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#455439 - 01/17/13 02:04 PM Football Team head to Costa Rica
Marty Offline

Today the National “A” Selection Team left the jewel with an upbeat spirit en route to Costa Rica to participate in the Copa Central Americana tournament. The team is hoping to put off an A act when they play against three Central American power houses. The team is comprised of some familiar faces as well as new players who have been training for about four months. Carla Bradley has this report.

Carla Bradley, Reporting

The National “A’’ selection team comprising nineteen players arrived at the Phillip Goldson International Airport, and soon boarded the plane that would take them to what they hope will materialize in victory for Belize.  Ruperto Vicente, President of F.F.B., who is leading the delegation, sees the games as a great opportunity for the team.

Ruperto Vicente, F.F.B. President

“It is, it is a joy for me, a wonderful opportunity as well to be able to take our national team to the Copa Central Americana and to participate in a very prestigious tournament. For me it is an honor, it is not only because of taking the national team or the opportunity to participate but because we are taking a group of excited young men u know to compete against the other Central American teams.”

And while Vincente was full with optimism, the man who will lead the team on the field, team captain, Dalton Eiley Junior, says the team is well trained to take on competing teams.

Dalton Eiley Jr., Team Captain

“I think about three months, we are actually one of the teams that been preparing the longest. So we are expected to go there and do our best and do good and qualify. There’s four in our group so we have three teams, Costa Rica our first game which is the host nation and we are opening the tournament against them which will be one of the hardest games for us and after that we have Guatemala, which you knows is our rival so that will be a very good game and then Nicaragua after that.”

Team goal keeper Woodrow West, who was this year’s M.V.P. and has been sitting on the bench, will now have the opportunity to test his mettle.

Woodrow West, Team Goal Keeper

“Well here in Belize was a total different level that what I am going to confront in couple days coming but it’s give me a lot of hope a lot of strength because I try do my best every time here in Belize. The MVP and the award get me to be the national goal keeper for this tournament and I’m happy for that playing outside is a total different level and it’s another game setting for me so I’ve trained hard and hopefully I can get the job done.”

Belize will be facing off three major teams this weekend, Costa Rica on Friday Guatemala on Saturday, and it will take on Nicaragua on Sunday. Carla Bradley for News Five.

Channel 5


The delegation travelling includes:

Woodrow West, Frank Lopez, Elroy Smith, Evral Trapp, Tyrone Pandy, Dellon Torres, Cristobal Gilharry, Ian Gaynair, Andres Makin, Dalton Eiley Jr. (captain), Evan Mariano, Ashley Torres, Russell Cassanova, Jeromy James, Devon Makin, Shanon Flowers, Trevor Lennen, San Leobardo Mendez, Deon McCauley and Harrison Roches.


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#455635 - 01/19/13 02:29 PM Re: Football Team head to Costa Rica [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

BELIZEAN DREAMS; REALITY CHECK

Our National “A” Team left yesterday for a date with football destiny in Costa Rica. Their vibes are up-beat and positive; there are no visible undercurrents, as in years past when we received reports of some disgruntled players due to unequal and even neglectful treatment by the past “heads” of the FFB administration. Both new Head Coach Le Roy Sherrier Lewis and FFB President Ruperto Vicente share a genuine love of the game and respect for players’ feelings, both having served with distinction in their past football playing careers. Our boys will give their all, as they always do. And Belizean fans are hopeful and excited about the games, which reportedly will be shown live in the coming days on GOL T.V.

From this sports desk, we share the hopes and dreams of all Belizeans where our National Team is concerned. We saw them off yesterday at the Philip Goldson International Airport, and they know we are behind them all the way.

There is only one mindset that one can have when going into battle if one truly hopes to be victorious. Our young men are going on the field to win, and we would have it no other way. Miracles can and do happen in sports; and sometimes the odds makers are proven wrong.

Can Belize do it? Of course, we can; but it will be such an achievement as few casual observers can fully comprehend the enormity of. It would be cause for nothing short of a national celebration that would result from such an accomplishment; and those young men would be national heroes, so huge would be their achievement.

There will be no heads bowed when our National Team players return home next week. We are proud of them now; and we will be proud of their efforts when they return, and we need for them to know that, regardless of the outcome. They will give all they’ve got to bring back the victory and a place in the Gold Cup; and that is all we can ask of them.

When Belize football finally threw off the yoke of over a decade of oppressive dictatorship on March 15 of 2012, we all knew that time was short for us to prepare our national team for the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana, less than a year away in January of 2013. Getting our national team together and prepared was a matter of urgency. But reality soon checked in, as the newly elected FFB President revealed that his Executive had inherited empty coffers at the FFB. Worse than that, more than one-half of the annual monies for 2012 under the FIFA Financial Assistance Program (FAP) had been disbursed in advance and “disappeared” by the out-going administration, with nothing to show for it. So that, instead of US $250,000.00 to work with for 2012, the new FFB had only US $107,000.00 left to meet all its plans and obligations last year, the National Team being immediately affected negatively. If anyone wonders why it took the FFB until the first week of October, 2012, to appoint a National Coach and begin the work of putting together our National “A” Team, financial constraints will be big on the excuse list of this FFB administration. (Thanks to BTL and Belize Bank, who have recently been announced as major sponsors of the National Team.)

One bright side to Belize football in this difficult situation is that the owners/sponsors of the Premier League have once again invested their resources in maintaining a number of teams that treated fans to one of the most competitive semi-pro football tournaments ever in 2012. The intensity of that competition and the timing of its completion was convenient for the FFB National Team program, as the momentum was carried over into the formation and preparation of the National Team. There is nothing like real combat to keep players sharp going into a top- level competition; and our players are battle ready in that aspect, even if they are limited by only a few games together as the National Team.

But it is nevertheless a lot that we are hoping for from our National Team when we consider the advantages shared by their various opponents.

It is a given that Costa Rica, Guatemala and Nicaragua are all well prepared, and will have been sending scouts to try and figure out what Belize has to offer in this tourney. Not that they have previously held our football in such high esteem; rather, they might be just making sure there are no surprises. But surprises might still be on the way. It is impossible for them to know what this Belize team is capable of, because ourselves are still finding that out, having played only 3 games so far. Is it our time yet? Will Belize “shake up the world” in Group A at Copa Centroamericana? In football, as in life, nothing is impossible.

I have had a recurring dream, sometimes months, sometimes years apart, for over thirty years following the murder of my brother in Ghana, West Africa, back in 1976. And every time, in my dream I am marveling and celebrating the absolutely wonderful and astounding discovery that my brother did not die, after all. It was all a mistake. Sometimes the dream is so vivid and real, I would declare, this must be a dream; and he would reassure me, no, it’s real, it was all a mistake, everything is cool. Overcome with joy, I would even share my past lamentations with him, and he would insist that he is fine, everything is okay, it was all a big mistake. In my dream, I would even pinch myself and say, no, this has to be a dream. And again he would tell me, relax bro, everything is alright. And I would say, shucks, mein, and all this time we were suffering under that mistaken belief… But just when the dream was becoming so real that it would make me physically twist and turn in jubilation; bam! I would wake up; and reality set it, again. Just another dream.

Belize 1, Costa Rica 1. Belize 2, Guatemala 1. Belize 1, Nicaragua 0. That sounds, oh, so good! Cungo, Belize!!

Amandala


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#455724 - 01/20/13 02:05 PM Re: Football Team head to Costa Rica [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Costa Rica tops Belize on Arrieta goal at 2013 UNCAF Copa Centroamericana

Costa Rica took the field for the third and last match on Friday at the National Stadium, ending the 2013 UNCAF Copa Centroamericana's launch day with a challenging 1-0 Group A triumph over a resolute Belize.

The result improved the Ticos' record in tournament openers to 10 wins and two draws in 12 games, including four victories against Belize.

Before the visiting defense had an opportunity to get its bearings, Costa Rica came close to netting within the first minute. Forward Jairo Arrieta nailed a right-footed shot off the post of Woodrow Wilson's goal.

As the half wore on and the Ticos continued to apply pressure, Belize looked increasingly dangerous on the counter and created some half chances.

The opening 45 minutes, however, ended without the breakthrough the home crowd had hoped for, but the locals wouldn't have to wait long to celebrate a goal.

Ten minutes into the second half, after a series of rebounds, Arrieta found the ball at his feet in the box and smashed an unstoppable drive past Wilson into the upper left corner for his first career Copa Centroamericana goal.

The host failed to find the net a second time, instead making its lone strike stand, to take three points and the lead atop Group A after one round of play.

Despite three of its last five Copa Centroamericana outings having been decided by one goal or less, Belize remains winless in 21 all-time tournament games.

Costa Rica will next take the field on Sunday to face Guatemala, while Belize takes on Nicaragua the same day.

Source



Belize aims to make football history

In terms of international football, the times finally seem to be changing in Belize.

The team is yet to win its first-ever match at the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana (Central American Cup), after eight appearances and 20 matches over the years at the tournament. But the Belizeans arrived in Costa Rica this year with some defined goals and look to have the on-the-field ability to end the run of winless matches.

Guided by Costa Rican head coach, LeRoy Sherrier, who led the country to its first point ever in this competition twelve years ago, Belize showed a number of alluring qualities in its 2013 tournament debut Friday night, falling by the minimum 1-0 difference to host Costa Rica.

"We've only been working three months ago, and we can get better," Sherrier told CONCACAF.com. "We want to improve on that performance from twelve years ago. I along with the board of directors believe that we can achieve fifth place.

"Our goal is to get to the Gold Cup."

Qualifying for CONCACAF's most important tournament would be a history making feat for the country of just over 300 thousand inhabitants, given that to date the team has just four ties to show for its Copa Centroamericana participation.

However, Belize does baost a record of some success under Sherrier's command. Twelve years ago, the Costa Rican led Belize in a memorable performance at the 2001 UNCAF championship, played in Honduras. It was in that tournament that the coastal Caribbean nation obtained its first-ever point in UNCAF play, tying eventual champion Guatemala, 3-3.

The coach explained that in the opener of this year's edition, his team suffered a bit from nervousness in front of the partial Costa Rican crowd. Sherrier, though, could understand, since returning to his native country at the helm of another national team has also been an emotional experience for the one-time Saprissa coach.

"I feel good, because it's been a while since I coached at this level," said Sherrier. "Coming to Costa Rica, to my country, where I was born, is satisfying because it's a great honor for me."

"It´s a great feeling, because when I started playing football it was on this very field. Coming here to coach a national team, against the local team in the first round, is something beyond description," he added.

In Friday night's match with the host, a standout performance by goalkeeper Woodrow West, combined with a resolute Belizean defense and a surprisingly quick and fluid counterattack, caused problems for the Ticos all night. Those same abilities now promise to be the source of trouble for Belize's remaining Group A opponents.

For that reason, even if Belize is in fact yet to win an UNCAF match, its Costa Rican coach is certain that his team won't return empty handed to Belize this time around.

"I think we could have done even better," Sherrier said of Friday night's result. "But we're happy with what happened, against the home team. Now we'll be out for more."

Belize faces Guatemala on Sunday at 2 PM local time, before closing its Group A participation on Tuesday against Nicaragua. All the games of the 2013 UNCAF Copa Centroamericana are to be played at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose

Source


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#455824 - 01/21/13 02:23 PM Re: Football Team head to Costa Rica [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Guatemala, Belize battle to 0-0 stalemate at 2013 UNCAF Copa Centroamericana

Guatemala and Belize played to a scoreless tie Sunday afternoon at the Estadio Nacional in a match that kicked off the second day of Group A play at the 2013 UNCAF Copa Centroamericana.

The two teams spent much of the first period feeling each other out, with valid scoring opportunities at a premium.

Late in the first half, Belize winger Ashley Torres was sprung through, however, his touch let him down and Guatemalan goalkeeper Cristian Alvarez was able to collect without difficulty.

Just minutes later, Carlos Figueroa had a chance to put the Chapines ahead, but his shot from point blank range went straight at Belizean goalkeeper Woodrow West.

The second half proved a much more open affair. Both teams had numerous chances to get on the scoreboard, the best of which came when Guatemalan forward Minor Lopez saw West parry away his 67th minute effort from close range.

After a series of further close calls for Guatemala, Belize nearly got the winner through substitute Andres Makin, who ran onto a ball at the top of the box in the 82nd minute, but pushed his shot just wide.

West continued his stellar day by making another top notch save on a Lopez header as time wound down, preserving the tie and a valuable point for Belize, their first at the 2013 Copa Centroamericana.

The result left Guatemala winless in seven of its last eight UNCAF games, while Belize has three draws in its last five in the competition.

The point lifted the Guatemalans into sole possession of second place in Group A with two points, one behind leader Costa Rica. The two sides will meet on Tuesday.

Belize and Nicaragua have one point each, and will square-off against each other in two days.

Source


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#455965 - 01/22/13 02:21 PM Re: Football Team head to Costa Rica [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
As nation watches, Belize aims for Copa glory

As sporting events go, few have held more importance in the history of Belize than the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana match against Nicaragua scheduled for Tuesday in Costa Rica.

"The entire nation will be at a stop," said Belize assistant coach and long-time national team goalkeeper Carlos Slusher. "The entire nation will be at a standstill for that game."

In an exclusive interview with CONCACAF.com, Slusher revelaed that his countrymen back home have been following their national team's progress closely this week, with Belize on the brink of a historic chance to play for a berth in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

"The entire country is behind us," said Slusher. "Even the people, as we watch, even the people that don't know about football, are behind us. And more and more people are glued to the television watching the Central American Cup.

"The entire country is happy. But I have already told them that we know that we have not really accomplished anything yet if we don't make it to the Gold Cup."

Belize has never qualified for CONCACAF's championship tournament. The Copa Centroamericana serves as the qualifying tournament for the region, and will send five teams to this year's Gold Cup, to be played across the U.S. for several weeks in July.

With a win in its Group A capper against the Nicaraguans, Belize would assure itself of making at least the fifth place play-in match, and could potentially qualify directly for the Gold Cup with a second-place finish in the group - depending on the outcome of the contest between Costa Rica and Guatemala later in the evening.

"I think that would be one of the greatest things in history for the country," Slusher said of potentially making the Gold Cup. "Myself and other footballers have been trying for a long time.

"We have good footballers, but we have never been able to get it together at a national team level and gain some respect for Belize as a country. This is a great opportunity. We may never have it again."

Behind the heroic play of a defense that has surrendered only one goal in match-ups with regional powers Costa Rica and Guatemala, and the heroics of young goalkeeper Woodrow West, Belize is closer than ever to its historic dream.

And, according to Slusher, the entire nation of 300,000 is set to tune in on Tuesday to witness the outcome.

"Yes, the entire country is behind us, but we want to give you more," said Slusher. "And giving you more means qualifying to the Gold Cup."

The decisive match between Belize and Nicaragua kicks off on Tuesday at 4:00 PM local time, at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose.

Source

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