Byers still haunted by 2012 benching against USA

Former national striker, Peter Byers.
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By Neto Baptiste

Former national striker Peter Byers is still baffled and searching for answers after he was benched by the senior team’s coaching staff ahead of the country’s 3-1 loss to the USA in June of 2012.

Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Byers revealed that he cried after the team was announced and his name was not mentioned in the starting line-up.

“You guys could ask Janiel how much I cried that day; none of them including ‘Nando’ [Fernando Abraham] could have talked to me. After the game when I scored the goal and we were shaking hands, Tim Howard came up to me and asked why they put me on the bench because the coach only spoke about me and when [USA] saw I wasn’t on the field, they changed from four at the back [in defense] to three, so they were attacking more. But when you came on they had to drop back in defense and when they came to Antigua you saw how differently we played them so I believe that if it was like that in the USA that maybe it would have been a different outcome,” he said. 

The player, who eventually came on as a 62nd minute substitute, scored the country’s lone goal in the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifier played at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

Many had questioned the move by then head coach and technical director Tom Curtis but the team’s management never officially spoke on the decision.

Byers’ brother, Janiel Simon who was equipment manager at the time, said he believes the move was a tactical one.

“We have somebody who works with the US national team who told us that they spoke a lot about Peter so I think that maybe it was a surprise factor because our inside man said that all of {USA] plans were around Peter so maybe that’s one of the reasons they come up with that, as a surprise factor,” he said.

USA captain Carlos Bocanegra had opened the scoring in the seventh minute with Clint Dempsey making it 2-0 from the penalty spot just before halftime. Herculez Gomez rounded off the USA’s scoring in the 71st minute.  

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