In SCL opener, Portmore United looks for Gold Cup magic
Portmore United’s Michael Binns (yellow jersey) is shown competing for Jamaica in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. (Photo: AFP Services)

KINGSTON, Jamaica – It has been more than 11 years since Portmore United competed in a CONCACAF club tournament.

The Jamaican side makes a return on Wednesday night, when it hosts Panama’s Plaza Amador in the first leg of their 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League, Round of 16 series.

With the long wait coming to an end, the players can’t wait to get started.

“We want to impress” said team captain and Jamaica international Ewan Grandison.  “For me, personally, it has been a great summer by finishing second in the Caribbean Cup and the Gold Cup, so to put the icing on the cake this summer would be to advance in this competition and make Portmore United’s brand stronger.

Grandison was one of three Portmore United competitors on Jamaica’s roster during the recently-completed CONCACAF Gold Cup (midfielders Michael Binns and Ricardo Morris were the others).  The Reggae Boyz were edged by the United States, 2-1, in the final.

“I am using my Gold Cup experience in beating the likes of Mexico, Canada, Curacao to inspire me with confidence in beating the best of CONCACAF at club level,” Grandison expressed.  “We as Jamaicans believe once we put our mind to something, then we can achieve.”

Midfielder Michael Binns, who appeared in five Gold Cup encounters, believes that keeping Plaza Amador off the scoreboard at the National Stadium is key to progression hopes.

“In any home-and-away series, teams like to try to score away,” commented the 28-year-old.  “Knowing that we have the first leg at home, a clean sheet is crucial.  Even if we win the game, 2-1, then psychologically Plaza Amador would feel confident with that away goal.  So once defensively we are organized and strong then we can have a solid run in this competition.”

In six games during the 2017 Caribbean Club Championship, Portmore posted three shutouts.