Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Kansas native leads Jaguars to first Gold Cup
by Paul Kennedy, July 9th, 2013 2AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  gold cup, men's national team

MOST COMMENTED

[USA-BELIZE]Ian Mork's profile on Linkedin lists him as Belize "A" national team head coach but it also describes him as a "technical advisor, scout, lead trainer" in the San Francisco Bay Area -- a jack of all trades, if you will, like so many coaches trying to make a living in soccer.

Mork works for U.S. Club Soccer's player development program and as a coach for Ballistic United, but his role as a part-time scout for U.S. Soccer means he'll be in the unique position of coaching Belize Tuesday night against the U.S. national team, the team that he grew up rooting for in his native Kansas and that he now, indirectly at least, works for.

The Gold Cup is a big deal for Belize, but it is all new for the Jaguars, who held fundraisers back home and are still seeking donations online to pay for their trip.

Belize is the only Central American team to have never played in the Concacaf tournament, but the Jaguars qualified for the Gold Cup when they finished second in their group at the 2013 Copa Centroamericana.

Qualifying for the Gold Cup isn't difficult in Central America, where five of seven teams go through, but Belize had never qualified until this year when it finished ahead of Guatemala thanks to a 2-1 win over Nicaragua in its final game on Deon McCaulay's goal in stoppage time.

McCaulay plays for the Belmopan Bandits, Mork's connection to Belize. After a playing career in which he played indoors with the Wichita Wings and in the Netherlands with AFC Quick, he moved into coaching, working for many years in Sonoma County in Northern California.

Thanks to Rene Montero, a teammate at Sangamon State and now the Belize assistant coach, Mork moved to Belize, where Montero helped set him up as a coach with the Bandits.

Mork didn't coach the Jaguars at the Copa Centroamericana, but he had experience coaching against Concacaf giants -- Belize lost to Mexico 7-0 and 2-0 in 2010 World Cup qualifying -- which made him a perfect choice for the task of coaching the Jaguars against the host United States Tuesday in Portland.

Participating in the Gold Cup is not something the Football Federation of Belize budgeted for. It organized two friendlies for the Jaguars against Trinidad & Tobago and Guatemala -- their first in three years -- and they managed to secure 0-0 ties in both games.

The Belize City Council and Belize Tourism Board organized fundraisers -- barbecue, dance and concert -- to pay for the trip, but the Football Federation of Belize was still seeking donations on its Web site.

On the home page, it was asking for supporters to "contrubute $1 to FFB today."


1 comment
  1. David Crowther
    commented on: July 9, 2013 at 1:17 p.m.
    Much of the credit for Belize's first qualification to the Gold Cup has to go to the Tico coach who got them through the UNCAF tournament by organizing and solidifying their defense. We'll have to see if Mork has been able to keep them playing at that level.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Futsal: U.S. names Concacaf Championship roster    
U.S. coach Keith Tozer has named a 14-man roster for the Concacaf Futsal Championship in San ...
Video Pick: Top MLS golazos of Week 9    
In perhaps the most impressive collection of MLS Goal of the Week nominees this season, Week ...
What They're Saying: Lionel Messi dietitian Giuliano Poser    
"The human mind is like a parachute. It only works when it's open." -- Lionel Messi ...
What They're Saying: Ukraine's Taras Stepanenko    
"I'd like the whole country to know my friendship with Yarmolenko has ended." -- Shakhtar Donetsk's ...
Report: Hamburg eyes Bobby Wood    
The most sought-after striker in the German second division is American Bobby Wood, who has scored ...
U.S. U-19 men beat Russia to lift Slovakia Cup    
The U.S. U-19 men's national team, coached by Brad Friedel, beat Russia, 2-1, to win the ...
MLS Power Rankings: Top three teams hold their spots    
A wonderful goal by Giovani dos Santos -- his fourth in three matches -- tied the ...
MLS Talking Points: Rimando the incredible    
Nick Rimando has made 1,932 saves in 401 MLS regular-season games to rank second all-time behind ...
What They're Saying: Louis van Gaal    
"What is your reaction when I grab your hair? Your hair is shorter than [Marouane] Fellaini ...
Video Pick: Pulisic hits golazo in big U-19 BVB win    
Last weekend, the 17-year-old Christian Pulisic didn't add to his eight Bundesliga appearances, but he did ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives