MINNESOTA.- In 2015 while playing for Boreham Wood in the lower leagues of English football, Sam Cox was approached by the Guyana FA.
Guyana wanted Cox, whose grandparents immigrated from Guyana to London two generations prior, to play for its up-and-coming national team.
He had never been to Guyana. Cox is a North Londoner who grew up attending Arsenal matches with his father at Highbury before being signed by arch-rivals Tottenham as a teenager, playing with the likes of Harry Kane and Danny Rose.
With full FIFA eligibility, Cox pounced at the opportunity.
After some initial speedbumps and cultural awakening, Cox gained the trust and respect of his teammates, becoming captain of Guyana a year later.
Cox was then instrumental in helping Guyana qualify for its first ever major tournament, the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup.
Following a 4-0 loss to the United States in the historic match for Guyana on Tuesday night, Cox was upbeat and still looked at the team’s philosophical approach as a key to success.
“We always knew it was going to be difficult,” Cox said. “But you’ve always got to speak positivity into your life. If you go into anything with a negative mindset, you’re probably going to get negative results. We’ve still got positive minds about us. We’ve got two cup finals ahead of us now. We’ve got to give everything.”
“It’s still sinking in for some of the boys,” Cox said of this Gold Cup experience. “But we have confidence that we can do something special here.”
Guyana will next take on Panama in a crucial Group D affair on Saturday night in Cleveland, preceding the United States versus Trinidad and Tobago.