MICHAEL Ricketts, president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), has expressed personal pleasure with the shortlisting of Reggae Boyz goalkeeper Andre Blake and defender Kemar Lawrence for recognition at the fifth annual CONCACAF Awards.
Blake has been nominated for Goalkeeper of the Year and Player of the Year whereas Lawrence has been nominated in the category of Goal of the Year for his match-winning free-kick against Mexico in the semi-final of the Gold Cup.
“The nominations of Blake and Lawrence have positive implications. I am happy for Blake, particularly because I have seen his development through the Clarendon youth programme,” Ricketts, a former Clarendon Football Association president, told STAR Sports.
“Lawrence is the son of the late Orville Edwards, who was a close friend, so it is added pleasure for me,” the JFF president added.
“This is certainly good for Jamaica football to see both young men being recognised by the regional body. They are grown talent, so this is good for the development of the sport here. I hope other players will follow,” he said.
Blake, captain and goalkeeper of the Jamaica national senior team, is one of three Major League Soccer players shortlisted for Male Player of the Year, joining Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore and Seattle Sounders forward Clint Dempsey. US international Christian Pulisic is also a nominee.
The 27-year-old Blake, who was named the best goalkeeper in the 2017 Gold Cup, is also up for Male Goalkeeper of the Year, alongside Colorado Rapids’ Tim Howard.
Reggae Boyz defender Lawrence has been nominated in the category of Goal of the Year for his free-kick winner for Jamaica against Mexico in the semi-final of the Gold Cup. He represents New York Red Bulls in the MLS.
David Villa’s bomb from behind the halfway line against the Philadelphia Union and Altidore’s free-kick against Jamaica in the Gold Cup final are also nominees.
Fans can have their say by visiting the fan voting page on CONCACAF.com.
Voting is open for all categories until Wednesday, December 13.
Final votes in each of the 11 categories will be tallied and the winners announced via CONCACAF.com. The Male and Female CONCACAF Player of the Year Awards will also be presented live at the fourth edition of the Premios Univision Deportes, on Sunday, December 17, at 8:00 p.m.