19-Year-Old Jamaican Keeper Sydney Schneider Emerges on World Cup Stage

Brazil may have impressed the masses with their 3-0 win over the Jamaican women’s national team on Sunday morning but it was Jamaican 19-year-old goalkeeper Sydney Schneider that stole the imaginations of millions with a performance that boosted her side and gave many the idea that the Caribbean minnows can be dangerous in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

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Brazil may have impressed the masses with their 3-0 win over the Jamaican women’s national team on Sunday morning but it was Jamaican 19-year-old goalkeeper Sydney Schneider that stole the imaginations of millions with a performance that boosted her side and gave many the idea that the Caribbean minnows can be dangerous in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

“I started when I was 14 or 15,” said Schneider to the Jamaica Observer about her origins in goal. “We were at a tournament and the coach threw me in the goal probably because of my height and I ended up being pretty decent at it.”

Decent is an understatement as the current keeper of the UNC Wilmington Seahawks made four crucial saves, including a penalty stop that made the crowd believe there was a chance for a comeback in the first half. Standing at 5’10, Schneider has the reach to match her reaction time.

Currently a sophomore, Schneider played in all 19 games last year, making her only the second goalkeeper in team history to do such a thing as a freshman. 

What is even more impressive is that Schneider could have been a prospect for the US women’s national team having been born in South Brunswick, New Jersey. However, by age 16 she was already playing in Elite Club Nations League and earned a spot on the youth national sides as well.

Her connection to Jamaica comes from her grandparents on her mother’s side. Whether she anticipated a call-up to the United States isn’t know but she did turn down a call-up to the Jamaican U-17 team in 2015 before finally joining the team a year later. 

Schneider will look to continue her run of form and hopefully guide Jamaica passed the group stage when the team plays Italy on Friday. Group C, which was once thought to be easy for Brazil and Australia, has turned heads following the shocking 2-1 scoreline between Italy and Australia. Jamaica could possible throw even more chaos into the mix by taking points against Italy on Friday.

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