Below is a statement from Head Coach Adrian Whitbread in regards to how national team call-ups afftect the Islanders and how the club is working the Puerto Rico Soccer Federation for solutions that help the growth of the sport in Puerto Rico:
“The process is as follows: when any player is called up by their National team on a FIFA date, I have to release all those players. Country always has priority over club. For example, this weekend going into Carolina ten players have been called up. The Puerto Rico Soccer Federation has the right over those players to play in the FIFA date. I have been working with Jeustin Campos, the National team Head Coach, and he has kindly given me some players back to help fill up my squad. So people get confused and think: “Well, the club pays the team wages. Why don’t they get priority over the players?”. It’s the same all over the world, the only difference is outside of the U.S, Puerto Rico, Antigua, and the other national teams in the Caribbean. Games are called off in Europe. Where as here in Puerto Rico, with MLS, NASL and even USL, the games aren’t called off, because the schedule is done so far in advance it’s difficult to change those dates. We try and get as much information as possible so we can blackout those dates. For example, we won’t have a league game the week of a CONCACAF game.
"The problem I have now is that I may face this same situation in August for “Digicel” Gold Cup Qualifying, and there is nothing I can do about it. It’s something we are going to continue to work on, and it doesn't help me that I want so many Puerto Ricans that play on the National team on my clubside. They are training with me and gaining experience with me and then the Federation will take them to national team games. The ownership is aware of the situation and we have been working on it since the beginning of the season with the Director of Operations Vanessa Figueroa, ld trying to streamline those dates. It’s difficult when you don't have all the FIFA dates ahead of time. But it’s a process we are working very hard on. The Federation has been more than accommodating and flexible, and we have a fantastic relationship.”