Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Bottom Five: Montserrat

All the glamour goes to Spain, Holland, Brazil, etc., and rightfully so. But what about life at the bottom of the world rankings? In a five-part series, Staff Writer Chris Lillstrung looks at the five international soccer teams at the bottom of the FIFA rankings.


Manager: Kenny Dyer
Notable players abroad: Wayne Dyer (Chasetown, England)
What’s so bad: Montserrat has played just one competitive match since 2004, a 7-1 loss to Suriname in the first round of 2010 World Cup qualifying two years ago. Montserrat beat Anguilla twice in 1995, marking its lone wins to date. The nation has good reason to not be overly concerned about their FIFA standing, though. Since 1995, the Caribbean island has been ravaged by an active volcano, making half of the British territory uninhabitable. The former capital Plymouth and the nation’s airport were destroyed. So you can’t really blame them for not thinking about kicking a ball around.
What’s good: Dyer is a decent midfielder who has bounced around the lower leagues of England. But beyond that, those involved with the sport on the island appear by all accounts to have good spirits about their unfortunate situation. Most island natives displaced by the volcano now live and work in England. In 2002, Montserrat played Bhutan in the infamous “Other Final” on the same day of the World Cup final, with the loser being considered the world’s worst team. Montserrat lost, 4-0. A documentary was made about the match, the trailer for which can be found here. Their goalkeeper in that match, Claude Hogan, is now an official for the soccer governing body in his country. He told FIFA before the loss to Suriname in 2008, "It's a victory just to be able to mobilize a team to play in a World Cup qualifier. It means we are still here... Montserrat is still alive."


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