Jamaican foundation gifted by D.C. group

Senator the Hon. Arnold J. Nicholson, QC (centre), Minister of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade, and His Excellency Ralph Thomas (left), Ambassador to the United States of America and Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the Organisation of American States (OAS) present a cheque for US$4000 to Christine Staple Ebanks (right), Founder and President of the Nathan Ebanks Foundation, yesterday (Thursday, January 21) at the Ministry’s Headquarters in New Kingston. The Foundation was selected as a beneficiary of the OAS Organisation of Women of the Americas’ (OWA) Annual Food Festival of the Americas’ fundraising event, held in May 2015 in Washington D.C.

L-R: His Excellency Ralph Thomas, Jamaica’s ambassador tot he USA and permanent representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), Senator the Hon. Arnold J. Nicholson, QC,  minister of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade, present a check for US$4000 to Christine Staple Ebanks, founder and President of the Nathan Ebanks Foundation on Thursday, January 21, at the Ministry’s headquarters in New Kingston.

January 23, 2016, Kingston, JA: Representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade handed over a check for US$4000 to Christine Staple Ebanks for her Nathan Ebanks Foundation on Thursday, January 21 at the ministry’s headquarters in New Kingston.

On hand for the presentation were Senator the Hon. Arnold J. Nicholson, QC, minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and His Excellency Ralph Thomas, Jamaican ambassador to the United States of America and permanent representative to the Organization of American States (OAS). The check represents part proceeds from the OAS Organisation of Women of the Americas’ (OWA) Annual Food Festival of the Americas’ fundraising event, which was held in May 2015 at the OAS headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Christine Staple Ebanks (right), Founder and President of the Nathan Ebanks Foundation, presents a copy of her book “Raising Nathan” to Senator the Hon. Arnold J. Nicholson, QC (centre), Minister of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade, while His Excellency Ralph Thomas (left), Ambassador to the United States of America and Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the Organisation of American States (OAS) looks on, yesterday (Thursday, January 21) at the Ministry’s Headquarters in New Kingston. The Nathan Ebanks Foundation received a cheque for US$4000 after being selected as a beneficiary of the OAS Organisation of Women of the Americas’ (OWA) Annual Food Festival of the Americas’ fundraising event, held in May 2015 in Washington D.C.

Christine Staple Ebanks , founder and president of the Nathan Ebanks Foundation, presents a copy of her book “Raising Nathan” to Senator the Hon. Arnold J. Nicholson, QC (center), minister of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade, while His Excellency Ralph Thomas (left), ambassador to the USA and permanent representative of Jamaica to the Organization of American States (OAS) looks on.

The Nathan Ebanks Foundation, which was recommended by the Permanent Mission of Jamaica to the OAS, was selected by OWA as one of 3 beneficiaries chosen in 2015 to receive a donation to assist in its mission of capacity building of parents, teachers and other caregivers of children with physical and mental disabilities

Minister Nicholson thanked the foundation for “playing its part in raising the public awareness level of children with disabilities.” At the same time, Ambassador Thomas in congratulating the Foundation for being selected noted that he looked “forward to the report of the positive impact that the project, funded by this donation, will bring to these special needs children.”

The Nathan Ebanks Foundation was co-founded in 2007 by Christine Staple Ebanks and her husband, Robert, whose son Nathan, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at nine-months old.  The foundation’s mandate is to ensure that all children, particularly children with disabilities and special needs, are included, empowered and supported in their efforts to access and participate in holistic development, on the journey to realizing their full potential.–OnPointPress-net—

Jamaican roots group Raging Fyah tours USA on Dub Rockers label

Roots group Raging Fyah is currently on tour in the USA.

Roots group Raging Fyah is currently on tour in the USA.

By Tiffany Mea

Raging Fyah, one of Jamaica’s emerging roots rock bands, is currently on tour in the USA after signing to Dub Rockers, the newest imprint from the world’s largest reggae distributor VP Records.

The five-member group, hailing from Kingston, Jamaica, will release multiple albums on Dub Rockers, which will include publishing and merchandise rights. Their first studio album with label is slated for 2016.  Throughout November, Raging Fyah will tour California – performing in Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles. Then, they head east for their New York City showcase on the 24th.  Billboard announced the full details on their signing, resulting in the band releasing an official statement about the news:.

Members of the roots group Raging Fyah.

Members of the roots group Raging Fyah.

“Many have compared our sound to the feel good reggae in the 1970s when it was all about the groove of the music, so signing with Dub Rockers/VP Records is like a match made in heaven being that they are known to be ‘miles ahead in reggae.’ With their experience in promoting reggae music from that time until now, we feel we are good hands.” the band’s statement read.

Chris Chin, president of VP Records added “Raging Fyah breeds a progressive sound while staying true to real roots reggae. You know it is made from the heart and can feel the positive energy they bring. It’s undeniable. This type of authenticity is rare and we are excited to help spread the word worldwide.”

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This summer, prior to Raging Fyah’s signing, VP Records’ distribution arm VPAL reissued their first two albums Judgement Day (2011) and Destiny (2014) to get music enthusiasts acquainted with their soul-filled sound that has been making waves in the latest reggae renaissance.  Raging Fyah consists of Kumar Bent (lead singer), Courtland White (guitarist) Anthony Watson (drummer), Demar Gayle (keyboardist) and Delroy Hamilton (bassist).

Some of the members met at Edna Manley College of Visual & Performing Arts in Kingston, but the band itself didn’t form until 2006. Inspired by the likes The Wailers, Third World, Steel Pulse and Aswad, Raging Fyah tackles similar topics of socio-economics and politics with an underlying message of hope and inspiration. Fueled by passion, purpose and life experiences, their lyrics touch and motivate people from all walks of life and their lush lively instrumentation soothes the soul. Their vintage sound coupled with a fresh contemporary flare gives them a particular edge over their predecessors.

Members of the roots group Raging Fyah.

Members of the roots group Raging Fyah.

Since their debut, their infectious vibes have been spreading like wildfire. The band has already made a name for themselves in their native country playing large stage shows such as Reggae Sumfest, Rebel Salute and Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival. They have also developed a devoted following internationally, after performing on South American stages as well as headlining major European reggae festivals (Summerjam, Rototom Sunsplash and Garance).

This spring and summer, Raging Fyah has been touring Europe non-stop – performing at both intimate venues and large-scale festivals throughout France, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Germany Poland, Austria, Belgium, New Caledonia and more. They are steadily capturing the hearts of North American listeners too, earning highly-coveted performances at annual concerts like Sierra Nevada Reggae Festival in 2014. More U.S. dates will be announced for the rest of the year and 2016.  Watch Raging Fyah’s “Irie Vibe” off their latest album, Destiny.

Raging Fyah will be on tour in the US on Nov. 19 in San Francisco, CA at San Francisco State University; Nov. 20 in Los Angeles, CA, at The Mint;  Nov. 22 in Oakland, CA at The New Parish and Nov. 24 in New York, NY @ Milk River–OnPointPress.net–

Jamaica wins big at South Africa’s annual diplomatic fair

Left to right: Mr. John Clarke, Minister Counsellor in JHC Pretoria, High Commissioner Spencer, Mrs. Refilwe Nyathi, Specialist, International Relations Unit of the City of Tshwane

Left to right: Mr. John Clarke, Minister Counsellor in JHC Pretoria, High Commissioner Cheryl Spencer, Mrs. Refilwe Nyathi, Specialist, International Relations Unit of the City of Tshwane

The Jamaican High Commission in Pretoria walked away with the top prize for the Most Authentic Stall at the Annual Diplomatic Fair held at the grounds of the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, on Saturday 31 October 2015. This award is the second highest of those granted by the organisers – the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) and the City of Tshwane (Pretoria) and is the award sponsored by the Mayor of the City of Tshwane.

A patron expressing appreciation for Bob Marley

A patron expressing appreciation for Bob Marley

The Diplomatic Fair is one of the key events on South Africa’s calendar and is held every year to allow the 134 Embassies and High Commissions, as well as International Organizations, based in South Africa, to showcase their history, culture, food and provide information on trade, investment and other opportunities in their countries. As it is also intended to educate the ordinary South African citizen about the diversity of countries, it is a free event, open to the public. Along with the most Authentic, Stalls are judged on, inter alia, the most Informative, the most flavourful, the most interactive and the most entertaining.

H.E. Cheryl Spencer, Jamaican High Commissioner to the Republic of South Africa receiving the award on behalf of the High Commission from Ms. Nomthandazo Maseko of the City of Tshwane. Looking on from left to right are the Acting Mayor of Tshwane, Ms. Nozipho Tyobeka-Makeke and the Acting Speaker of the City of Tshwane, Ms. Refilwe Kekana

H.E. Cheryl Spencer, Jamaican High Commissioner to the Republic of South Africa receiving the award on behalf of the High Commission from Ms. Nomthandazo Maseko of the City of Tshwane. Looking on from left to right are the Acting Mayor of Tshwane, Ms. Nozipho Tyobeka-Makeke and the Acting Speaker of the City of Tshwane, Ms. Refilwe Kekana

Jamaica’s Stall featured product samples, wide ranging information on Jamaican cuisine, complete with photographs of prepared Jamaican dishes as well as on Jamaica’s economy, with emphasis on agriculture production (including references to marijuana and the amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act). The latter which was intended to debunk the myths in South Africa surrounding the role of marijuana in Jamaica, achieved the desired result and sparked much interest and debate among those who visited the Stall.

In addition, patrons who flocked to the stall were able to sample the “Jerk Chicken Special” – a meal of Jerk chicken, festival, a slice of rum cake and rum punch–OnPointPress.net–

Jamaica joins the global observation of United Nations Day 2015

October 24 is United Nations Day and the beautiful island of Jamaica joins the global observations of this important day on the calendar.

October 24 is United Nations Day and the beautiful island of Jamaica joins the global observations of this important day on the calendar.

October 24, Kingston, Jamaica: As the United Nations celebrates seventy years of existence, Jamaica is pleased to join the international community in observing United Nations Day 2015.

The UN is a unique multilateral organisation in which all countries, large and small, developed and developing, have a voice and can participate as equals to resolve the enormous challenges of our time. It is indisputable that over the last seven decades, the United Nations has remained an essential forum for the conduct of multilateral affairs. It is the only institution with unquestioned legitimacy to marshal the international community around the promotion of international peace and security, fundamental human rights and freedoms, economic and social development and prosperity.

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Its expansion from 50 members at inception to 193 in 2015 provides ample evidence of not only its relevance, but also the faith and confidence of the international community in its capacity to address the challenges that confront us. Born out of the noble ideal to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, the UN has done remarkably well in preventing a third world war. UN peacekeeping missions across the globe have contributed to making the world a safer and more secure place.

The UN has provided much-needed humanitarian assistance to countries in the aftermath of natural hazards and populations in conflict situations. The work of the UN in combating organized crime, addressing the world drug problem, curbing the illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons and stemming the proliferation of nuclear weapons is worthy of note.

Food from around the world will be a featured part of the UN Day festivities.

Food from around the world will be a featured part of the UN Day festivities.

The UN, through the Human Rights Council and the various treaty bodies, continues to play a pivotal role in ensuring that fundamental rights and freedoms are respected. It is noteworthy that all States have ratified at least one, and eighty percent of States have ratified four or more, of the core human rights treaties, a signal of the universality of respect for human rights. The erection earlier this year of a Permanent Memorial at UN Headquarters, New York, in honour of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, an initiative pioneered by Jamaica and other members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) as well as the African Group, serves as testimony to the work of the Organisation in championing human rights.

​​​​​​​​​As a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), Jamaica has special reason to celebrate the United Nations and attaches particular importance to the work of the United Nations in social and economic development. The UN has sought to ensure that the needs of the poor and marginalised are addressed. Its effectiveness in spearheading the paradigm shift towards sustainable development over the last few decades, to ensure that the interests of future generations are safeguarded, is significant.

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From Agenda 21, to the Millennium Development Goals, and now the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the UN has demonstrated its commitment to securing “The Future we want”. By defining an agenda for people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnerships, the international community has sought to ensure that people are placed at the center of the development process, no one is left behind and that our stewardship of the planet is characterized by respect for its resources. These are the ingredients that will make for a world free of extreme poverty, where prosperity can be achieved and sustained.

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In carrying out its mandate, the UN has counted on a cadre of international public servants, whose professionalism and dedication stand out for commendation. Among them are many Jamaican nationals, who have provided distinguished service locally, at the offices of the UN Headquarters and its agencies overseas and as diplomatic representatives of the Government of Jamaica. Under the theme “The UN we serve, serves us”, we use the occasion of this seventieth anniversary to pay special tribute to them and to express our pride in their accomplishments.

UNSustainableDevelopmentGoals_Brand-02

We acknowledge that in some respects, the UN has not met its own lofty expectations. Nevertheless, the 70th anniversary affords us the opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to the aims and objectives of the Organisation. The entire sustainable development framework, inclusive of the upcoming 21st Meeting of the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), provides a test of our collective commitment to this end.

It is Jamaica’s hope and expectation that COP21 will agree on an ambitious, legally binding agreement which will ensure the sustainability of planet earth. At this defining moment, now more than ever, the United Nations must reform and re-position itself to respond more effectively to the multidimensional challenges of the 21st century. We must unite in the common purpose to forge global solutions to our common problems. We must commit to making the coming decades ones of extraordinary progress, and the UN an organization which is fit for purpose. Happy United Nations Day!–OnPointPress.net–

Jamaica’s Heroes’ Day celebrated with grand Berlin concert

Tenor Soloist, Steve Higgins, delighting the audience with his rendition of popular Jamaican songs. In the photograph are Honorary Consuls for Jamaica, Mr. Mirko Miljus, from Serbia (centre),  Mr. Joern Follmer, from Munich (second right) and Mr. Marian Valko (right) from the Slovak Republic.

Tenor Soloist, Steve Higgins, delighting the audience with his rendition of popular Jamaican songs. In the photograph are Honorary Consuls for Jamaica, Mr. Mirko Miljus, from Serbia (center), Mr. Joern Follmer, from Munich (second right) and Mr. Marian Valko (right) from the Slovak Republic.

The Jamaican Embassy in Berlin celebrated an early National Heroes’ Day on October 8, 2015, capitalizing on the presence in Germany of tenor soloist, Steve Higgins, the main performer at a reception/concert to commemorate the important historical day.

Her Excellency Mrs. Margaret Jobson gave brief remarks to an audience of approximately 150, comprising members of the Diplomatic Corps, Jamaica’s Honorary Consuls in Munich, Serbia and the Slovak Republic, the public and private sectors and the Jamaican community. In her address, she pointed to the significance of National Heroes Day and the contribution of the seven heroes in changing the course of Jamaica’s history.

Members of the Jamaican community in Berlin.

Members of the Jamaican community in Berlin.

On exhibition were mounted photographs of the heroes with brief biographical data on each. Two short videos, From Tainos to Morant and Discovery and National Heroes were shown during the cocktail hour before the concert. As the Jamaica Tourist Board co-sponsored the event, a short tourism promotional video showcasing the varied tourism product that Jamaica has to offer was also presented along with a display of collateral material.

Her Excellency Margaret Jobson (centre), Ambassador of Jamaica to Germany, is pictured here alongside Gregory Shervington (left), Jamaica Tourist Board Regional Director for Continental Europe based in Germany, and Embassy of Jamaica in Berlin staff members, Deniese Sealey, Counsellor and Troy Levy, Attaché, Accounts and Administration during the Heroes’ Day concert/reception held on Thursday, October 8, at the Jamaican Embassy in Berlin.

Her Excellency Margaret Jobson (center), Ambassador of Jamaica to Germany, is pictured here alongside Gregory Shervington (left), Jamaica Tourist Board Regional Director for Continental Europe based in Germany, and Embassy of Jamaica in Berlin staff members, Deniese Sealey, Counsellor and Troy Levy, Attaché, Accounts and Administration during the Heroes’ Day concert/reception held
on Thursday, October 8, at the Jamaican Embassy in Berlin.

The concert opened with drumming by Joseph ‘Blue’ Grant, a Jamaican singer, Songwriter and Producer who resides in Berlin. Mr. Steve Higgins gave a masterful performance, entertaining the gathering with songs of a wide variety of musical genres from traditional folk to classical. Also presenting some traditional dance moves were the Prime Time Dancers, a German dance group which specializes in Jamaican dance forms.

The Western Regional Foundation for Disabled Children/Westhaven Children’s Home was the beneficiary of donations from those attending the event. This charity will also receive the offering collected at the Embassy’s Independence Church service in August–OnPointPress.net–.

Hon. Ralph S. Thomas, newly appointed Jamaican ambassador to US

Hon Ralph Thomas, Jamaica's newly-appointed ambassador to the US, consults with Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller.

Hon Ralph Thomas, Jamaica’s newly appointed ambassador to the US, consults with Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller.

Washington DC, 10/8/15: The Hon. Ralph S. Thomas, newly appointed Jamaican ambassador to the United States, held his first meeting with US-based Jamaican leaders at the Jamaican Embassy in Washington, DC on September 28, 2015.  Ambassador Thomas met with the leaders to listen to their concerns and discuss matters of importance relative to Jamaicans in the United States and the homeland.

Hon. Ralph Thomas, Jamaica's newly-appointed ambassador to the US.

Hon. Ralph Thomas, Jamaica’s newly appointed ambassador to the US.

The meeting was arranged by the deputy chief of Missions at the Jamaican Embassy, Mrs. Marsha Coore-Lobban. National and DC area leaders in attendance were Mr. Ricardo Nugent, president of the National Association of Jamaican and Supportive Organizations, (NAJASO), Dr. Jacqueline Payne-Borden, president of Jamaican Nationals Association, and Mr. Noel Godfrey,president of the Jamaican Association of Maryland.

Mrs. Coore-Lobban was commended by the leaders for her work in sustaining and facilitating Embassy services since the departure of former Ambassador Stephen Vasciannie in September, who returned to academia at the University of West Indies, Mona campus.

Photo L-R; Ricardo Nugent, President, National Association of Jamaican and Supportive Organizations, (NAJASO), Mr. Noel Godfrey, President, Jamaican Association of Maryland (JAM), H.E. the Hon. Ambassador Ralph Thomas, Dr. Jacqueline Payne-Borden, President, Jamaica Nationals Association (JNA).

Photo L-R; Ricardo Nugent, president, National Association of Jamaican and Supportive Organizations, (NAJASO), Mr. Noel Godfrey, president, Jamaican Association of Maryland (JAM), H.E. the Hon. Ambassador Ralph Thomas, Dr. Jacqueline Payne-Borden, president, Jamaica Nationals Association (JNA).

Ambassador Thomas personally took notes and heard from the leaders on a variety of topics that are foremost in the minds of Jamaicans throughout the Diaspora not only those in the United States, but the UK and Canada as well. In leading the discussion the Ambassador afforded each leader the opportunity to introduce themselves and provide a summary of the most compelling issues that Jamaicans in the US were confronting.

The discussion covered immigration, citizenship, opportunities for Jamaican youth, cultural awareness, carnival activity, health, mental health, HIV/AIDS, education, business and investment opportunities for the Diaspora, Obama’s Young Leaders of the America’s program, deportation issues and the incarceration of our youth were among the topics discussed.  Mr. Nugent, who nominated current Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board member NE, Joan Pinnock to her current position, spoke on NAJASO’s support at the recent Jamaica Diaspora 6th Biennial Conference 2015 and NAJASO’s presence at the conference which included participation on panel discussions.

Deputy Chief of Missions, Mrs. Marsha Coore-Lobban (far right) confers with Ambassador Thomas and Jamaican leaders at Jamaican Embassy meeting.

Deputy Chief of Missions, Mrs. Marsha Coore-Lobban (far right) confers with Ambassador Thomas and Jamaican leaders at Jamaican Embassy meeting.

Ambassador Thomas who was keenly aware of Jamaica’s number one investment project for creating national wealth, the Jamaica Logistics Hub initiative, was provided with a copy of NAJASO’s presentation on the topic delivered at the conference. In addition, Mr. Nugent provided the Ambassador with information regarding NAJASO’s current engagement of medical missions and educational support activities in Jamaica.
Dr. Payne-Borden recommended initiatives aimed at increasing the cultural awareness and educational opportunities for our youth and highlighted the current predicament of convicted DC sniper Lee Boyd Malvo.

Ambassador Thomas pointed out the need to reach out to all Jamaicans in the Diaspora who are doing well in addition to those who are facing challenges in various areas including business and cited opportunities for expanding these efforts.
The meeting was also a reunion for Mr. Godfrey and Ambassador Thomas. Both gentlemen previously worked together as young men at Victoria Mutual Building Society in Kingston, Jamaica in the early seventies–OnPointPress.net–

In historic win, Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz thrashes the US men’s team, 2-1

Giles Barnes, striker for Jamaica's Reggae Boyz, scored the second goal for Jamaica against the USA.

Giles Barnes, striker for Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz, scored the second goal for Jamaica against the USA.

By  Ephieum Allen

In an historic display of football dominance, Jamaica’s exciting team, the Reggae Boyz, delivered a resounding beating to the USMNT in Atlanta, Georgia this evening, July 22, to qualify for the semi-final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. With the victory, the Reggae Boyz are automatic qualifiers for the FIFA Confederations Cup.

Ryan Thompson, the Reggae Boyz' goalkeeper, delivered for the team against the US men's team.

Ryan Thompson, the Reggae Boyz’ goalkeeper, delivered for the team against the US men’s team.

The match began with the Reggae Boyz vigorously attacking the US team for the first 15 minutes then the US responded by attacking the Reggae Boyz for a few minutes.

Jamaica’s first goal was scored by Darren Mattocks in the thirty-first minute. Mattocks headed the ball, which hit the left side post and went across to the other side, connecting on a beautiful goal.

Darren Mattocks of Jamaica's Reggae Boyz started the game by delivery a blistery goal against the USA team.

Darren Mattocks of Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz started the game by delivery a blistery goal against the USA team.

Moments later, in the thirty- sixth minute, Giles Barnes scored the second goal with a free kick inside the 18-yard box which rocketed to the roof of the net, leaving US goal keeper, dazed and confused, with no chance of recovery.

Jamaica bullied the US for the final 15 minutes, leaving the USMNT defenseless, overmatched, outclassed and outplayed in every domain possible. Within the first five minutes of the second half, the US countered with a shot from inside the 18-yard box, which was too hot for Jamaican goalkeeper Ryan Thompson to handle, so he blocked the shot and it went directly into the path of US midfielder Michael Bradley who scored the sole goal for the US.

US goalkeeper Brad Guzan is stunned out of his mind by the Reggae Boys' brilliance and dominance.

US goalkeeper Brad Guzan is stunned out of his mind by the Reggae Boyz’ brilliance and dominance.

The Jamaican victory is in contrast to the Reggae Boyz’ performance in the recently concluded Copa America.  On route to playing the decisive game against the US for the Gold Cup, Jamaica lost to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay in the Copa America tournament. Nonetheless, the Reggae Boyz were considered a formidable force to reckon with, which the US team discovered, much too late.

 USA Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann

A dejected USA Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann, watches helplessly as his team is soundly defeated by the Reggae Boyz of Jamaica in the Gold Cup semi-final match in Atlanta, Ga on July 22, 2015.

Jurgen Klinsmann, the coach for the USMNT, said, prior to the match, that the game against the Reggae Boyz was the “most important tournament for the US this year.”

The second semi-final game is now underway with Mexico going up against Panama. The winner of that match will face the Reggae Boyz in Philadelphia on Sunday, July 26–OnPointPress.net.