Team Saint Lucia hopes to rebound against Aruba

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Team Saint Lucia hopes to rebound against Aruba
Vino Barclett
Vino Bartlette

(SNO) — The Saint Lucia Football Association Inc. has officially released the national team list for the 2019 Concacaf Nations League Qualifying match against Aruba this Friday (March 22).

A “home” game for Saint Lucia the fixture is to be played in St John’s, Antigua and Barbuda, as Saint Lucia is presently without a reliable option for hosting international matches.

There is one major forced change for the national men’s squad, as leading scorer and emotional leader Pernal Williams will not be travelling, having collected two yellow cards. He also has two of the team’s four goals so far. Williams’s absence aside, the unit is the same as that which finished its last tie in a scoreless away-draw against the Cayman Islands.

Saint Lucia will also look to bounce back from its recent showing in the Windward Islands Football Association (WIFA) men’s tournament, where they ended dead last. This is a much-changed team from the WIFA series, where several under-23 players were added to the squad. But those players who were on that WIFA team will want to put that experience behind them.

Williams may be replaced in the starting lineup by Alvinus Myers, who could play alongside captain Zaine Pierre, Malik St Prix, and Lester Joseph. Other possibilities in midfield are Cassius “Messi” Joseph and Delon “Ants” Neptune. Defensive options include former national captain Kurt Frederick, Otev Lawrence, Melvin Doxilly, Melanius Mullarkey, and Shawn Evans.

In goal will be teenage sensation Vino Barclett. He will be backed up by veteran Giovanni Deterville, with Leon Alexander off island for several months now. Up front, Saint Lucia will choose from Antigua and Barbuda-based Andrus Remy, Jevick MacFarlane, and Ridel Stanislas.

Saint Lucia are 17th overall in Concacaf Nations League Qualifying, as things stand at present. The national team appears set for League B, with no chance of making League A after the Cayman Islands stalemate. There is, however, a glimmer of hope of qualifying to the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup, but they would have to beat Aruba handily and hope that other results go their way, so they make the top 10 of Nations League qualifying.

The group stage for the Nations League proper will be played in September, October and November 2019. The Final Championship will take place March 2020.

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