Less than a month before the start of the Gold Cup, former England star John Barnes
quit as Jamaica's national
team coach. Minutes after the Reggae Boyz's 3-2 win over Panama on Sunday night in Kingston, Barnes announced that he was leaving to become manager of English third division club Tranmere Rovers.
Barnes, who had taken the job in December, will be replaced by assistant Theodore Whitmore
, who had served as interim coach before Barnes took
Brazilian Rene Simoes
, who had taken Jamaica to the 1998 World Cup finals, was fired halfway through the semifinal round of World Cup
2010 qualifying. After Whitmore took charge, the Reggae Boyz went unbeaten and was edged by Mexico on goal difference for a place in the Hexagonal.
"Ideally, I'd loved to have stayed
for the Gold Cup," said the Jamaican-born Barnes, whose contract with Jamaica was to expire at the end of the Gold Cup, "but I respect the decision of the Jamaica Football Federation in giving
Theodore Whitmore sufficient time to prepare the team for what will be a tremendous task."