“I’m doing everything I can to put Guyana on the map

– Golden Jags striker Omari Glasgow

Omari Glasgow is one of the brightest young football stars the Caribbean, and by extension CONCACAF, has to offer

Considered one of those rising stars in the Caribbean, Golden Jaguars striker Omari Glasgow is seeking to lead his nation to a first-ever World Cup.
Qualifying for the FIFA World Cup™ out of the Concacaf region has never been more open than it is for the forthcoming home edition. With the USA, Mexico and Canada serving as host nations, opportunity knocks for the other Concacaf nations to secure one of the additional three automatic berths, plus another possible two via the FIFA Play-Off Tournament.
One of those hopeful nations is Guyana, whose team, the Golden Jaguars, is spearheaded by talented young striker Omari Glasgow. The 20-year-old made his senior national debut at 16, and has been a revelation since, finishing the 2023-24 Concacaf Nations League with seven goals to claim Top Scorer and Best Young Player honours.

Omari Glasgow has said World Cup qualification would be “massive” for Guyana

With 16 goals in just 22 Guyana appearances, including two against Cambodia during the recent FIFA Series, the prolific Chicago Fire II man has told FIFA that he is eager to guide the Golden Jaguars to unprecedented heights. The following is from an interview Glasgow had with FIFA.
FIFA: What did it mean to you to win the Top Scorer and Best Young Player awards in the 2023-24 Concacaf Nations League?
Glasgow: It meant a lot. To be honest, I didn’t know that the tournament was giving out awards; so, when I heard about it, I was surprised. I called my family, and we started celebrating. I was in Saudi Arabia with the national team when I found out about it. The guys congratulated me, and it was a good feeling to celebrate it with my team-mates, because they are the ones who helped me achieve it.
FIFA: What did you learn from playing in the FIFA Series against Cape Verde and Cambodia?
Glasgow: I took a lot from it, because it was the first time that we have played countries from outside of our region. It was a good experience to see the different quality and intensity of how the game was played, especially against Cape Verde. They were a good team, they finished fifth in the AFCON last year, so it was a good experience to play against high-quality teams.
FIFA: You have a knack for scoring a lot of goals for Guyana. What is it about playing for the national team that brings out your best?
Glasgow: I love my country. I love Guyana. I’m trying my best to put Guyana on the map. It’s very emotional hearing the anthem, knowing that you are representing the country, and knowing that you have the whole country behind you. There is nothing better.
FIFA: What’s your assessment of your opponents in World Cup qualifying: Panama, Nicaragua, Montserrat and Belize?
Glasgow: We have some good opponents. We can’t take any team for granted. We just have to go out and put up a fight. We played Montserrat in the last Nations League, but we haven’t played Belize or Nicaragua, and (we) haven’t played Panama in a while. We just have to go out there and play the way we have been playing for the last year, and go get a result.
FIFA: Do you like that the first game is against group favourites Panama?
Glasgow: I think we can go and make a statement by beating them. If we do beat them, it will boost our confidence to continue to do well in the group. I think it’s going to be a good match. We’re going to put up a fight and try to go get a result. I don’t think we have a lot of pressure on ourselves; we have nothing to lose, so we just have to go out and perform.
FIFA: Who are your footballing inspirations?
Glasgow: A player from Guyana who I liked was Gregory Richardson. He inspired me because he was one of the Guyanese players who actually came to the USA to play in the early days. I have Gregory’s number, and we communicate sometimes; so, when I go home for vacation, I see him and he gives me tips on how to become a better player.
FIFA: How have you improved since joining Chicago Fire II?
Glasgow: I think my biggest improvement is becoming more mature on the football field and just being more patient, having that composure. Quality-wise, I think I have improved massively through the years here. I think I have improved a lot in many ways, like with my scoring and defending.
FIFA: When you train with the Chicago Fire first-team, you get to be with guys who played in a World Cup, like Xherdan Shaqiri and Kellyn Acosta. What is that like?
Glasgow: The first time I trained with the first team, I was playing left wing, and ‘Shaq’ saw me and told me that I played like (Sadio) Mane. We were walking back to the locker room, and he was telling me that I need to have more composure, that my game is going to change massively. In pre-season I met Kellyn, and since then, we’ve been best buddies. They talk to me a lot; they’re motivating me and helping my game.
FIFA: Do you feel like you are the leader of a new generation of Guyana football?
Glasgow: Yes! I hope so. A lot of young guys look up to me, because I’m always getting messages from them. They look up to me, and they want tips on how to become like me; so, I try to help them out in any way possible, and be the best role model I can be for the kids back home.
FIFA: What would it mean to Guyana to qualify for World Cup 26?
Glasgow: It would be massive! In the last couple of months, we had meetings with the President of Guyana, and he was telling us how happy he would be and what it would mean for the country to qualify. He gave us his full support to do such things. It would be something big.
(Sourced from FIFA Interview with Omari Glasgow)