US coach slams surface after 1-0 loss to Arnett
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.
“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.
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.