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What is next for Gold Cup prep?
Three hundred and sixty minutes played and no goals! With less than one month for the official kickoff of the Gold Cup against El Salvador in New Jersey, does not sound as if we have got a well prepared team for the tournament.
To identify the problems will be a very tedious task which can have a complicated repair pattern to bring better results.
Before the team left these shores for their two match stint, it was clear to me that our national team selected by the technical staff was void of the thought process which should have gone into each player’s present form and/or ability to play at the level expected.
Unless we are magicians, it was extremely difficult to understand the current form, style and ability of allegedly competent players like Justin Hoyte, Andre Boucaud, Chris Birchall, and to a lesser extent of the others playing abroad.
There is a serious fallacy which exists in the minds of our people that any player who leaves these shores to ply their trade abroad is better than the local lads who were not quite as fortunate to have the line towards agents and their appropriate sales staff.
Having left here following a handful of training sessions and a list of injured and/or available players, did not help the situation.
Suddenly we started hearing about the niggling injuries and other reasons for the absence of Primus, Edwards, Hughton and even the failure to obtain the proper Visa to land in these east European countries.
Put these problems together and add to them the late availability or the shortage of funds which has been a major factor for the TTFA in recent times.
The endline was a team that was not even half ready to play against the quality of opponent chosen.
The scores are not as relevant as the confused state of minds which may be of great concern to these players with specific regard to the chemistry which a national football team should possess in order to face an official tournament of the magnitude of the Gold Cup.
And if one may wish to go in search of the reason for the predicament, the coaching staff is not always the target, especially when they are dictated to by club owners, home and abroad, and an association which is still in search of a formula for the future.
Personally, my sentiment in terms of patriotism has forever been stronger than my desire to decry our teams’ chances in any tournament, and this situation is no different.
With three weeks to the task, only a stringent program with a realistic bunch of committed players starting NOW, may at least bring some respectability to our country’s image.
One must recognize that we are not short on known talent. Who can challenge the ability and application toward their game more than Jovin Jones, Attulla Guerra, Daniel Cyrus, Sean Powers, Kevin Molino, Hughton Hector, Jamaal Gay, Lester Peltier, Kareem Hyland, Julius James, Leston Paul, Jean Michel Williams,and add Carlos Edwards to this lot.
And while these are just names, our coaches must take their natural talent and mould them into a collective process which can match their opponents in the period available.
There is a challenge ahead and now we shall see whether the management and the Coaching staff have the vision, quality and players to have us all appreciate the efforts which have been shown by this team to reach the Gold Cup finals.
The days ahead are crucial and everything needs to be put into perspective, especially financial commitment and intelligent planning by the stakeholders.
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