Cassim Langaigne (#5) in Caribbean Cup action for Grenada against the host U.S. Virgin Islands on March 29, 2016, in Charlotte Amalie. (Photo: Aisha-Zakiya Boyd)
ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada -- With more international games in his past than possibly to be contested in his future, Grenada’s Cassim Langaigne is making another determined push to play in a third CONCACAF Gold Cup.
At 36-years-old, the midfielder is a holdover from the Spice Boys teams that participated in the nation’s Gold Cup appearances in 2009 and 2011.
Two months ago, Grenada finished atop the table of its Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup first-round group with a perfect 2-0-0 record thanks to wins over St. Maarten (5-0, home) and the U.S. Virgin Islands (2-1, away).
Much sterner tests have to be managed in the next round with Puerto Rico (June 1, home) and Antigua & Barbuda (June 4, away) waiting in the wings. The five group winners and three best second-place teams will progress.
“It’s going to take determination, motivation and the heart to get past them,” Langaigne told CONCACAF.com. “They’re pretty good teams. They will work hard to qualify. There is no one to worry about. All we have to do is come to each game and finish up.”
In preparation for those encounters, Grenada fell 3-0 earlier this week to the visiting Canada under-23 national team. Despite the setback, Langaigne believes the young players in the squad will benefit from having tested themselves against a team full of professionals.
“With the younger players, they’re new coming into the national team,” commented Langaigne. “They enjoyed it. You have to play and you have to get a better level and it will help with their clubs and training.”
With important games right over the horizon, Langaigne hopes that experience will lead to good things next month.
“I think we have good chances that we will be on top (of the group),” he finished. “It would be very happy for the country and the players (to advance). As a small nation with not many people, it would show our ability to come out on top.”