Port of Spain.In
a last desperate
attempt to qualify
for World Cup South
Africa, the Trinidad
and Tobago Soca
Warriors suffered a
1-0 defeat at the
USA. With the loss
went all hopes of
the Soca Warriors
returning to the
FIFA World Cup in
2010. The game was
played at the Hasley
Crawford Stadium in
Port of Spain
in front of a sparse
Trinidad and Tobago rode a two-goal effort by Kerry
Baptiste, the TTPro league leading scorer, to tie with
Mexico 2-2. The game was a modest effort by the Soca
Warriors against a Mexico team which was missing some of
its regular starters.
was a meaningless game played before a sparse crowd at
the Hasley Crawford Stadium. Mexico had clinched a spot
at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa four days
earlier after its 4-1 victory over El Salvador and Soca
Warriors was eliminated after a 1-0 loss to USA two
Mexico had five new starters while T&T coach Latapy
inserted five new players to his starting line-up also.
The Soca Warriors new starters were #5 Robert Primus, #6
Dennis Lawrence, #10 Hayden Tinto #15 Devon Jorsling,
and #16 Kern Cupid.
This was an opportunity for Mexico and coach Aguirre to
give some of his second string players a chance to play.
For T&T, it was all about coach Latapy showing that he
can be part of the future of T&T coaching since his
contract expires at month’s end.
to 20 minutes before the game there were more Mexico
supporters than Warrior supporters in the covered
stands. Latapy utilize the U-20 World -Cup players into
his team and his experiment was somewhat successful
although the opposition was a bit under strength.
With four Germany World Cup players on the squad only
Carlos Edwards as captain and Dennis Lawrence who was
recalled after Julius James (red card) and Radanfah
Bubakr (yellow accumulation) were out after the Costa
Rica game, due to suspension.
Densil Theobald, and Kenwyne Jones, the other two
Germany players were on the Warriors bench awaiting
coach Latapy instructions, which eventually came in the
77th minute as substitute for Trent Noel and
Devon Jorsling when some sort of stability was needed
after Mexico started to get the better of the exchanges.
the game started it was quite clear that Mexico was
uninspired while the Soca Warriors and Latapy had a
point to prove. Kerry Baptiste scored from a penalty
kick, which was awarded after a hand ball was called on
a Mexico defender who inadvertently misjudged an air
ball at the last post.
Trinidad and Tobago took a 1-0 lead into the half after
a very discipline and patient first half which saw more
ball possession than booth the Costa Rica and USA game
combine. However, Mexico opened the second half by
putting T&T under pressure and equalized on an
Enrique Esqueda goal in
the 57th minute.
youthful Warrior team made it quite clear that a loss
was not in the cards with a go ahead goal four minutes
later to take what I though was an interesting 2-1
lead. Interesting base on the fact that although Mexico
was lacking key personal, one could have tell that they
were playing more for pride than points.
Warriors go ahead goal was Kerry Baptiste second of the
night on a well timed header at the first post from a
Hughtun Hector right flank cross. Hector is one of the yyoung
players in the T&T line up that impressed me with his
vision, creativity and calm.
However, Mexico stepped up the tempo and equalized in
the 65th minute with a by Carlos Salcido to
set up an exciting finish to a somewhat dull game. Both
teams missed chances and both teams hit the crossbar to
finish the game with a 2-2 deserving draw.
With the tie Mexico finished with 19 points second place
one point behind USA while Trinidad and Tobago finished
their campaign in last place with points. Honduras
finished in third place after defeating El Salvador 1-0
while Costa Rica finished in fourth place after allowing
USA to come back from a two goal half time deficit to
order to get to World Cup South Africa as the fourth
place finisher, Costa Rica will have to defeat Uruguay,
the fifth place South American team in a home and away
playoff series. The Costa Rica-Uruguay game is scheduled
for November 14 in San Pueblo, with the return game on
European World Cup South Africa qualifiers will also rap
up on November with playoff series as Ireland plays
France, Portugal plays Bosnia, Greece playing Ukraine,
and Russia up against Slovenia
The Long and Winding Road to 2010 Cup South Africa
After the results of last weekend games of the 2010
CONCACAF World Cup qualifier, it is becoming evident
that the Soca Warriors and El Salvador are having a
difficult time in maneuvering through the long and
winding road to World Cup South Africa.
Although the attitude is to move straight ahead,
Honduras and USA are in the top spot with 13 points
with Honduras leading on
goal difference. Mexico moved into the slippery third
spot after defeating Costa Rica 3-0 in San Jose to drop
El Ticos to fourth place.
This is the home stretch, which means that although the
race is close the teams are making a serious push for
the finish line and at this, the last turn; some teams
are breaking loose as the tough get going.
Trinidad and Tobago
will have to turn back the clock when the Soca Warriors
meet USA at the Hasley Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain
on Wednesday at press time or face mathematical
elimination from World Cup South Africa.
The same holds true for El Salvador who will be home to
a Costa Rica team, which is coming off back to back
loses. Anything less than a win will mean an exit from
the tournament since a tie for the basement teams would
not get them past 13 points in their last two games.
The situation is reversed for the top four teams
although only the top three spots will automatically
qualify for the World Cup. Which team is going to end up
in the disappointing fourth spot is any ones guess.
has turned things around after their 4-1 loss to
Honduras in the first leg to what many felt back then,
was their inability to win on the road. However, since
the Mexican Football Federation fired coach Sven Goran
Eriksson, and hired new coach Aguirre, everything seems
to be back on track.
However, on Wednesday, things could get rather ugly for
Aguirre if Mexico does not defeat Honduras in front of
their home fans where El Tri has not loss and Honduras
is yet to win away from home.
is on a three game winning streak and although they have
gotten the jumbee of their backs by winning games away
from home, Honduras, on the other hand could pose a
problem for Mexico defensively after scoring four goals
in wins against both Costa Rica and the Soca Warriors.
is faltering at the wrong time, losing their last two
games while giving up first place, which they held for
most of the final round. Now they are in the tough
fourth spot with the possibility of playing the fifth
place South American team in a playoff to qualify.
All is not lost though since only one point separates
the top four teams, which make every game critical in
the positioning for the top three spots. However, if the
results remain consistent to the the run of play in the
tournament thus far USA, Costa Rica, Honduras and Mexico
will emerge as the top four teams after this Wednesday’s
is dangerous and can be a hand full for Costa Rica
whiles the Soca Warriors under coach Latapy, may have a
point to prove against USA.
Marvin Andrews was the captain of the Soca Warriors in
Honduras and Jlloyd Samuel from Bolton Wanderers
inserted into the starting line up. Needless to say, the
Soca Warriors defensive effort against Honduras was a
disaster losing the game 4-1.
Dwight York made his retirement official and assumed the
position as Latapy’s assistant coach for the remainder
of the campaign while Dennis Lawrence will wear the
captain armband for the USA game.
While some are saying that the Soca Warriors have
nothing to lose against USA, Latapy is still the interim
coach of the Soca Warriors and assessment of his ability
to do the job will be evaluated after the qualifiers if
Trinidad and Tobago football is in the hands of the U-20
team that has qualified for the 2009 FIFA World Cup in
Egypt in September, and Latapy has to show that he is
better suited for the Soca Warriors coaching job than
the U-20 coach Zoran Vranes is.
With the Warriors having very little chance of making it
to the World Cup Finals in South Africa next year, and
coach Latapy dismissing any notion that his team will
lie down and let USA run away with the game only time
will tell how he handle his troops.
After sitting out a one-game suspension on Saturday,
Dennis Lawrence is expected to rejoin the Warriors while
USA defender Oguchi Onyewu will return to the line-up.
defeat El Salvador
1-0 in 2nd leg
After closing off the first half of the Final round with
a 2-1 loss to Mexico in Mexico the Trinidad
and Tobago Soca
Warriors held on to
a Cornell Glen first
half goal to defeat
a surging El
Salvador team at the
Stadium in Port of
The win was the first for Russell Latapy as coach and the
first win for the Soca Warriors in the final round.
However, the three points
was not enough to move the Soca Warriors out of the
basement of the group standings with 5 points from its six games. Coach Latapy .... Stay Tuned!
and Soca Warriors close
in 3-2 loss against Costa Rica
BY ALDWYN MCGILL:
Tobago:On an eveningwhere the occasional showers could not spoil the
electric atmosphere at the
Dwight Yorke Stadium, Costa Rica defeated Trinidad and
Tobago 3-2 to jump atop the CONCACAF 2010 group
Coach Latapy was at the controls and waved off Yorke and
Spann from taking a free kick, which allowed Carlos
Edwards to give the Soca Warriors the early 1-0 lead.
Costa Rica goalkeeper was beaten after he picked up the
flight of the ball through the wall too late.
Costa Rica midfielder
the 41stminute to send the teams in tied at the
half and six minutes after the second half resumed,
Costa Rica went ahead 2-1. The rain returned and so did
Collin Samuel after entering the game for Tinto.
Samuel was full of energy and sent the crowd into frenzy
when he pounced on a pass from Kenwyne Jones at the 63rd
minute to tie the score with a well-taken shot that
goalkeeper Navas could have only partially deflect into
the net with the power.
However, three minutes later the Warriors defense got
caught napping as Borges was left all alone to slot in a
one time grounder cross from the right flank which gave
Costa Rica the 3-2 win and 12 points to lead all teams
atop the standings as the final round reach its
Many felt that it was the best game that Trinidad and
Tobago had played in the final round thus far and that
coach Russell Latapy loss as the T&T coach in his
debut-coaching job was a success due to the overall
performance of the Soca Warriors.
Latapy in his debut as the coach of the Trinidad and
Tobago Soca Warriors transformed some of his magic with
his player substitution and motivational half time
Heading into the game, I got the impression that Latapy
was leaning toward his experience players from the
practices and my impression was correct after seeing his
starting line up on game day.
Nine out of the eleven T&T starting players were from the
Germany squad and the two other starters Hayden Tinto and
Trent Noel, were put in offensive positions. However,
it was the two inexperience newcomers that created the impact in the
game early. #10 Hayden Tinto moved down the right side
but could not deliver timely cross balls after he miss-kicked at
least three of his crosses.
Trent Noel was also a presence in the game but his
finishing let him down after missing two sitters on his
left foot from within the six that could have given T&T
a sizeable lead.
In moving forward, Coach Latapy would have to continue
to show his openness and flexibility towards the young
players since the long and winding road to South Africa
is getting extremely difficult for the Soca Warriors to
The Soca Warriors plays Mexico on Wednesday at press
time, and although Trinidad and Tobago is not
mathematically eliminated, the enrollment into the Soca
Warriors math classes seems to be dropping after each
Trinidad and Tobago is the first team to lose at home in
the final round and El Salvador 2-1 victory over Mexico
has added validity to the theory that you have to
protect your home field advantage although the T&T loss
was by no means the fault of the 12th man.
However, after losing to Costa Rica, USA returned home
to defeat Honduras in Chicago to get back on track and
in position to advance.
From my vantage point, it seems like the Warriors could
be spinning top in mud if they continue to use both
Dennis Lawrence and Marvin Andrews at the same time and
in the position of central back.
Soccer is too advance a sport for T&T to have central
backs that cannot move forward comfortably with the ball
especially with the use of limited players in the
forward position. The modern day competent central backs
or stoppers can score on the fly like a central
midfielder and has the ability to take free kick to
To summarize the Soca Warriors defensive performance
against Costa Rica, is to understand that Carlos Edwards
starting at the right wing back, was the best defensive
move made by coach Latapy.
It is a fact that Edwards was one of the best wingbacks
at W-C Germany and with Edwards’s inconsistent
performance in the midfield, I think that that was a
master move by coach Latapy.
However, how Latapy handles Dwight Yorke is left to be
seen. Yorke was not effective in the Stadium of his name
and I am waiting to see if Yorke would not retire from
internationally football before the 2010 W-C campaign is
Yorke retirement will be one of the signs that is left
to indicate that the rebuilding of the Trinidad and
Tobago Soca Warriors has started.
Soca Warriors have to work coach Latapy’s Magic
BY ALDWYN MCGILL Tobago: After watching the Trinidad and Tobago
Soca Warriors practice at the Dwight Stadium this week,
I am of the belief that new coach Russell Latapy will be
hoping that his team could perform a few of his magical
tricks against Costa Rica in their all important 2010
World Cup qualifying game on Saturday.
Over here in the sister island of Tobago the anxiety level is
extremely high, while in the big brother island of
Trinidad the anticipation of the T&T-Costa Rica clash is
To get a ticket to travel to the match from Trinidad is near
impossible and to get a ticket to the sold out Dwight
Yorke Stadium for the big game is wishful thinking.
The days are extremely hot in Tobago as per usual, but the cool
sea-breeze is eradicating any personal discomfort. The
buzz around Tobago is that the Soca Warrior will come
upwith a grand effort.
Coach Latapy (the little magician) is at the controls at the
practices and the Soca Warriors players seem to be very
loose and relax under his tutoring. Dwight Yorke joined
the Warriors camp at the end of the week after getting
his release from Sunderland of the English Premiership
Kenwyne Jones and Carlos Edwards his Sunderland teammates preceded
his arrival and the duo seemed to be at the peak of
fitness after staving of relegation in the Premiership.
Yorke has bulked up considerably after putting on some additional
muscle to his already firm body mask. Midfielder Collin
Samuel is back with the team and in training, and so is
defenders Silvio Spann, Avery John and central back
Marvin (dog) Andrews.
Stern John is out of action for 4-6 weeks after leaving T&T to get
treatment for what was reported as a back injury which
occurred at one of the weekend practices. This
unfortunate incident is the topic of contention since
Stern John starting assignments has been questioned
under retired coach Francisco Maturana and his knack for
scoring big goals leaves a void.
Latapy ability to bring about a significant difference with the
Trinidad and Tobago Soca Warriors team will be front and
center of this weekend 2010 qualifiers around the world.
His first test will be the selection of the final cut
from his 22 selected players in training.
Trinidad and Tobago did not play any International matches since
Latapy took over the team his way with just a couple of
games while in Tobago and against selected Tobago
opposition. The good thing about the present situation
is unlike the perception of the Maturana not having a
grasp on things as coach; Latapy seemed to have full
autonomy in the position.
With over two moths to prepare the Soca Warriors and with the
luxury of the European off-season, there should be some
resemblance of the little magician in the play of the
Soca Warriors come Saturday.
In watching his 22 player with his structured practice, I am
getting the feeling that that coach Latapy starting line
up for Saturday’s game could have a high percentage of
Nothing is written in stone, since there was a few of the key
players favoring some part of their body after certain
drills and the practice. However injury is a part of the
game and depth in player personal will have to add to
Latapy’s experience of substitution situation.
Latapy selection of the starting strikers has been made a lot
easier with Stern John injury, but the composition of
the overall team would also answer the question of
whether John would have started if he was available.
In this case Tobago and Trinidad needs a win badly to put the
Warriors in realistic position in contention for a spot
in at least the top four teams of the final. Trinidad
and Tobago 12th man advantage will present an
atmosphere to be conducive to an upset, but that is only
off the field of play.
With Mexico to play next Wednesday in Mexico, and coach Latapy and
the Warriors having to take one game at a time there is
every indication that the Soca Warriors with its
combination of experience should hold it together during
Latapy remains optimistic and insisted that “with a bit of luck
things could go our way”. However, from my vantage point
I think the Warriors would have to play to the best of
their ability and have a tactical game plan to follow.
However in this Costa Rica contest I would venture on the side of
Magical moves instead of bargaining for a big of luck.
This weekend 2010 World Cup qualifiers will be a Kodak
moment as El Salvador is in tough with what could be a
resurgent Mexico while USA will be challenged at home by
the most dangerous team in the qualifiers.
Big Dance at Dwight Yorke Stadium
The Trinidad and Tobago Football
Federation under special advisor Jack Warner announced
that the Soca Warriors all-important fourth game of the
CONCACAF final round 2010 World Cup qualifier would be
played at the Dwight York Stadium in Tobago ON June 6.
The game marks the return of Dwight York
to the Soca Warriors line-up after his suspension, and
the Costa Rica game will be the first time that Yorke
will be playing an international tournament in the
Stadium built in his honour.
This is huge game for T&T, a good move by
the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation and a bold
move by the Tobago Housing Association (THA). However,
irrespective of the moves, the time is now and the Soca
Warriors would have no excuses but to win on June 6.
is not a gimme game and although Costa Rica will be
coming of a tough game against USA three days earlier,
captain Yorke and his troops will have to step up and be
counted and that means all eleven men on the field of
play at the end of the game.
How coach Latapy handles his team is left
to be seen but I think he should be ok as long as Stern
John and Dwight Yorke respects his directives as the
coach of the team.
Either way, Tobagonians will step and do
their part in giving the Soca Warriors the type of
support they so desperately need and Dwight Yorke also
has to step up his game on a big occasion.
A loss would be devastating and for all
intent and purposes, it would be the start of the end
for the Warriors. A tie may not be a bad scenario, since
it would give new coach Latapy a chance to move on and
gain more experience in pressure situations which could
only help his coaching career.
However, a tie would not be enough for
Soca Warriors supporters, and it is felt that the
player’s abilities would have to materialize on June 6
or be realized. In reality, it is an ideal game for even
a marginal player to play since he would be in the
confines of an emotionally charged team and be hoping to
be a part of the history of Tobago football.
With the official appointment of Russell
Latapy over the Christmas holidays as assistant coach of
the Soca Warriors, Warner had indicated that World Cup
2010 South Africa has significance meaning to Trinidad
and Tobago and the Warriors should try their utmost to
qualify for such an historic tournament.
He has vowed to do his part “leave no
stone unturned” in the process and contrary to other
reports, to some extent he has. After the TTFF
frustration with the performance of the Soca Warriors,
the status of the Soda Warriors campaign was reviewed
and Latapy surfaced.
For some it may have been, to little to
late. However, for the majority of true Trinidad and
Tobago supporters the choice of Latapy as Interim coach
is a good one and my question is where Trinidad and
Tobago football goes from here.
With a win as mentioned, the Warriors
would be back on track or on the long and winding to
South Africa or with a tie the Warriors could be playing
a loss, it could be a chance for the TTFF to turn a new
page in an effort to develop the football in the
country. The Latin American teams in the region are far
superior to that of any of the other teams with their
technique and ball possession game.
Russell Latapy had two months with the
team to at least show a change in the attitude, style of
play or win ugly. However, if results are what make or
break coaches, maybe internship is the way to go.
Either way, Tobagonians will be at Dwight
Yorke Stadium on June 6 and the Soca Warriors will have
to give an account of themselves, with the 12th
replaces Maturana as coach of Trinidad & Tobago
Trinidad – Forty-year-old midfielder Russell Latapy
assumed the job as interim manager of Trinidad &
Tobago’s national team on Wednesday, replacing Francisco
Maturana who resigned from the position, the Trinidad
Latapy, who has more than 70 caps for the Soca Warriors,
will work as a player-coach and be assisted by Zoran
Vranes, who qualified the country’s junior team in March
for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup later this year in
Maturana resigned “due to differences in opinions
regarding the way forward in the FIFA 2010 World Cup
qualification campaign for South Africa,” the Trinidad
federation said in a statement on its Web site.
The change comes a week after Trinidad was beaten 3-0 by
the United States in Nashville, Tennessee, leaving the
Soca Warriors with two points after three of 10 games in
the final round of World Cup qualifying, last in the
Latapy, who has played professionally in Scotland since
1998, has participated in Trinidad’s last six World Cup
qualifying campaigns, scoring nine goals in 40 games. He
also played in the 2006 World Cup finals, when Trinidad
became the smallest nation to qualify for the
“I'm absolutely delighted with being given opportunity
to be coach of my country's national team,” Latapy said
in a statement on the Trinidad Web site. “It's something
I've always wanted to do and the people who've been
involved with me in football and from a family
standpoint over the years all know this.
“The task ahead of us is by no means an easy one but I
think once we can get everything together, and with the
support of the nation, we can achieve our goal which
right now is qualifying for the next World Cup and
continuing to take the country’s football forward.”
Trinidad, which failed to qualify for the CONCACAF Gold
Cup in July, will play its next World Cup qualifier on
June 6 at home against Costa Rica, followed four days
later with a match at Mexico.
heat is on for T&T
spring fights off the last effects of winter, the lower
seeded teams will have to step up their play to secure
position in their 2010 World Cup qualifiers. With the
power of the big guns surging forward, the heat is
getting intense on the trailing teams to cooperate.
T&T Soca Warriors showed little fight last week in a 3-0
drubbing by USA and one had to wonder when a person
mentioned if the T&T players got a working visa for the
USA game because of the performance in Nashville.
Americans jumped all over the Warriors from the opening
whistle and nineteen-year-old striker Jozy Altidore was
the Johnny on the spot after scoring a hat trick to give
USA an easy 3-0 victory.
make matters worst, Honduras jumped into third spot
after defeating Mexico 3-1 in San Pedro Sula. The
Mexicans are in fourth place, which left El Salvador and
Trinidad and Tobago, in 5th and 6th place respectively.
was the case last September when USA defeated T&T by the
same margin of victory, the call for coach Maturana’s
firing has resurfaced and since it seems like the
Warriors may have blown the easier part of their final
round schedule it may be a case of Dejavue all over
However, in keeping things in context, it should be
noted that T&T has never won on U.S. soil, and the
Warriors and El Salvador may find themselves out of
contention if they cannot defeat Mexico and Costa Rica
while enjoying home field advantage on June 6.
call for a coaching change because of a USA loss seems
to be over kill but with Mexico making a coach change,
it seems like the only window for a change is now, since
there are over seven weeks left for the next qualifiers
to be played.
Since coach Maturana has explored the T&T talent pool
and there is no other direction for the team to go but
up I am hopeful that if the TTFF makes a coaching change
it will if any thing, improve the selection of the T&T
Winning and losing is a coach’s area of responsibility
but the players should shoulder some of the blame for
the embarrassing loss against USA. At any level of
national soccer/football, a control of the ball on the
first touch is necessary and stringing passes together
is where the fun begins for a player.
most of these players a good international performances
could have meant a spot back in their respective team’s
line up compared to being on loan and/or riding the
bench, which seems to result in a loss of confidence in
support or lack of it for the Warriors at the games in
T&T is an area that has to improve for Trinidad and
Tobago to advance. When the attendance is good, there is
no cheering for the team and no booing or jeering of the
opposition. Instead, there is partying to the Rhythm
section and DJ music as the forefront. Hence, the heat
Big Boys are well
positioned in 2010
World Cup qualifiers
cream rose to the top last weekend as the CONCACAF big
three team surfaced to the top of the CONCACAF W-C
qualifiers standings. USA, Mexico, and Costa are now the
respective leaders with the pivotal third game this
Wednesday at press time.
With the lower seeds playing the top three teams it is
possible that Wednesday’s results would reflect the way
the race could finish if the lower seeds does not play
up to their best after blowing late leads in their first
The story in the CONCACAF final round thus far is that
USA has maintained their lead in the group by
demonstrating their never say die characteristic after
erasing a two goal deficit in the last 13 minutes to tie
El Salvador 2-2 in their second game.
This is the same El Salvador team that with 11 minutes
left in the game against the Soca Warriors on February
11 came back from two-goals down to draw 2-2. It seems
like the tide is changing after Mexico jumped into
second place after defeating Costa Rica 2-0 on Saturday.
This spells bad news for the lower seeds since the
Tricolor was winless in their last five qualifier games
and if they success against Honduras on Wednesday then
the rest of the field could be in for some trouble.
will have an impact on the race, but after stumbling
against Mexico, they will have to get back to their
winning ways on Wednesday against an El Salvador team
that has been a menace and the big surprise of the
qualifiers thus far.
Trinidad and Tobago Soca Warriors got onto the wrong
elevator and slipped from third to 5th place, but thanks
to youngster Kahleem Hylandgoal in the
closing minutes of regulation, T&T came back to tie
T&T enters the USA game with consecutive draws and
although there were a lot said in analyzing their last
two games, it is imperative that the Soca Warriors try
to get a lead against USA. T&T coach Francisco Maturana
is hoping that his big striker Kenwyne Jones will be a
handful for the USA defense.
Midfielder Birchall and goalkeeper Ince will be back
from suspension and both USA and T&T are coming of last
minute heroics in their respective games to gain a tie
so one would think that the Warriors and USA encounter
would be a close game until the final whistle.
Coach Maturana was under scrutiny last Saturday at the
after game press conference for starting Scotland and
Stern John up front instead of Kenwyne Jones. "We gave
Kenwyne the chance to rest for a very important game
that is coming up on Wednesday." “We felt it was a good
option to have Scotland, who is playing very well
abroad," Maturana explained.
That statement caused some controversy as Trinidad
reporters wanted to know if Maturana was taking
instructions from Sunderland manager Sbragia after it
was reported that Sbragia said that Jones was tired and
needed a rest.
Maturana continued, “I don’t listen to none of them. I
make judgments on my own," he said. “We have all the
statistics about Kenwyne Jones. I see him every day."
However, T&T has never won on U.S. soil and although USA
is only leading last place Honduras by three points the
Soca Warriors must find a way to get some points since
it is conceivable that the top positions could be in the
hands of the top seeds at the midway point.
With that being said, it is of great importance that
Trinidad and Tobago offense comes out clicking as El
Salvador is showing that this is the only way to
maintain contention in the race for South Africa.
lose control and a two goal lead to open final round
The topic of contention in T&T is
surrounding the T&T Soca Warriors performance in their
first game of the W-C final Round in San Salvador. The
Soca Warriors struggled late against a youthful El
Salvador team and although aging Warriors team energy
level is front and center of the debate, I though the
2-2 outcome of the El Salvador game seemed more like a
case of a missed opportunity for the Warriors than any
T&T opened the game with urgency and
although they were not as cohesive in their play as one
would have expected the team still was good enough to
enjoy a 2-0 lead to the half on goals by Carlos Edwards
at the 7th minute and captain Dwight Yorke on a penalty
at the 27th minute.
However, down by a two-goal margin, the
young resilient El Salvador team turned up the tempo in
the second half in an effort to get back into the game.
T&T responded well by maintaining their defensive
composure while countering in search of the opportunity
to get the insurance goal.
As the game progressed, the Warriors
opportunity came in the form of a second penalty, which
was awarded after striker Kenwyne Jones was tackled from
behind while tracking down a ball at the edge of the
byline. The penalty was against the run of play and to
everyone surprise the Warriors decided to roll the dice
instead of sticking to a basic script to secure the win.
After kicking a picture perfect penalty
earlier in the game and as the designated penalty kicker
of the T&T team, captain Dwight Yorke allowed striker
Stern John to kick the penalty and the rest as they say
is history. John kicked the penalty way over the cross
bar, and with the ball, the Soca Warriors opportunity to
take a 3-0 lead vanished. In soccer circles, a 3-0 lead
is considered an insurmountable lead.
From watching the decision unfold, it is
safe to say that John initiated the move to kick the
penalty and Yorke hesitantly gave his blessings. I am
hopeful that friendship and personal accomplishment was
not the issues in this case and that all involved learn
from this experience.
After the missed penalty, the pandemonium
from the sold out crowd of 53,000 increased and the
Warriors were backing in defense. This allowed El
Salvador midfielders to operate effectively with the
space given and as a result lightening struck the
Warriors twice when El Salvador midfielder Romero scored
with two free kicks at the 79th minute and in injury
time, to give El Salvador the 2-2 tie.
To add insult to injury Trinidad & Tobago
will be without the services of captain Dwight Yorke,
goalkeeper Clayton Ince and midfielder Chris Birchall
due to their accumulation of yellow cards during the
tournament. To make matters worst, Dwight Yorke received
a red card after the El Salvador game, for dissent to
the referee and could be lost to the Warriors for a
In the other CONCACAF final round
openers, USA drew first blood as Michael Bradley scored
on each side of the break to give the Americans a 2-0
win over Mexico, while Costa Rica utilized the halftime
break to defeat Honduras 2-0 on two-second half goals
scored by Andy Furtado.
With the next round of games on March 28,
Honduras will be seeking their first points against T&T
at the Hasley Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, while
Costa Rica will host a Mexico team which will have to
harden in a pressure cooker as USA travel to El Salvador
to get even closer to the finish line.
The Mexico-USA game was an evenly played
contest, but Mexico captain Rafael Marquez negated any
chances of his team competitiveness when he opted for a
red card in the 65th minute for colliding with USA
goalkeeper Tim Howard on a high ball. With the Mexico
win, USA registered their third straight 2-0 victory
over Mexico in Columbus and extended their unbeaten
streak to eight matches which includes five victories at
the home of the Columbus Crew,.
The Americans undefeated streak at home
against Mexico now stretch to 11 games with nine
victories and improve their unbeaten streak at home
against CONCACAF opponents to 51 matches, which includes
41 victories, with 14 of those games coming in World Cup
qualifiers. With all things considered, the United
States maintains their strong hold on the CONCACAF 2010
World Cup qualifiers and the race will be for the rest
of the teams to qualify to South Africa in 2010.
into final round
with 3-0 win over
Soca Warriors in, as Jamaica Reggae Boyz fell
Trinidad and Tobago Soca Warriors defeated Cuba 3-0 at
Hasley Crawford Stadium to advance into the final round
of the CONCACAF W-C qualifier while the Jamaica Reggae
Boyz fell short of their 6-goal target after a 3-0
victory over Canada at the office in Kingston.
As a result, Caribbean fans did not get their early
present from Santa. They asked Mr. Claus for Jamaica and
T&T to advance into the final round, but as it turn out
it was not to be. Naughty or nice was not a part of the
equation and the rule of thumb in sports is to have your
points in hand, and if that fails, put yourself in a
position to control your own destiny.
Unfortunately for Jamaica and their supporters, Honduras
defeated Mexico 1-0 on a Mexico own goal that vaulted
Honduras into first place with 12 points and Mexico into
second place with 10 points. Jamaica with 10 points was
eliminated from World Cup 2010 South Africa on goal
difference with zero compared to Mexico’s plus three.
However, for a while in the Canada game, it seemed like
the Reggae Boyz could have scored the required amount of
goals after Luton Shelton dribbled around Canadian
goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld to score the Reggae Boyz
first goal at the 27th minute. The goal sent the sold
out crowd at the office into frenzy in anticipation of
goals galore but player pride stepped in and Canada
defense adjusted well and kept the score 1-0 to the
Marlon King, recalled to the Reggae Boyz team for his
offensive threat, scored a penalty at the 58th minute
after Demar Phillips was tripped inside the penalty
area, the lights flickered, and hopes returned as the
possibility of advancing reappeared.
However, as the game progressed into the later stages,
hopes started to fail since the 6-goal target faded.
Omar Cummings scored Jamaica third goal from an Ian
Goddison’s cross at the 85 minute to make it 3-0 for the
Reggae Boyz but by then all ears at the office were on
the net trying to find out if Mexico beat Honduras.
Under different circumstances Jamaica Reggae Boyz would
have been the story of the CONCACAF W-C qualifier had
they move onto the final round. However, with the
upcoming Digicel Caribbean Championship finals hosted in
Jamaica, it would be interesting to see if Jamaica's new
technical director of football, John Barnes can continue
to improve the Reggae Boyz football with a roster
consisting of mostly local players.
In port of Spain Trinidad and Tobago Soca Warriors came
alive after a tentative first half on a wet and heavy
Hasley Crawford field. However, after a scoreless first
half the cream rose to the top as the Cuba defense
weaken as the game progressed.
First, it was striker Kenwyne Jones goal at the
67-minute after moving in all alone on goal. Then two
minutes later captain Dwight Yorke scored after breaking
free unmolested to tuck the ball under the advancing
Cuba goalkeeper. Keon Daniel scored in the closing
minutes of the game to give T&T a 3-0 win and a spot
into the final round.
In T&T before the Cuba game their was a lot of
reflecting about the Warriors historic victory over
Bahrain that gave T&T a spot into W-C Germany 2006.
However after covering all the teams in this year’s
qualifier it would be safe to say that the Soca Warriors
would have to concentrate on speed, fitness and a
precise scouting report to improve their chances of
getting through to World Cup South Africa.
last Saturday the match schedule for the six-team
'hexagonal' round was finalized and the first games of
the final round are schedule for February 11, with
Trinidad and Tobago travelling to play El Salvador while
Costa Rica stays at home to play Honduras.
This is a good match up for the Warriors to start their
final push, but the Mexicans could be scratching their
heads in lieu of their big first leg test against
CONCACAF #1 ranked USA. This could be the turning point
for Mexico’s coach Eriksson and his team who will be
under the gun to win in the US or else.
Final round schedule for the North, Central America, and
Wednesday 11 February Costa Rica-Honduras El
Salvador-Trinidad and Tobago USA-Mexico
Saturday 28 March Mexico-Costa Rica Trinidad and
Tobago-Honduras El Salvador-USA
Wednesday 1 April Costa Rica-El Salvador USA-Trinidad
and Tobago Honduras-Mexico
Wednesday 3 June Costa Rica-USA
Saturday 6 June Trinidad and Tobago-Costa Rica El
Wednesday 10 June Mexico-Trinidad and Tobago Honduras-El
Wednesday 12 August Honduras-Costa Rica Trinidad and
Tobago-El Salvador Mexico-USA
The top three finishing teams automatically qualify for
South Africa 2010, while the fourth place team will play
a South American opponent for the last CONCACAF spots.
Caribbean Soccer fans fasten Seat Belt for rough ride to
The third round of CONCACAF World Coup qualifying is
heading into its sixth and final game, and after the
surprising results of the fifth games it is recommended
that all Caribbean soccer fans fasten their seat belts
for what could be a very anxious and action filled
landing on the evening of November 19.
With three of the final six spots in the CONCACAF
tournament still up for grabs, the games of importance
are the ones in the T&T and Jamaica groups. The outcome
of the respective Group A and B games will fill the
three available spots into the next round. Trinidad and
Tobago and Guatemala is battling it out for the last
spot in group A after USA clinched the other spot and
the group title with a 6-1 win over Cuba.
Trinidad and Tobago: However if
the Warriors performance in their 2-1 win and first ever
victory over USA is any indication of things to come, I
think T&T is in the driver’s seat to capture the last
spot of Group A due to the fact that Guatemala will have
to defeat USA in the US and have to hope that Cuba
defeats T&T in Port of Spain, to qualify ahead of the
thing for certain is that Yorke and Latapy have provided
the Soca Warriors with the leadership that was lacking
in the team earlier in the campaign but it is my belief
that coach Maturana and the TTFF can only utilize Latapy
and Yorke as a quick and temporary fix to a long term
The lingering question for T&T coach Maturana is whether Dwight Yorke and Russell
Latapy can continue to man the minutes they are playing
and still be effective as the tournament moves deeper
into the next round.
Jamaica Reggae Boyz
on the other hand seem to be ripe and ready and although
the Boyz did not get the breaks at the start of their
W-C qualifying campaign, I still think that Hurricane
Gustav and the lack of a home game was a major hurdle
for the Boyz and not the lack of leadership by fired
coach Rene Simoes.
However one of the
concerns of the Canadian Caribbean fans was that
Jamaica and Canada
in the same group andalso in tough company with Mexico and Honduras.
Now three months later it seems like those sentiments
has resurfaced since Canada and Jamaica
will now have to play each other in a very critical game
for the Reggae Boyz to advance into the next round.
Jamaica is a must win situation and to the dismay of
their supporters, the Canucks seem to be enjoying their new role as spoilers
a 3-1 loss to
in Honduras. Since then Canada has tied 2-2
with Mexico in Edmonton and forced Mexico’s celebration
of clinching a spot into the next round
to be posponed to their next game.
Jamaica is favored to win the
against Canada in Kingston but
the Boyz are aware that the game still has to be played
Canada cannot be taken lightly.
After back to back loses to Mexico 3-0, and Honduras
2-0, the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) felt it was
time to move in a different direction and fired head
coach Rene Simoes. John Barnes was hired to take over
the coaching duties in November in time for the Boyze
However under interim head coach Theodore Whitmore the
Reggae Boyz is on a winning streak after putting
together back to back 1-0 wins over both Mexico and
luxury of the world fastest man in Usain Bolt and his
Olympic teammates at “the office” to support the team.
With the present success coach Whitmore assignment was
extended to the end of the round.
most Caribbean fans are optimistic about the Boyz
chances against Canada they are extremely nervous about
Mexico chances of defeating Honduras in Honduras.
However should the Boyz take care of business and the
cards fall in their favor, Jamaica will undoubtedly be
the dark horse and the team to watch in the final round
of the CONCACAF qualifiers.
for this reason that I think that the Mexico and
Honduras fans are also fastening their seat belts, since
Mexico has only one point to show from their last two
games after winning their first three. Honduras is also
coming off a lost to Jamaica which short circuit their
three game winning streak.
Mexico has 10 points to Honduras 9 points, while the Reggae Boyz
are alive and still kicking in the Group of Death with 7
points. However with only two spot available the Boyz
will have to defeat Canada and hope that Mexico defeat
Honduras to have any realistic chance of advancing to
the next round.
Soca Warriors defeat
USA 2-1 to move into second place in Group1
Port of Spain:Trinidad and Tobago Soca Warriors has defeated USA 2-1
before a fair crowd at the Hasley Crawford Stadium last
Saturday. The win has all but assured T&T a spot in the
CONCACAF World Cup qualifying final round of six as the
Warriors moved ahead of Guatemala and into sole
possession of second place in Group A.
Trinidad and Tobago has eight points to Guatemala’s five
and with the Warriors playing Cuba in Trinidad on
November 19 while Guatemala will be up against USA in
the United States in their final games, it is no secret
that Guatemala is not in a favorable situation.
However should Trinidad and Tobago lose their game
against Cuba and Guatemala defeat USA then the situation
will be reversed and Guatemala would advance ahead of
T&T based on their superior goal difference.
retrospect it is Dejavue all over again as T&T was in
the driver’s seat against USA in 1989 for World Cup 1990
and was eliminated after losing 1-0.
However with the
experience in bedded into the Trinidad and Tobago team
presently and judging by their first ever victory over
USA last Saturday, most Warrior fans are adamant that
“that was then (89) and this is now” and the Warriors
has more options now since they can still advance if
Guatemala lose of tie with USA in their next game.
the USA game Warrior coach Maturana started Aklie
Edwards and Silvio Spann into the wing back positions in
place of Avery John and Cyd Gray (suspended) while
Dennis Lawrence and Keyeno Thomas remained in the
line-up as the starting central backs after their
outstanding performance in the Guatemala game.
The momentum of the warriors game in Guatemala seem to
carry over into the USA game for as the game started it
was apparent that USA was struggling with their team
chemistry due to Coach Bob Bradly inclusions of several
new and youthful players into the team after USA
clinched the group A title in their 6-1 win over Cuba in
their last game.
However in spite of the omission of several of their
starters in the game it was not youth that seemed to be
the problem for the USA team but the businesslike
approach to the game by captain Dwight Yorke and his
Soca Warriors teammates.
territorial advantage was evident from the onset and as
a result the USA defense was under pressure from the
opening whistle. T&T striker Jason Scotland sharp turns
and quick acceleration created several anxious moments
around the USA net but with no scoring to create any
momentum due to the lack of enthusiasm and inexperience
of the Soca Warriors supporters in regards to creating
any home advantage.
Needless to say USA had the chance to settle down and
stringed together some effective short crisp passes.
However that was to no avail since for the most part the
short passes only contributed to USA ball possession and
allowed the T&T defensive coverage to solidify and cut
off any scoring threat.
midfielder Chris Birchall as always was the work horse
in the middle of the field and while Dwight Yorke
systematically dropped back in his defense to relieve
his defenders of the ball in an effort to create
penetration, the USA defense was also up to the task.
thought that T&T midfielders on the flanks in Carlos
Edwards and Keon Daniel did not put enough pressure on
the USA defense in the first half and were a bit slow of
the mark which resulted in both of them having trouble
getting to the bye line on a regular to serve the cross
balls that was required.
However with more Makan Hislop replacing Keon Daniel
after a goalless first half, the game changed. Then came
the play of the game at the 61st minute when
Russell Latapy the “little magician” worked some of his
magic by scoring with a left footed half volley from a
Carlos Edwards right side cross that dramatically
rebounded off the upright and also off goal keeper
Bradley Guzman and into the USA net To give Trinidad and
Tobago a 1-0 lead.
equalized at the 74th minute on a goal scored
by Charlie Davis and as play intensified Dwight Yorke
converted from the penalty spot at the 79th
minute as USA goalkeeper Guzan guessed dove to the wrong
side as the ball entered the net to give Trinidad and
Tobago an all important 2-1 win.
With the announcement
of Cuba 2-1 upset of Guatemala at the end of the game,
there was a (fete) festive atmosphere in downtown Port
the CONCACAF world Cup final scores were announced there
was a big cheer for the Jamaica Reggae Boyz 1-0 victory
over Honduras in Kingston. The win gave the Reggae Boyz
life in the “Group of Death” and should Mexico beat
Honduras in Honduras and the Boyz take care of business
on November 19 against Canada in Kingston the Caribbean
soccer fans down here feel that T&T or Jamaica would
have a good chance of qualifying to World Cup South
Africa 2010 out of the final round of six.
T&T tie 0-0
The Trinidad and Tobago Soca Warriors lead by captain
Dwight Yorke and elder statesman Russell Latapy turned
in a spirited effort with 10 men to tie with Guatemala
0-0 at the Estadio Mateo Flores Stadium in Guatemala
With two games remaining it seem like Dejavue all over
again as the Trinidad and Tobago World Cup 2010 South
Africa campaign seems to be unfolding with the same
characteristics of the Soca Warriors debut games at
World Cup Germany.
In Germany the Trinidad and Tobago Soca Warriors had to
play with ten men in their first game after teir wing
back Avery John received a second yellow card and was
ejected from the game. Last Saturday just like the
Guatemala game the Soca Warriors had to play with ten
men for most after right wing back Cyd Gray was ejected
from the game after receiving two yellow cards.
On both occasion the Soca Warriors rose to the occasion
and fought valiantly to tie the game in an impressive
fashion to keep their opponents of the score sheet in a
0-0 game. To appreciate the present direction of the
Trinidad and Tobago football direction is to recognize
the difference in the scenarios. Sweden is a world class
team at a higher level of soccer while Guatemala is not
and the Warriorrs Germany players are now two years
Like Germany the scoreless efforts by the Soca Warriors
in the Guatemala game has put Trinidad and Tobago in a
position where the team cannot be mathematically
eliminated from advancing to the next round until they
play their final game against Cuba on November 19.
However with USA on the menu Wednesday at press time the
Soca Warriors would have to make a conscious effort to
overcome their inferior goal difference to Guatemala to
be in a better position to advance to the next round.
The Warriors task at Hasley Crawford Stadium against USA
on Wednesday seem to be more attainable since USA coach
Bradley released nine of his overseas player for the
game after his team clinched the Group A title with a
6-1 win over Cuba last Saturday.
With Trinidad and Tobago tie with Guatemala in the
standings at 5 points and at a 3 goals differential
disadvantage the Soca Warriors will have to score a
decisive win against USA since Guatemala is favored to
defeat Cuba on Wednesday which would increase
Guatemala’s goals difference advantage over the
With Anthony Wolfe and Cyd Gray out due to their
accumulation of yellow cards the T&T selectors has
called up Silvio Spann for the USA game. The World Cup
laden Soca Warriors needs the offensive outburst they
displayed against the Dominican Republic in their
friendly game at this same venue exactly a week from the
In the Dominican Republic game the World Cup laden Soca
Warriors 9-0 win was spear headed by a Jason Scotland
hat trick in the first half while Cornell Glen score a
hat trick of his own after coming into the game at the
half. Anthony Wolfe and Darryl Roberts worked their
magic to add to the scoring line while the youthful
Republic team crumbled by scoring an own goal to round
of the scoring.
However the big question for me against the youthful USA
second team is whether Dwight Yorke and Russell Latapy
can cope is fit enough to to command the minutes they
may seek im this game. I consider their playing exploits
as a quick fix to a slowly developing problem.
Many Caribbean faithful soccer fans down here thinks
that the Jamaica upset of Mexico is a sign that the
Reggae Boyz may be coming alive in the group of death
and if the Jamaica Reggae Boyz can defeat Honduras on
Wednesday in Kingston Jamaica the Boyz will be lika a
volcano waiting to erupt.
T&T 3-0 at Toyota Park
The long and winding road to World Cup South Africa have
straightened out after game three for the three group
favorites in the CONCACAF qualifiers while the
struggling teams look for direction as their cookies
begin to crumble.
remained on track to progress to the final round of six
with a comfortable 3-0 win domination of Trinidad and
Tobago at Toyota Park in Bridgeview Chicago, while
Mexico and Costa Rica defeated Canada and Haiti 2-1 and
3-1 respectively to approach the home stretch leading
their group races with straight road ahead to the final
In Canada there is a little rumbling in regards to the
capacity of the Canuck coach Dale Mitchell ability to
lead the Canada Mens’s team and while the Mexicans bid a
proper farewell to Cuauhtémoc Blanco after his
retirement in Chiapas Mexico after their victory, Horace
Burrell the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) President
announced the firing of their Technical Director Rene
Simoes after the team suffered two successive losses to
Mexico and Honduras.
"I could have allowed things to go on as they are, but
honestly would not be performing my duties in the way
that it is expected and to push Jamaica's football
forward," Burrell stated
"We are not out, first of all, and we have three games
at home (remaining in the semi-finals)," he said. "We
are going to get re-energised and we are going to hope
for good results." Burrell is expected to name a
successor to Simoes within the coming week but has
the Simoes fever has hit Trinidad and Tobago and some
Soca Warriors fans have been calling for the firing of
coach Francisco Maturana after T&T has dropped into
third place in Group 1 behind USA and Guatemala since
Guatemala defeated Cuba 4-1 and moved into second on
virtue of their goal difference.
To add ammunition to the fans the Soca Warriors team was
on the defensive from the opening whistle as USA
shredded T&T on goals by Michael Bradley and Clint
Dempsey at the 10th and 18th
minute to take a 2-0 halftime lead as Brian Ching scored
at the 57th minute with a header to seal the
In the USA game the Trinidad and Tobago players were
making bad passes with no opposing player on them and to
add insult to injury they were not getting back into
their proper defensive positions after the miscues which
question their motivation or lack of it.
Granted Dwight Yorke the newly appointed T&T captain did
not make the trip but for what it is worth the captain
in the USA game would have had to lead by his play since
the performance of the T&T players was less than
inspiring to the dismay of the Soca Warriors fans.
Warriors flankers in Keon Daniel and Carlos Edward were
terrible in their defensive coverage with the latter
player having what I consider to be the worst game I
have seen him play. When you add the fact that a number
of the Soca Warriors fans are of the notion that the
Germany World Cup players may be the answer to the
Warriors woes is mindboggling.
Jason Scotland did not do it against Bermuda, Stern John
is not the answer and World Cup player Anthony Wolfe was
substituted for another W-C player Densil Theobald at
halftime in the USA game and there was no significant
difference in Wolfe’s play to Theobald’s.
Carlos Edwards a player of the W-C stock has not been
playing up to his capabilities and with his awful
performance from the start to the end of the USA game
one would have to wonder if he is bothered by an injury
or the fact that he was replaced at the half in the
Guatemala game could have hurt his ego and affected his
Cyd Gray at right back has been given the T&T captaincy
off and on since Aurtis Whitley has been sidelined with
an injury but when you look back at Gray tenure as
captaincy which includes the USA game (in Dwight Yorke’s
absence) it is obvious that he has no noticeable
leadership qualities in his play or otherwise since he
received a red card against Haiti in a friendly and was
out of position for most of the USA game with Edwards
both W-C players.
should be no secret that T&T will have to rely on their
young players in moving forward since at this point of
the qualifiers winning may not be a given and the young
players will need to gain experience.
Aklie Edwards at age 19 was one of the few bright
spots on the Soca Warriors team against USA and since he
is innovative, and more resilient than veteran Avery
John who was out due to injury coach Maturana should
have a no brainer for a decision in the selection of his
left full back for the Guatemala game.
Dwindlingoptions for Canadian Caribbean soccer fans
Just when the Canadian Caribbean fans were anxiously
awaiting their teams making a move for the top two
positions of their group 2 of the CONCACAF World Cup
Canucks blew an early lead and came up short in a 2-1
loss to Honduras while the Jamaica Reggae Boyz did the
unthinkable and gave up an early goal against Mexico in
Mexico City to set the tone for a smothering 3-0 defeat
at the hands of the Mexicans.
Haiti did not do much for their cause by being trounced
by El Salvador 5-0 and Cuba on the other hand was on the
short end of a 1-0 loss to USA. As a result at present
the burden of the Canadian Caribbean World Cup hopes
seems to sit squarely on the shoulders of the Trinidad
and Tobago Soca Warriors who slipped up somewhat by
conceding the equalizing goal to Guatemala at the 95
minute after taking the lead in the game ten minutes
However in retrospect the Honduras game was a
devastating loss for Canada and with Mexico on their
plate this Wednesday at press time the Canucks could
find themselves up a creek without a paddle in Mexico
City in search of at least a point to have any shot of
advancing out of Group 2.
Heading into the Honduras game last Saturday I though
the game was even since Canada had the home field
advantage but that theory was blown to bits as soon as I
arrived in Montreal and Saputo Stadium looked like San
Pedro Sula Stadium in Honduras with an 8:1 advantage of
Honduras supporters in national colours.
spite of the disparity in supporters Canada scored on a
powerful header by Adrian Serioux from a Patrice Bernier
left side corner kick to silence the crowd as a small
number of Canada fans celebrate the goal.
However Honduras clawed back into the game and adapted
to the heavy stadium field a lot better than to add to
Canada woes their best offensive player in the game
midfielder Thomasz Radzinski had to leave the game at
the 15th minute mark after suffering a
serious cut to his hand after he slid into the touch
line signs while making a last effort to convert on a
That was a big blow for Canada since their offensive
punch disappeared and Honduras took control of the game
with long periods of ball possession. Honduras struck
for two goals just after halftime to defeat Canada 2-1
to the delight of pro Honduras crowd.
CONCACAF W/C qualifiers continues on
September 10 (press time) as Canada face off with Group
2 leader Mexico in a critical game at Tuxtla Gutierrez
in Mexico while Jamaica plays Honduras in another tough
game for the Reggae Boyz at San Pedro Sula in Honduras
but Reggae Boyz coach Simoes remains optimistic and said
that his team would perform better with the extra time
in preparation for the game compared to the last minute
fiasco of Hurricane Gustav.
The big showdown on Wednesday will be for first place in
Group1 when the Trinidad & Tobago Soca Warriors play USA
at the Toyota Park in Chicago while Guatemala tries to
get back in the swing of the group race against Cuba in
Costa Rica in Group 3 play will try to secure a spot
into the second round when they play Haiti in
Port-Au-Prince while El Salvador will play Surinam at
Paramaribo in Surinam.
TFC defender Julius James call-up for
Trinidad and Tobago.
Toronto FC Media Relations
FC defender Julius James has received his first call-up for Trinidad and
Tobago. James will be in the squad for World Cup Qualifiers against
Guatemala and the United States next week. The defender previously took
part in a training camp with his national team but it will be his first
experience of being in the squad for a game.
"It's really great for me and a very special thing to get a call-up for
my country," said James. "There are a lot of international players that
belong to Trinidad and Tobago so it's a big honour. It's an amazing
feeling right now. Before the World Cup they called me down to Florida
to train. I was still in college then and I didn't feel I was ready."
"To be going with the team for a World Cup Qualifier is something that I
have dreamed about, and hopefully it will be the first of many," said
James. "I've made a few strides forward in the league this season. I
wish I had been able to play more games, but I got injured in pre-season
and the coach didn't think I was ready. Recently I've been playing
pretty well, and this is a nice reward."
Germany W/Cup players rejoin squad for 08 qualifiers
Stern John Chris Birchall Aurtis Whitley Carlos
Collin Samuel Kenwyne Jones Cyd Gray
Avery John Dennis Lawrence
Cornell Glenn Densil
Theobald Clayton Ince Jason
Scotland Silvio Spann
While most of the attention in the upcoming CONCACAF
World Cup Qualifiers is on Group 2 with Canada, Mexico,
Jamaica and Honduras (the group of death) the Trinidad
and Tobago senior team selectors,
management and coaching staff have recognized their
inadequacies and have called up six players from the
Germany World Cup squad to the team’s roster for the
upcoming third round CONCACAF World Cup qualifying
As a result on August 20 while the big Group 2 clash
between Canada and Jamaica will be taking place at sold
BMO Field in Toronto, the Soca Warriors fans has been
given a renewed confidence that the Soca Warriors team
with most of their past World Cup players now available
can be victorious against Cuba in Havana on the same
The buzz in the twin island of T&T is based on flicker
of hope that now surrounds Warriors team with the light
flickering at the end of the tunnel. With the many ups
and downs that the Warriors had endured al last there
seem to be a sense of urgency with the inclusion of
these players which signifies the end of the bickering
and dispute and the start of the only chance for coach
Maturana to have the togetherness and comradely that is
needed for the Soca Warriors to have a realistic chance
to qualify for World Cup 2010 in South Africa.
To improve team chemistry the new players called up are
Coventry City midfielder Christopher Birchall, Wrexham
midfielder Silvio Spann, Clico San Juan Jabloteh
defender Cyd Gray, Miami FC defender Avery John and
Kansas City Wizards forward Scott Sealy.
However the big news and inclusion noticeable addition
to the Soca Warriors squad of former national captain
Dwight Yorke Dwight Yorke after Yorke met with TTFF
special Advisor Jack Warner and was invited to join the
team. With the latest addition of players the present
T&T roster has a total of seventeen players who were
part of the 2006 World Cup squad as Dennis Lawrence,
Clayton Ince, Densill Theobald, Collin Samuel, Jason
Scotland, Aurtis Whitley, Kenwyne Jones, Carlos Edwards,
Stern John, Cornell Glen and Anthony Wolfe round of the
“I have communicated with each of these players who all
expressed their absolute zeal to represent Trinidad &
Tobago on the football field once again,” Team manager
David Muhammad said. “We are very confident that this
enthusiasm will add an element of renewed excitement in
the team as well as with the public. We are also hoping
to include each of these nationals in our squads for at
least one or more of the upcoming Friendly International
matches within the next few weeks before the August 20th
qualification fixture away to Cuba.”
TTFF Special Advisor Jack Warner is also busy at work
trying to solidify games for the Soca Warriors and has
revealed from his trip to Haiti that, he had spoken to
the Haitian Football Federation President Yves Jean Bart
over the staging of a friendly international between
Haiti and T&T in Port-Au-Prince before the start of the
semi-final round and details are to be worked out.
“That will be done in early August. I will talk to
Digicel to ask them to sponsor the event as they have
done in El Salvador and Guatemala. I am hopeful that
Digicel, as sponsor as the Haitian National Team and the
CFU, will accept my request to sponsor the encounter,”
Commenting on the inclusion of the mentioned players,
Warner responded “Whichever players the coach wants… he
will get but I will not pick players for him nor impose
any players on him.”
The TTFF Special Advisor said he continues to have faith
in coach Maturana at the helm of the Team.
“It is expected that he will come under fire. When you
try out and you build and you try different
permutations… you come under fire. The only time a coach
doesn’t come under fire is when he wins or qualifies. I
am sure that Maturana, with his experience, is used to
this and therefore I am not worried. Absolutely I will
continue to keep faith in him,”
With the exception of Cyd Gray, coach Maturana will have
to do without the other five of the six recent additions
to his squad after the five players were deemed
unavailable due to conflicting schedules with their
However Maturana will still be able to see those
unavailable players in a proposed friendly match
scheduled for July 27. The Soca Warriors is scheduled
their international friendly game against Netherlands
Antilles this Thursday at Guaracara Park, Point-a-Pierre
Warriors advance with 2-0 win over Bermuda
and Tobago Soca Warriors managed to pull it together
just in time to defeat Bermuda2-0
in their second leg game. The Warriors goals were
scored by Daryl Roberts and Stern John at the 10 and 69
minute mark respectively. With the win the Soca Warriors
managed to squeeze into the third round of the W/C
Qualifiers to face Guatemala, Cuba and USA in Group 1.
This was a game that
coach Maturans gambled and called up striker Daryl
Roberts to create more movement in the play of his
strikers and opted to bring veteran Stern John fresh of
the bench to create more havoc in what he gambled to be
a tired Bermuda defense in the second half.
paid instant dividends as Roberts open the scoring at
the 10 minute mark while Stern John came of the bench to
start the second half and scored the all important
second goal to close the door on a gallant effort by the
Group 1 of
the third round will pose a greater challenge for
Trinidad and Tobago but if the Soca Warriors has any
intentions of duplicating their accomplishment to appear
in another World Cup then Group 1 is a better path
than the tough Group 2 with the likes of Mexico,
Jamaica, Canada, and Honduras.
In other qualifying second leg action El Salvador upset
Panama 3-1, while Surinam eliminated Guyana to create
the only two major upsets of the second round of the 12
teams which received a bye.
expose T&T in CONCACAF W/C Qualifier
Soca Warriors will have to show their worth in the
second leg of their CONCACAF World Cup qualifier this
Sunday, after their surprising 2-1 loss to Bermuda at
the Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya Trinidad last week.
With the return match schedule for Bermuda, it would be
interesting to see if the Soca Warriors could step up
their offensive game to win the game by a 2 goal plus
final score required for Trinidad and Tobago to advance
into the 12 teams of the third round.
In the first game last Sunday there was no doubt which
team was the better team, but with the many obstacles
and distraction surrounding the Soca Warriors, it is
quite conceivable that the T&T Soca Warriors could be
making an early exit in the CONCACAF 2010 World Cup
qualifiers compared to their 2006 campaign.
T&T there seemed to be old grudges piling upon disputes,
and into new indifferences. The troubling trend continue
this week after TTFF advisor Jack Warner announced that
the TTFF would be applying to FIFA to play the rest of
the Soca Warriors World Cup qualifying home games on the
road (preferably New York). This is due to what he
(Warner) considers to be unreasonable pricing of the
football venues by the Ministry of Sport.
The big concern is that it seems like the Soca Warriors
players seemed to be getting involved in the dispute
after captain Aurtis Whitley and a few past national
players appeared on the air at different times,
expressing their concerns and hope for a resolution to
the disagreement between the TTFF and the Ministry of
members of the media and the public are calling for the
return of the Germany Soca Warriors players but I
consider that request to be unrealistic and non
progressive since the Germany World Cup team was the
oldest in the competition and the six World Cup players
that started against Bermuda did not make any
significance difference to support that argument by
The only mistake the TTFF Management made, was not
giving the Germany Soca Warriors players what I consider
to be a Courtesy call up even if they may not have been
included in the final roster. This would have helped the
overall moral of the T&T Soca Warriors and its
supporters and it is not too late to have these players
around the team as supporters.
It would be easy for me to join the band wagon and say
that the T&T football problems is being caused by Mr
Warner of the TTFF and Mr Hunt of the T&T
of Sport, but based on my experience I would venture to
say that the Trinidad and Tobago Government has the
power and should step up to the plate and find a
mediator to resolve this senseless dispute which in
reality is tarnishing the image of the country of
Trinidad and Tobago.
For you the Soca Warrior supporter, I can only suggest
that you keep the faith and be realistic about the
Warriors 2010 World Cup campaign. I may sound like a
broken record but I can honestly say that the Soca
Warriors players have inherited problems and in search
of progress and improvement some of them are also guilty
of putting one foot forward while putting the other foot
the end it would be up to the Soca Warriors players who
would have to come together as a team by Sunday for the
Bermuda rematch to get the job done. There should be no
excuses, since the entire Soca Warriors squad is much
better than Bermuda’s and errors by coach Maturana in
regards to changes or starting line up is minuscule
compared to the play and responsibilities of the warrior
on the field.
It is also ironic that three out of the last four
CONCACAF teams at World Cup 2006 in Germany have
stumbled out of the gates in the First leg of Round two
since # Mexico had trouble defeating Belize 2-0 while #3
Costa Rica had their hands full in a 2-2 tie with
Grenada and T&T Soca Warriors decision to take the long
and winding road after their 2-1 loss to Bermuda.
of the favored teams to press for the final four
CONCACAF spots were true to form as Canada defeated St
Vincent and the Grenadine (SVG) 3-0 on two goals by Ali
Gerba to set up what seemed to be a cincher in Montreal
on Friday June 20, while Jamaica trounced Bahamas 7-0 at
the “office in Kingston to take a strong hold into the
second match on Wednesday at press time.
demolished Barbados 8-0 while Guatemala St Lucia 6-0 and
Honduras overcame Puerto Rico 4-0. Surinam defeated
Guyana 1-0 and Panama defeated El Salvador in the
toughest contest of the second round. Reigning Caribbean
Champions Haiti was held to a scoreless tie with
Netherlands Antilles while Cuba and Antigua and Barbuda
game is schedule for press time.