Reggae Boyz Leon Bailey highlights Caribbean provisional rosters

Jamaica's Leon Bailey in action during a CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer match against Panama, Sunday, June 30, 2019, in Philadelphia.
Associated Press/Matt Slocum, File

The provisional rosters for the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup are now out, with many star-studded names filling the potential squads of teams around the region, according to CONCACAF.

In looking at the Caribbean teams already qualified for the Gold Cup group stage, CONCACAF said one of the standout names on the list for Jamaica is winger Leon Bailey.

“The 23-year-old Bayer Leverkusen man played a big part in Jamaica’s semifinal finish in 2019 and now he returns to try to lead Jamaica to their third Gold Cup Final in four tries,” CONCACAF said.

It said Bailey also appeared in two matches with the Reggae Boyz in the 2019-20 CONCACAF Nations League and scored his first Jamaica goal in a 6-0 defeat of Antigua and Barbuda.

After helping Curacao reach the Second Round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying for Qatar 2022, CONCACAF said Leandro Bacuna has been penciled into his nation’s Gold Cup provisional roster.

The 29-year-old mid-fielder, who plies his trade with Cardiff City in Wales, was a stalwart of Curacao’s Gold Cup teams in 2017 and 2019, CONCACAF said.

It said Bacuna has started all seven games in which Curacao have played in the Gold Cup and scored the winning goal in Curacao’s 1-0 win over Honduras, which was the first Gold Cup victory in the nation’s history.

“Fresh off of scoring two goals in six WCQ matches, Bacuna arrives into the 201 Gold Cup in excellent form,” CONCACAF said.

It said defendant Jordy Delem has become an integral part of the recent success of the Seattle Sounders in Major League Soccer (MLS), including lifting MLS Cup in 2019, “and that fine form has carried into his time at the international level with Martinique,” CONCACAF said.

“Once again Delem is back on the Gold Cup provisional roster for Les Matinino after playing three matches each in the 2017 and 2019 editions, respectively, with a goal scored in Martinique’s narrow 3-2 loss to Mexico in the 2019 group stage,” it said.

CONCACAF said Grenada will also be appearing in their first Gold Cup since 2011, “and one of the names that immediately catches the eye on the Spice Boys’ provisional roster is FW (forward) Jamal Charles.”

The 25-year-old scored six goals in just five matches with Grenada during the 2019-20 CNL group stage, CONCACAF said.

In all four victories for Grenada in the CNL, it said Charles scored the winning goal, with two of those game-winning goals coming in the final 10 minutes of play.

“In their Gold Cup return, the potential presence of Charles in tight, late-game situations should provide a confidence boost for Grenada,” CONCACAF said.

It said another young, exciting player who could play a large part in the 2021 Gold Cup is forward Gleofilo Vlijter of Suriname.

CONCACAF sadi it will be Suriname’s first ever Gold Cup appearance, “but they have shown in recent years that they thrive in the spotlight, in particular Vlijter.”

The 21-year-old led all players in scoring in the 2019-20 CONCACAF Nations League, with an astounding 10 goals in just six matches, CONCACAF said.

“With another goal scored for Suriname in CONCACAF WCQ (World Cup Qualification), Vlijter could be poised to make a big impact at the Gold Cup,” it said.

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