Soccer

Lightbourne forced into changes for Mexico

  • Willie Clemons, left, chases Mexico forward Hirving Lozano at the National Stadium last month

Kyle Lightbourne, the Bermuda coach, has been forced to make three changes to his squad to face Mexico in their final group game in League A of the Concacaf Nations League against Mexico in Toluca.

Missing from the 23-man squad are Tre Ming, Jaylon Harvey and Calon Minors.

“Calon can’t make it because of school commitments and Jaylon is injured from the Mexico game and he’s not recovered from that,” Lightbourne said. “Tre has asked to be excused for personal reasons.”

The trio have been replaced by the recalled Kilian Elkinson and Jahkari Furbert, while Eusebio Blankendal has earned his first call-up.

“Those are the three new faces, two left-footers to replace two left-footers. Eusebio is more of a utility player,” Lightbourne added. “He can play defence, can play in midfield, but we’re looking at him more of a defender.”

Bermuda will warm up for their match against Mexico, the Gold Cup champions, with a friendly against Major League Soccer side DC United in St Croix, US Virgin Islands, on November 15.

Also included in the squad are English-based professionals Nahki Wells and Reggie Lambe, as well as non-League players Justin Donawa, Osagi Bascome, Milan Butterfield and newcomer Knory Scott.

Bermuda will face Mexico on November 19. Lightbourne’s side lost 5-1 to Mexico in their home group fixture at the National Stadium last month.

Bermuda are bottom of group B on goal difference, four inferior to second-placed Panama. The bottom nation will be relegated to League B.

Bermuda started their Nations League campaign with a 4-1 defeat by Panama at the National Stadium before avenging that loss by beating the Central Americans 2-0 three days later, thanks to a Nahki Wells brace.

Lightbourne’s team secured a top seat at the Nations League table by finishing fifth in the qualifiers, which also led to them reaching the Gold Cup for the first time last summer.

SQUAD

Goalkeepers D Eve, J Hill, Q Hunt. Defenders: D Brangman, K Elkinson, L Evans, D Leverock (captain), J Bather, C Basden. Midfielders: R Lee, E Blankendal, M Butterfield, R Lambe, W Clemons, O Bascome, P Douglas. Forwards: L Simmons, J Donawa, C Robinson, N Wells, Z Lewis, J Furbert, K Scott. Head coach: K Lightbourne. Assistant coach: R Jones. Assistant coach: S Morton. Goalkeeper coach: J Morreira. Sports psychologist: M Wolffe. Kit manager: G Adams. Physio: C Brown. Technical development director: M Lowe. Team manager: C Williams.