The TACA International Airlines flight carrying Belize’s National “A” Team touched down on schedule around 3:42 p.m. this afternoon at the Philip Goldson International Airport, to begin a warm Belizean welcome for our football heroes who made history a few days ago at the Copa Centroamericana in Costa Rica. We did not win the tournament, or come in second, or even third. Belize came in fourth, but in so doing, we made two major milestones, winning our first ever game in the Copa, and in the process qualifying for the first time ever to the Gold Cup tournament later this year in the U.S.A. Five of the seven Central American countries qualify to the Gold Cup, and Belize was fourth in the tournament, ahead of Guatemala, Panama and Nicaragua.
Following an energetic greeting from fans and relatives at the P.G.I.A., Russel’s bus transported the team to the Brodies Parking Lot on the outskirts of Belize City, where a short “hyped up” press conference was held, with Love FM’s Terry Gordon doing the M.C. honors. A few players – Deon McCaulay, Woodrow West, captain Dalton Eiley, Trevor Lennon and sub-captain Elroy Smith then got a chance to express their appreciation to the many fans gathered there to welcome them home.
After that, the players were moved to the waiting Calypso Train for a motorcade through Belize City, led by the Super Furia Band with their female vocalist, Roxana Alcoser, doing her sensational hit song – “Go Belize!” The motorcade travelled down the Central American Boulevard, onto Cemetery Road, then Albert Street and on to end at Birds Isle, where a reception was prepared for the players and their relatives. All along the way, fans cheered them on from the street sides.
Notably missing from today’s festivities was national coach Le Roy Sherrier Lewis; but from talking to the players, he was certainly there in spirit. After three months working with the national team, the coach opted to stay behind and spend some time with his family in Costa Rica. More than that, reports are that coach Sherrier Lewis has informed the FFB of his intention to call it quits with the national team. But that’s a whole other story.
Today, Belize celebrated our young men on a major historic milestone. Tomorrow, the countdown to Gold Cup 2013 begins.
Players On The 2013 Copa Centroamericana History Making Belize National Team Are: Goalkeepers Woodrow West And Frank Lopez; Captain Dalton Eiley, Jr.; Sub-Captain Elroy Smith; Ian Gaynair; Ashley Torres, Jr.; Evral Trapp; Trevor Lennon; Tyrone Pandy; Evan Mariano; Harrison Roches; Deon Mccaulay; Russel Casanova; Cristobal Gilharry; Shannon Flowers; Jeremy James; Devon Makin; Andres Makin, Jr.; Delone Torres; And San Leobardo Mendez.