Chicago Red Stars forward, Cheyna Matthews, will travel to Australia/New Zealand for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer as a part of the Jamaican Women’s National Team.
This will be the second World Cup for the forward who received her first call-up to the Reggae Girlz in 2019 for friendly matches against Chile. In the first of the two matches, Matthews came on as a substitute, but started the second match against the South Americans. Matthews rejoined Jamaica a couple of months later before the start of the World Cup for a friendly match against Scotland in which she started for the Reggae Girlz.
During the 2019 World Cup, Jamaica faced Brazil, Italy and Australia in the group stage. Matthews started for the team against Brazil and Australia, and was eligible as a substitute in the match against Italy. Earlier this year, in a friendly match between Jamaica and English side, Sheffield United, Matthews scored for the Reggae Girlz giving them the 0-2 win.
For the Red Stars this season, Matthews has two starts in the regular season, with six appearances off the bench, and one start during the UKG Challenge Cup, with another appearance as a substitute. While the forward has yet to record a goal this season, Matthews’ play has been energizing when she steps onto the pitch for the Red Stars. In the week three matchup against the Kansas City Current, Matthews recorded one assist with a perfectly placed ball to Penelope Hocking and forced an own goal by Kansas City’s goalkeeper when Matthews’ shot ricocheted off the woodwork, hit the back of the keeper and rolled into the net.
Jamaica is the first Caribbean nation to qualify for a Women’s World Cup and the first Caribbean nation to have their men’s and women’s national teams play in the men’s and women’s World Cups. This year, Jamaica will face France, Brazil and Panama in the group stage of the World Cup, a tall order for the team as they hope to make it into the knockout rounds. The Reggae Girlz start their campaign Sunday, July 23, against Le Bleu in Sydney Australia.
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