COMMERCE CITY CO (Exclusive to ColoradoRapids.com) - On July 26 2008 Colorado Rapids forward Omar Cumming got one of the biggest calls of his life when he was selected to play for has native Jamaican National Team.
Since then Cummings has earned four caps for the Reggae Boyz including two during the country's huge victories over Mexico and Honduras during qualifying matches for the 2010 World Cup.
Jamaica currently stand third in their division with their next match scheduled for November 11 against Canada.
ColoradoRapids.com was able to sit down with Omar and ask him about his experience playing for his home country during these all-important matches.
ColoradoRapids.com: How does it feel to be able to represent your home nation of Jamaica with the National Team?
Omar: "It feels great to be able to be a part of it. Competing at that level has always been a dream of mine."
CRC: Jamaica has only beaten Mexico once in their past 18 matches. How did it feel to be a part of that victory against them and to do it in Kingston?
Omar: "It felt great to beat them. Mexico are a tough team. We didn’t really know what to expect ahead of time because they have a new coach [Sven-Goran Eriksson] and different players but we played hard and we won. It was excellent to be able to play them in Jamaica and win."
CRC: Was your family able to be at that match to watch you compete?
Omar: "Yeah my sisters and some of my family were there. My parents couldn’t make it but others were there. It was great because they haven’t seen me play in over six years. It was really nice to have them there."
CRC: How did you and the team celebrate after beating Mexico?
Omar: "Well we didn’t really have time to celebrate after the game against Mexico because we had another game four days later. But you could definitely feel that the team was happy. The atmosphere was much lighter. I got to celebrate by spending time with family and friends that I don’t get to see much."
CRC: How did you spend your other time in Jamaica?
Omar: "Besides training for the next match I mostly spent time with my friends and family and took the opportunity to support some of my old teams and clubs by attending games."
CRC: How do you prepare differently for a World Cup qualifier than you do for a Rapids league game?
Omar: "Well every one of those qualifying games is do-or-die. If you lose one game your World Cup dream can be gone. The atmosphere is much more serious and there is more pressure because each game is so important. It is a different level of play because you are playing for your country. Physically the preparation is the same but mentally it is much tougher."
CRC: What is the main focus now for the Jamaican National Team?
Omar: "We play Canada on November 11. We really need to win that game in order to advance; it will help that Canada are already eliminated. If Honduras beat Mexico and we beat Canada we will advance."
CRC: How will you prepare to take on Canada?
Omar: "We will prepare the same way we do for all of our matches. You never know what to expect because it is not like MLS the rosters are not set so you usually always see different players and sometimes different coaches. All you can really do is be prepared for the unexpected and play your best."
View Omar Cumming's online bio page with the Jamaican Football Federation by clicking here!