The St. Kitts Nevis National Senior Men’s Team is gearing up for their match against El
Salvador in the next round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying this Saturday at 4pm. The
Sugar Boys ended the previous round in fine style, winning three of their four matches and
conceding only two goals. Though losing their latest match to Trinidad and Tobago, the team did
enough to be one of the first teams to qualify for the next round, scoring eight goals in all
matches in the process. Coach Leo Neiva admitted that the loss to Trinidad was due in part to
changes he made to the team, replacing some of the first team players to avoid any possible
suspensions for the El Salvador match.
Players like Keithroy Freeman, goalkeeper Julani Archibald and Thrizen Leader were replaced
because they got yellow cards in their match against Guyana last week. If they picked up yellow
cards in the Trinidad match, they would have automatically been suspended for the next game
against El Salvador. Instead, Coach Neiva used younger, promising players in their stead, which
gave them valuable experience. “Trinidad and Tobago played better than us. They imposed
themselves physically and technically. They deserved the win. Also it was a good exercise for
them because it’s the first time the opponent scored against us. We can use two, three different
tactical formations to test and also we gave the opportunity for every single player (in the team).
This game was an excellent training for us,” he said.
He is anticipating the match up against El Salvador and he is confident they will progress to the
next round. “We hope for a beautiful and good game because El Salvador has a different style of
football. Completely different from Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana,” Coach Neiva said. “They
play beautiful football, quick football, keeping the ball on the ground like South American
football…we have changed our style a little. We are coming to play even more beautiful. We
hope to win; we believe (we can win) and hopefully we will have very good news for the
country,” he added.
St. Kitts and Nevis will play El Salvador in a home and away series: the home match being
Saturday at 4pm at the Warner Park. The return leg will be played on Tuesday June 15. With
favorable results, St. Kitts and Nevis would progress to the final round of FIFA world Cup
qualifying—the Octagon stage which already has five teams awaiting the three winners of this
round. Those five teams are Costa Rica, USA, Jamaica, Mexico and Honduras.
CAPTION: The St. Kitts and Nevis Senior Men’s National Team.