Carl wants to climb up rankings

The Cayman Islands are 160th in the latest FIFA world rankings, a drop of two places.  

They are also 24th in the CONCACAF rankings, again a drop of two places. They will have a chance to improve on that when the World Cup qualifiers start in November.  

Cayman’s national squad has been in intensive training under technical director Carl Brown since May when the domestic league season finished and the side, captained by midfielder Ian Lindo, are probably the fittest they’ve been in years.  

Meanwhile, Jamaica’s head coach Theodore ‘Tappa’ Whitmore, believes the 17-place leap up the FIFA’s ladder to No.38 will boost the confidence of his players. 

The former Jamaica captain led an impressive side to the quarter-final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup recently. He added that the positive movement will impact the programme in variety of ways.  

The jump in the June release of the respected FIFA Coca-Cola Rankings is the best position for Jamaica since the successful 1998 World Cup campaign where the Reggae Boyz were ranked 32 entering the competition in France. In August of that year they reached their best-ever placing of 27. 

Jamaica remain the No.1 team in the Caribbean, followed by Haiti (89th), Trinidad and Tobago (90th) and Cuba (101th) rounding out the top four. The Reggae Boyz are now third in CONCACAF behind Mexico (9th) and USA (24th). 

Whitmore, the hero of that 1998 team with two goals against Japan, said the superb football that Jamaica showed at the Gold Cup enabled them to hand defeats in the group phase to Grenada (4-0), Guatemala (2-0) and Honduras (1-0). 

However, the eye-catching outfit which delighted audiences with their positive passing game, had an inexplicable meltdown in the quarter-final against hosts USA, losing 2-0. 

Encouraged by the overall display, Whitmore is confident the foundation has been laid as he and his technical staff look to the Caribbean leg of Brazil 2014 World Cup Qualifiers, which kicks off in November. 

Sports Story

Cayman players are in no doubt on what coach Brown expects from them. – PHOTOS: RON SHILLINGFORD

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