WARREN Creavalle, an essential member of the Golden Jaguars, usually tasked with midfield responsibility, has been officially ruled out of Guyana’s historic Gold Cup encounter. He sustained an injury while training during their first stage of the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup Camp in Bermuda. The Philadelphia Union midfielder was excited to play his part in this history-making journey for Guyana who have qualified for the first time ever. But unfortunately he broke a bone in his foot during training and has since been replaced by fellow midfielder Brandon Beresford, who joined the team for the second leg of the camp, which took place in Costa Rica.Guyana’s head coach Michael Johnson said that the entire team is gutted with Creavalle’s injury, as he is a key part of the team. He recalled the role Creavalle played in Guyana’s 2-1 win against Belize to qualify for the Gold Cup.“When he came on we got back the control of the game. He is a clever player and uses the ball very, very well; puts his body into some terrific positions. We’ll miss that sort of experience with somebody who understands the MLS, playing in America as well, and going up against the Americans could have given us so much insight. So it’s a big, big loss for us and him, because these tournaments do not come around very often for Guyana.”Johnson noted; “Our thoughts and prayers are with him. The most important thing is that he recovers well enough and maintains his club career with the Philadelphia union.”While he’ll miss the Gold Cup, a medical assessment has indicated that Creavalle would need between four to six weeks to recover properly so he should be ready for the 2019/2020 edition of the CONCACAF Nations League, which kicks off in September.Guyana will contest League B with their first match on September 6 against Aruba.Meanwhile, Beresford, who is well known to the technical staff and was included in the 40-man provisional squad, submitted to CONCACAF, was called up to the team and joined on the second stage of the camp which took place in Costa Rica.Johnson pointed out; “Brandon is someone we know very well, particularly from early on in my tenure when he came and played very well against Barbados and he’s been in other camps as well. So we know what he is capable of. So there was an obvious standout candidate when we knew that Warren would be struggling to come back to the camp and it was Brandon.”According to tournament rules, “injury-related changes will be allowed to the final 23-player rosters for the Group Stage until 24 hours before each team’s first match. Any injury replacements must come from the announced preliminary 40-player rosters and must be approved by CONCACAF.”On his call-up to the 23-man squad, Beresford revealed; “It’s a surreal experience still, being involved with Guyana for the past nine years. It’s had its ups and downs and I’ve seen what it’s like from the youth level, U-20, U-23 and I’m glad to experience all of that.”He noted that being at the point where the game’s at now in Guyana is a testament to what has been taking place over the past nine years – the evolution of the game – and he is very appreciative of playing whenever he gets the opportunity to do so.“I’m so extremely blessed to be a part of this and have been able to be a part of it for the past nine years. It’s a blessing. It’s still pretty unbelievable and I will be giving 100% plus.”Beresford is currently playing in the USL League 2 (USA 4th Division) competition with Peachtree City Moba.The Golden Jaguars’ first training session in Minneapolis is scheduled for this afternoon after the team took a rest day yesterday following their arrival from Costa Rica Wednesday evening.
Ending the team’s longest losing streak of the season, the men’s volleyball team got back to its winning ways last week against UC San Diego. The Trojans (10-5, 9-5 MPSF) take on Penn State today and look to start a winning streak.On March 4, the Trojans took down UC San Diego (1-14, 0-11) in three sets. The Trojans won by a score of 25-19, 25-13, 25-16. Junior opposite Josh Kirchner, in his return from a two-game absence because of an ankle injury, led the team in kills with 11. Kirchner also led the match with five blocks. Senior middle blocker Robert Feathers added nine kills, and senior setter Micah Christenson had three aces along with five digs.The Trojans’ hitting percentage for the night was .427 compared to UCSD’s hitting percentage of .072. The Trojans also had six total aces while the Tritons only had one.While the Trojans took care of business against the Tritons, the last-place team in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation conference, the Trojans had much more trouble with the rest of the MPSF the last two weeks.After starting the season 7-0 and 6-0 in MPSF play, the Trojans best overall start to a season since 1991, the team started to hit some bumps in the road. USC dropped its first match of the season at Hawai’i and rebounded with wins against Hawai’i and BYU, but then began the four-match losing streak.After beating BYU in the first match of two matches at home, the Trojans fell to the Cougars in four sets. The Trojans then suffered surprise losses at UC Santa Barbara then and UCLA. The Trojans fell in straight sets to the Gauchos then lost in four sets to the crosstown rival Bruins. In addition to Kirchner’s absence due to an ankle injury, Christenson had to sit out against UCLA due to an acute sinus infection.The Trojans returned home on March 3, to host UC Irvine. The Trojans had previously taken down the Anteaters at UC Irvine this season in five sets, but the Anteaters would return the favor at the Galen Center. The Trojans took the first two sets against UC Irvine, but the Anteaters would take the next three and ultimately win the five-set match. The final score was 20-25, 18-25, 25-19, 25-17, 15-13.Head coach Bill Ferguson gave a lot of credit to the Anteaters, specifically UC Irvine’s opposite Zack La Cavera, but said the Trojans did seem to fade down the stretch.“They did a better job passing the ball,” Ferguson said. “We were putting a ton of pressure on them early from the service line. I don’t know if they got better or if we were just less than ourselves from the line as the match went on, but there were parts of that game where we were playing great volleyball. We just couldn’t do it long enough.”The loss marked the second time this season the Trojans had lost in five sets, the previous one being the Trojans’ first loss of the season at Hawai’i. In both five-set losses, the Trojans won the first two sets but could not close out in the final three.Coming into this week, the Trojans sit in fifth place in the MPSF standings. Ahead of the Trojans are UC Irvine, Hawai’i, BYU and Pepperdine. The Trojans have split with UC Irvine, Hawai’i and BYU this season. Five of the Trojans’ six matches against the top three teams have gone to the maximum five sets, the lone exception being the Trojans’ four-set loss to BYU. The Trojans also took down Pepperdine in four sets at home earlier this year.While Ferguson said the losing streak was certainly a rough patch for the team, he believes the toughest part of the schedule is now behind the Trojans. With the exception of one remaining trip to Pepperdine later in March, all of the Trojans’ remaining eight MPSF matches are against teams below the Trojans in the conference standings.“We have one match against Pepperdine and that’s it with the top five teams in the league,” he said. “We’re done with everybody, and none of those other teams have played each other yet. In the grand scheme of things, we’re okay.”The Trojans need to finish in the top eight of the 12-team conference to qualify for the MPSF tournament and compete for the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Ferguson said if the team can avenge losses against UC Santa Barbara and UCLA down the road, the team should be in a good spot at the end of the season.“We need to hold serve and take care of business at home against UCLA and UC Santa Barbara,” he said.Before resuming the battle through the MPSF, however, the Trojans will have two non-conference matches this week. After the Nittany Lions (6-9, 4-0) visit USC today, the Trojans will host Lindenwood (5-6, 2-5) on Thursday.The Nittany Lions hail from the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association while Lindenwood represents the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association. Penn State qualified for the NCAA tournament last year as the EIVA conference champions, while Lindenwood did not make the tournament.The Trojans take on Penn State at the Galen Center tonight at 7:30 p.m.