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Vincy Heat coach wants team to stick to plan, be competitive

Vincy Heat coach wants team to stick to plan, be competitive


When St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Vincy Heat take the field at the Arnos Vale Playing Field this afternoon versus the US men’s soccer team in a Group C match of the CONCACAF Zone of the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers, being “competitive” will be the hosts’ first objective.

Technical director of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF) Keith Ollivierre, who has assumed responsibility for the SVG outfit, made the team’s objective known to SEARCHLIGHT last Tuesday, at his team’s training session at the match venue.

Cognisant that his team has no chance of advancing to the hexagonal stage and will be up against one of the emerging powers in world football, Ollivierre cautioned, “What we will be trying to do is be competitive.”{{more}}

Ollivierre added, “For us to do so, the players have to stick to the game plan….”

A gulf exists between the two, as the USA are currently ranked 26th in the FIFA rankings, while SVG are at 156th.

Ollivierre, however, is hopeful that those rankings will be thrown out the window and his charges can cause some panic in the USA camp.

Meanwhile, Ollivierre’s opposite number, Jurgen Klinsmann, in a post on the US Soccer website said: “It’s not going to be easy in St Vincent on a very difficult field with heat and whatever else to get the goals as quickly as possible…. We’ve got to be patient, but we have to play with urgency and determination in our approach.”

SVG will be banking heavily on their speedy front men to get the better of the well drilled USA outfit. The host welcomes the return of Finland based Cornelius Stewart, who missed the four previous matches in this the group phase of the qualifiers, because of injury.

Stewart will join the other rapids in Oalex Anderson, Myron Samuel, Tevin Slater, Nazir Mc Burnette, Emerald George and newcomer Daniel Patrick.

It has been a far from impressive sojourn for SVG in the qualifiers, which began June last year. SVG, after receiving a bye to the second round, advanced to the group stage on the away goals ruling, when matched with Guyana. A 2-2 draw in the first leg was followed by a 4-4 leveller in the reverse fixture. This placed SVG in a tie against Aruba. With a 2-0 triumph here, then a 2-1 defeat in the away game, however, SVG progressed on the away goals advantage.

SVG was trounced 6-1 by the USA in the first leg, played November 13 last year in St Louis, Missouri, as the host conceded in the 6th minute through Oalex Anderson.

Vincy Heat, which is rooted at the bottom of the four team table, also suffered a 4-0 loss to Guatemala here on November 17, 2015 and was defeated 3-2 by Trinidad and Tobago on March 25, 2015, also at the Arnos Vale Playing Field.

In SVG’s return leg against Trinidad and Tobago, March 29, the Vincentians were slammed 6-0 by the Trinidadians.

After four matches, Trinidad and Tobago heads the group with 10 points, with the USA on 7 points, Guatemala – 6 and St Vincent and the Grenadines – 0.

The 18 players selected for SVG in today’s match are Lemus Christopher, Jahvan Peters, Ezra Alleyne, Theon Gordon, Teron Miller, Ajure Durham, Daniel Patrick, Tevin Slater, Emerald George, Myron Samuel, Gavin James, Danroy Edwards, Nazir Mc Burnette, Shawn Benjamin, Cornelius Stewart, Kevin Francis, Oalex Anderson and Roy Richards.

Today’s match kicks off at 3:30 p.m.

A half-holiday has been granted to public servants.