The United States Men’s National Team begins its 2019 Gold Cup campaign against tournament debutant Guyana. The team representing the small South American nation will be looking to spring an unprecedented upset, but will likely be content if it can keep the score close. Here are some important things to know about Guyana heading into the match.
Ranking and Recent Results: Guyana is currently tied with Bermuda at 175 in the FIFA World Rankings and is ranked 166 in the ELO ratings. The Golden Jaguars have played three matches in 2019: a 2-1 win against Belize during the CONCACAF Nations League on March 23, a 1-0 friendly loss to Bermuda on June 6, and a 3-1 friendly loss against Haiti on June 1
Goalkeepers (3): Akel Clark (Walking Boyz Company/SUR), Alex Murray (Santos Georgetown), Quillan Roberts (Forge FC/CAN)
Defenders (8): Matthew Briggs (Maldon & Tiptree/ENG), Sam Cox (Hampton & Richmond Borough/ENG), Kadell Daniel (Dover Athletic/ENG), Jordan Dover (Pittsburgh Riverhounds/USA), Liam Gordon (Dagenham & Redbridge/ENG), Kevin Layne (New Amsterdam United), Ronayne Marsh-Brown (Whitehawk/ENG), Terence Vancooten (Stevenage/ENG)
Midfielders (5): Elliot Bonds (Dagenham & Redbridge/ENG), Neil Danns (Bury/ENG), Stephen Duke-McKenna (Bolton Wanderers/ENG), Pernell Schultz (Western Tigers), Daniel Wilson (Western Tigers)
Forwards (6): Callum Harriot (Reading/ENG), Sheldon Holder (Morvant Caledonia United/TRI), Anthony Jeffrey (Dover Athletic/ENG), Keanu Marsh-Brown (Newport County/WAL), Terrel Ondaan (Telstar/NED), Emery Welshman (Forge FC/CAN)
Key Players: Cincinnati FC forward Emery Welshman, who is currently on loan with Forge FC of the Canadian Premier League (CPL), figures to be the star attacker for Guyana. Welshman has an impressive 7 goals in 9 international appearances and has recorded 1 goal and 2 assists, in 6 CPL appearances this season.
Philadelphia Union defensive midfielder Warren Creavalle would have played an important role in midfield but will miss the tournament after suffering a broken foot.
A Heavy English Presence: Eleven of the players on the roster play for clubs in England and all of these players were born in England. Eight of the eleven play non-league football.
The Coach: The Golden Jaguars are led by former Jamaican international Michael Johnson, who had an 18-year playing career in England. Johnson has Guyana’s manager since June 2018 and has little prior managerial experience. Look for him to deploy either a 4-5-1 or 5-4-1 and expect his side to play very defensively.