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March 18, 2021

Football Federation of Belize announces 23-man roster for World Cup qualifiers; Deon McCauley among them

Posted: Thursday, March 18, 2021. 4:35 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) today announced the 23-man roster that will defend the national colors in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifiers later this month.

The players chosen by head coach Dale Pelayo Jr. and his staff are:

Goalkeepers: Woodrow West, Eithon Wagner, and Isaac Castillo.

Defenders Ian Gaynair, Norman Anderson, Collin Westby, Jose Urbina, Asrel Sutherland, Everal Trapp. Deshawon Nembhard, and Mike Atkinson.

Midfieders: Andres Makin Jr, Jordi Polanco, Ian Lewis, Nahjib Guerra, Angelo Capello, Nana Mensah, Jesse August, Krisean Lopez, and Johny El Zein.

Forwards: Desmond Wade, Carlos Bernardez, and Deon McCauley.

Two players were cut on Monday, namely Izon Gill and Allan Barillas. Barillas was let go due to injury. The players, though, are still part of the process, and will more than likely be called to try out for the June games.

The technical staff consists of Dale Pelayo Sr. – head coach, Marvin Ottley – assistant coach, Stanley Reneau – goalkeeper coach, Dennis Serano – physical trainer, Ben Aba – physical therapist, Herbert Trapp – equipment manager, Dr. Carlos Crespo – team doctor and Raynord Garbutt – team manager.

Earlier Deon McCauley had said he would have been unable to join the team because of a US Green Card delay but was able to fly in on Sunday. Carlos Bernardez flew in from Honduras on Monday and Johny El Zein came from United Arab Emirates on Wednesday.

Midfielder Tony Rocha and forward Mike Salazar, who both play in the United States MLS, could not make the trip because their teams would not release since MLS guidelines require them to quarantine upon their return to the United States.

Pelayo said that in the absence of any practice games, the BMNT is playing a scrimmage on Friday at 3:00 p.m. among themselves.

The BMNT itinerary for Sunday says they will leave the FFB in Belmopan at 10:00 a.m. for their flight to Miami at 3:00 p.m. They will overnight in Miami to catch an outgoing flight to Port au Prince, Haiti, on Monday at 8:30 a.m. (6:30 a.m. Belize) Their arrival in Haiti should be at 10:30 a.m. (8:30 a.m. Belize).

Belize play their first WC qualifier match against Haiti at the Stade Sylvio Cator in Port au Prince at 3:00 p.m. Belize time on Thursday, March 25.

They then fly to the Domimican Republic on Friday for the second game on Tuesday, March 30.

That match is our ‘home’ game against Turks and Caicos Islands at the Estadio Panamericano in Santo Domingo. It has been moved up from 5:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Belize time because of the stadium’s poor lighting.

Belize are in Group E along with Haiti, Nicaragua, Saint Lucia, and Turks and Caicos Islands. Belize’s home games are against Turks and Caicos and St Lucia and our away games are against Haiti and Nicaragua.

Belize’s third and fourth games will be in June away against Nicaragua and at home against St Lucia. The FFB hopes the St. Lucia game can be played here.

Unconfirmed reports coming out of Nicaragua today say that St Lucia Football Federation canceled its hotel bookings in Nicaragua because they are withdrawing from the WC qualifiers. There has been no official announcement from the St. Lucia Football Federation, Concacaf, nor FIFA.


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