With the much anticipatedmatch-upwith the United States just over 24 hours away, the Antiguan National Team prepares for a game that will be seen (both live and on TV) by more people than live in their home country. With many of its players from aCaribbeannation that is home to less than 100,000 people, it will be quite an adjustment to play in Raymond James Stadium which can hold upwards of 65,000. This big stage could represent a significant challenge for the young and upcoming Antiguan National Team but, with the help of IMG Academy mental specialists, they feel prepared for perhaps the biggest match in the history of this young team.
For the past two-plus weeks, the national team has been training at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Mark Bowers, who handles press operations for the national team and just about everything for the Barracuda, said IMG's sports psychologists âhave been working feverishly with our boysâ to prepare them for Friday night, when they'll face big-name talent before a crowd far larger than most of them have seen.
Tomorrow's qualifier against the United States will mark the first-evermatch-upbetween these two teams as well as Antigua's first-ever semifinal qualifying match. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET set to air live on ESPN.