Injured Cooper urges teammates from the sidelines
SAN CRISTOBAL, Dominican Republic — Though injured and unable to play, Reggae Girl Sasalee Cooper is in the middle of the action and rooting for her teammates at every turn here at the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Women's qualifiers.
The Jamaican Girlz topped Group Five and are already making plans for the Women's Caribbean Cup in Trinidad & Tobago from August 19-26.
Regretful she cannot take the field due to a left knee injury, Cooper has provided support otherwise, regularly seen in animated discussions with other players.
"I'm injured right now and I'm sorry I can't play. But my heart is with the team," the 21-year-old told the Jamaica Observer.
Cooper, who plays on local soil for Los Perfectos, twisted her leg and hurt her knee during the Jamaicans' pre-tournament training camp in Florida. Assessments done so far have suggested she should recover in short order.
Thanks to increased resources available to the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) for the women's programme through the fund-raising efforts of JFF global ambassador Cedella Marley and company, Cooper was able to make a 24-member squad to the Dominican Republic.
The Clarendon native, who won three Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) titles for Lennon High between 2010 and 2012, is grateful for the opportunity to be with the team.
True to Reggae Girlz' 2015 World Cup campaign theme, Cooper has been urging squad members to 'strike hard'. "It's really great to still be with the team... and I'm supporting them. I've been looking for excellent wins and for them to come out on top. I just wanted them to 'strike hard'," she said with a grin.
And that is what they did in completing convincing wins over both St Lucia and Dominican Republic.
Cooper says she is hoping to win a college scholarship to play overseas in the near future.