Lone Star Steps Up Training Ahead of 2014 Qualifier With
Intensifying training: Gebro is being sandwiched by Wleh and
Written by Danesius Marteh
Sunday, 27 May 2012 08:00
Monrovia — Liberia head coach Joseph Kaetu Smith continued
his training session over the weekend at the Antoinette
Tubman Stadium (ATS) in Monrovia with some of the invited
foreign-based players. Liberia will take on Senegal at the
Leopold Sedar Senghor Stadium in a 2014 World Cup qualifier
on June 2.
Defender Solomon Grimes of Cypriot side Nea Salamina was the
latest to arrive on May 24 as we went to press and moved to
camp at the Stone Haven hotel in Congo Town.
Grimes joined the Turkish midfield duo of Theo Weeks of
Goztepe SL and Tonia Tisdell of Mersin Idman Yurdu SK and
defender Jimmy Dixon of Manisaspor.
Others are strikers Sekou Jabateh-Oliseh of Russia’s CSKA
Moscow and Patrick ‘Ronaldinho’ Wleh of Malaysia’s Sime
Darby FC. Defenders Patrick Nyema Gerhardt of FK Zeljeznicar
Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Omega Roberts of FK
Sloboda Uzice in Serbia; midfielders
Alseny Keita of US Senart-Moissy in France, Anthony Laffor
of South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns and strikers Francis
‘Grandpa’ Doe of Malaysia’s Terengganu FA and Dioh Williams
of Sweden’s BK Hacken were due in over the weekend. Smith
may have set his eyes on which local player(s) to select
should there be a vacancy after drastically trimming the
Barrack Young Controllers (BYC) goalie Mulbah Urey and
Liberia Black Star shot stopper Galley James will challenge
UMC Roots’ Nathaniel Sherman, fast becoming the number
goalie, for the right to be between the sticks.
Urey and James are hoping to win their first cap at senior
level with the latter having played for the under-23 team.
Nimba United midfielder Abraham Barshell is the only
newcomer having impressed in training. But he must outweigh
the experience of midfielders Marcus Macaulay and Martin
Karndu of LISCR FC.
George Gebro being tackle by another Lone Star player in
In the defensive department, Invincible Eleven’s (IE) George
Gebro, BYC’s Teah Dennis and LPRC Oilers’ Solomon Wesseh
know they have a tall order in adding another international
cap to their tally.
Striker Herron Berrian of IE must now concentrate on whether
his eight goals in the premier league are enough to earn him
a trip to the Teranga Lions. Berrian failed to find the net
against Niger in a two-leg preliminary of the Algeria 2013
Senegal who are ranked 77 in the world, according to the
Fifa Coca-Cola rankings for May, are desperate to make
amends for a disastrous Africa Cup of Nations finals where
they lost all three games (2-1) to eventual winners Zambia,
co-hosts Equatorial Guinea and Libya in Malabo in Group A.
Coach Amara Traore paid the price but whether the
resignation of Frenchman Pierre Lechantre can destabilize
morale in the camp with the country having qualified for the
Olympic Games for the first time ever.
Dakar is an unlikely venue for the visitors who twice lost
there in recent time—a 6-1 defeat during the 2006 World Cup
qualifier on March 26, 2005 and a 3-1 defeat during the 2010
World Cup qualifier on June 21, 2008.
The team leaves Monrovia on Wednesday with hopes high among
Liberians given the 1-0 win over Namibia in a 2013 Africa
Cup of Nations qualifier at the ATS on February 29. But will
they survive the onslaught of interim coach Joseph Koto, who
took the under-23 side to London come the d-day?
Liberia is ranked at 112 and with group members Angola at 78
and Uganda at 93, anyone can easily predict the outcome of
the group. But remember that Greece embarrassed pundits when
they won Euro 2004 while France and Argentina did likewise
with their sloppy performance at the 2002 World Cup.