include Jamaican superstars such as John Barnes, Alberto Spencer, Sol Campbell and Laurie Cunningham.  So instead of a Jamaica All-Time team, I create a Jamaicans and Jamaican diaspora team.  But when I updated Jamaica/Jamaican Diaspora in December, 2023, I realized that I was ignoring a lot of talented Jamaican international players.  So I decided to create an All-Time Team for Jamaican international players and another one for British Jamaica respectively at the same team.  

Jamaica is known for its fine athletes.   Lennox Lewis, Usain Bolt Donovan Bailey, etc all came from Jamaica. Several Jamaican-born footballers such as England's John Barnes became star players in the UK and the United States.  However, its national football team never made almost any impact in the international stage until 1997.  In 1998, the Reggae Boyz qualified for the World Cup Finals in France.  Their success story was a mixture of a golden generation of homegrown talents and the mobilization of British Jamaican footballers in the English Preimer League. I have written a blog about the British-Jamaicans on Jamaica's 1998 World Cup team

Jamaica at World Cup 1998

Warren Barrett played for Cornwell College in Jamaica before joining Violet Kickers where he played most of his careers.  He also played one season for Wadadah F.C. for a season in Jamaica.  He captained his nation at the 1998 FIFA World Cup. According to the Jamaica Football Federation, Barrett earned 127 caps for the Reggae Boyz, but this figure has not been officially acknowledged by FIFA.  

GK: Donovan Ricketts 
Donovan Ricketts joined Bolton Wanders in 2004, but never played a game.  Then, he played more than 100 games for Bradford City in England, and has more than 100 appearances in Major League Soccer and has twice been named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. He was also the captain of the Jamaica national football team, earning 100 caps for his country, until his retirement from international football in 2013.

GK: Andre Blake 
Since 2016, Andre Blake became the starting goalkeeper for Philadelphia Union.  At the time of writing, he was voted as the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year three times.  Before that, he played NCAA soccer for University of Connecticut.   He was named a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy in 2013. For Jamaica, he earned his first cap in 2014.  He won the CONCACAF Gold Cup Golden Glove Award in 2017 as Jamaica reached the final.  He had over 70 caps for Reggae Boyz.
Andre Blake
RB: Linval Dixion
In 1995, he signed with the Charleston Battery of the USISL. He moved to Hazard United in the fall of 1995 and played for them until 2002 when he returned to the Battery for two seasons in the USL A-League. In 2003, Dixon and his teammates won the A-League championship. He has captained Jamaica and was a participant at the 1998 World Cup. He made his debut in 1991 and played his last international in 2004 against Venezuela, collecting over 90 caps.

RB/CB: Frank Sinclair 
Frank Sinclair started his career with Chelsea where he spent 8 seasons. He won the FA Cup in 1996-1997.  And he won a League Cup with Leicester Town in 2000.  He played for many clubs all over England. His performance in England led him to be call-up by Jamaica for the 1998 World Cup Finals in 1998. He was one of 7 English-born Jamaican players on the team. He played 28 caps for Jamaica between 1998 and 2003.
Frank Sinclair
Ian Goodison began his career in minor Jamaican football leagues and was discovered in 1996 by René Simões who introduced him straight into the national squad. He joined Olympic Gardens in 1997. From 1999 to 2002, he played for Hull City in England.  He later played for Seba United and Tranmere Rovers.  From 1996 to 2009,  he has collected a country all-time record of 120 caps.  

Marshall played NCAA soccer before he played in MLS where he spent bhis entire career.  He started with Colorado Rapids. His longest stint was with LA Galaxy where he played from 2002 to 2007.  He won two MLS Cup with them. He played for Miami Fusion, Toronto FC and Seattle Sounders.  He appeared in 83 matches from 2000–2010 before retiring from international football in January 2010.   

CB: Wes Morgan 
Rejected by Notts County, Morgan was playing for non-league team before being discovered by Nottingham Forest in  2002. He began a star over there.  In 2012, he moved to Leicester Town.  In the 2015-2016 season, he played every minute of Leicester Town's historical Premiership winning year and also served as the team's captain. He was the first Jamaican international to win the title. At the time of writing, he had 30 caps for Jamaica.

LB Kemar Lawrence 
Lawrence was the son of goalkeeper Orville Edwards.  He started with Harbour View. From 2015 to 2019, he played for NY Red Bulls before joining Anderlecht.  He played for Toronto FC and Minnesota United.  He was named in the MLS Best XI in 2018 and became an All-Star in 2019.  He played 73 times for Jamaica since 2013.  He was named in the Team of Tournament in the 2015 Gold Cup. He was named in the IFFHS CONCACAF Team of the Decade: 2011–2020.

LB/LW: Ricardo Gardner 
Ricardo Gardner started with Harbour View at home. His performances for Jamaica during the 1998 World Cup attracted English First Division side Bolton Wanderers. He played 14 seasons for Bolton Wanderers  of which 11 were spent in the Premier League. Gardner earned 112 caps for the Jamaica national football team, scoring 9 goals and playing at four CONCACAF Gold Cups and the 1998 FIFA World Cup. He had 112 caps and went to the 1998 World Cup Finals.
Ricardo Gardner 
DM/CM: Fitzroy Simpson 
Simpson notably played in the Premier League for Manchester City, Scottish Premier League for Hearts and the Irish IFA Premiership for Linfield. He also played in the Football League for Swindon Town, Bristol City, Portsmouth and Walsall before ending his career in non-league football with Telford United, Havant & Waterlooville and Eastleigh. Born in the UK, he played for Jamaica at the WC in 1998. He had 43 caps.

Peter Cargill also played for local sides Swallowfield FC, CC Lions, Hazard United and Harbour View and also spent 8 years in Israel with Maccabi Netanya from 1987 and 1994 and Hapoel Petah Tikva for a season. He captained the Reggae Boyz and was a participant at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France. He collected a total of 84 caps from 1984 to 1998 and scored 3 times.

AM/CM: Theodore Whitmore 
Whitmore is considered one of the greatest player who had played for Jamaica. He started his club career at Montego Bay Boys Club, and has since played for Violet Kickers and Seba United in his native Jamaica. He was signed on a free by English league side Hull City, but an accident in Jamaica cut short his Hull career. Scottish team Livingston acquired his services in 2003, and in June 2004 he signed for Tranmere Rovers. He had 127 caps for Jamaica.
Theodore Whitmore 
CM: Darryl Powell 
The son of a Reggae musician, Powell was born in Lambeth, London, and his career included spells at English clubs Portsmouth, Derby County, Birmingham City, Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest, as well as a stint at Colorado Rapids in the USA. He played for Derby between 1995 and 2002.  He was one of the British-born Reggae Boyz playing for Jamaica in the 1998 World Cup in France. He has 21 caps between 1998 and 2001.

Earle broke into the professional game with Port Vale in 1982. He spent nine years the club. He was later voted the club's PFA Fans' Favourites. He moved on to Wimbledon in 1991, where he also spent nine years. He made nearly 300 league games for each club, scoring 77 and 59 goals respectively. He also represented Jamaica on 8 occasions between 1997 and 1998, scoring one international goal. He appeared in the 1998 World Cup, scoring his nation's first ever goal in the finals.

AM: Allan Cole 
At the peak of his powers, Cole was a midfield maestro local fans compared to Pele. He remains the Jamaica's youngest senior football international, donning national colours against a Brazilian team when he was only 15 years old.Allan Cole played in the NASL with the Atlanta Chiefs in 1968, and in Brazil with Náutico around 1972. He is largely known as one of Jamaica's greatest footballer.  In addition to his football career, Cole was also the manager of the Jamaican reggae star Bob Marley and his band The Wailers. He was credited as co-writing the 1976 song "War".
Bob Marley playing against Alan Cole
Williams played college soccer for the University of Rhode Island where he remains the team's all-time leading scorer, with 52 goals and 45 assists. He played for many MLS clubs before joining Real Salt Lake in 2005 winning a single MLS Cup there. He has 97 caps with the team and 13 goals. He played for his country in the 1998 FIFA World Cup, making one substitute appearance. 
Bailey arrived in Europe at the age of 13 and played for a number of clubs at youth level before being signed by Belgian side Genk in 2015, where he was named Belgian Young Footballer of the Year. His success in Belgium earned him a move to Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen in 2017. He was named Bundesliga Team of the Year in 2018.  After four years at the club, he was signed by Aston Villa in 2021.  He previously refused a call-up by Jamaica until 2019.
Leon Bailey
LWF/ST: Luton Shelton
Shelton began his career with Harbour View in 2003.  He moved to plat overseas in 2006. His international club career included stops at Helsingborg, Sheffield United, Vålerenga, Karabükspor and Volga Nizhny Novgorod.  From 2004 to 2013, he played 75 times for Jamaica.  He is their all-time leading scorer with 35 goals.  He is the only man to score four goals on his international début.  He played in three Gold Cups.

FW: Lindy Delapenha 
In April 1948 he joined Portsmouth. There, he became the first Jamaican to play professional football in England.  In 1950, he transferred to Middlesbrough where his career took off. He became Boro's leading scorer in the 1951–52, 1953–54 and 1955–56 seasons. He moved to Mansfield Town in 1958. Delapenha played non-league football, Hereford United and Burton Albion. He won the Southern League Cup in 1964 with Burton.

FW: Gil Heron 
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, he moved to Canada as a youth. He played for Detroit Corinthians and Detroit Wolverines, where he was top goalscorer in the 1946 season. He was spotted by a scout from Glasgow Celtic where he became the first Black to play for Celtic.  He also played for Third Lanark and English club Kidderminster Harriers before moving back to Detroit Corinthians. At Celtic he earned the nicknames "The Black Arrow" and "The Black Flash".

Lowe started his career at Harbour View, before Montreal Impact in 1996. He later played with Waterhouse, Richmond Kickers, Rochester Raging Rhinos, Kansas City Wizards, Port Vale, Rushden & Diamonds, Coventry City, Portmore United, Miami FC, and Arnett Gardens before he retired in 2008. He played 65 times for Jamaica scoring 27 goals.

ST: Dean Burton 
Between 1994 and 2016, Dean Burton played for numerous clubs in English football including Portsmouth, Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday. He played in the Premier League with Derby. In 1997, he became the first group of British-born footballers to play for Jamaica. He was their hero as Jamaica qualified for the World Cup for the first time.  He was named Jamaican Sportsman of the Year in 1997. He had a total of 62 caps between 1997 and 2009.
Deon Burton
Honorable Mention
Selwyn Murphy, Don Clarke, Orville Edwards, Aaron Lawrence, Anthony Corbett, Deon Wilmot, Shavar Thomas, Jermaine Taylor, Adrian Mariappa, Claude Davis, Demar Philips, Durrant Brown, Ethan Pinnock, Michael Hector, Damion Lowe, Rodolph Austin, Je-Vaughn Watson, Robbie Earle, Marcus Gayle, Paul Hall, Richard McDonald, Shamar Nicholson, Darren Mattocks, Walter Boyd, Jason Euell, Michail Antonio, Aldrick 'Allie' McNab, Paul Young.

Squad Explanation
-- In December 2023, when I updated Jamaica/Jamaican Diaspora, I noticed many talented Jamaican international or overseas Jamaicans were not recognised.  So I create this All-Time Team for Jamaican international player and another one for British Jamaica respectively at the same time.  I also did a review of Black Players who played for England at the same time.  
-- The selection is mainly based up the successes of the players in their entire career.  However, some naturalised players only spent a few years with the Reggie Boyz. So, I tried to use contributions to the national team as the main criteria since this team was largely about the Jamaican national team. I also gave extra considerations to Lindy Delapenha, Gil Heron and Alan Cole because of their legendary status in Jamaica. They never played internationally for Jamaica.  I cited them as being "heroes of Jamaican football" as a major factor for selecting them.
Lindy Delapenha 
-- I did a blog entry on British-Jamaicans on Jamaica's 1998 World Cup team, but at the time of creation, I do not have enough players to form a British Jamaican All-Time team.  I do not have candidates for goalkeepers.  
-- In 1998, Jamaica went to their only World Cup Finals at the time.  Warren Barrett, Frank Sinclair, Ian Goodison, Peter Cargill, Andy Williams, Deon Burton, Theodore Whitemore, Darryl Powell, Fitzroy Simpson, Onandi Lowe, Robbie Earl and Ricardo Gardner made the team.
-- Jamaica finished second in the Gold Cup for both 2015 and 2017.  Andre Blake and Kemar Lawrence were on both teams while Wes Morgan was on the 2015 team.
-- Only 6 players from this team were born in the United Kingdom.
-- In 2023, Yard Hype, an entertainment website in Jamaica came up with their All-Time Best XI.  The players were Andre Blake, Ricardo Gardner, Ian Goodison, Wes Morgan, Demar Phillips, Allan ‘Cole, Theodore Whitmore, Peter Cargill, Andy Williams, Luton Shelton and Deon Burton.
-- The IFFHS complied their All-Time Best XI for Jamaica in 2021. That team included Warren Barrett, Frank Sinclair, Wes Morgan, Ian Goodison, Ricardo Gardner, Darryl Powell, Robbie Earl, Lindy Delapenha, Gil Heron, Deon Burton and Leon Bailey.
-- Craig Butler, founder of Phoenix Academy, came up with his All-Time Best XI.  They were Andre Blake, Anthony Corbett, Deon Wilmot, Ian Goodison, Ricardo Gardner, Peter Cargill, Allan Cole, Onandi Lowe, Leon Bailey, Walter Boyd, and Luton Shelton.  His team included bench players: Theodore Whitmore, Aldrick 'Allie' McNab, Richard McDonald, Damion Lowe and Shamar Nicholson.  This list seemed to favor Jamaican-born and trained players.
-- I found this ranking of the Top 25 Jamaican All-Time Soccer players by BOLAVIP.  I used it as a reference.
-- In 2014, I selected Warren Barett and Donovan Ricketts for my Jamaica/Jamaican Diaspora team.  Barett played in the 1998 World Cups while Ricketts was named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 2010 and 2013.  Andre Blake had won the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year 3 times.  In 2020 and 2022, he was shortlisted and finished among the top five for the MVP of the year.  The three of them were undisputed.
Warren Barett
-- I also looked Vester Constantine who was related to Learie Constantine.  Learie Constantine was a former Trinidadian cricketer, lawyer and politician who served as Trinidad and Tobago's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and became the UK's first black peer. 
-- I came upon Selwyn Murphy and Don Clarke, but I had no information about them.  They were from the older generations. Orville Edwards and Aaron Lawrence deserved to be honorable mention.

-- Frank Sinclair is on my CONCACAF All-time 23 member teamHe began his career as a leftback, but he was a much better central defender or rightback.  He was a top defensive player when he was with Chelsea FC.  Wes Morgan was an ever-present fixture in the Leicester City Premier league-winning side in 2016. He became the first Jamaican to win the Premier League title.  Morgan only played 30 times for Jamaica and Sinclair 28 times, but Morgan helped Jamaica to finish second at the 2015 Gold Cup, and Sinclair played in the 1998 World Cup Finals. Ian Goodison is Jamaica's most capped player.  So Sinclair, Goodison and Morgan easily made the team.
Wes Morgan
-- For the last centreback, I looked into Tyrone Marshall, Durrant Brown, Adrian Mariappa, Claude Davis and Jermaine Taylor.
-- Tyrone Marshall could play as a forward and midfield.  He had over 80 caps, and was named in the Gold Cup Team of Tournament in 2005.  I took him because BOLAVIP named him the 23rd greatest footballers from Jamaica. 
-- Adrian Mariappa could also play as a rightback.  He spent many years with Watford in EnglandJermaine Taylor was named on the Team of Tournament for 2017 Gold Cup.  He also played over 101 times for Jamaica.  He had a lomg career in MLS.  Damion Lowe is the son of Onandi Lowe who is a part of this All-Time team.  He helped Jamaica to reach the Final of 2017 Gold Cup.  He also made the CONCACAF Gold Cup Best XI in 2021.  They made honorable mentions.
-- I did not seriously consider Ethan Pinnock due to the fact that he switched to play for Jamaica late in his career.  He was put on honorable mention because he spent some time in the Premiership and was voted into PFA EFL Championship Team of the Year: 2020–21.
-- Frank Sinclair was also a very good rightback.  So I only selected Linval Dixon.  He is Jamaica's second's most capped player with 127 caps.  He was a rightback according to transfermarkt.  According the BOLAVIP, he was ranked 8th best Jamaican footballer ever.
-- I had limited information about Anthony Corbett who played for Reggie Boyz between 1985 and 1993.  I did not know his true position. He might have been a rightback.  Deon "Messy" Wilmot seemed to be a club legend with Santos FC (Jamaica), but I also don't know much about him.  
-- Ricardo Gardner was one of the most famous Jamaican internationals.  He was an undisputed choice for the leftback position. He spent 14 years with Bolton Wanderers, of which 11 were spent in the Premier League. Kemar Lawrence played 60 times for Jamaica.  He was named in IFFHS CONCACAF Team of the Decade (2011–2020).  Demar Philips with 72 caps made honorable mention.
Kemar Lawrence
-- In 2014, I selected both Fitzroy Simpson and Darryl Powell for my Jamaican/Jamaican diaspora team probably because I was Anglocentric.  Both were naturalised for the World Cup Finals in 1998.  Simpson came along at the end of the World Cup Qualifiers while Powell did not join until after Jamaica booked their tickets to France. That should not be a factor to improve or diminish their status with this All-Time team.  Nevertheless, I reexamined their standings in 2023 against the likes of several midfielders.
-- In 2015, Rodolph Austin captained Jamaica to their first ever final of the Gold Cup, scoring one goal in the process, before losing 3–1 to Mexico in the final.  However, he spent most of his club career in Leeds United playing in the EFL Championship.  Fitzroy Simpson and Darryl Powell at least did spend time at the Premiership. DM Je-Vaughn Watson had a long career in the MLS.  He played 95 times for Jamaica.  He was also a central defender. 
Peter Cargill did not have a high-profile club career, but he was selected by Yard Hype and Craig Butler on their All-Time Best XI team respectively.  He was also listed as a Top 25 players by BolaVIP.  He had a total of 84 caps while Simpson had 43 and Powell only 21.  He was a big part of Rene Simoes' tenure with Jamaica before the naturalization of British players and continued to be a vital member of the team afterward. For this team, I decided to take Peter Cargill, Fitzroy Simpson and Darryl Powell.
-- Theodore Whitmore is considered to be the greatest Jamaican international player. I meant players being born and capped by Jamaica. Allan Cole remained the Jamaica's youngest senior football international when he made his debut at the age of only 15 years old. He was sometimes known as Jamaica's greatest players.
-- Robbie Earle was the last player selected. He had a good career with Wimbledon.  For Jamaica, he was a part of their 1998 World Cup team.  He would bring experiences from playing in England to the team.
-- Right-winger Leon Bailey is an emerging player as of 2023. He was already named to the Bundesliga Team of the Season (2017–2-2018).   So he had done more things than most Jamaican players.  Right midfielder Andy Williams was mentioned frequently as being an all-timer for Jamaica. 
-- Ricardo Gardner was also a left wing.  So I only needed to select a single wide player on the left. Luton Shelton who was a striker/left wing forward is Jamaica's all-time leading scorer.  His name was mentioned frequently as one of their greatest footballers.
Luke Shelton
-- First, I went for several older players who were pioneer of the game. Gil Heron was the first Jamaican to play in Scotland.  He was born in Jamaica but spent some time in Canada.   Lindy Delapenha was considered the greatest Jamaican player ever.  Both never played for Jamaica as the island was still a British colony when they were active.  They were historical players.
-- I also discovered a player named Jack Leslie who was a striker.  He was the first Jamaican or British Jamaican to play in the English league.  He was called up to play for England in 1925, but the invitation was later withdrawn. It has been speculated that the selection committee discovered that he was a Black player and objected his selection because of his race.  He would have been the first Black player to represent England.  However, I could not clear his eligibility for this team.  He was born in England but was officially uncapped by them. So, I only out him on the British Jamaican team.
-- Dean Burton was the hero of the 1998 World Cup Qualifiers. He deserved a spot on the team.  His decision to represent Jamaica changed the game in the country.  Onandi Lowe scored more goals for Jamaica than Burton, but Burton as mentioned was very important to the history of Reggae Boyz.  Lowe's club career also did not match that of Burton who spent a few seasons in the Premiership.  So Lowe did not get into my Jamaican/Jamaican diaspora team, but he easily made this team alongside Luton Shelton (see above).
Onandi Lowe
-- Paul Young was at one point Jamaica's All-Time leading scorer.  He was a big part of Jamaica's qualifying campaign, but Rene Simoes left him out of the World Cup Finals after Jamaica started to naturalized British-born players.  
-- Aldrick 'Allie' McNab represented Jamaica in both track & field and football in 1960's.  For 100m dash, he could run under 10 seconds, and was a top Jamaican sprinter of his time. He was also inducted in the Caribbean Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.  But I only knew that he was an attacker in football.  I did not know how good of a footballer.
-- Jason Euell played Wimbledon, Charlton, Middlesbrough and Blackpool.  Michail Antonio only earned his first caps in 2021.  He needed more time with the Reggie Boyz, but he already played 9 seasons with West Ham.  He scored over 70 goals in the Premiership.  Walter Boyd was a popular player, but I did not have enough space for them.


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