Leverock: Bermuda ready for Gold Cup mission
Danté Leverock, the Bermuda captain, says his team-mates are determined to make a statement at the Concacaf Gold Cup this summer.
Bermuda will begin their maiden campaign against Haiti at the Estadio Nacional in San José, Costa Rica, on June 16 before taking on Costa Rica at the Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, on June 20. Their final group match will be against Nicaragua at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, on June 24.
The top two teams will advance to the quarter-finals of the competition.
“The boys are very excited to prove ourselves and show why we deserve to be among the Concacaf elite,” Leverock said. “It’s a great opportunity for us to test ourselves on a high international level.
“Every game will be a hard game and it comes down to the little details and execution on the day.”
Kyle Lightbourne’s side qualified for the Gold Cup for the first time by finishing fifth in the Nations League qualifiers.
“I hope this acts an inspiration to the young Bermudian boys and girls for the future,” Leverock added.
“I feel privileged to even be involved in this part of history and I’m enjoying the ride.”
The Gold Cup has been extended from 12 teams to 16 teams split into four groups. The seeded teams are Mexico in group A, the United States in group B, Costa Rica in group C, and Honduras in group D.
The remaining nations are Panama, Trinidad & Tobago, Canada, Martinique, Curaçao, Cuba, Guyana, Jamaica and El Salvador.
In the knockout rounds, the NRG Stadium in Houston and the Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia will host two quarter-final matches each, on June 29 and 30 respectively.
The winning teams will move on to State Farm Stadium in Phoenix and Nissan Stadium in Nashville for the semi-finals. The final is scheduled to be played on July 7 at Soldier Field in Chicago.
The draw was held at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles was held the day before Leverock’s 27th birthday.
“I watched the draw and was buzzing with the group,” Leverock, who plays for Irish top-flight side Sligo Rovers, said. “It was definitely a good birthday present.
“Credit to the gaffer [Lightbourne], he represented Bermuda well, and credit to all the coaches and staff involved.”