On Friday, New York City FC right-back Tayvon Gray officially debuted for the Jamaica National Football Team. The 21-year-old was called up for the first time during this international window. Eligible for both the USMNT and Jamaica, he took his chance when the Reggae Boyz gave him a call.
Tayvon Gray made his debut for Jamaica
Jamaica played Honduras in the CONCACAF Nations League, and as USMNT fans know, Honduras can be a tricky side to beat. Rather than being thrown right into the match, Gray started on the bench. Head Coach Heimir Hallgrímsson gave him the opportunity in the first game, for the Bronx native went on in the 65th minute. As such, he is cap-tied.
He had a decent debut too. While he did get himself a yellow card, he fit right into the right-back role. Defensively, Gray was solid and helped the Reggae Boyz maintain their 1-0 lead. Demarai Gray, who is not related to Tayvon, scored the first and only goal. This led to the 1-0 win over Honduras. But again, it was the defense that kept the other team out of goal.
This is good for NYCFC's Gray. The call-up will hopefully increase his confidence. Moreover, the ability to play for a national team can aid in a player's development. A head coach of a national team can have different tactics and styles compared to a club head coach. Therefore, it widens the knowledge a player receives.
For Gray, this can be the case. Of course, he will have to continue to receive call-ups and play minutes with Jamaica.
The young defender also deserves this chance. He has been growing each year and the potential is still vast. Sure, he still needs to improve offensively. Defensively, he is arguably one of the better right-backs in Major League Soccer.
Hopefully, Gray will have more chances to play with Jamaica. The New York City FC Homegrown should be proud of his first call-up, and everyone cannot wait to see how he helps the national team.