With last week’s 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil preliminary qualifying draw in Brazil, the Cayman Islands were drawn in Group A alongside Suriname, El Salvador and Dominican Republic.
Advancing from that group would pit Cayman against Mexico, Costa Rica and quite possibly Trinidad and Tobago.
According to Jeffrey Webb, President of the Cayman Islands Football Association, the Cayman Islands have made history getting in the competition at this level and he has great expectations of the team.
“The Cayman Islands has made history at the group stage,” Webb said. “I believe that with this young squad of players complemented by the older and experienced players the team will represent well. Cayman will be facing teams that are ranked above us and have made their mark in international football. This I am sure makes it even more interesting.
“The reality is that the association cannot do it alone. The entire community will have to rally behind these players by coming on board to help to motivate them as they take the field of play as ambassadors representing our beautiful island.”
Based on the most recent fixture distributed by CONCACAF the games will be: Friday 2 September, Suriname vs. Cayman; Tuesday 6 September, Cayman vs. El Salvador; Friday 7 October, Cayman vs. Suriname; Tuesday 11 October, El Salvador vs. Cayman; Friday 11 November, Dominican Republic vs. Cayman and Tuesday 15 November Cayman vs. Dominican Republic.
Cayman’s national senior team will be continuing their preparations, led by captain Ian Lindo, as the countdown begins.
Technical Director of the Cayman national football program Carl Brown will have his hands full as he prepares the national team for his second World Cup journey. Presently, he along with his assistant and Fitness Instructor Thiago Cunha are in Suriname with the National Under-23 team competing for a place in the next stage of that competition.
In 2008, under coach Brown, Cayman was buzzing after the team drew 1-1 with Bermuda in the first leg played in Bermuda and soared up the FIFA rankings needing only a draw to advance to the next stage during the return leg.
Although Cayman lost out on their closest chance ever to advance to the second round of this tournament, Brown states the atmosphere on the island was like a tsunami as football was the main subject.
“The Truman Bodden Sports Complex I am sure will be transformed into a sea of red with the support of football lovers and supporters who may only understand when a goal is scored but are otherwise naïve as to the other laws and rules of the game,” Brown said. “With the present football climate and the fact that we will be fielding players who are abroad attending college and who have played for the Ashford Town Football Club, Cayman can only expect to see the attendance record of the Bermuda game broken. The Girl’s Under 17 CONCACAF journey held at the TE McField Sports Centre last year was another thrilling moment for the island and it can be repeated.
“It was an awesome sight to view. The island’s failure to advance was disappointing, but the record-breaking attendance has gone down in history and here we are ready to behold an even better performance taking another giant step up the FIFA rankings.”