ATLANTA, Georgia – Leadership within a football team is imperative, and Belize has that in spades with FW Deon McCaulay.
The 31-year-old who plays his club soccer with Georgia Revolution FC in Atlanta has been a staple for the Belize National Team, earning 43 caps and scoring 23 goals, including 11 during Concacaf World Cup Qualifying for Brazil 2014, tying him for the worldwide lead along with Uruguay’s Luis Suarez and Holland’s Robin van Persie.
With that in mind, it was in the hours that followed Belize’s 1-0 loss to Montserrat in week two of 2019/20 Concacaf Nations League Qualifying that the leadership skills of McCaulay came to the fore.
“We had a team talk after the Montserrat loss about staying focused and looking forward to the next game,” said McCaulay in an exclusive interview with Concacaf.com.
“I can assure you it will be a different game. We have experienced players in this squad that communicate and give their thoughts to coaches. Being able to discuss and evaluate with coaches is important,” added McCaulay.
Most worrisome to McCaulay from the Montserrat loss was Belize’s performance in the middle of the field.
“We had problems in midfield. I think we had guys playing in positions where they weren’t as comfortable, so next time it’s important that the right players are selected. We competed well against Bahamas [4-0 win in week one], but we still need more time together on the training pitch to establish better chemistry,” said McCaulay.
If Belize is to keep its 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup hopes intact, it must earn a win at home against Puerto Rico next month in week three. McCaulay is calling on all the Belize fans to give their support to the national team.
“We need to stay focused on the Puerto Rico game. It will define our Nations League. We cannot let the Montserrat loss affect us. We need the support of the entire country. It is a crucial game,” said McCaulay.
As a long-time competitor of Concacaf competition, McCaulay is one of many veteran players happy to see the installment of the CNL and believes it will improve football all across the region.
“I just want to say thanks to Concacaf for starting the Nations League. We don’t usually get too many games, but now we have a chance to play versus different teams, experience different cultures, experience traveling away for games. It is a huge help for us, especially our younger players who are getting this experience. I think it’s good for the entire region and we hope to make the most of it,” concluded McCaulay.