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Jamaica selects Pittsburgh Riverhounds GK Jahmali Waite for 2023 Gold Cup

Jamaica selected Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC goalkeeper Jahmali Waite to the roster for the upcoming 2023 Gold Cup, in their squad announcement on Monday.

Waite is 24 years old and is in his second season with the Riverhounds. He made his way into the starting role and earned a record of 9-6-6 with seven shutouts and 21 goals in 21 USL Championship matches in 2022.

His solid play led to Jamaica calling him up for the first time in November 2022. He started for Jamaica, as they drew 1-1 with African side Cameroon in his debut. 

There has been no “sophomore slump” for Waite in 2023. He played a large role in Pittsburgh making it to the Quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup, posting clean sheets against two MLS sides, on the road against the New England Revolution in the Round of 32 and then at home vs. the Columbus Crew in the Round of 16. Waite also has started 13 matches in the USL Championship for Pittsburgh in 2023, making 17 saves and posting five clean sheets.

While Waite is gone on international duty, the Riverhounds signed goalkeeper Luis Zamudio on loan from DC United to take his place. Zamudio posted a clean sheet in his first match with the Riverhounds, in their 0-0 draw on the road with Oakland Roots SC last Saturday.

He has continued to stay in the Jamaican side throughout 2023 as well. Waite made a start against Mexico at Estadio Azteca, where Jamaica earned a hard fought, 2-2 draw in the CONCACAF Nations League Group Stage. 

Waite also played for the Reggae Boyz in most the recent window, starting in their 2-1 loss to Qatar in a friendly held in Austria on Monday.

Waite is the first Riverhounds goalkeeper to play for their National team since Ryan Thompson did for Jamaica in 2015. Thompson played for Jamaica during the 2015 Gold Cup and posted three clean sheets en route led to the final, where they ended up losing to Mexico, 3-1.

Jamaica will bring along two other goalkeepers in Andre Blake of the Philadelphia Union in the MLS, the captain of the national team, as well as Coniah Boyce-Clarke of Reading FC in England.

They start their Gold Cup campaign against the U.S. this Saturday, June 24 at 9:30 p.m. EST at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill. They will also face two other Caribbean teams in the Group Stage. This includes Trinidad and Tobago at CityPark in St. Louis, Mo. on Wednesday, June 28 at 7:30 p.m. EST and then the final match against either the winner St. Kitts & Nevis and French Guiana at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. at 7:00 p.m. EST.

The top two teams in each group make the Quarterfinals and then the winners go forward from there to the Semifinals and the Final.

Jamaica has never won the Gold Cup, finishing in Second Place in 2015 and 2017. Waite and his teammates will try to become the first ever Jamaican squad to win the Gold Cup, once and for all.

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