Joseph Marrero (red jersey) is giving Puerto Rico a reason to believe that its football future is bright. (Photo courtesy of the Federación Puertorriqueña de Fútbol)
BAYAMON, Puerto Rico – In order to maintain any hope of advancing to the next round of the Caribbean Cup, Puerto Rico (0-1-1, 1 point) will need to avoid defeat at home against Grenada (0-1-1, 1 point) on Sunday.
Midfielder Joseph Marrero will be key to that quest. Against Curacao on Wednesday, the 21-year-old gave his team a 2-0 lead at the Estadio Juan Ramon Loubriel only for the visitor to storm back for a draw.
Puerto Rico fell 2-1 to French Guiana on Friday, setting the stage for a dramatic weekend encounter.
Marrero, a standout product of the Puerto Rico youth system, is one of three players on the current national team roster playing for Kultsu in Finland. That European experience is playing a crucial role in his development.
“Marrero is playing good,” said Puerto Rico technical director Daniel Collazo. “He’s come up from the under-20 side and is playing well. I don’t know if the winters affect him too much in Finland, but he is developing well.”
With players like Marrero, Collazo believes the future I bright, but is also confident that Puerto Rico can process in the current Caribbean competition.
“It depends on our mentality and attitude,” he said. “In the other matches we dominated for many parts, but could not close. We need to make the adjustments needed and not just play well in the first half and try not to lose concentration in the second half.”