By Roland M. Mulbah
The senior national team of Liberia, Lone Star, under the tutelage of former international ‘miracle man’, James Salinsa Debbah as coach, is expected to play a two-legged tie, home and away against Guinea Bissau on October 8 and 13, 2015 in the preliminary round of the 2018 world cup qualifier.
The Lone Star, after a 1-0 win over the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia on September 5, 2015 in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, must invite more players for the two leg qualifier against Guinea Bissau.
Though the team that beat the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia is respectable, Coach James Salinsa Debbah is urged to maintain the current squad and scout for few talents to make the team a formidable one that will compete not only against Guinea Bissau in the two legs which will be played in five days, but to compete for silver wear as far as football is concerned.
Patrick Ronaldhino Wleh celebrates after scoring opening goal for Liberia against the Cranes of Uganda.
Another great addition could be Patrick ‘Ronaldinho’ Wleh, who plays as a striker for PKNS F.C. in the Malaysia Premier League. The burly striker, who was a delight to watch against Liverpool when he featured for Malaysia XI and scored against the Premier League side, was excluded by the Debbah-led technical staff in the first two matches of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Togo and Tunisia which the Lone Star technical staff was seriously criticized in many quarters.
Born in Monrovia, Liberia, Patrick Wleh started playing football in his local community, Logan Town where fans quickly named him Ronaldinho for his physical morphology and his dazzling skills. Marcus Macauley,who showcases his talent with Al-Ahli in Jordan, can add zest to the red, white and blue outfit in the middle of the park as well as the striking role as he is versatile. He can feature as an attacking and defensive midfielder and can also operate as a striker with a fantastic goal scoring ability.
Marcus Macauley, Jordan
The last time Macauley played for Liberia’s Lone Star was against Angola where he scored the country’s lone goal in a 4-1 defeat. In fact, of the currently generation of Lone Star, Marcus Macauley holds the record as the player with the best average goal per match as far as playing for Liberia is concerned. He has played fewer games for the national team of Liberia, but scored five times equaled with Francis ‘Grandpa’ Forkey Doe and Dioh Williams.
The likes of Kpah Sherman, who plies his trade in South Africa with Mpumalanga Black Aces, Archie Harvey of Swedish first Division side Motala AIF FK can also be great addition. Both of them have featured for the junior national teams as well as the senior national. Kpah made his debut against Lesotho and played both legs of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations preliminary.
Harvey formed an integral part of Liberia’s Lone Star squad that won the bronze medal at the 2010 West Africa Football Union (WAFU) Nations Cup under Coach Thomas Kojo. He made his debut for Liberia U-23 national team against Ivory Coast and later featured for the country against Nigeria in 2011 during the London Olympics qualifier where he played both legs.
He started all of Liberia’s matches in the 2011 West Africa Football Union (WAFU) Nations Cup hosted by Nigeria where the red, white and blue outfit was crowned as bronze medal champions. He featured against the likes of Nigeria, Togo, Ghana and Niger. He made his senior national team debut against Gambia in an international friendly on July 26, 2011 in Monrovia where Liberia won 3-2. The technical staff must be reminded that if Liberia qualifies against Guinea Bissau in both legs, the next will be against a formidable side like the Elephant of Ivory Coast in November.
If the technical staff sticks with the current squad and injury or suspension come to the fore, the red, white and blue outfit will be in serious trouble. Like Liberia’s foremost football analyst, Wleh Bedell said, every good team needs a good or strong bench, something the Lone Star must be keen on.
The substitutes must be as good or almost good as the starters, and there is a serious need to encourage more competition to enable the best come out of every player. Thus, more players of quality need to be invited.
Lastly, the technical staff must also invite a genuine playmaker who could provide the defense splitting pass, the final ball and penetration for the strikers to get the ultimate. An influential playmaker is greatly needed if Lone Star wants to make inroads in the various competitions.