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Jul 17, 2013

The Jaguars return home

After a heartbreaking loss to Cuba on Tuesday afternoon, which crushed their hopes in the first round of the Gold Cup, the players of Team Belize returned home early this morning from Hartford Connecticut where the last game was played. The Jaguars failed to qualify to the second round after consecutive losses to the USA, Costa Rica and Cuba. They left with the hopes of all Belizeans resting on their shoulders and for the duration of the competition, the nation was united behind them. But this morning, there was no fanfare or ceremony to welcome them home. Mike Rudon was at the P.G.I.A. as the Belize Jaguars touched down.


In Hartford, Connecticut Belizean flags waved proudly and fans cheered

even as our boys were defeated by Cuba, but at the airport this morning there was none of that…just one flag draped over a rail by a family member. Team Belize arrived, glad to be back home but with mixed feelings after three back to back heartbreaking losses.


Michael Salazar , Forward, Team Belize

Michael Salazar

“It’s a disappointment of course, because you know the nation expected us to have done a better job. First of all it’s the first time that Belize has made it in the bigger stage and I feel that everybody is going to learn from this and we are just going to get better as the time goes by. I mean I am only twenty years old.”


Trevoer Lennon

Trevor Lennon, Defensive Midfield, Team Belize

“Da mi wah  big experience fi we and that da the first time we reach there. Most of the team they done reach there more than one time. I think da mi wa big experience fi we because Belize never get they chance fi reach there ina they situation. I think fi this foundation yah; if they hold it together and get wah good coach of this team yah I think we wah do  far way better.”


There has been significant criticism of Coach Ian Mork, and after Lennon’s comment about the team needing a better coach, we asked some of the players to rate Mork’s performance at the Gold Cup.


Trevor Lennon

“I think the coach da wa good coach but the players they noh respect the man. Yu have to have wa coach weh the players they respect; I think the coach play around too much with they young players and they noh respect the man and you have to have somebody that they will respect. Like how we mi have Sherrier they mi really respect he thats why I think the team mi gaan da wa next level.”


Michael Salazar

“I felt like the guy tried his best. We all support him, he is our coach and and whatever he puts out there for us; I feel like we just have to go out there and do our job. He hasn’t been with us for a very long time so the players don’t understand him as well. But I feel if the players them in the camp would be doing their job then I feel like we would have done better out there with his system.”


Dalton Eiley – Captain, Team Belize

Dalton Eiley

“Different players have different opinions. For me I have know him for a long time; he isa a good coach her maybe made a few errors in putting in some lineups out there. It’s not because he didn’t believe in the players that went out there because he has belief in each player that they are going to go out there and do well. It is just for us to go out there and prove it to him and it’s an honor to play out there. If he calls you up in the lineup; if you are not ready you should speak up because I think that’s one of the things that cost us. We weren’t physically prepared for that game and mentally for the last game.”


And even as the players have different opinions about Coach Mork, there are different feelings about how they themselves played and why they lost so badly against the USA and Costa Rica.


Ian Gaynair, Scored Only Goal for Team Belize

“Kinda upset, disappointed all kind negative things I can say. But at the end of the day it’s our first time out there but I still think that we could have done even better. All I want when we take those steps again I want we be organized ina everything we do.”


Mike Rudon

“If you could have focused and out a pin point, what would you have blamed for the showing in U.S.A.?”


Ian Gaynair

“Just that we were nervous because that’s not the kind of ball we could play. We show the world  the kind of ball we could play ina the next game.”


Trevor Lennon

“We da no professional team you know we have to work, we da Belizean we have to work it’s not like the other guys all they do da play football. You know we the play pan only talent and lee bit a fitness; we the play pan mostly talent and so Belize should happy fi we. Because this da the first time we gaan; you can’t just match up they teams; you have to learn how to lose first. You can’t just match up they team how you want, because they team da professional team, all of them play at a professional level and they boys they the move. They the touch ball good and thing I mean that’s a learning experience fi we that is how I see it yu know.”


Ian Gaynair

Ian Gaynair

“They da full time players so we never really stand a good chance, and like I say you know we could have done better. I just want to thank the public for all the support home and abroad. Because they come out and they really support we financially and they really just support we. At the end of the day it was kind of late but we can’t blame the people for that because we gaan to them late. I think if we start earlier than that I think we wa do even better.”


With so much scrutiny on the fact that our team lacked the resources, finances, support and training of the teams they faced, there is hope that the experience at the Gold Cup will be a catalyst for change.


Michael Salazar

“The biggest thing for me; I feel like all the player that have part time jobs I feel that they should not have jobs like those. Bring them into camp and pay them just like real professional. Then I feel like the players are going to be more focused because they know that’s their job and if they don’t take their job serious they could get fired. So you should treat football like a job you know.”


Dalton Eiley

“I would hope they would come in you. Soccer is something that is big now in Belize and they should try to use it and build it up some more. Especially for the youths, we have a lot of talented youths here in Belize and all over the country you know. Like is said before I left, they had tryouts for the U-20 and a hundred and thirty youths came out. It is something they should look into and push towards it.”


Coach Ian Mork did not return to Belize with the team today.


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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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20 Responses for “The Jaguars return home”

  1. YASMIN HULSE says:


  2. Frig says:

    The Belize Jaguars are a bunch of losers. Now they want to find excuses for the losses. They were on the field not Coach Mork. They are the ones to blame for our shameful appearance in the Gold Cup.

  3. V says:

    The turnout at the airport would be much bigger if the general public knew the day and time our team would arrive Belize.

  4. V says:

    The turnout at the airport would be much bigger if the general public knew the day and time our team would arrive Belize.

  5. redgal says:

    I agree with V the media didn’t announce when the team was returning home. I am shocked they they are back already. I taught they would get to stay at least until Sunday to see an study a couple of the other games an learn from their mistakes. For you too be big in any sports you have to live in it. At the same time the coach would have working hard to see if they can bring these guys back to play and stay at a football camp in the future at the same time we are getting to know the field the artificial turf the altitude and what it takes to become professionals. Our govt and so call Minister of Sports needs to push all sports in Belize we have talent but it is not appreciate and it goes to waste because no one care. If changes are not made to the team on an international level in getting them prepared. i will be hard for us to ever get respect in the world. We will wait and see who will be on the national team next 2 years.

  6. Guest says:

    i did not like to heard that two players reach late and they still wanted to play, you need commitment you need determination and most of all respect towards each other respect to the coach , please let not star like mexico they change coach almost every time the lose. We Just started we can afford to be changing coaches one has to settle down, this is our second coach i would not want a third one in this short perdiod of time.


  7. pete says:

    Rather than worrying about welcoming celebrations spend the money into youth development programs. At this point Belize should go back to the drawing board ,and come up with a long term plan to develop youth football players from a really young age. It would be a painful road ,but will be a lot better off in the longer run. I would not invest the little money they have with the senior team. These players have reach their peak ,and their limitations were clearly expose. Youths can be made to become professionals ,not senior players ,and that’s what it takes to compete at a higher level.

  8. Jr says:

    These guys is the last set of competitive ball players in belize, youths now are into criminal activities not playing ball like it was ten plus years ago where every neighborhood was playing soccer. if the government don’t step in as quickly that’s the last time belize going to see the gold cup. Belize sports council need to stop playing male softball and invest the money into futsal so that the kids can learn ball control and movement from a young age which they can use to a advantage playing on a bigger pitch, despite the national team players not professional you can clearly see they lack the basics fundamentals….

  9. Gus says:

    No ball control, poor stamina, poor positioning, can’t stop the ball most of the time.

    I don’t blame the players, they are not professionals but I feel like the government is not supporting our team. Imagine they had to do a telethon and BBQ to reach this tournament. This is really sad.

    So much corruption in government and they claim they don’t have enough money to support our team!?

  10. bzeanalldtime says:

    Better couching and continuos improvement will get bze to respectable performance with time. Goal on the USA keeps me proud and happy.

  11. Belizean Pride says:

    i’m just proud for them and hoping the gov. and minister along with big entities (business corp.s) tkae heed in try to invest in professional payers to be in the future and start doing something to bring on thos talents that many youths posses but are marginalized by social status and we need as a nation to help also by going to games to bring income for the teams also.
    Big up the Jaguars I still don’t give up with them, there’s hope we can reach a next level.

  12. pete says:

    With all that drug money circulating in Belize ,I say lets take back some of that and invest it into football. Then again that would mean taking it from the politicians ,police officers ,custom officers ,and the wealthy business men .

  13. Belizean Pride says:

    i’m just proud for them and hoping the gov. and minister along with big entities (business corp.s) take heed in try to invest in professional players to be in the future and start doing something to bring on those talents that many youths posses but are marginalized by social status and we need as a nation to help also by going to games to bring income for the teams also.
    Big up the Jaguars I still don’t give up with them, there’s hope we can reach a next level.

  14. Gerald Underwood says:

    Bull sh^tgreeting a bunch of loser I won’t even waste my time to start look what the coach did there must have to be some racial bullshit am sure just because kafu is garifuna they fucking with the man release the coach get another coach with common sense who is all about winning

  15. SKEPTICAL says:

    Well FFB you have two more years to get ready. Lesson Learned this time around. What will the excuse be next time? FFB should lobby those corporations getting rich off Belizeans to assist them and GOB should do their part as well. It is all about prioritizing. Excuses will get us no where. Belize is not a rich country but our neighbors, Salvador, Honduras, Cuba, are not either so we should do some research and find out how they are helping their national teams financially and how much money is set aside by their government. Jaguars did their best with what they had. They deserve all the respect from their countrymen.

  16. jay says:

    Clearly, Belize has always been blessed with raw talent, but that alone can’t cut it when competing against professionals from well developed sports programs. We need to either make a serious commitment to building athletic programs for our youths, or stay the hell off the world stage……lest it’ll be the same results like at the Gold Cup. If we’re lucky enough to get that far again.

  17. pete says:

    Way to go Gerald, play the race card.If I recall Kafu Roaches was a starter against the U.S and he didn’t do squat ,and came on as a sub and same result ,so you and Kafu quit your whining.As for the coach you could bring Mourinho to coach ,and the amateur players Belize have the result will be the same. They simply don’t belong at this level yet ,and lets not forget most of these other teams are playing with their “B” squad.

  18. HTOWN says:

    THe coach is not 100% liable for the teams failure. Players need to understand that football involves alot of discipline and responsiblilty. WHen a coach is in charge of a team he is your BOSS. He chooses who plays and who sits on the bench. the players need to understan that if they are not performing at the expected level the coach has all the right to put you out. In these short tournaments there is no time to be giving all the players playing time just because they want to play.

    another thing, the FFB as a whole needs to start looking at the future. they need to work with the younger generation, our guys that went to the gold cup are in the most over 25yrs of age. Most top teams today hire young players as future prospect. that is what Belize needs to work on. LOOK INTO THE FUTURE and stop been bias. Scout the entire Country and abroad for the best fit players. there are Belizeans in the USA also. Organize more international friendlies and build a FIFA approved stadium. it is a shame that Belize doesnt have a fit stadium for the concacar champions league. that would benefit the players to get more international experience playing against top flight mexican clubs and Teams from the MLS. that is what we need to do, so when they go play big international games the guys wont get intimidated

  19. OC Belizean :) says:

    I am a Belizean- American living in Orange County and although I wanted and cheered for at least one win, it didn’t happen. Yet, I am proud of all the efforts putforth by the players. These guys don’t do this day in day out and don’t get paid millions, however, their determination and perseverance with the limited resources is admirable. The fact that we scored a goal against US is historical and a monumental accomplishment. Many teams play the U.S. and don’t even score. The hope they inspired and the exposure brought to Belize will benefit all. Keep a positive attitude and supporting our team so we can achieve great things. Don’t give up, our players need our support to gain confidence to become successful. We learned a lot and will be the come backteam! Thanks for reading and keep supporting out team.

  20. aij says:

    just happy you guys made it there. hopefully next time around the results will be better, but i am impressed with anyone who can keep running for 90 minutes thats still some goddamn stamina right there. but i hope you all enjoyed your time playing in the states. was very excited to see some belizeans in portland!

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