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Soccer Salute in the Community

Soccer Salute in Toronto 2006                


    Soccer Salute in Toronto 2006


                              Invitational  vs     Jamaica Flag  Invitational    

Soccer Salute 2006 was played before a large enthusiastic crowd at Allan Lamport Stadium in Toronto last Sunday with Trinidad and Tobago defeating Jamaica 1-0 on a goal scored by Kevin Jeffery in the 75th minute of play. After the two teams warmed up the atmosphere was very electrifying. The fans of the two teams started singing, chanting and making noise with anything in their possession in anticipation of the friendly rivalry.

That must have been a welcomed change for the promoters of the event who were a little concern on hearing that some people had left and went home after it was alleged that they were misinformed of the starting time of the featured game. Should that have been the case then unfortunately those people would have missed a level of soccer that had not been seen in the Toronto Caribbean community for quite some time.

The game started at a fast pace which favored the youthful T&T Invitational team as they strung together several combinations of passes, while running into spaces to utilize the enormous size of the Lamport field. However their impressive start was stalled by the solid play of the Jamaican defense which shutdown their early advances without giving T&T a shot at their net.

At that point in the game the Jamaican midfielders lead by Reggae Boyz superstar Theodore "Tappa" Whitmore systematically took control of the game. But Jamaica too, found the Trinidad and Tobago defense also a tough bunch to penetrate.


However, there is no doubt that the Jamaica Invitational team attacks were more dangerous than that of T&T. That was due to the fact that they worked the ball beautifully to within the last third and their looks at goal were coming in close proximity to the T&T net.  


But Jamaica could not capitalize on their territorial advantage due to a high percentage of their shots going high and wide or due to their lack of aggressiveness around the penalty area. As a result T&T Invitational withstood the pressure and showed the characteristics of the real Soca Warriors by not only staying competitive but battling back to have more direct chances on goals from a few headers off of crosses.


Reggae Boyz Invitational goalkeeper and captain Warren Barrett was up for the task and responded with brilliant saves to keep the score sheet clean. Although the dominant Reggae Boyz Invitational team had only a couple of direct shots on net, one of those chances was a Whitmore classic.


Whitmore shot was from a low curving free kick, which forced T&T goalkeeper and captain Ross Russell to make a full extension save to push the ball around the post. 


Although the half ended goalless the game was full with excitement and the level of play was definitely at International football/soccer standard. The large crowd was full with enthusiasm and the supporters of the teams were thrilled with their moments of scoring anxieties combined with some defensive scares.

The game was delayed for the second half kickoff for over half an hour due to a lengthy halftime show. Needless to say this was not a popular decision with the players of both teams, especially Jamaica Invitational which were a little disappointed since they had nothing to show for their domination of the first half.


Needless to say the delay seemed to have affected the Jamaica team as the second half started a lot slower than the first with T&T having the better of the possession. From the touch off T&T seemed a little more settled after withstanding the dominant play of the Jamaican team in the latter stages of the first half.


T&T was more deliberate in their build up and play selections which even up the run of play and time of possession.  Although the game was more competitive and T&T was combative, the slow precision build up of the Jamaican team could not be flawed or matched.


It was obvious that defense had a more patient defensive game plan as they continued to work hard cut down the space of Jamaica midfielders in an attempt to utilize their youthful advantage. As the tempo of the game picked up Reggae Boyz goal keeper Warren Barrett was forced to make at least three big stops to keep his team in the game.

And just like in the first half of play, the Jamaican Invitational team continued to hedge goal wards with ease but without the urgency needed to capitalize on their potential scoring chances.


 T&T Invitational team perseverance was rewarded when the Jamaica Invitational defense was caught out of position, and T&T midfielder Kevin Jeffery broke free all alone on goalkeeper to tap in a bouncing ball over the keeper right shoulder of goalkeeper Barrett and into the net.


The T&T supporters went into a Germany World Cup frenzy and with that momentum T&T created a few more scoring opportunities as Jamaica defense went shopping for the tying goal. But after conceding the goal, goalkeeper Barrett was a difficult man to negotiate around.

The match ended 1-0 in favour of T&T and the Soccer Salute 2006 Challenge Trophy was presented by Jamaican Consulate General Mrs. Annemarie Bonner to the T&T Invitational team captain, goalkeeper Ross Russell.


The runners up trophy was presented to the Jamaican Invitational captain goalkeeper Warren Barrett by the Trinidad and Tobago Consulate General Mr. Michael Lashley, and Soccer Salute 2006 closed off with the sounds of DJ music and the mingling of the players with the fans.

















T&T Invitational Team: *Ross Russell (Capt), *Kwesi Smith, *Kevon Carter, Claude Adams, Dexter Pacheco, *Devorn Jorsline, *Conrad Smith, *Christopher Durity, Steve Salim, *Sherron Joseph, Kevin Jeffery, Rene Martin, Todd Oliver, Henry John, Marcus Marshall, Kerry Llewellyn. Coach: Aldwyn McGill, Asst: Dixon Modeste
*Denotes appearance for national team at some level (caps)


Jamaica Invitational Team: Warren Barrett (Capt), Markino Gillins, Theodore Whitmore, Winston Griffith, Daniel Ricketts, Byron Earle, Trevor Gragam, Gladstone Richards, Jeffrey Caine, Kevin Rose, Ronald Nicholas, George Salesman, Mario Osbourne, Kevin Mc Intosh, Andre Steward. Coach: Winston Duhaney

Caribbean Football in Toronto
The hype in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in the sunmmer of 2006 was in connection with the upcoming game this weekend between a visiting Trinidad and Tobago Invitational team and a visiting Jamaican Invitational team at Allan Lamport Stadium in downtown Toronto. The anxiety and questions surrounding the game was due to the popularity of the Soca Warriors after qualifying for the World Cup and the demand for their appearance world wide.


 Therefore it was understandable that everyone automatically assumed back then that the visiting Invitational team was the Soca Warriors which played in Germany. However this was one time that everyone was believing the hype, and as a result the promoter/s had to attend radio shows to inform the public that the Invitational T&T team would not be the Soca Warriors.

With the complications surrounding the T&T Invitational team status and as the assigned coach of the T&T Invitational team my conditions of involvement was quite simple. If the Invitational team consisted of visiting players from Trinidad and Tobago that had national team (caps) then that would have been satisfactory.
In regards to the Jamaican Invitational team it was reported that the team will comprise of players that are popular names from Jamaica’s past Reggae Boyz teams.  To add to the excitement, the 2006 Soccer Salute  program was packed with entertainment and was promoted to be a display of the true reflection of the cultures of Toronto Caribbean Community.


























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