Antigua Barracuda FC News Release -- www.antiguabarracudafc.com
Thursday, August 16, 2012
ST. JOHN'S, Antigua -- Antigua Barracuda FC will bring the curtains down on a disappointing season this weekend, as they host first-time visitors to paradise, the Richmond Kickers, at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in a doubleheader, scheduled for Friday and Sunday night.
It will be a big ask for the home team even as they recorded their first road win against playoff hopefuls the Los Angeles Blues in their recent encounter in California. On that same road swing, the consistency of defeat recurred, crashing any hope of a double against the west-coast team.
Richmond, though, will present its own set of challenges, but Coach Tom Curtis was pleased with the display in Los Angeles and is hopeful that it can turn into something positive for the team.
"I believe arrivng in L.A. early really helped with the team preparation," Curtis said. "We were able to fully concentrate on some key areas of our play. We split the series, but it was encouraging, even at this late stage of the season."
It has been a gruelling season for the players and although they still must experience World Cup Qualifiers against Guatamala in a few short weeks on September 7 and 11, they all understand some may well be playing for their places on the national team roster.
"This is a massive year for football in Antigua," said George Dublin, Captain of the USL PRO team and the national team. "It has been tough going with so many matches in so many different competitions, but the experience has been a big eye-opener for the unit as a whole, in particular the younger guys.
"To experience playing against the USA in a World Cup game, then the Champions League and the USL PRO schedule, has provided a platform for the players to demonstrate their worth. The results don't necessarily read well, but all of us are better for it."
Antigua will enter the final home games with a record of four wins, one tied game and 17 defeats. They firmly sit at the bottom of the league stanidngs, but two good wins against a buoyant Kickers team can be just what Curtis ordered, and propel them up the table.
"Coach has really persevered with us all season," said goalkeeper Molvin James. "It's fair to say we have fallen well short of expectations, but we will be doing our best to end on a high. The Kickers are a good team, but we have the capacity to win both games in front of our loyal fans."
Both games will be live on USLNation.com, with coverage beginning at 7 p.m. on both nights from Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.