KANSAS CITY.- When asked during Tuesday’s pre-match press conference what his team would be playing for in its final Gold Cup match against Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago Manager Dennis Lawrence offered a thoughtful and impassioned response.
“Number one,” Lawrence began, “we are playing to get rid of that terrible taste that we’ve had over the last few days. I think we were all hurting, but the great thing about football and about sports is that sometimes you get a second chance. It might not be the second chance that we would’ve liked to have, but we still have a second opportunity to take to the pitch and ease some of the hurt that we’ve been feeling.”
Lawrence then spoke of an overarching responsibility that lies on the shoulders of he and his players.
“We have a responsibility to represent our country the best that we can,” said Lawrence. “Regardless of the scoreline, I don’t think we did ourselves justice in the last game. I thought for 65 minutes we competed very well. So now we’ve got an opportunity to go out and play 90 minutes.”
“It’s all about representing our country,” Lawrence continued. “We have to have pride in every last aspect of what we do.”
Before the conversation ended, Lawrence doubled down on the meaning of this match while paying some deserved respect to the opposition.
“The only way to erase the bad feelings is to go out and get a result,” Lawrence said. “There’s nothing better than winning a football game, any football game. But we need to make sure we don’t play the name, Guyana, but rather play the team, Guyana, because the Guyana team that I’ve seen is a very good team.”