The fourth round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying begins tonight, the first round where CONCACAF's heavy-hitters join the fray and the tournament begins to get real. While most American fans will mostly be focused on the United States' Group C match against Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, after the final whistle blows from Busch Stadium, Union fans might be interested in checking out Jamaica.
During the CONCACAF Gold Cup, many Union fans eagerly anticipated Andre Blake's participation, however his lack of playing time up to that point in the season led him to being relegated to third choice behind Dwayne Miller and Ryan Thompson. But with Andre Blake playing well for the Philadelphia Union post-Gold Cup, Jamaica manager Winfried Schäfer may have more of a decision to make tonight. Blake, along with the aforementioned Thompson of the NASL's Pittsburgh Riverhounds and Norwegian club Sarpsborg 08's Duwayne Kerr.
Back in September Jamaica barely qualified for this stage of World Cup qualification, needing a 2-0 victory on the road at Nicaragua to squeeze by after falling behind 3-2 at home in Leg 1. Now that Jamaica is here, they have been drawn in a particularly difficult Group B featuring not only themselves as Gold Cup runner-ups, but Gold Cup 3rd place victors Panama, Costa Rica who despite having a rough 2015 did just defeat the United States in a friendly and is a perennial Central American power, and Caribbean upstarts Haiti. If there's such a thing as a CONCACAF World Cup qualification Group of Death, Group B is certainly is and should Andre Blake get the nod he's going to have to be at his best in order to help propel the Reggae Boyz into 1st or 2nd place and the following round's Hexagonal.
Kickoff: 9:00 PM ET
Venue: Independence Park, Kingston, JAM
Television: beIN Sports (U.S. English), CVM (Jamaica)
Listings via LiveSoccerTV