BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Jan. 12, 2017–Leaving Belize from the Philip Goldson International Airport shortly after noon yesterday was Belize’s National “A” Team, our Belize Jaguars, who will be in Panama for the next week and a half, where they will be playing a total of five games against other Central American national teams in the Copa Centroamericana 2017 tournament. The tournament is a qualifier for the CONCACAF Gold Cup later this year.
New Belize head coach Richard Orlowski of Poland expressed optimism about the team’s chances of qualifying to the Gold Cup, but many fans at home are guarded in their expectations, since the team has not benefited from any tough international friendlies. On the plus side, though, the players displayed a very positive spirit, seem very pleased with the treatment they have received from the FFB, and are embracing the challenge to push the boundaries of Belize’s achievement on the international stage.
It will not be an easy tournament; it has never been, as all other national teams are very well prepared and also eager to make it to the Gold Cup. It should be some comfort for Belizean fans, nevertheless, that Deon McCaulay is back in form, having rested an injury for the last half of the PLB tournament.
As the norm in recent tournaments, Belize gets to face the host country in our opening match.
Belize’s games schedule, all in Belize time:
Fri. Jan. 13, 8:00 p.m. – Panama vs Belize
Sun. Jan. 15, 12:00 noon – Belize vs Costa Rica
Tues. Jan. 17, 3:00 p.m. – El Salvador vs Belize
Fri. Jan. 20, 3:00 p.m. – Nicaragua vs Belize
Sun. Jan. 22, 10:00 a.m. – Belize vs Honduras
Les’ go, Belize!!!