Guyana, Ethiopia to face off in historic friendly in Virginia

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Golden Jaguars Head Coach Jamaal Shabazz has revealed his 18-man final squad for the historic international friendly against Ethiopia which includes four players who will be representing Guyana internationally for the very first time.

The much-anticipated match will be played on August 2 at the Segra Field in Leesburg, Virginia, United States.

With motivation and excitement surrounding the first game between Guyana and an African nation since the Guyana Federation Foundation (GFF) was founded 121 years ago, Shabazz has selected a team with several players who perform creditable during the recently concluded KFC Elite League, which featured the top clubs across the country.

“For this friendly match against Ethiopia, we have selected a squad with some measure of continuity as we seek to widen the pool of players. Ethiopia will be a formidable opponent and a great challenge especially for the lads coming out of the just concluded KFC Elite League. Their ability to cope with the demands made of them in this game, will measure how much work we need going forward,” the head coach explained.

Those who made the cut to represent Guyana are two goalkeepers, six defenders, seven midfielders and three forwards.

Goalkeepers: Akel Clarke and Joshua Narine

Defenders: Jeremy Garrett, Curtez Kellman, Reiss Greenidge, Marcus Wilson, Leo Lovell and Raushan Ritch

Midfielders: Daniel Wilson, Darron Niles, Ryan Hackett, Kelsey Benjamin, Yohance Douglas, Bevan Baker and Kyle Reid

Forwards: Jamal Pereira, Nicholas McArthur and Deon Moore

Shabazz noted that this time round the team has “six overseas-based players whose performances we also want to monitor with an eye on the future as well.”

It is expected to be a thrilling match as both teams are quick on the pitch and have the ability to secure multiple goals.

It will also be Ethiopia’s first time playing in the United States.

FIFA World Ranking has Guyana’s Senior Men’s Team at 168 and Ethiopia, the one-time Africa Cup of Nations champions, at 142 as of July 2023.

Teams are ranked using a points system on international form based on their current performances. The Federation has appealed to all Guyanese to get behind the Golden Jaguars as the GFF seeks to create elite opportunities for the national squad to deliver top performances. (GFF)

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