Twelve Caribbean teams will be in action on the opening day of the CONCACAF Under -20 Championship in Florida on Thursday. Trinidad and Tobago who have participated in two U-20 FIFA World Cup tournaments, will open Group "A" action against St Vncent and the Grenadines at the IMG Academy in Florida. In other matches on the day, Suriname will take on debutants the US Virgin Islands, the defending champions the United States will face Puerto Rico, while Cuba will meet Belize.
Antigua and Barbuda who are playing in their second straight CONCACAF U-20 Championship, will play St Maarten, Honduras will battle with the Dominican Republic and St Lucia will play Haiti. The U-20 Reggae Boyz will get into action on Friday when they take on Grenada. In the group stages Jamaica will also face Aruba, Nicaragua, St Martin and Mexico.
The top team from each group will advance to the qualification stage of the competition. The top four from there will qualify for the U-20 FIFA World Cup in Poland next year. Jamaica's onlyUu-20 FIFA World Cup participation came in 2001 in Argentina. Meanwhile, 13 local-based players form the base of Jamaica’s 20-man squad.
Five of the 13 local players are from Cavalier SC in the form of Jeadine White, St Michael Edwards, Jamoi Topey, Nique Daley and Kaheem Parris. There are three players from Harbour View in Tyreek Magee, Tajay Griffiths and Casseam Priestley plus Kimani Gibbons and Ricardo McIntosh from Portmore United, Trey Bennett from UWI, Nathan Thomas from Tivoli Gardens and Leonardo Jibbison of Humble Lion.
The other members of the squad are Maliek Howell, Damani Osei, Tevin Rochester, Javain Brown, Jermy Verley, Leonardo Fogarthy and Shandel Senior.