Portmore United preparing to welcome Plaza Amador
Portmore United players (pictured) celebrate after defeating host Puerto Rico FC in the Caribbean Club Championship on March 26, 2017, in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. (Photo: Puerto Rico FC)

PORTMORE, Jamaica – Jamaica didn’t have a representative in last year’s Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League, but it will as the first-ever Scotiabank CONCACAF League (SCL) kicks off this week.

With its trio of Jamaica internationals back home after a run to the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup final, Portmore United hosts Panamanian power Plaza Amador in the first leg of their SCL Round of 16 series Wednesday in Kingston’s National Stadium.

“We have Ewan Grandison, our captain, as well as Ricardo Morris and Michael Binns, who have returned from the CONCACAF Gold Cup,” said head coach Linval Dixon.  “These are assets, not only to our country, but, more specifically, to this football club.

“As we prepare to take on Plaza Amador of Panama, I am confident that we can set a good tone and get a positive result in the home game.”

One area of concern impacting Portmore’s preparation is the fact that the domestic league doesn’t begin until September, leaving many squad members in preseason mode.

“This is a challenge that we have, however, I do not view it a big one,” Dixon commented.  “Our players are fit and now they are gathering match sharpness as they train together and with our international experience back in our fold.  I, as a coach, am looking forward to their key output on the pitch.”

Portmore has not played in a CONCACAF competition since 2006, when it was eliminated from the Champions’ Cup at the quarterfinal stage by Mexico’s Club America, 7-3 on aggregate.