Leverkusen's Bailey commits to Jamaica ahead of Gold Cup

Leon Bailey Bayer Leverkusen 2018
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The winger had previously explored other international options, but is ready to suit up at this summer's tournament

Leon Bailey affirmed his commitment to Jamaica on Wednesday, confirming that he will represent the Reggae Boyz after being named to the country's preliminary Gold Cup squad.

The Bayer Leverkusen winger had turned down overtures from Jamaica in the past, having explored the possibility of playing for England and Germany.

Bailey had accepted a Jamaica call-up in 2018 but that debut was put on hold as the winger refused to play after the Jamaican Football Federation reportedly reneged on an agreement to call up his younger brother, Kyle Butler.

But Bailey was among the names included among Jamaica’s 40-man provisional squad that Concacaf published Monday ahead of this summer's Gold Cup, and he says he's excited to represent the Reggae Boyz going forward.

"I promise to wear the colors black green and gold with honor, pride, and dignity while aiming to be a positive role model for kids with a dream," he said in a tweet.

The winger, who has been linked with a number of top clubs throughout Europe, including Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United, broke through in 2017-18 with Bayer Leverkusen.

He fired 12 goals that campaign, including nine in the Bundesliga, in his second season in Germany following a move from Belgian side Genk.

This season, though, was a bit more difficult as Bailey managed just five goals as Leverkusen was able to seal fourth in the Bundesliga.

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Now, he'll turn his focus towards the Gold Cup, where he'll join a Jamaica team that also includes newcomer Ravel Morrison among the preliminary squad.

Jamaica is set to open the Gold Cup on June 17 against Honduras in Kingston in the first Gold Cup match to be played in the Carribean.

After that, the Reggae Boyz will face El Salvador in Houston before concluding the group stage with a match against Curacao in Los Angeles