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  • Akeeile Harris

Jamaica's 2024 Copa America Journey: Tough Opponents And Players to Watch

Heimir hHallgrimsson's Squad to face Mexico, Venezuela, and Ecuador: Here are the details you need to know

L-R: Mexico's Santi Giménez and Ecuador's Caicedo

Jamaica will kick off their 2024 Copa America campaign under head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson against Mexico on June 22, before facing Venezuela and Ecuador. The match against Ecuador could potentially be a home game for Jamaica.

The Reggae Boyz is not favored to advance in Group B, where it will face Mexico, Venezuela, and Ecuador. However, they have become a tougher team and their ability to challenge opponents is an intriguing aspect as they head into the tournament. Here's a look at their opponents and key players:

Mexico: Young, Experienced, and Strong

Mexico, one of the most experienced national teams in the world, has previously hosted two World Cup tournaments, in 1970 and 1986. The team has had brighter times with players like Rafa Marquez, Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, and Hector Moreno. Currently, under the 45-year-old coach Jaime Lozano, who took over last year, the team has decided not to call up renowned players such as Hirving Lozano and Raul Jimenez. Despite this, Mexico is favored to top the group.

The young squad still includes some top players from major European leagues. Led by captain Edson Alvarez, who had a great season at West Ham in the English Premier League after impressing at Dutch giants Ajax. Forward Santi Jimenez is also a great talent, having had a successful season with Dutch club Feyenoord.

Edson Alvarez, Mexico star (Photo: Getty Images)

Ecuador: Rising Force in South America

Ecuador is one of the rising forces in South American football, having experienced four World Cups and cultivated an impressive pool of talent in recent decades. Guided by 48-year-old Spaniard Félix Sánchez, who grew up in Barcelona's academy and managed Qatar's national teams, including the senior team for five years and during the 2022 World Cup, the Ecuadorians are full of anticipation. They are also focused on the continuation of the 2026 World Cup qualification campaign in CONMEBOL.

The squad is led by the 34-year-old striker and captain Enner Valencia, who currently plays for Brazilian club Internacional. Valencia had impressive years at the English top-flight club West Ham United and was a prolific goal scorer for Turkish team Fenerbahce.

Moisés Caicedo, Millon pounds man (Photo: Chelsea FC)

The most talked-about name in their squad is Moises Caicedo. The 22-year-old midfielder made his name in the Premier League with Brighton and was the subject of a high-profile transfer battle between Liverpool and Chelsea, with the latter securing his services for over £100 million last summer. Despite a not-so-impressive debut season for the Blues, Caicedo's talent is remarkable. Keep your eyes on German champion Leverkusen's center-back Piero Hincapié, who is coming off a great season as well.

Venezuela: Positive Strides Under Fernando Batista

Venezuela has been making positive strides in recent years, now under Argentinian coach Fernando Batista. They recently achieved an impressive 1-1 draw in Brazil and a commanding 3-0 home victory over Chile in the 2026 World Cup qualifications. Having once (in 2011) passed the quarter-final stage of the Copa America, Venezuela is aiming to surpass its record achievement in the tournament.

The team is led by 34-year-old veteran striker Salomón Rondón, who currently plays for Pachuca in Mexico after successful years with Newcastle in the Premier League. Additionally, midfielder Yangel Herrera is coming off a good season with Girona in Spain, and the experienced Darwin Machís of Cádiz also adds strength to the squad.

With Group B facing the Group A winners, which include Argentina and Chile, Jamaica will hope to qualify for the quarter-finals, likely facing a strong opponent in the knockout round.


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