Shavon John-Brown And Grenada Qualify For 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup

Aaron Dennis also featured heavily in the latest international games for the U.S. Virgin Islands
Nov 25, 2019

It wasn't at all surprising that Aaron Dennis and Shavon John-Brown became friends on the New York Cosmos.
 
They have so much in common.
 
They had attacking responsibilities, combined to score some goals, and perform for Caribbean national teams.
 
So, when John-Brown and Grenada qualified for the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup last week, Dennis could not have been happier for his friend. Grenada won its group at the Concacaf Nations League.
 
"Concacaf actually put up a video of Grenada after they qualified for the Gold Cup and Shavon is like the main guy in the camera," Dennis said. "So, I sent him the video and we were laughing about it. I congratulated him as well. I am happy for him."
 
Dennis said that he and John-Brown communicate regularly on Instagram. "Not everything is soccer related," he said.
 
Grenada won League B, Group A with a 4-0-2 record and 14 points. The Spice Boys clinched the title with a scoreless draw at Saint Kitts and Nevis on November 14. Grenada finished up the competition with a 3-2 home victory over Belize on November 17.
 
John-Brown did not see action in the first game but played the entire 90 minutes in the second match.
 
Dennis, who hails from Elmont, N.Y., was not as fortunate as his Cosmos teammate and Grenada were as his U.S. Virgin Islands team dropped both its Nations League matches. In League C, Group A action, the Dashing Eagle (1-5-0, 3) lost at the Cayman Islands, 1-0, on November 16 and dropped a 2-1 home decision to Saint Martin on November 19.
 
"The first game was amazing," Dennis said. "The pitch was beautiful. It rained right before the game, so the grass was great. I missed playing on grass. We actually had our foot on the gas at the beginning of the game. We just had difficulty scoring, but as you know that's soccer. If you don't score, you're not going to win.
 
"The second game was a similar situation. We hit the post before they scored. We were having a lot of shots on target, put a lot of pressure on them. Once again, we failed to score. Then we got two red cards."
 
Dennis captained the team against Saint Martin. "It's an honor and I am always grateful for that," he said.
 
He said he had some close scoring encounters in both games but couldn't find the net.
 
"Our coach changes the formations a lot, so I move around a lot," he said. "Helping out defensively, helping out in the midfield, connecting with the forwards. Just missing my shots, keepers saving my shots. If you see the highlights against the Cayman Islands, I am involved in almost every attack that the Virgin Islands had."
 
While some countries and soccer observers aren’t big fans of the Nations League, it allows many of Concacaf's smaller associations and countries to play more often. The USVI probably would not have competed in six games from March through November had it not been for the competition.
 
"Before I joined, the team was used to getting goals scored against," Dennis said. "I am talking five or six plus a game. These last two matches we lost 1-0 and 2-1. But this has been the best the team has played. So, the improvement is there. Our coach has done a wonderful job. It's always tough with the national team because you have guys coming in and out, limited practice. Definitely something to look forward to in 2020. The past weekend I was really impressed with how the team played.
 
"It was great for me as well. I wish I would have scored more. I think I'd take a little more responsibility with that because I am one of the more experienced players on the team. This is definitely the most we've played, and I think the Concacaf Nations League is great."

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