GOLD CUP: Beresford replaces Creavalle as Golden Jaguars arrive in USA

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Warren Creavalle, an important part of the Golden Jaguars set up shouldering the midfield responsibility, has been officially ruled out of Guyana’s historic Gold Cup sojourn after picking up an injury in training with the Golden Jaguars during their first stage of the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup Camp in Bermuda.

The Philadelphia Union midfielder was excited to play his part in this history-making journey for Guyana; qualifying for the first time ever, but unfortunately broke a bone in his foot during training.

He has since been replaced by fellow midfielder Brandon Beresford, who joined the team for the second leg of the camp, which took place in Costa Rica.

Brandon Beresford

Guyana’s Head Coach, Michael Johnson, said that the entire team is gutted with Creavalle’s injury as he is a key part of the team, recalling the role he (Creavalle) played in Guyana’s 2-1 win against Belize to qualify for the Gold Cup.

“When he came on we got back the control of the game, he is a clever player and uses the ball very, very well, puts his body into some terrific positions; we’ll miss that sort of experience with somebody who understands the MLS. Playing in America as well and going up against the Americans could have given us so much insight, so it’s a big, big loss for us and him because these tournaments do not come around very often for Guyana.”

Johnson continued: “Our thoughts and prayers are with him, the most important thing is that he recovers well enough and maintains his club career with the Philadelphia Union.”

While he’ll miss the Gold Cup, a medical assessment has indicated that Creavalle would need between four to six weeks to recover properly so he should be ready for the 2019/2020 edition of the Concacaf Nations League, which kicks off in September.

Guyana will contest League B with its first match on September 6 against Aruba. Creavalle’s injury, Coach Johnson stated, opened the door for someone else and Beresford’s name popped up.

Meanwhile, Beresford, who is well known to the Technical Staff and was included in the 40-man provisional squad submitted to Concacaf, was called up to the team and joined on the second stage of the Camp which took place in Costa Rica.

“Brandon is someone we know very well, particularly from early on in my tenure when he came and played very well against Barbados and he’s been in other camps as well; so we knew what’s he is capable of. So there was an obvious standout candidate when we knew that Warren would be struggling to come back to the camp and it was Brandon.”

Warren Creavalle (right) pictured with teammates in Bermuda (from left) Neil Danns, Matthew Briggs and Sam Cox

According to tournament rules, “injury-related changes will be allowed to the final 23-player rosters for the Group Stage until 24 hours before each team’s first match. Any injury replacements must come from the announced preliminary 40-player rosters and must be approved by Concacaf.”

Beresford commented on his call up to the 23-man team: “It’s a surreal experience still, being involved with Guyana for the past nine years, it’s had its ups and downs and I’ve seen what it’s like from the youth level, U-20, 23 and I’m glad to experience all of that.”

He noted that being at the point where the game’s at now in Guyana is a testament to what has been taking place over the past nine years and is very appreciative of playing whenever he gets the opportunity to do so.

“I’m so extremely blessed to be a part of this and have been able to be a part of it for the past nine years; it’s a blessing, it’s still pretty unbelievable and I will be giving 100% plus.”

Beresford is currently playing in the USL League 2 (USA 4th Division) competition with Peachtree City Moba. Meanwhile, the Golden Jaguars’ first training session in Minneapolis is scheduled for this afternoon after the team took a rest day Thursday following their arrival from Costa Rica Wednesday evening.

Guyana has been drawn in Group D of the Concacaf Gold Cup and will play hosts USA on June 18 in Minneapolis, Panama on June 22 in Cleveland and Trinidad and Tobago in Kansas City on June 26.

The Gold Cup kicks off on Saturday (June 15) with a Group A double-header at the Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA from 16:30h when Canada oppose Martinique followed by Mexico against Cuba.

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