Tampa Bay Rowdies player represented Jamaica in CONCACAF Gold Cup

Playing at the highest level, for your country, is a dream come true for athletes across sports.

It's no different for Rowdies defender Damion Lowe who earned the opportunity to play for Jamaica in the CONCACAF Gold Cup last month.

"Growing up seeing my dad playing in the tournament, and it was always my aspiration to, you know, get to that level and finally I'm there, and I'm grateful," he said.

Soccer runs in his blood. His father, Onandi Lowe, played on the Jamaican national team in the 1990s and early 2000s.

The 24-year-old was part of a defense that shut out opposing countries three times out of six matches played in the tournament. Jamaica would eventually lose in the CONCACAF final against the U.S. men's national team, 2-1.

"I grew up watching Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, and to finally be gracing the same pitch as them in a Cup final, it was an awesome feeling," said Lowe. "I was really excited to get out there and to match my talent with their's."

"It's great for him from a personal level to go play in a big international tournament," said Rowdies head coach Stuart Campbell. "The fact that the team did so well and the fact that him as an individual, did very well, it's only going to be a great experience for him moving forward the rest of his career."

Back with the Rowdies, Lowe brings his international experience as the team makes a push toward the USL playoffs. The Rowdies trail two points behind leader Charlotte in a tight Eastern Conference race.

"I've matured a lot," said Lowe. "I've gained a lot of experience, a lot of confidence that I can match up to the elite players in the world."