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Williams, Lambert help Jamaica to Gold Cup qualification

By USLChampionship.com Staff, 06/15/22, 12:07PM EDT

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Midfield duo put in strong displays against Mexico, Powder scores twice as Trinidad and Tobago takes win

Miami FC’s Speedy Williams and Phoenix Rising FC’s Kevon Lambert helped Jamaica seal its place at the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup on Tuesday night as the Reggae Boyz earned a 1-1 draw against Mexico in the Concacaf Nations League A clash at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica.

With the result, Jamaica moved four points clear of third-placed Suriname with each side having one remaining game to play in League A, Group A next March. The top two teams in each group of League A automatically advance to the group stage of the Gold Cup, with Jamaica set to close its campaign on the road against Mexico on March 26 next year.

Williams and Lambert started all three of Jamaica’s contests in this international window and delivered solid performances against El Tri. Williams recorded a pair of shots for the hosts while completing 51 of 59 passes and making three interceptions defensively as he went the full 90 minutes, while Lambert completed 45 of 48 passes and notched three interceptions before coming off in the 82nd minute after sustaining a slight knock after a challenge.

Elsewhere in League A, a trio of current Championship players helped El Salvador earn a 1-1 draw against the United States in difficult conditions at the Estadio Custatlan on Tuesday, with FC Tulsa’s Ronald Rodriguez and Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC’s Jairo Henriquez both in the starting lineup and Las Vegas Lights FC’s Roberto Molina coming on as a second-half substitute. The result also ensured El Salvador’s place in the group stage of the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup, putting the side clear of third-placed Grenada in the group standings.

A recent signing by the Switchbacks, Henriquez went 87 minutes before being substituted late and completed 12 of 15 passes while recording one interception, but Rodriguez saw a red card in the 80th minute as he brought down the United States’ Yunus Musah to deny a goalscoring opportunity after completing 18 of 19 passes in the game.  

Indy Eleven’s Noah Powder, meanwhile, notched his first two goals for Trinidad and Tobago on Monday night as the Soca Warriors completed a sweep of their home-and-home series against St. Vincent and the Grenadines with a 4-1 victory at Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, Trinidad. 

Powder continued the success for the Boys in Blue this window for the Soca Warriors, following Neveal Hackshaw’s pair of goals in two prior victories for the side. Powder found the net twice in the first half on Monday, with the result keeping Trinidad and Tobago a point behind Nicaragua for first place in League B, Group C with the two sides set to meet in the final game of the group stage in March.

The individual performance of Matchday 4 came from USL League One player Ricardo Rivera of Union Omaha, who bagged four goals and one assist in Puerto Rico’s 6-0 victory against the British Virgin Islands on Sunday evening. The result clinched the group for Puerto Rico with two games remaining, earning the side promotion from League C to League B in the next edition of the tournament while also placing the side in the qualification round for the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup.

Fellow League One standouts Nicolas Cardona of Chattanooga Red Wolves SC and Jaden Servania of North Carolina FC also started for Puerto Rico, which will get its first chance to earn a spot in the regional tournament next June.

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