St. John’s Antigua- Head coach Tom Curtis of Antigua Barracuda FC has chalked up the professional outfit’s dismal showing in the Pro Division of the United Soccer Leagues (USL) to date to a lack of depth within the squad.
According to Curtis, the ‘Cudas, who returned to Antigua on Monday afternoon following a testing US road trip where they lost five of their six matches, is constantly playing against teams with better players and a larger pool from which to select.
“Well, the quality and the standard of the league is very good and we are playing against good players consistently and it is sometimes difficult because we haven’t got a fantastic squad in terms of depth and the guys are finding it challenging,” he said.
“I think the league has improved this year and one or two things have gone against us in terms of crucial moments in the games where we have missed penalties and made individual errors and those are some of the reasons why we are not doing as well as we would have hoped this year.”
Curtis, who is also charged with preparing the country’s senior national team during the ongoing 2014 World Cup Qualifiers, however found comfort in the fact that the privately owned club managed to salvage some pride with a 1-0 victory over the Los Angeles Blues towards the end of the road trip.
“These are clubs with a huge infrastructure. We trained at Richmond Kickers for a week and they have got their own training facility, their own stadium, and the club itself has a real strong support base,” he said.
“So we are battling against teams that are better structured (with) better facilities, and are unable to call on a larger pool of players. So it is going to be challenging for us, but hopefully we can give them a good game and go on to win the games.”
Barracuda will host the visiting Richmond Kickers at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds in back-to-back matches this Friday and Sunday, and Curtis said he is hoping for better results.
“Well, we have obviously had a difficult time of it when we were away. We hadn’t won as much games as we had hoped so we are happy to be back home and preparing to play Richmond Kickers at home on the weekend. But it wasn’t a great return to be perfectly honest,” the coach said.
“In terms of positives, we certainly played better towards the back end of the road trip and hopefully we can take that form into the games this weekend and in the national games in September and October.”
The games are scheduled to commence at 7 pm on both nights.
Antigua Barracuda FC remain at the bottom of the standings in the Pro Division with 13 points after 22 matches.
The Antiguans have won four, lost 17, and drawn one of their matches to date. They have scored 14 times and have allowed 48 goals against them.