18 Jan Jamaica adds Wilson to staff for Qualifier
By MIKE MONTFORT —
Navarro College soccer coach Alicia Wilson has been selected to Jamaica’s coaching staff as preparations begin for the 2020 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Houston and in Edinburg, Tx.
Coach Wilson arrived Saturday in Houston, where she met head coach Hubert Busby, Jr., and his staff. She will assist in game planning, strategies, team workouts and roster setting before the eight-team tournament starts January 28.
Jamaica, in Group B, will compete in the round-robin stage with top-seed Canada, Mexico and Saint Kitts and Nevis in matches at 9,700-seat H-E-B Park in Edinburg. Jamaica opposes Mexico in the group opener Wednesday, Jan. 29; Canada, on Saturday, Feb. 1; and Saint Kitts and Nevis on Tuesday, Feb. 4.
Group A, playing at the Houston Dynamo’s 22,000-seat BBVA Stadium, includes Costa Rica, Panama, Haiti and the United States, FIFA’s top-ranked squad which seeks its seventh straight Olympics appearance. Group A matches will be played January 28, 31, and February 3.
Top two finishers in each group will advance to the knockout stage and play semifinals February 7-9 at 30,000-seat Dignity Health Sports Park on the California State University-Dominguez Hills campus in Carson, Cal.
This special, short-term opportunity first presented itself to Wilson during October, but she didn’t interview because Bulldog Soccer was in high gear. Opportunity knocked again at the start of a long recruiting season and before Wilson’s Bulldogs embark on their spring scrimmage schedule March 6 against Midwestern State at Wichita Falls.
“I’m happy and honored to be selected,” said Wilson, who played more than 14 years on the Jamaican national team. “It will be a great experience to work with the team and be around this.”
Jamaica first scrimmages Costa Rica on Wednesday, Jan. 22 in Houston. Within a whirlwind week, the coaching staff will pare down a 50-woman provisional roster to the 20-member limit. Among the 50 hopefuls on the Jamaican list are two-time NJCAA All-Americans from Navarro – Deneisha Blackwood (University of West Florida/Slavia Praha) and Trudi Carter (University of South Florida/unattached).
Match and television coverage times for the Olympic Qualifier will be announced later.