The 24-man Bajan Tridents squad left the island on Sunday destined for Florida, where they will compete against Bermuda on July 2 for qualification in Group B of the preliminary round in the first-ever Concacaf Gold Cup tournament.
The preliminaries, set to be held from July 2 to 6 will see 25 participating nations bring their best game to the table, in a bid to advance to the Group Stage on July 10.
Head Coach Russell Latapy has strengthened his arsenal with Maccabi Tel Aviv striker Nick Blackman, Redditch United’s winger Curtis Hutson, and Holland-based FC Den Bosch Dwayne Green.
Also expected to make the roster are international forwards FC Den Bosch’s Ryan Trotman and Oldham Athletic’s Hallam Hope.
Latapy remains unfazed even with the return of Bermuda’s former national captain Dante Leverock, who after retiring from international football last month announced his return.
“We want to do the best we can. I’m not too worried about what Bermuda is doing. What I am doing is trying to put together the best possible squad to give us a chance for the games,” Latapy said.
He added the team remained committed to the job at hand, and with their return from The Dominican Republic earlier this month, those who were injured have rejoined the team and are all putting their best foot forward.
The Bajan Tridents were originally set to face Guyana’s Golden Jaguars in a home and away game in March 2020, with hopes of going on to face Trinidad and Tobago’s Soca Warriors. However, the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic forced those games to be called off, and Barbados was handed a straight ticket to the Prelims.
Pre-seeded teams included Haiti, Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, Guadeloupe, and Bermuda, while those with performances in the Concacaf Nations League; French Guiana, Guyana, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Montserrat and the Bahamas were placed into Pot 1.
After direct elimination play over three match-days, the 12 teams would be reduced to a final three who would qualify for the Group Stage of the Gold Cup. (BFA)