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Washington Spirit forward Cheyna Matthews named to Jamaica’s 2019 World Cup squad

Matthews is the fifth Spirit player heading to France this summer

Kelley Piper

Washington Spirit forward Cheyna Matthews is heading to France as part of Jamaica’s squad for the 2019 World Cup. The Reggae Girlz, who had never previously qualified for a Women’s World Cup, released their roster today. Matthews and Houston Dash rookie forward Kayla McCoy the two current NWSL players included in coach Hue Menzies’ squad.

After missing the 2018 season while pregnant, Matthews has hit the ground running in 2019. In 5 games (4 starts) this season, Matthews has 2 goals and 1 assist for the Spirit. She scored a brace in the Spirit’s 3-2 win at Sky Blue FC earlier this month, and also had the game-winning assist in the season opener.

Jamaica faces an uphill battle in France next month. Placed in Group C, they’ll take on Brazil, Italy, and Australia, who will feature two of Matthews’ teammates in Chloe Logarzo and Amy Harrison. In all likelihood, their chances of advancement hinge on springing an upset win over Brazil or Italy, but then Jamaica already stunned observers by qualifying out of Concacaf last fall.

Matthews has already joined up with Jamaica’s squad for their pre-World Cup training camp, and will be in France through at least June 18th (or longer if the Reggae Girls get out of their group). At a minimum, she will miss the Spirit’s next three games, and that number will probably end up being four or five when all is said and done.