Most players like to spend the day after a game recovering. New England Revolution midfielder Shalrie Joseph will spend Thursday traveling to Central America.
Joseph wasn't supposed to play on Wednesday night at Gillette Stadium. After a 2-2 draw with Costa Rica on Saturday, Joseph should have stayed in Grenada on international duty until the team left for Costa Rica.
But Joseph didn't like the training methods employed in the southern Caribbean island and wanted a chance to play in Wednesday night's 1-1 draw against New York.
That leaves Joseph to spend most of Thursday traveling across North America to get to Costa Rica in time to prepare for a match that most people wouldn't have expected to matter.
Grenada lost in the second round stage to the United States in World Cup 2006 qualifying, 6-2 on aggregate, and weren't expected to keep it close against the Central Americans, who part of the final 32 in both Korea/Japan 2002 and Germany 2006.
With the home crowd in St. George's backing them, the Grenadians produced a pulsating performance that saw them snatch a point even with midfielder Ricky Charles dismissed after 49 minutes.
"It felt like we should have won the game," Joseph said. "We know Costa Rica is a powerhouse. It was a good result if you didn't watch the game. We should have had four or five goals in the first half."
The first leg result gives Grenada a chance to advance to the semifinal round of qualifying for the first time, but the task that lay ahead is not an easy one. Grenada's ragtag group of home-based amateurs, supplemented by Joseph and Blackburn Rovers striker Jason Roberts, will attempt to overcome the raucous Costa Rican crowd at the Estadio Saprissa.
"They have the turf and the fans are right up on top of you," Joseph said. "It's a crazy environment. Most of our players aren't used to it. We need to stay focused and stay concentrated on the task at hand. We also have to try not to play with 10 men."
Joseph said his team can go out and get a result, potentially placing them into a semifinal group with Panama and Haiti and knocking one of the favorites out far earlier than anticipated.
"It'd be great for us to get into the group stage," Joseph said. "That's our goal at this point."
Even if the pursuit of the World Cup dream ends in glorious failure down in Costa Rica, Joseph said the team's performance over the past couple of weeks, which also includes a victory against Jamaica in a tune-up friendly, has given the team hope for the future.
"It shows how far we have come," Joseph said.
Kyle McCarthy is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.