Football Federation of Belize president Ruperto Vicente is apparently a very confident and highly ambitious man.
His federation's national team will face the USMNT on July 9 in their opening group game of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup in Portland, and Vicente has called upon his team to "not only beat the United States, but to humiliate the United States."
We believe this to be a real quote, from a real newspaper in Belize.
Well, OK then, Mr. Vicente. I can certainly appreciate your ambition and delusions of grandeur — after all, we as American soccer fans often have expectations for our national team, or individual players, that are far out of touch with reality — but you may want to think twice about what you're doing by saying such things.
US coach Jurgen Klinsmann unveiled his 23-man squad for this summer's tournament on Thursday, and there happens to be a guy named Landon Donovan on the list. Perhaps you've heard of America's all-time leading goalscorer (49 goals in 144 appearances). Six other players on the US roster have also been key contributors in previous World Cups.
Nearly half of Klinsmann's roster have been starters for various clubs in Europe, while of the 35 players on your provisional Gold Cup roster, exactly three of them play in a club league outside of the Belize Premier Football League. Perhaps the fact that Belize have never actually even competed in the Gold Cup before should also temper your expectations and dreams ever so slightly.
Maybe Vicente should first concentrate on organizing enough telethons and raising enough funds to send his national team to the Gold Cup this summer without forcing the players to pay their own way before poking and prodding one of the overwhelming favorites to win the tournament.
Then again, only defeating Belize by a score of 3-0 would be an embarrassment in and of itself for the Americans. Maybe that's what Mr. Vicente meant by "humiliating the United States."