TEAM’S MOTIVATION “We spoke to coach Warren Barrett the night before, and he said ‘No, we’ve finished third before’. So we were all aware of it as a team out there and … that’s been driving us on, and I think it helped us get us through it today,” said McAnuff. “I think you saw a real effort from everybody. That was motivating us. “It’s just a real togetherness,” the midfielder continued. “Throughout the tournament there’ve been a few ups and downs, but we’ve used everything to motivate us trying to turn some negative situations into positives ones, and I think you’ve seen that out on the pitch, and I think we’ve just got to continue to do that.” Highlighting their toughness and growth, McAnuff pointed to the period after half-time when they withstood constant US pressure. “That was key, and I think having that bit of experience in the squad, players who have been through (those) scenarios before, we knew we had to get through that next 10, 15 minutes conceding. We did it with a mixture of good defending and a bit of luck and a bit of woodwork here and there … but when you’re up against it, like we were, it was not just 11 players out there today, there were 68,000 fans, and the Boyz stood up to it well, and we’re just delighted to be in the final.” That game takes place on Sunday in Philadelphia against Mexico, the six-time champions. ATLANTA, Georgia: THE Boyz have really come of age. That’s one of the clearest signals from Jamaica’s historic 2-1 semi-final win over the United States of America (USA) in their CONCACAF Gold Cup encounter at the Georgia Dome on Wednesday night. The victory was Jamaica’s first against the US on American soil and made them the first Caribbean team to qualify for the final of the Gold Cup, the Confederation of North, Central America, and Caribbean championship in its 13th staging. One of the key players in the landmark achievement, midfielder Joel ‘Jobi’ McAnuff, says Jamaica needs to ensure continued growth of its stature in international football. “We want to make sure this is something moving forward for Jamaica. We’re no longer underdogs when it comes to playing against the USA. We’ve got a lot to be proud of and a lot to fear for the other countries when they come up against us,” McAnuff said. Only last year, the Reggae Boyz suffered an 8-0 thumping at the hands of France just ahead of the World Cup Finals. Things were a lot different then, with head coach Winfried Schäfer having to chop and change squads amid some crazy travelling schedules that denied their team rest, as well as its best players on a four-match tour. Three of the results were close, but the 8-0 stood out. In his own time, Schäfer has gone about moulding a team of inner strength, a team of character, with players willing to fight for each other and their country. By the Caribbean Cup last year, the signs of growth were evident and Jamaica went on to crown themselves champions. Then came a couple of practice matches, with the Reggae Boyz winning 3-0 and 2-1 over Cuba and Venezuela, respectively. If no one had been noticing, Schäfer’s graft emerged with greater definition at the Copa America, the South American championship, in June when Jamaica lost 1-0 in three group matches against Uruguay, Paraguay, and world number one Argentina, which was led by the world’s best player, Lionel Messi. It wasn’t just the scores either, but the way the team handled itself, drawing encores and rapturous applause from the appreciative football-cultured South Americans. They came to the Gold Cup with a best-ever finish of third, a placing earned in 1993 when they made one of two semi-final appearances. The 1998 Boyz who made first-time Jamaica qualification to the World Cup at France also made top four. Experts in the US predicted that Jamaica would only get two points and elimination at the group stage. The Boyz won their group with seven of the maximum nine points, and as they got to the semis, McAnuff said part of their growing reputation hinged on improving their Gold Cup best.
Related posts:How to beat the rainy season with kids Charity auction seeks to help Costa Rican kids Costa Rican capital hit by heavy rains, flash floods ‘Green Season’ book excerpt: Day of the Devils Updated from the original version published on Oct. 14, 2015.I come from dry places. I am relatively new at motherhood. I am relatively new to Costa Rica. Therefore, the first downpours to trap me — along with a husband, a 3-year-old and a newborn — inside our small San José apartment filled me with dread. How the expletive would I keep the kiddos happy and stay sane during six months of rain?Now, as huge drops pelt the rooftop above my head, I feel perfectly competent as a Green Season parent (although, I know, it’s been a pretty dry year). Here’s what I’ve learned, complemented by my much more experienced colleague, Katherine Stanley:1. If you’re bent on getting the kids outside, you must leave as early in the morning as possible. NO DALLYING! Ditto for any break in the rain that seems like it’ll last more than a few minutes. Go! Go! Go!2. Go somewhere, anywhere. Even a trip to the grocery store can be an adventure when the alternative is staying cooped up inside all day. If you’ve got the energy to venture further afield, however, there are lots of other places in the Central Valley calling your kids’ names, foremost among them the incredible Children’s Museum, where they could spend every rainy day (or, heck, every sunny day, too) and still not get bored. The suburbs yield plenty of diversions at varying price points, such as Color Me Mine in Escazú and Curridabat, where you and your kids can paint ceramics and leave them to be glazed in a kiln, or Il Parco on the old road to Tres Ríos, whose staff will guide your kids as they paint, play games and revel in the wonders of a tree house, while you sip coffee at Saul Bistro or Mocapan next door. If that’s not in your neighborhood, most any mall has an indoor playground, and the Outlet Mall in San Pedro features a particularly awesome two-story version.3. If you get stuck inside, you must make your kid expend energy. Otherwise it’s likely to come out in ways you’d rather it not. We hold lots of family dance parties in our tiny living room, in the kitchen, anywhere. And isn’t it time your kid brushed up on his/her participatory campfire songs? Youtube is full of them. I also make up mini obstacle courses for my 3-year-old: “Run around the table three times; Do 10 jumping jacks; Run and touch the fridge and then come back for a high five.” For more ideas, check out this gem of a listicle, “40 ways to entertain your child while lying down” (especially #3: “What’s on my butt?”). The ultimate hook to get kids to help with baking: licking the bowl. Jill Replogle/The Tico Times4. Bake. I love seeing my daughter improve in her egg-cracking abilities and remembering that baking is what I did with my mom on rainy days. In fact, if you’re from northern climes, like Katherine, she suggests this: Ride that nostalgia train all the way home by treating the rainy season the way you would winter, which, after all, is what the rainy season is called in Costa Rica. Drink hot chocolate. Snuggle, as your child’s age and temperament permits. Sprinkle pumpkin spice on stuff. Even decorate those Christmas cookies, because come Dec. 25, you might be too busy frolicking in the sunshine. Take a long nap to the sound of an aguacero, catch up on your reading as you sip hot tea, and enjoy a luxurious bubble bath with a glass of wine. (Oh, wait – we slipped into a fantasy world there for a minute. Sorry. We’re back.)5. If you can’t beat it, head out to play in the rain. Here, there are two options. Option A: suit ’em up head to toe, including botas de hule, an essential part of any Costa Rican childhood, for splashing in muddy puddles (if your child doesn’t think that sounds fun, seek medical attention; alternatively, brainwash him or her with episodes of “Peppa Pig,” in which splashing in muddy puddles is the ultimate treat). Option B, which often follows Option A: Forget the raingear and put on a bathing suit. Get drenched. Laugh. Love it.Fathers, mothers, grandparents, beloved aunts and uncles and babysitters: what are your tricks and escapes for the rainy season? Tell us! (Seriously – please tell us! #1-5 might not get us all the way through November.) Facebook Comments read more