US coach slams sur­face af­ter 1-0 loss to Ar­nett

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - Marc Stamp Gleaner Writer

THE UNITED States’s Un­der-17 head coach, John Hack­worth, was not pleased with the play­ing sur­face af­ter his team went down 1-0 to an Ar­nett Gar­dens FC Un­der-20 se­lect team at Ja­maica Col­lege yes­ter­day.

Ar­nett’s cen­tral de­fender, Lem­mar Ste­wart, scored from a goal-mouth melee in the 89th minute.

“I am not pleased with the sur­face; we had re­quested a hard one, but it was also bumpy and un­even and pre­vented us from play­ing our foot­ball,” Hack­worth told The Gleaner at the end of the game.

“The sur­face af­fected our style of play,” he added.

Hack­worth said he played against older play­ers as he wanted to test his team as part of their prepa­ra­tion for the up­com­ing CONCACAF Un­der-17 cham­pi­onship which serves as a FIFA World Cup qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

“It is re­ally im­por­tant for us as they are 16 year-olds play­ing against older play­ers. We had two good looks in each half. They had a soft goal from a cor­ner kick,” he said.

“We are not look­ing at per­for­mance, but work­ing on plays,” Hack­worth con­cluded.

Coach of Ar­nett Gar­dens Jerome Waite de­scribed the game as a spir­ited one.

STRONG SHOW­ING

“It was a spir­ited per­for­mance from both teams. I had seen them in the game against Ja­maica Un­der-17s and iden­ti­fied their strengths and weak­nesses. We cre­ated nu­mer­ous chances and could have won by a wider mar­gin. It was a good game,” Waite as­sessed.

Ar­nett got into ac­tion early but the pint-sized Da­mani Dea­con missed a clear chance which he booted wide of the goal.

The Ar­nett back­line mar­shalled by for­mer JC win­ning Man­ning Cup cap­tain Alando Brown, goalscorer Ste­wart and Al­ton Lewis was or­gan­ised and made few mis­takes.

Ar­nett’s goal­keeper Shamar­ley Clay­ton was also out­stand­ing and made a point blank save from USA cap­tain Ge­orge Acosta dur­ing the first half.

The USA team will close their se­ries of games against the Ja­maica Un­der-17 team to­mor­row on Sun­day at Winch­ester Park, St Ge­orge’s Col­lege, start­ing at 3 p.m.

The Ja­maicans will seek to avenge the 3-0 loss to the Amer­i­cans last Wed­nes­day at Sta­dium East.

PHO­TOS BY PA­TRICK PLANTER/ PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Da­mari Dea­con (left) of Ar­nett Gar­dens Un­der-20 se­lect team shield­ing the ball from Adrian Vi­le­gas of the tour­ing United States Un­der-17 squad at Ja­maica Col­lege yes­ter­day. Ar­nett Gar­dens Un­der-20 won 1-0. USA’s Un­der-17 coach John Hack­worth.

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