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Debbah, Sebwe Off To Germany
-Ahead of World Cup Qualifiers Oct. 8

 

By: Leroy M. Sonpon, III

By 3:45pm yesterday, Liberia’s national football team coaches, James Salinsa Debbah and Kelvin Sebwe boarded Kenya Airways and responded cheerfully to waving Liberians at the Robert International Airport (RIA), on their way to Germany, after defeating Tunisia 1-0.

One report said at the RIA, the duo waved to the cheering crowd, while other report said they shook hands with few members in the crowd and rushed to the terminal.

Deputy Head Coach Sebwe, 43, in a telephone interview yesterday said the training would last for three weeks, from the 7th to the 25 of September.
He said the training is an international coaching course organized by the German Government.
“At the end of the training, we will go to Holland, and watch a game between Holland based Liberian players and a 2nd division team,” Coach Sebwe said. “And we would likely recruit potential players.”

Coach Debbah, 48, described the coaching training as timely that would beef up their tactical and physical training knowledge ahead of another international football tournament, the 2018 World Cup qualifiers which will begin next month.

According to the draw of World Cup 2018, Liberia is paired with Guinea Bissau.

The two countries must play the two-leg between 8th and the 13th of October.

The Secretary General of the LFA, Alphonso Armah said Liberia would host Guinea Bissau on the 8th and play Guinea Bissau on the 13 in the return leg.

This means that the two coaches (Debbah and Sebwe) will be physically absent from the technical bench but would still supervise the selection of the team.
Coach Sebwe attributed the 1-0 victory over Tunisia on Saturday to team-work. Debbah thanked the players and Liberians for the moral support on Saturday and called on the government to give ‘more support’ to the Lone Star.

“We need more support, we’re 43rd in Africa and 160th in the world and if we could defeat Tunisia, 4th in Africa and 33rd in the world, then it means that we need both moral and financial support to maintain the spirit,” Coach Debbah said.

Miracle-man-James Debbah deserves our commendations

 


By Isaac Yeah
isaacyeah2000@yahoo.com

 

Optimism among some Liberians, mainly the young folks were very low, if not at its lowest in many years. I am sure that low expectation for a Lone Star's victory was due largely to the lackluster performance of the team in major competitive games over the past years.

I didnt see the game but following the commentary and game analyses from the highly rated UNMIL Radio commentary team, I got a clear bird eye view of what was unfolding as my friends Hilary Colnoe, Augustine Hamelberg and Raymond Zarbay provided minute by minute analysis and commentary of the match from the age-old Antoinette Tubman Stadium in Central Monrovia.

I was actually listening to the commentary with a few colleagues from Mozambique, a Ghanaian and a Brazilian. These fellows had interest in the result, but not the commentary and or the analyses, they couldn't grasp the intermittent Liberian parlance and comments that were being spoken, so they would rather ask me for the result later. But I tuned in to the radio to the finish line and sure Grandpa Forkay Doe was the emerging savior.

The Fear Factor:

On the average, I too won’t blame anyone for fearing the ''Carthage Eagles'' .The Tunisians have never been an underdog or a brush over in Africa football. Their record stands up tall and their performance has been great over the past years or maybe decades. Adding more flames to the fear factor was also the Tunisian highly rated Coach Henry Kasperczak.

This man is one coach that understand African football like his ABC having coached Morocco, Mali, Senegal and the Ivory Coast in the past and before that he coached his native country Poland.

So just the mentioning of his name is sufficient to instill some fear in any football follower, pundit or so-called analyst. I am told that the sports betting agencies in Liberia made a lot of money on Saturday because even those who wore the red, white and blue cheering Lone Star at the stadium bet against the team at the Premier,Doxx and other betting stations. Hahahahahahah how funny that is. My late father use to say, FEAR HAS NO MEDICINE, I accept that but fear is different from Nationalism and optimism. You may have fear but be a nationalist and remain optimistic.

The lack of Nationalistic spirit and optimism for victory:

Any football analyst or sports commentator would have rated the Tunisians far higher than their Liberian counterpart. That was clear because in African and global football, the Tunisians are a better side and have a better record. The Eagles are standing at 33 position in the FIFA World ranking while Liberia sits at 160 in global football ranking. So a lot of reasons to favour the Tunisians in these pre match analyses and discourses.

However, while we respect the analysts and commentators, I dont agree with those who wished a dooms-day demolition, destruction of the Lone Star. That is not analysis, its devilish thinking. To say that Liberians will leave the stadium in tears and that people will walk to the stadium and back home in shame and disappointment do not account for any level of trying to analyze football, its purely lack of nationalism and optimism. I can be concerned but yet hopeful which ie being optimistic. I read a lot of pre match facebook comments and posting where some notable sports writers and others wished that Liberia didnt win because they had beef with Head Coach James Debbah and his selection of players. Its like setting the house ablaze because your wife cook a salty food for dinner gush, how did that even enter anybody's mind or thinking.

I had the privilege to travel with the Lone Star before Liberia qualified for the 1996 and 2002 Nations Cup respectively. In most of those games, which Liberia eventually won, the team was never prepared and never had a better coach than their opponents in all respects. It was either Wilfred Kejani Lardner, the '' The Green Banana'' Dominic Vava George or Franck Jericho Nagbe as Head Coaches and at one time George Weah as Technical Director. We played and beat some of the greatest teams at the time Nigeria, Congo, Tunisia etc and there were never times that sports journalists or commentators wished the team bad luck or defeat because they had problems with either Willis Knucles, Edwin Snowe, Izetta Wesley or the technical staff.

I personally accompanied the Former Youth and Sports Minister,the Late Francois Massaquoi to credit money from Money exchanges on Broad and Carey Streets for the Lone Star to fund its travels, that happened not once or twice but many times. Willis Knucles was always here and there begging for money from the Ministry of Finance to get the Lone Star on trips to honor international matches, it has never been milk and honey for the Lone Star as far as I was a sports writer and commentator.

I too was disappointed as some facebookers were when I read those facebook posts and pre match analyses that wish Liberians would leave the field ''licking their wounds and weeping'', but I remain hopeful and optimistic despite my little fear for the Carthage Eagles. If anybody is looking for a country where people are motivational, highly spirited and are survivals, be my guest, I take to LIB. Oh yes, Liberians know how to survive, they are never bending, they are a strong and proud people with an attitude to fight the odds, come what may. James Debbah and his technical crew along with the players did that on Saturday.

 

Debbah tactics on Saturday worked

Coach James Debbah deployed a very smart tactics on Saturday and that payed off well. I was in Liberia in July and had seen the game against Togo in Lome where we were defeated 2-1. That game made me to ask and appeal to Debbah to include three Players. Francis Grandpa Doe, Dioh Williams and Patrick 'Ronaldho' Wleh. In my opinion, these three highly experienced and talent players would have added more power to the team's attacking machinery. At that time, I had seen Sekou Jabateh in Monrovia, I am told he was injured, so I didnt think he would be fit for the match, so I didnt mentioned his name among the three players I proposed.

Coach Debbah said he was building a team: He was adding on players gradually as he moves ahead. True to his word, he added Grandpa Doe, Sekou Jabateh and Omega Roberts, Omega Roberts didnt showed up for Saturday's match, I am told he wrote a letter to coach Debbah explaining the reasons why he couldn't make the team this time around. Omega is a great lad with a promising future, he needs to be given a chance.

Saturday, Debbah didnt field Jabateh and while the game was ongoing some pessimistic Liberians starting posting that Debbah was wrong in keeping Sekou Jabateh on the bench and that he brought in a local lad called Oscar Dorley who replaced Zah Krangar. The kid was exceptional and brilliant, he added more fire power to the match and the result was gotten. Debbah worked the miracle.

 

In the conversation that have started coming, I just read one of my junior colleagues who wrote that if Debbah is building a team, he needs to use only local players, that is pure ignorance of what building a team means. Building a team is a progressive term, that would include, some old players, young players, local players and foreign based players. That is why the LFA under President Musa Hassan Bility has made it his duty to making all of the junior teams active, so that players will graduate from the Under 16, Under 20, Under 21 to the Senior team, it is a process, not an event. We need to give them a chance to grow gradually.

 My appeal to LFA and MYS 

Its my opinion and appeal the Liberia Football Association (LFA) and the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYS) President Musa Bility and Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe to work closely with the technical staff of the Lone Star in future games so as to give them financial support to host at least two or three international preparatory matches before the team's next match against Djibouti next year. The more test matches play, the more the technical squad familiarizes themselves with their team and understand the weaknesses and strengths of the players, the better, it will be for us in the next few crucial games that are left to be won. We need a win again Djibouti both in home and away, a win against Togo in Monrovia and a draw or a win in Tunis. That should be our target. We can not fail to do any less.

 Our investment into football as well as coordination has been very low, we need to look at sponsorship from major concessions and other companies as a way of bringing joy to the Liberian people. Corporate social responsibilities can be extended outside concession areas to the Lone Star as well, as even those in the concession areas celebrate when Lone Star wins a match.

 It is also my opinion that both the LFA and the MYS keeps Debbah and his men for at least least three years to enable them built a quality and winsome squad like the so-called George Weah Eleven. Any attempt to break up this current coaching staff will demolish the team and throw the entire building process into jeopardy. Debbah is now getting comfortable and is settling down gradually, I am sure he can achieve his best if he is allow to function freely with all moral and financial support at his disposal. 

My appeal to Debbah and crew : 

Moving forward, Debbah and his technical team needs to understand that the games ahead are more crucial as no team will want to lose a point or a match. So the strategy should be more compact and tactical. Invite only active playes with clubs. The National Team is not a place for any clubless player to seek his contract, it will be a disservice for any persons, LFA or MYS officials to present you a list or names of players to be invited, do your due diligence, if you ever attempt to bring in players without club, you will do your country and people a complete disservice and betrayal. In the past, Lone Star had had coaches who invited players who gave them sneakers, headphone radio, laptops and other stuff. Those Coaches were all unsuccessful, because they were inviting the inappropriate players. I remembered a certain Liberian coach whenever he had the chance to be given a coaching job, his son was number one on the list, but this very son was not even a starting player on his local Liberian club. I am sure we have passed that age and period, lets players be invited based on merits, not favoritism.

 I like to thank the LFA for giving Coaches James Debbah and Kelvin Sebwe the opportunity to take a coach course in Germany. I hope the Ministry of Youth and Sports can appeal to other friendly great football nations through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to assist other national team coaches like Thomas Kojoe, George Gebro,Vamah Kpoto, Jonah Sarwhe,Christopher Wreh and others to also get some international training, that will add impetus and experience to their coaching career. 

My conclusion 

Let me conclude my cautioning both the technical staff and the players, that though we won against the Carthage Eagles of Tunisian, that game only prepared us for the big ones ahead. We have the bigger games yet to come, we shouldn't be complacent and relax. The race is just beginning its not over yet. The players shouldn't introduce the 'white chicken' scenario, when it get praise, it rubs itself into the mud to chance its colour. We need to keep the flames burning, lets the red, white and blue keep flying high over land, sea and mountains. 

I have seen Lone Star almost entering the World Cup finals and got shamefully beaten because of lack of focus and complacency. We all need to learn from history which is our past, if any people fail to learn from their past, they are prone to repeating the very mistakes over and again.

 In union strong success is sure, with determination, we can prevail God being our help. The miracle man, miracle did worked on Saturday, and he deserves our praises and commendations while remaining cautiously optimistic and keeping the hopes alive.

 

Lone Star Player Ratings vs Tunisia



By Wleh Bedell


A very spirited Lone Star of Liberia through grit, commitment and sheer determination not about any tactical work from the coach enabled the red, white and blue outfit to triumph over the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia, 1-0 thanks to a sumptuous header from goal machine Francis Doe in the 79th minute. The win has taken the Lone Star to third spot in Group 1 of the African Nations Cup, Gabon 2017 qualifier.

A hungry Lone Star deserved the win against a non- proactive, uninterested and lethargic Tunisian side that entered the fray with the intention of getting a draw as they did not record a single shot on goal and looked completely ordinary. The score line would have been even more embarrassing had it not been due to reliable goalkeeping and the lack of a genuine playmaker for the Lone Star. But, how did the players of the Lone Star fare in the contest at the SKD is what is now being sailed through.

Saylee Swen- The 31 year old shot stopper who made a return from the international wilderness after four years and 335 days, was on a virtual holiday as he was literally untested. The local club LPRC Oilers custodian however made some timely interventions in his all yellow outfit.
Rating: 7/10

Solomon Grimes- A very lively attitude kept him going as he showed willingness in venturing forward. The diminutive 28 year old fullback from Nea Salamis in Cyprus, was never intimidated by the towering height of the Tunisians as he played with belief and desire, but he stand accused of being too flashy as he was mostly avoiding playing simple but wanting to do the spectacular.
Rating: 7.5/10

Gizzie Dorbor- Having returned to the left back position after five years as he has since being converted to a center back cum holding midfielder, the Israeli club Hapoel Afula 28 year old defence ace did not make overlapping runs though, but was effective in providing diagonal balls to the final third and was also accurate under pressure.
Rating: 7.5/10

Kohn Dirkir Glay-From the onset, the newly signed on Black aces of South Africa uncompromising defender gave a host of poor passes as he attempted to link up teammates quickly. But, as the game progressed, he managed to quickly settle and was a handful to the Tunisians. The ‘tractor’ put forth his no nonsense attitude as he tussled for the ball, made fierce tackles and showed a good attitude. The 23 year old in his first home game no doubt showed the tenacity to engage opponents.
Rating: Rating: 7.5/10

Teah Dennis, Jr.-Another virtuoso performance from the Jordanian club Al-Ali defence pillar who wore the captain armband for country for the first time. Good reading of the game, precision timing and strategic marshalling of the defence by the 24 year old made life very difficult for the North African visitors. Rating: 8/10

Patrick Gerhardt- He was the one giving out instructions as he directed play in the holding role position. The 30 year old Sarawak of Malaysia asset also showed he has iron in his leg as he took a blistering long range free kick which the opposition gloves man parried over the cross bar. The harder worker also tried some ambitious effort as the Lone Star made things difficult for the former African champions. He however ran out of steam in the latter stages of the game.Rating: 8.5/10

Anthony Laffor-At age 30, the Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa winger is still fresh as his bundle of energy, work ethic and whole hearted approach made him a massive help to his team. Laffor also used his pace and skills to great effect as he regularly cut from inside in taking the opposition on. His usual ability to track back also in squeezing the wing counted and even played in the central midfield later as a pivot in shutting the door after the Lone Star had their noses in front. He too ran out of steam, but had to endure to the end.
Rating: 8/10

Zah Rahan Krangar- By his standard, the pin-sized inventive playmaker had a relatively quiet game. The 30 year old Fidel of Malaysia mainstay tried to make things happen as he was often making runs in the hole. The box of tricks was able to coddle the ball on quite a number of occasions and did not play with panic but composure before being substituted.
Rating: 7/10

Sam Johnson-He was the master card performer, the man of the match and is now the new ‘machine man’ for Liberia. The 22 year old centre forward of Djurgaden in Sweden pulled the strings in midfield, fought, did the donkey work, the destruction and covered more grounds than any player on the park. The dreadlocked ‘gladiator’ dispossessed opponents, won tackles as he operated just behind his side front two. Though he could not provide the final ball as he was misplaced since he is a striker, the former Nimba FC workaholic nature however outweighed any other attribute or quality he might have needed.
Rating: 9/10

William Jebor-The 24 year old Iron man from Ponferradina of Spain tormented the opponents and was a major threat. He was denied by the goaltender after his close range header was spilled with no follower to tap in. He won several aerial duels as well and also ran over the shoulders of the opposing defender. The former Oilers man ran down the channels occasionally to create opening for advancing midfielders.
Rating: 8/10

Francis ‘Grandpa’ Doe-The dreadlocked goal machine was a constant threat to the opponents. His belief, power, technique and never say die attitude kept the Tunisian defence overly busy as he got his reward 11 minutes to full time with a headed goal. In the first half however, he failed to tee up his strike partner Jebor who would have slotted the ball into the goal, but took the relatively wrong route in finding Krangar who pressurized. Also, he squandered a begging chance early in the second stanza as he blasted the ball over the bar and his terrific grounder was saved.
Rating: 8.5/10

Murvee Oscar Dolley- Coming on as a second half substitute for Zah, the Monrovia Breweries trequatista ignited the game as he sprayed the passes and showed some promise. Making his full senior debut, the 16 year old lanky playmaker showed promise and is no doubt a star for the future.
Rating: 7/10

Liberia’s Doe Beat Tunisia

 

By Staff Reporter

Liberian national team coach James Debbah produced 1-0 home victory over Tunisia In a AFCON qualifier at the rain soaked ATS today, Saturday August 5th.

Liberia pulled off a shock 1-0 victory over Tunisia in Monrovia, as the country hosted its first international football match since the lifting of an ebola ban.

Francis Forkey Doe scored the goal 11 minutes from time in difficult, wet conditions, to give his country their first points in Group A. Togo lead the Group A standings after their victory in Djibouti on Friday.

The Tunsia team is ranked 33 in the world went down to Liberia who is ranked 160.

The Liberian side controlled the game from the onset with a ferocious attack led by the recent golden boots winner from the Malaysian Premier League Francis Grandpa Doe.

The Tunisians were on the back foot most of the first half. The only reason the Liberians were not on the score sheet was because of poor finishing and the gallant display of goal keeping by the Tunisian Goal keeper.

The omission of some main stays on the team caused a lot of fans to question the tactical nous of Head coach James Slansia Debbeh.

Debbeh picked Doe and Jebro as starters because he believed that they had the experience of playing against the North Africans and Doe was playing his best football of his life, according to Debbeh.

Liberia is 3rd in Group A with 3 points from two matches. Tied with Tunisia on points but because iof the 8-1 trashing against Djibuti, leads Liberia in the goal differential.

The substitution by replacing Zah Krangar with Murphy Dolley, showed that the coach was ready for any tactical change during the game. Zah was losing steam giving his work rate in the middle of the park and the inclusion of the only local player into the match brought fresh legs to the attack.

The Midfield was compact with Sam Johnson, Patrick Gerhardt and Zah Kringar winning the battle of the midfield.

Moving Patrick Gerhardt from central defense and playing him in the libero role was a tactical change that produce control of the match.

Starting Lineup: Liberia: Saylee Swen, Solomon Grimes, Gizzie Dorbor, Teah Dennis, Dirkir Glay, Anthony Laffor, Zah Kranger(Murphy Dolley), Patrick Gerhardt, Sam Johnson, Francis Grandpa Doe and William Jerbo.

Tunisia: Aymen Mathlouthi, Salim Ben Jemaii Hamdi Nagguez, Alaya Brigui, Siyam Ben Youssef, Aymen Abdennour, Hamza Lahmar, Houssine Regued, Yessine Chikhaoui, Youssef Msakni, Saber Khlifa.

James Salinsa Debbah has revealed Lonestar Starting Lineup Against Tunisia

 

By Staff Reporter

 

Liberia’s head coach James Salinsa Debbah has announced his starting lineup againt Tunisia for th AFCON qualifier match day two at Antontionte Tumban Stadium in Monrovia on Saturday, September 5th.

The announcement came at  pre-match news conference today at the Liberia Football Association headquarters.

This is Debbeh’s first home game with the Sr. National Football team and should be a litmus test as to his technical ability.

With the Lonestar number one choice goalkeeper Nathaniel Sherman out because of a freak injury, old hands Saylee Swen will start between the posts.

Saylee Swen is the most experienced of the three goalies. He plies his trade with local side, LPRC Oilers and made his debut with the Lone Star in late 2003 with the senior national team and later went on to collect more than 10 senior national team caps with the last being with a 4-1 defeat against Rwanda.

Lonestar’s stable at right back Solomon Grimes makes another start in a position he has owned since he made his debut. 

Teah Dennis and new comer Dirkir Glay will form the central defense as they both will be tasked to slow down the enterprising strikers from Tunisia.

Gizzie Dorbor completes the back four at left back and will be busy slowing down the hat-trick hero ( Against Djiboti in the last game)  Yasine Chikhaoui  who plies his trade for FC Zurich in Switzerland.

In the middle of the park, the duo of Zah Kranger and  Patrick Gerhardt , with Gerhardt providing defensive cover to the back four.

Zah will have to supply the strikers with passes in the final third while dropping back to help. This role might be more suited for Anthony Laffor, as he is a better " Libero" and Zah can man the wing on the attack. The formation and strategy of Debbeh will prove crucial in this assignment.

The Strike Force is lethal and should have scoring chances giving that  Sam Johnson, Francis Grandpa Doe and William Jerbo are all in form.

With Sekou Jabateh coming off the bench this should be a potent lineup.

Again the listing of the starting Lineup: Saylee Swen, Solomon Grimes, Gizzie Dorbor, Teah Dennis, Dirkir Glay, Anthony Laffor, Zah Kranger, Patrick Gerhardt, Sam Johnson, Francis Grandpa Doe and William Jerbo

 

For US the game will be LIVE on TV

 

 

 

 
Written by Danesius Marteh, danesius.marteh@frontpageafricaonline.com; Martina Brooks, martinabrooks123@yahoo.com

Monrovia - Liberia will take on Tunisia tomorrow in a make or break 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS), which has been undergoing its fifth renovation in two years, since March. Stadium workers were eagerly putting finishing touches together when our reporter toured the facility yesterday but it is highly unlikely the job will be done by kick-off time at 16:00GMT (4:00PM local time) unless 10,000 workers are recruited.


Twenty-six players have been training under the watchful eyes of coach James Salinsa Debbah and his technical staff that includes deputy coach Kelvin Sebwe, trainer Joe Armstrong Nagbe, under-23 head coach Thomas Kojo and goalkeeper coach Lucretius Togba. There were no places for striker Edward Junior Wilson of Felda United in the Malaysian Super League and midfielders Amadaiya Rennie of SK Brann in the Norwegian First Division, Theo Weeks of Ermis Aradippou in the Cypriot First Division and Abel Gebor of KS Tërbuni Pukë in the Albanian Superliga, who were in Lomé for the 2-1 defeat to Togo on June 14.

Nathaniel Sherman, who has been the undisputed number one goalie, is ruled out of tomorrow’s tie. The Barrack Young Controller (BYC) shot stopper sustained “serious facial injury”, having crashed into a transparent glass door at the team’s Executive Lodge while communicating on the cell phone.

According to Liberia Football Association (LFA) sources, Sherman was admitted at the John F. Kennedy memorial medical center Thursday. Spain-based striker William Jebor did not train after he bumped into BYC defender Alpha James during Tuesday’s warm-up match but participated in yesterday’s session.  Debbah must do without towering defender Omega Roberts of FK Donji Srem in the Serbian Prva Liga (second division), who declined to honor the invitation at the eleventh hour.

Roberts is yet to make his debut for Srem, who are 11th placed on the 16-team log with three points after three draws since the league started on August 15. Addressing a news conference at the LFA headquarters and flanked by Sebwe on August 29, Debbah bemoaned the limited time he has to work with his squad. Tunisia coach Henryk Kasperczak, who picked eight players from Etoile du Sahel due to the club’s fine form in the Caf Confederation and Tunisian Cups, arrived yesterday with his 26-man squad.


The Tunisians arriving at the RIA


It remains largely unchanged from the 8-1 mauling of Djibouti in Tunis on June 13 with hat-trick hero Yasine Chikhaoui of FC Zurich in Switzerland among the stars. In eight meetings, Liberia has won two, drawn two and lost four matches respectively. In their last meeting in Tunis on December 30, 2001, Liberia lost 7-2 in an international friendly ahead of the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Bamako, Mali. Liberia did win her last home encounter, 2-0 in a 2000 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Samuel Kanyon Doe sports complex in Paynesville on June 20, 1999.

Probable line-ups

Liberia: Saylee Swen, Solomon Grimes, Gizzie Dorbor, Dirkir Glay, Teah Dennis, Sekou Jabateh-Oliseh, Patrick Gerhardt, Zah Kranger, Anthony Laffor, Grandpa Doe and William Jerbo.

Tunisia: Moez Ben Cherifia, Syam Habib Ben Youssef, Hamza Aguerebi, Mohammed Ali Yakoubi, Ali Maaloul, Yasine Chikhaoui, Ferjani Sassi, Chaker Regeui, Yoann Touzghar, Wahbi Khazri and Saber Khalifa.  

Sherman the Scapegoat for Lone Star Woes


By Wleh Bedell

It is an open secret that now injured Lone Star first choice goalkeeper Nathaniel Sherman can be described as the scapegoat for the senior national team dismal performance in various qualifiers.

Simply because the shot stopper has been between the sticks with the team been an underdog sustaining several defeats, Sherman has been labeled the boogie man in the team's struggles, ignoring the fact that the Lone Star as a team have been lethargic, lacklustre and poor.

With a relatively leaky defense, pedestrian midfield, sterile attack, tactically maladroit coaches and poor preparation, ( no disrespect to anyone), Sherman has been wrongly described as the virus, the problem in the wake of a team's woe.

And, with the gloves man seriously injured due to collision with a glass he bumped into at the team's hotel on Wednesday where he has been ruled out of the weighty Tunisia clash on this Saturday, September 5, many will be itching to see what his presumed replacement, Saylee Swen, will do between the frame.

Since spotted by then Hungarian Coach Bertalan Beskie, ( peace to his ashes) when Sherman made his international debut against the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde,at the Samuel Kanyon Doe (SKD) sports stadium on June 5, 2011, in a match the Lone Star won 1-0, courtesy of a booming header from bubbling front man Francis Doe, a match Sherman was replaced by experienced pair of hands Louis Crayton midway in the first period due to injury, the towering Sherman has up to date played 19 competitive matches for the Lone Star,nine home and ten away under coaches Bertalan Buckskie, Roberto Landi, Thomas Kojo, Joseph Kaetu Smith and James Debbah.

Sorry to bore you, but kindly look at Sherman's performance data below.
Home Matches
June 5, 11, Lib. 1 C. Verde 0
Oct. 8, 11, Lib. 2 Mali 2
Feb. 29, 12, Lib. 1 Namibia 0
June 10, 12, Lib.0 Angola 0
Sept. 8, 12, Lib. 2 Nigeria 2
Dec. 2, 12, Lib. 0 Mauritania 1
June 16, 13,Lib 0 Senegal 2
March 24, 14, Lib.2 Uganda 0
May 18, 14, Lib. 1 Lesotho 0

Games Played Nine
Win 4, Loss 2, Draw 3
Goals Conceded 7
Clean Sheet (s) 5

Away Matches
Sept. 4, 11, Zimbabwe 3 Lib. 0
June 2, 12, Senegal 3 Lib 1
June 16, 12, Namibia 0 Lib 0
Oct. 13, 12, Nigeria 6 Lib. 1
Dec. 15, 12, Mauritania 2 Lib.1
June 8, 13, Uganda 1 Lib.0
Sept. 7, 13, Angola 4 Lib. 1
June 1, 14, Lesotho 2 Lib. 0
June 14, 15, Togo 2 Lib.1
June 23, 15, Guinea 3 Lib. 1

Games Played 10 ,Win 0, Loss 9, Draw 1
Goals Conceded 26
Clean Sheet (s) 1

Analysis: The Lone Star are weak hosts as they have failed to make their home ground a fortress and are poor travelers. At home Sherman gets 8/10, away 5.5/10
Speedy recovery Nathaniel Sherman. All the players in and out of Liberia are with you on that hospital bed. You will overcome. All the best.

Glay Signs in South Africa

By Wleh Bedell


Uncompromising defender Kohn Dirkir Glay has moved from Kenya to sign with South African Premier Soccer League club Mpumalanga Black Aces. Nicknamed "the tractor" for his fierce tackling and aggression, the one capped Liberian international joined the club from Kenyan giants Gor Mahia after leaving on mutual agreement.

The former Watanga gritty stopper left Liberia in 2011 through the instrumentality of the Liberia Football Players Association (LIFOPA) to join Thika United also of Kenya and after a couple of seasons there along with his countryman Freeman Mulbah who also joined the club thru LIFOPA, Glay moved to accomplished club Gor Mahia and after a season, has landed in South Africa with the 1937 club that are coached by the experienced Muhsin Etugral.

Dirkir joins fellow compatriot Kpah Sean Sherman on the team who was recently signed after a virtuoso performance in Tanzania where he last played.
Each club in South Africa is allowed to register five non South Africans and with the club nicknamed the Zionists having the Liberian import Kpah Sherman, Congolese Limbikani Mzava and Collins Mbesuma and Kwabemi Adusei of Zambia and Ghana respectively, Dirkir "the tractor" Glay will now fill the fifth foreign player slot as the club aim to improve on their tenth placed finish last season.

Dirkir is expected to partner with defense pillar Teah Dennis, Jr. for this Saturday, September 5, 2015 crunch duel with Tunisia's Carthage Eagles at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium.

"SHERMAN OUT, JEBOR FIT, LONESTAR WILL WIN WITH MORE GOALS" SAYS DEBBAH

By Varflay Kamara, Gbarnga Bong County
+231886931744/+231770581886/varflaykamara@gmail.com

Lonestar head James Debbah has confirmed Liberia number one goalkeeper Nathaniel Sherman is injured and will not play against Tunisia on Saturday September 5 at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium in Monrovia.

Liberia continues her qualifying campaign to reach the finals of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Guinea Bissau after they lost to Togo 2-1 in Lome in June.

But in an interview with Radio Gbarnga Sports by a way of phone Friday morning, coach Debbah said the Liberian shot stopper who bombed into a class door while on the phone and had a cut on his eye on camp will not feature on Saturday.

He also declared Lonestar striker William Jebor's injury as minor and said the striker is fit and is in the line-up for Saturday match against the North Africans.

Coach Debbah said all players called up for the match are fit except goalkeeper Nathaniel Sherman.

When asked how much does he know about the Tunisians style of play, the Lonestar boss said he knows little about them but disclosed that highlights witnessed on YouTube have cautioned him how to approach his game with Tunisia on Saturday.

Debbah said he is engaging the game with the philosophy and mindset of clinching all three points against a side he classified as a "very very competitive team".

He said for the past five days in training, they have had a lot of positives in the Lonestar defense.

The Lonestar defense has been poor and sluggish thus creating some of the dangers the team.

The Lonestar boss in an interview with the Bong County Radio Station voiced hope to Liberians that the Lonestar will win with more goals.

 
 

By: Leroy M. Sonpon, III

Amidst reports of some Liberians not convinced Lone Star would pull a win against Tunisia on Saturday at the ATS, Coach James Salinsa Debbah’s technical team is hopeful of victory, and reports gathered say William Jebor and Francis Grandpa Doe would lead the attack.

The marvelous Spain based striker, Jebor, who scored the consolation goal against Togo, is also a strategic finishing clinical at his club team - SD Ponferradina.

For his part, magical Francis ‘Grandpa’ Forkey Doe, who plies his trade with NS Matrix, Malaysia returns to the Lone Star team with a Golden Boot he won in the Malaysian Premiership and it marked the second in his career, with the first being in 2012.

The duo, according to sources said they would provide the inspiration for the team, playing along with Patrick Gerhardt, Anthony Laffor, Zah Krangar, Sekou Jabateh and Sam Johnson to spark superb ball coordination as well as venomous shooting.

Unconfirmed reports say Forkey has promised to formally present his ‘Golden Boots’ to the country by netting at least two goals, while Jebor is certain of rattling his second goal in two games.

In an interview with Deputy Coach Kelvin Sebwe yesterday via mobile phone, he acknowledged the usage of the 4-4-2 system in practice matches, but failed to confirm whether they would use it on Saturday.

Our reporter who attended the practices say, the Lone Star defending shape look like 4-4-2, but their attacking shape is sometimes 2-6-2, or 2-4-4 or 2-4-1-3.

A stakeholder, who begged anonymity said: “We have seen that the Lone Star attacks with eight players, leaving two at the back and defends with eight players, leaving two upfront – so summarily this leads to an 8-man defense and an 8-man attack.”

“This formation would give us a win, if the players passionately play and the best way to defend is to attack.”

He added: “Understandingly, this 4-4-2 system is a system of pairs – two centre-backs; two full-backs; two central midfielders, two wide attackers, and two strikers – meaning from an operation point of view there would be closed relationship between players to get the needed results.”

While it’s true the 4-4-2 plot would be a good formation for a win, sports analysts are wondering whether the players have the “endurance” for the attacking and defending tactics.

Some believe that for such a “plot” to be executed superbly, players should have the energy to defend as well as to penetrate the Tunisian defense with a “mazy run” to rattle the net.

Howbeit, goalie Nathaniel Sherman, Liberia’s 1st choice has been ruled out of the Tunisia clash owing to accident. According to the Communication Director of the LFA, Henry Flomo, goalie Sherman, while communicating on his cell phone, slammed into a transparent glass at the hotel where the national team is camping, thereby sustaining serious facial injury.

This means, Coach James Salinsa Debbah would look up to Saylee Swen, the most experienced of the three goalies. He plies his trade with local side, LPRC Oilers and made his debut with the Lone Star in late 2003 with the senior national team and later went on to collect more than 10 senior national team caps with the last being with a 4-1 defeat against Rwanda.

Unconfirmed reports say, Anthony Laffor would be at the right wing, and Zah Krangar would make the left and Patrick Gerhardt and Sam Johnson would be in the middle.

The defense would comprise of Dirkir Glay, Teah Dennis, Adolphus Marshall and Solomon Grimes.

Substitute players would be Gizzie Dorbor (Hapoel Afula, Israel), Sekou Jabateh Oliseh (Al Ghasara of Qatar), James Soto Roberts (LPRC Oilers), Sekou Konneh (Fortuna Sittard, Holland) and Herron Berrian (Platanias, Greece). Others include Sporo Somah (Sewe Sports, Ivory Coast), Mark Paye (BYC), Murphy Oscar Dorley (Ghana), Raymond Franciah (Ghana), Trokon Zeon (Local, LISCR FC), Sampsn Giddings (FC Fassell), Aloysious Symugla (FC Fassell) and Tommy Songo (LISCR FC)

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