Graceland alumnus Brandon Beresford ’15 is currently competing for the Guyana National Men’s Soccer Team in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, a biennial international soccer competition. Beresford was in the starting lineup as a midfielder for Guyana’s opening match loss to the United States. He had a 92% pass accuracy in the competition, which was the first time Guyana has ever qualified for the Gold Cup.
Beresford played four seasons for the Yellowjackets, and then helped as a student assistant coach. He graduated from in the spring of 2015 with a degree in Visual Communication.
Beresford took the competition in stride. “I was an amazing experience to play in the Gold Cup, especially getting to play against the United States,” said Beresford. “It was definitely the biggest stage that I have ever had the opportunity to perform on. It was a bit surreal at first playing next to world-class players. I was nervous, so I just had to tell myself that it was just another game, one I have been playing my whole life. I am proud of the way I performed and how our team performed. I am looking forward to the rest of the tournament.”
Graceland Men’s Soccer Coach Bryan Courtney remembered the first time he met Beresford when he visited the Lamoni campus on a cool and wet weekend in 2010 for a tryout before committing to Graceland. “After his weekend visit, he was going to fly out to try-out with the University of Hawaii,” Courtney remembers. “I asked him a few years later why he chose Graceland. He said, ‘The people.’ The campus was nice, the facilities were good, but the connection he made with the people is what sold him on the Graceland experience. He felt welcomed and valued from the minute he stepped on campus.”
Beresford elaborated, “The time that I spent at Graceland was the best five years of my life. It is definitely where I was meant to be for that part of my life. I grew so much during that time. Relationships were formed that helped me to be a better person. The players, the coaches, the people at the university – everyone there played a part in helping me develop into the player and the person that I am now. I am so thankful that I chose Graceland.”
Courtney spoke highly of Beresford’s work ethic and humility. “Brandon has always been a good kid. Never got into trouble. He was not a party guy. He just loved to play soccer and hang out with his friends. Even though his talent was obviously very high, he was also very humble.”
Beresford’s talent helped him contribute to Graceland in many ways. “I think that is a big part of why all of his teammates loved him and why it was such a joy to coach him,” Courtney said. “Whatever was asked of him, the response was the same, and with a positive attitude: ‘Yes, coach. No problem.’ During his time at Graceland, Brandon played every out-field position for us at one point or another, depending on the needs of the team.”
Courtney is not surprised about Beresford’s success at the international level. He said, “We have had a lot of good players and a lot of good people come through our program here at GU. Brandon ranks right near the top of both categories.”
Guyana concludes group play against Trinidad and Tobago at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Missouri on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 5:30 p.m.