Five Things to Know about Saint Kitts and Nevis

The defending champion USMNT faces Saint Kitts and Nevis in its second Concacaf Gold Cup Group A match on Wednesday, June 28 in St. Louis (10 p.m. ET, FS1, UniMás); Hydrated by BioSteel
By: Michael Lewis

Following a 1-1 draw with Jamaica on Saturday, the U.S. Men's National Team will go for its first win of the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup when it faces Saint Kitts and Nevis in its second Group A match at CityPark in St. Louis on Wednesday, June 28 at 10 p.m. ET (FS1, UNIMAS). 

Saint Kitts and Nevis, which is making its first appearance in a Concacaf tournament, lost to Trinidad and Tobago in Fort Lauderdale, 3-0, on Sunday, June 25.

This will be the first time the USA and Saint Kitts and Nevis have met. The USMNT is 13th in the FIFA rankings, Saint Kitts is 139th.

The smallest sovereign state in the Western Hemisphere, Saint Kitts and Nevis achieved independence from Great Britain in 1983. The dual-island nation has a population of around 55,000.


Saint Kitts and Nevis lost its first international match, 4-2, against Grenada on Aug. 18, 1938, although the team did not play in its first tournament until the qualifying round of the 1979 CFU Championship.

The Caribbean side's best showings included a fourth-place finish in the 1993 Caribbean Cup and as runners-up in the same competition in 1997. Keith Gumbs bagged a brace, including the game-winner in extra time in a 2-1 semifinal victory over Grenada before falling to Trinidad and Tobago in the final. Gumbs is the country's leading scorer with 24 goals in 41 appearances from 1993-2011. Defender Gerard Williams, who is a member of this Gold Cup side, is the team's all-time caps leader with 80 appearances.

The Sugar Boyz raised eyebrows and made headlines during 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying as it won the Group F title in the first round over Trinidad and Tobago. Even though they lost their game 2-0 to T&T, they still went through due to a superior record (3-1-0, 9 points) over the Soca Warriors (2-0-2, 8 points). Midfielder Keithroy Freeman, who led the squad with four goals, recorded braces in a 4-0 win past the Bahamas and in a 3-0 victory over Guyana. Their run ended in the second round as they lost both legs to El Salvador, 4-0 and 2-0.

The Caribbean nation took a historic first step this summer by qualifying for the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup proper, through the tournament prelims that were held earlier this month.


Wednesday’s match marks the first meeting between the USA and St. Kitts and Nevis. The dual-island nation will be the USMNT’s 100th different opponent in international competition.  


The Sugar Boyz have registered a 2-1-2 mark this year, all against Caribbean competition.

In the Concacaf Nations League, they downed host Saint Martin, 3-1, on March 23. Tiquanny Williams and Romaine Sawyers scored in the first half and Harry Panayiotou added a late insurance goal. At home three days later, Saint Kitts and Nevis secured a 2-0 victory over Aruba as Keithroy Freeman scored on either side of halftime.

The Sugar Boyz could not have used more drama to reach its first Gold Cup as goalkeeper Julani Archibald, named to the Concacaf Best XI of the Prelims, produced vital saves in a pair of shootout wins.

After playing favorites Curaçao to a 1-1 draw in a Prelims match at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale on June 16, Saint Kitts and Nevis prevailed 3-2 in the shootout, as goalkeeper Julani Archibald made two saves. Mervin Lewis, Carlos Bertie and Tyquan Terrell converted their chances.

In its final Prelims match, Saint Kitts and Nevis again needed penalties to decide matters against French Guiana at the same venue on June 20. Arnold Abelinti's penalty kick knotted things up at 1-1 in the 53rd minute. The team went on to register a 4-2 win in the shootout, as Archibald made one save. Freeman, Sawyers, Bertie and Lewis put their penalties away to reach the Gold Cup to send the Sugar Boyz to their first-ever Gold Cup.

Saint Kitts and Nevis dropped a 3-0 decision to Trinidad and Tobago in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday, June 25. Alvin Jones (43rd minute) and Ajani Fortune (65th minute) found the net for the Soca Warriors before Saint Kitts and Nevis defender Jameel Ible scored a 73rd-minute own goal.


A midfielder for the national team from 1993-2004, Austin Huggins tallied 11 goals in 36 appearances for the Sugar Boyz. He played briefly with League of Ireland side Bohemians in 1999, before returning home to play most of his career with Garden Hotspurs from 2000-2012.

In 2018, he was appointed the club’s head coach, a role he serve in for four years before being appointed National Team head coach in January 2022.

Since taking over the Sugar Boy, Huggins has amassed a 3-2-3 record.


Head coach Austin Huggins selected a 23-man roster that is dominated by nine domestic-based players and nine others who compete in from the second through seventh tiers of football in England and Wales.

Cayon Rockets, which leads the SKNFA Premier League, is the most represented club from the islands with four players. That includes defenders Malique Roberts and Dihjorn Simmonds, midfielder Mervin Lewis and forward Carlos Bertie.

Eight of the nine players who perform in the English leagues (Championship, League One and the lower tiers) were born in England. The lone exception is 19-year-old goalkeeper and Saint Kitts and Nevis native  Xander Parke, who has signed with Shrewsbury Town.

Defender Gerald Williams, who plays for TRAU in India and is the oldest player on the squad (35), has accrued the most international appearance with 80. He has previously played for W Connection of Trinidad and Tobago, as well as Cayon Rockets.

Goalkeeper Juliani Archibald, who has the second most appearances (52) and who plays with Lorca Deportiva in the Spanish fifth division, midfielder Tyquann Terrell and Williams were named to the Prelims Best XI for their outstanding performances.

Midfielder Romaine Sawyers and forward Keithroy Freeman lead the current Sugar Boyz roster in scoring with six goals apiece.

Three players have ties to the United States. They are defender Ezrick Nicholls (University of Tampa), midfielder Raheem Somersall (North Carolina FC; USL League One) and forward Ronaldo Belgrove (FC Miami City; USL League Two).


GOALKEEPERS (3): Juliani Archibald (Lorca Deportiva/ESP; 52/0), Jamal Jeffers (St. Paul's United; 13/0), Xander Parke (Shrewsbury Town/ENG; 0/0)

DEFENDERS (8): Gerard Williams (TRAU/IND; 80/2), Andre Burley (Oxford City/ENG; 12/0), Raheem Hanley (Runcorn Linnets/ENG; 10/0), Malique Roberts (Cayon Rockets; 8/0), Jameel Ible (Guiseley/ENG; 6/0), Ezrick Nicholls (University of Tampa/USA; 1/0), Dihjorn Simmonds (Cayon Rockets; 1/0), Lois Maynard (Radcliffe/ENG; 13/0)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Romaine Sawyers (Cardiff City/WAL; 36/6), Yohannes Mitchum (Newtown United; 29/1), Raheem Somersall (North Carolina FC/USA; 18/0)), Tyquan Terrell (St. Peter's; 11/2), Mervin Lewis (Cayon Rockets; 5/0), Omari Sterling-James (Ebbsfleet United/ENG; 20/4)

FORWARDS (6): Carlos Bertie (Cayon Rockets; 18/3), Keithroy Freeman (St. Paul's United; 14/6), Rowan Liburd (Ramsgate/ENG; 14/4), Tiquanny Williams (Old Road Jets; 8/2), Jacob Hazel (Darlington/ENG; 6/0), Ronaldo Belgrove (Miami City/USA; 1/0)