The least heralded Central American side in continental competition; Belize in 2013 becomes the last of the region’s seven teams to debut in a Gold Cup. The Jaguars arrive in the United States on the strength of their own merits, following an impressive and unexpected fourth-place finish at the 2013 UNCAF Copa Centroamericana, Central America’s biennial championship and Gold Cup qualifying tournament.
Belize qualified for CONCACAF play thanks to a dramatic 2-1 group-stage win over Nicaragua, a result that guaranteed it a spot in the semifinals of the Copa Centroamericana and sealed it a Gold Cup berth. Deon McCauley dramatically netted the game-winning goal in second-half stoppage time. The victory was Belize’s first in the competition after 23 all-time games.
McCauley has emerged as one of the country’s best-known players. He scored a remarkable 11 goals in eight World Cup qualifiers for Brazil 2014, even though Belize did not make it past the second round. That feat earned him global recognition and the 26-year-old remained as the confederation’s top scorer in the FIFA competition heading into June’s Hexagonal encounters.
Alongside McCauley, Harrison Roches provides another strike threat to complement the box-to-box work of Trevor Lennon and defensive leadership of Ian Gaynair.
Belize also excels at the goalkeeper position, where Woodrow West and Shane Orio provide two top notch options to keep opponents off the board — a task certainly vital to the Jaguars’ nascent ambitions as they attempt to surprise regional foes once again.
|14||Midfield||Andres Makin Jr.|