St. John’s Antigua- Antigua Barracuda FC will be without midfielder Randolph “Etty” Burton for their opening fixture against the Charlotte Eagles in the United Soccer Leagues (USL) Pro slated for Thursday night.
This is according to head coach Tom Curtis who said that the nippy player is currently nursing an injury to his right foot sustained during training. Curtis is however hopeful that the player will be fit for Saturday’s match against the visitors at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds (SVRCG).
“At the moment I think that ‘Etty’ Burton is the only one that’s injured and won’t be available for the first game. We are hopeful he will be fit for the second one; but apart from that, everyone is strong and ready to go,” he said
“I think the mood is positive. We trained today (Wednesday) and I think it’s one of the sharpest sessions I’ve been involved in, so certainly the session was good. People are sharp and looking towards the games coming up and hopefully we can carry that sharpness and aggressiveness onto the field on Thursday.”
The rest of the squad for Thursday’s opener include George “Sowa” Dublin (captain); goalkeepers Molvin James and Keita DeCastro; and defenders Akeem “Leppy” Thomas, Luke Blakely, Karanjah Mack, Quinton Griffith and Troy Dublin.
Midfielders Lawson “Boy Blue” Robinson, Matthew Allred, Kemoi Alexander, Ranjae Christian, Orlando Mitchum, Tamarley “Ziggy” Thomas and Eugene Kirwan have also been included, while strikers Stephan Smith, Kerry “Arab” Skepple and Peter “Big Pete” Byers round off the selections.
Curtis has expressed confidence in the team’s ability to win both matches.
“I thought we had some good performances against Pittsburgh in the last two games and I thought we were unfortunate to lose the first game and deserved victory in the second game. The players have had some time off and had a period of time where we have not played any competitive game; and we are hoping that these guys and raise their game and come out with some good results against Charlotte,” he said.
“I know Charlotte haven’t had great results so far, but they were certainly one of the stronger teams in the USL last year so we are not going to take anything lightly. We are expecting to put good performances on and hopefully on the back of those performances we will get some good results,” the coach added.
Matches will start at 7 pm on both days and carries an admission fee of $20 per adult and $10 per child.
Following their back-to-back stints over the weekend, Barracuda will travel to Wilmington where they will take on Wilmington Hammerheads at the Legion Stadium on May 2 before battling Charleston Battery on May 4 at the Blackbaud Stadium
The ‘Cudas will return home on May 11 when they tackle Orlando City at SVRCG. (By Neto Baptiste