A CONCACAF first round pre-qualifying fixture between Barbados versus the US Virgin Islands may go under the radar in the UK yet for one former LFE apprentice it is of paramount importance.
An Achilles injury may prevent former AFC Wrexham youngster Louis Moss featuring for Barbados this evening but he will be hoping that his teammates can overcome a 1-0 deficit from the first-leg of their two game play-off at the start of a long and difficult route to reach the 2018 World Cup.
Should Barbados, ranked 143rd by FIFA, be successful they would face Aruba in the second round in June and then two further rounds to reach a six-team qualifying group known as the Hexagonal.
Now plying his trade at Colwyn Bay, Moss is realistic but hopeful for the future.
“Unfortunately, when you’re ranked so low, that’s what you’ve got to go through,” Moss told the BBC. “Hopefully we can go as far as possible and play as many games as we can and be all the better for the experience.”
Born in Chester, 22-year-old Moss qualifies for Barbados through his mother. He played for the Caribbean island’s Under-15 and Under-17 teams and won his first senior cap in 2011 during his time at Wrexham, a club where father Geoff was chairman.
He won three caps during qualifying for the 2014 World Cup but then did not feature for three years until regional qualifying for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in late 2014, where he played against St Kitts and Nevis, Haiti and French Guiana.
Barbados finished bottom of their group, but Moss is pleased with the progress the side have made since he first became involved with the national side.
“The first time I went, when I was 18, I was a bit unsure about it,” Moss said. “They’re very physical and in your face, very good at closing down and to try and stop you from playing. But the standard is better than people think.”
“It wasn’t just the football that I enjoyed. It was the whole idea of going to another country and seeing the world in a different light.”
“We played against good teams that potentially could have rolled us over but we gave a really good account of ourselves in all of the games. The standard from our point of view was pretty good and I did all right and they’ve called me back.”
Moss is not the only British-based played to be part of the Barbados squad. Emmerson Boyce, Wigan Athletic’s FA Cup-winning captain in 2013 was missing for the first leg defeat but will return to bolster the Barbados side this evening.