Je-Vaughn Watson saw Jamaica’s 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup success before it happened.
The Jamaica and New England Revolution midfielder told NESN.com’s Marcus Kwesi O’Mard last month the Reggae Boyz were aiming for Gold Cup glory this summer. Given Jamaica’s struggles in Copa America 2016 and its early elimination from 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying, Watson’s hopes might have sounded far-fetched.
Yet, Jamaica has silenced doubters by upsetting Mexico and advancing to the Gold Cup final, in which it will face the United States at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
Watson outlined Jamaica’s goals for us prior to the start of the 2017 Gold Cup.
“We’re expecting to do better than we did last time, which is try to win it,” Watson said June 28 following the Revolution’s U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal victory over D.C. United. “We lost in the final, so we’re trying to win it this year.
“We always try to aim for the biggest things, so you know we have to go there and do the work.”
The 33-year-old credits Major League Soccer for helping the Reggae Boyz compete consistently with the best teams in the region.
“Major League (Soccer) is good. It’s getting better every year … the level of the football is high, the intensity is high, so you have to keep fit, rest and eat. It prepares us well because last time we had eight starters playing in MLS, so that tells us the league is growing. The culture here is good and everything is good.”
We were skeptical about Jamaica’s Gold Cup chances a few weeks ago but now stand corrected.
You can catch our full interview with Watson here.
Thumbnail photo via Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports Images