Monday, September 03, 2012

CONCACAF WIBD (Rd. 3) Guyana

Continuing on with our series of underdogs and unlikely qualifiers in need of a little love and support, we look into our own North American backyard in search of a team with grit, gumption, guts and other things that start with G (gorillas, gogo dancers, gefilte fish?).In that spirit we offer our Well-I'll-Be-Darned, Minnow to Watch: Guyana.

WEAR YELLOW!! (Guyana Times International)
Though Cuba is the lowest ranked team remaining they were given free passage to this round of the competition (the Castro's know that cigars are the secret to every international organization's heart), and though Antigua and Barbuda have shared the distinction of being a bottom-ranked local team, the Golden Jaguars have been consistently lower ranked than the others and had to struggle through a group including former World Cup darlings: Trinidad &Tobago's Soca Warriors.

Strangely, press on the Golden Jaguars is somewhere between scant and nonexistent. Local press blocks their websites so I have no idea what they think of the squad, but I do know what a British tv show thought of them back in 2010.

In case you don't want to's not good. Losing to a regional British semi-pro team isn't promising, and though Guyana does boast some talented relatives in world football, including Dewayne DeRosario of Canada, but none of those top players opt for Guyanese kits. The most decorated player is actually 32 year old defender Leon Cort of Charlton (in England's top minor league). Mr. Cort has 4 whole caps.

And yet! Here's Guyana. One round away from the final stage of CONCACAF competition. Heck they practically dominated their last round of competition, clinching a berth in the next round with a stellar victory against Trinidad and Tobago at home (over to you local sports reporter)

Thanks local sports reporter! Now sure, Guyana's been dealt a tough hand having been slammed hard in their first games against Costa Rica and Mexico. And yes, they haven't gotten a point from a game since May 4th (against titans Guadeloupe), and they haven't scored a goal in FIFA matches since since last November (and the above shown game against T&T) but they do have one of the coolest named coaches in all of football: Jamaal Shabaaz.

Coach Shabaaz will be sure to do what he can with a team led by North American Soccer League up and comer Nick Millington, and the aforementioned veteran Leon Cort. Whether or not it's enough, they've bucked the odds by getting here in the first place. And for that we salute them!

No comments: