BELIZE CITY, Wed. Oct. 19, 2016–At home
Right in the middle of a hotly contested Premier League of Belize (PLB) Opening Season 2016-2017 competition, the Belize National “A” Team has been unusually busy in this month of October, 2016. Belize is already out of contention for a place in the 2018 World Cup Russia, but our neighbor, Honduras is still in the race, and they visited Belize for an International Friendly on Saturday, October 8, in anticipation of the start of their CONCACAF Hexagonal in November.
For the Belize team, foreign based players Woodrow West (goalkeeper), Michael Salazar and Nana Mensah were in town for this one that saw West stopping a penalty, and Elroy Kuylen scoring a header off a free kick by Elroy Smith. Honduras emerged 2-1 winners, the go-ahead goal coming late in second half. Still a good outing for the Belize National “A” Team.
The Belize line-up for that October 8 encounter at the FFB Stadium included: #27 Woodrow West (G, 31yr), #13 Dalton Eiley (D, 32yr), #3 Trevor Lennen (D, 33yr), captain #8 Elroy Smith (D, 34yr), #7 Ian Gaynair (D, 30yr), #18 Denmark Casey (M, 22yr), #21 Nana Mensah (M, 27yr), #20 Daniel Jimenez (F, 28yr), #5 Elroy Kuylen (F, 33yr), #9 Deon McCaulay (F, 29yr), and #11 Michael Salazar (M, 23yr).
Substitutions made were: #2 Amin August (M, 26yr) for #18 D. Casey; #19 Luis Torres (M, 23yr) for #21 N. Mensah; #15 Jarret Davis (F, 27yr) for #5 E. Kuylen; #14 John King (F, 22yr) for #9 D. McCaulay; #16 Jordy Polanco (M, 20yr) for #11 Michael Salazar; and #23 Devon Makin, (F, 26yr) for #20 D. Jimenez. Other players on the bench on October 8 were #1 Shane Orio (G, 36yr), #22 Rugerri Trejo (G, 21yr), #12 Tyrone Pandy (D, 30yr) and #10 Harrison Roches (M, 32yr).
In Valladolid, Mexico
It was a somewhat watered down National “A” Team (none of our international players) that travelled to Valladolid, Mexico along with the National U-17 squad over the past weekend for games played on Saturday, October 15. The National “A” Team consisted of mostly Belmopan Bandits and Police United players; Police United had an off weekend in the PLB tournament, while negotiations resulted in FC Belize management agreeing to push their game against Bandits back to Wednesday, in consideration of a stipulated sum of money to compensate for the expected significant reduction in gate revenue. It was not a FIFA calendar date match, so the Bandits were not compelled to release their players to the National Team, and a reinforced Police United squad might have held their own against the level of competition the team reportedly encountered.
According to a report by FFB Communications Director, John Palacio, our national selection “went up against Seleccion Nacional Mayor and won by a 2 to nil, margin. The goals were scored by John King in the 47th minute and Elroy Kuylen in the 58th minute.”
And for our youths, he said “The National U-17 Team went up against Mexico’s Tigres Filial Valladolid and won by 4 goals to 2. Belize’s Jalen Mayers scored two early goals in the 8th and 13th minutes. The first half ended with a tie when Tigres Filial scored in the 24th and 30th minutes. The second half saw two more goals for Belize when Gabriel Ramos scored in the 52nd minute, followed by Christian Bush in the 84th minute.”
Good going, guys!
We haven’t received the line-ups for the Belize teams that played in Valladolid, but we understand that the head coach for all our national team games in October is Charlie Slusher.