December News
November News
Monday December 25th, 2000
All set for T&T's final round battle

By Gregory Trujillo

DATES, times and venues for eight of Trinidad and Tobago's 10 matches in the World Cup 2002 CONCACAF final qualifying round next year have been finalised.

The only two matches for which no arrangements have been made are those against Mexico and Honduras. Both are away games.

T&T will kick-off its schedule against Jamaica on February 28 (Ash Wednesday) at the National Stadium, Kingston, Jamaica from 1 pm.

And, it will wind up its programme against the United States on September 11 against the USA ­ the same as November 19, 1989, when the "Strike Squad" bowed 1- 0 to the Americans when needing just a draw to qualify for Italy.

The local team's toughest week will be in June when it faces Honduras at the Oval on the 16th and meets USA four days later in America.

Meanwhile, the qualifying playoff match between Costa Rica and Guatemala will be played on Saturday, January 6 at the Orange Bowl Stadium, Miami, Florida.

The time of kick-off is still to be determined, and the site is still subject to final contract negotiations.

The special playoff match became necessary to determine the second team to advance out of Group "E" in qualifying after Guatemala defeated Costa Rica 2-1 last month which meant both teams finished with exact readings on the final standings.

There must be a winner in the January 6 match. According to the regulations for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, if the teams are tied after 90 minutes, "golden goal" extra-time must be played.

If, after two periods of 15 minutes each, a goal has not been scored, penalty kicks shall be taken to determine the winner, which moves into the final round.

The top three teams in the final round will advance to the 2002 Japan/Korea World Cup finals.

The schedule:

WED, FEB 28: Jamaica vs Trinidad and Tobago, National Stadium, Kingston, Jamaica, 1 pm; USA vs Mexico, Columbus Crew Stadium, Ohio, 7.30 pm; Costa Rica v Honduras, Estadio Ricardo Saprissa, San Jose, 8 pm, or Guatemala vs Costa Rica, Marquesa de la Ensenada, San Marco, 1 pm.

SAT, MAR 24: Guatemala vs Trinidad and Tobago, Marquesa de la Ensenda, San Marco, 1 pm, or Sunday, March 25: Costa Rica vs Trinidad and Tobago, Estadio Ricardo Saprissa, San Jose, 8 pm.

SUN, MAR 25: Mexico vs Jamaica, Azteca Stadium, Mexico City, 12 pm; Honduras vs USA, Estadio Olympico, San Pedro Sula, 7.30 pm.

WED, APR 25: Jamaica vs Honduras, National Stadium, Kingston, 7.30 pm; Trinidad and Tobago vs Mexico, Queen's Park Oval, 4 pm; USA vs Costa Rica/Guatemala (venue/time to be announced).

SAT, JUNE 16: Mexico vs CostaRica/Guatemala, Azteca Stadium, Mexico City, 12 pm; Trinidad and Tobago vs Honduras, Queen's Park Oval, 4 pm.

SUN, JUNE 17: Jamaica vx USA, National Stadium, Kingston, 1 pm.

WED, JUNE 20: Honduras vs Mexico, Francisco Morazan, San Pedro Sula, 7.30 pm; USA vx Trinidad and Tobago (venue and time to be announced); Costa Rica vs Jamaica, Estadio Ricardo Saprissa, San Jose, 8 pm, or Guatemala vx Jamaica, Marquesa de la Ensenada, San Marco, 1 pm.

SUN, JUNE 30: Trinidad and Tobago vs Jamaica, Hasely Crawford Stadium or Queen's Park Oval, 4 pm.

SAT, SEPT 1: Trinidad and Tobago vs Costa Rica/Guatemala, Hasely Crawford Stadium or Queen's Park Oval, 4 pm.

SUN, NOV 11: Trinidad and Tobago vs USA, Hasely Crawford Stadium or Queen's Park Oval, 4 pm.

Porterfield sticks with tested squad

By Gregory Trujillo

ONLY three players are certain to be added to the Trinidad and Tobago senior team roster for next year's final round of qualifying for the 2002 World Cup.

This was the word from T&T coach Ian Porterfield yesterday at a press conference at the new TTFF office, Dundonald Street, Port-of-Spain.

The Scotland-born coach is just back from a 17-day tour of England and Scotland where he held talks with all the T&T players eligible for selection and their respective managers.

And following this exercise, he reported that only England-based players Ian Cox, Ronnie Mauge and Shaka Hislop were likely to be added to the player pool he used during the previous qualifying rounds.

"The squad will not be much different from what it has been in the past," Porterfield said.
"There will not be much massive changes because we don't have that amount of players. Hopefully we will come up with the best 18-man squad for our first game against Jamaica."

Porterfield said that Cox , a defenfder at First Division Burnley, West Ham goalkeeper Hislop and Bristol Rovers midfielder Mauge were the only players likely to force their way into the final 18 for next year's early matches at least.
Of the lot, Porterfield is yet to see Cox and Mauge in World Cup action.

However, unlike Mauge, who is just coming back from injury, Cox's availability had previously been unavailable because of problems being encountered with his club's management.

But, after talks with both Cox and Burnley manager Stan Ternent, Porterfield said he believed the problem had been rectified.

"I had a long chat with Cox when I went to England and it was very favourable," he said.
"I was very impressed with the boy. He's got a terrific technical eye and he will most certainly be one player that would be a good addition to the squad."

Cox had been spotted by former T&T coach Bertille St Clair while he was at Bournemouth last year. However, after making his T&T debut in a friendly against Morocco in February of this year, Cox moved to Burnley and has not since been able to get time off to represent the country of his parents' birth.

While in England and Scotland, Porterfield said he spoke with as many players and managers as he could.
"I had a good chat with Russell Latapy and we went through most aspects in which he will be involved, " he indicated.

The only player Porterfield said he did not get in contact with was Mauge because he was training in Longshore and getting back into top fitness.

He said he had the opportunity to watch one or two other potential players as well. The one who impressed him most was Watford's Micah Hyde, whom he watched in a match against West Brom.
Hyde has the potential to play for either England, Jamaica or T&T.
"I discussed one or two things with him and his agent after the game and we will look at whether we will involve this player or not after the Christmas break."

Porterfield said he also visited striker Stern John at Nottingham Forest. There, he spoke to assistant coach Steve Woodley.

John has not been in the starting line-up for a long time, but Porterfield believes he has been unlucky over the past 12 to 15 months due to injury.

"I believe the best is yet to come from him. He seemed to be quite happy when I spoke to him. He's got to really work hard and show good determination and commitment and he will be back in the Forest team."
Porterfield also mentioned that all the foreign players will be made available at least five days before a game.
Porterfield also said training for the locally-based players will resume January 8.

T&T will open its campaign February 28 against Jamaica in Kingston.

Thursday December 21st, 2000

Shaka Rejects New Hammers Deal

by Peter O`Rourke

WEST HAM UNITED goalkeeper Shaka Hislop has stunned the club by rejecting their offer of an extension to his contract.
The Hammers had offered to extend the former Reading and Newcastle United shot stopper's current deal, which expires in
2002, for another year but the player turned it down demanding more than a year.

The two parties are believed to be having difficulties agreeing over new terms for any new deal with Hislop looking for a pay
rise of £6,000 from £14,000 to £20,000 as reward for committing himself to the club.

The 31-year-old Trinidad and Tobago-born ace, who moved to Upton Park in 1998 from Newcastle on a Bosman transfer,
insists he wants to stay in East London but only if the deal is right for him.

"I want to stay at West Ham for the rest of my career but they have got to come up with a contract that offers me security," said

Hislop has been an ever present this season having bravely battled back from a broken leg in February and he believes he is
worthy of a better deal than the one being offered.

"I am playing my best football since the injury and the whole team is flying," said Hislop.

The highly talented keeper is regarded as one of the best in the Premiership and West Ham will not want to lose such a vital
component of their side.


Reggae Boyz and Soca Warriors must work together - Warner

FIFA vice-president Austin 'Jack'Warner, said Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica should come together and work out a plan so
that the two countries would be among the three to qualify from the CONCACAF region.

Warner, who was speaking at the annual prize-giving ceremony of the Triniad and Tobago Football Assocoiation on Sunday,
urged Capt Horace Burrell, president of the Jamaica Football Association who was on hand as a guest speaker, to put their
heads together for the collective growth for the Caribbean good and see how best they could use their resources and talent so
that both countries can qualify for the 2002 World Cup finals.

He said, "Let us put our heads together, let us discuss growth and development as such and let us discuss technical matters. We
ought to do it first at home. One of the first things is to ensure that the country wins its matches and to ensure that the players are

Warner, who is also president of CONCACAF, revealed that on the advice from national coach Ian Porterfield, who is
currently in England holding discussions with players and managers, that Trinidad and Tobago will be going to a camp in
England in February and fly from London straight to Jamaica for its first away match on February 28 (Ash Wednesday).

News from Homeview

Female football star leaves for NJ
By Everard Gordon

Amanda Cruickshank is the star of the St George's College Girls' football team and, also, the star pupil of the Fifth Form.

This year, she led the team to the knock-out championship in the Secondary Schools Girls Football tournament and they were runners-up to the perennial winners, Toco Composite.

Looking at her, you would never believe she is a fabulous footballer - a very normal -sized girl, pleasant and almost shy personality. "When she is on the field she is a different girl," said her coach, George Valentine.

Last Friday, I was invited to St George's to witness a presentation and farewell function for Amanda by her teammates. The function was a revelation and resulted because Amanda, her parents and two brothers are going to Glasboro, New Jersey, where she will be completing her education and where her father takes up a position at a university.

The girls individually gave small addresses, all attesting to the fact that they will miss her, Amanda, the person, not merely the footballer. They talked about her inspirational qualities, on the field and in the classroom. The occasion was charged with emotion and an outpouring of love.

One young lady said, "I watch her playing such brilliant and energetic football, and then coming to school next day, doing good work and being so breezy, and I wish I could be like her."

Her teachers also spoke glowingly of her discipline and her ability to concentrate on what she had to do. Mrs Patel was very glowing in her remarks about a girl who was the embodiment of all the school wishes to see in its students.
Coach Valentine knows a thing or two about footballers, and especially girl footballers. He trains a team of young women who give men a hard time in matches in the east, and his daughter Tamara is a member of an American college team, which recently won its conference title.

He says, "From the beginning I recognised Amanda was the highest calibre of player. She had been playing with her brothers and other boys from an early age and she understood the game and its tactics. She kicked well, played a high standard of football, and she wants to win. She never gives up or accepts defeat and it is difficult to beat her."

He, too, was enthusiastic about her quality as a student and asserted, "she brought her intelligence into the game. She is a coach's delight. She listens and learns quickly."

She is a midfielder because of her vision of the game, and she is such a superb play maker but she has excellent skills and is a good dribbler because of her ball control. "Do you know in just eight games she scored 18 goals which included five hattricks. She failed to score in only one game."

Amanda is from a family of well educated people. Her father is a lecturer in mathematics and two elder brothers are also in education. She is a straight A student in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, additional mathematics, English language and literature.

"So, what do you want to do when you grow up?" I asked her. She had no hesitation in replying, "I want to study medicine, though I don't know yet what branch I would like to specialise in."

Her team and schoolmates wish her the very best in her new environment and feel sure she will be one of the young ones who gives her country a good name wherever she may go. They sincerely hope she achieves her goals and returns to uplift the country by her example.

John aims to turn it around

The Pro Look with Shaun Fuentes

The last few months have been frustrating for Stern John as he sat on the bench, watching his Nottingham Forest teammates in action.

But, the 24-year-old striker who has knee injuries, is determined to force his way back into the form that saw him destroy defences while playing in the American Major League two seasons ago.

"It's been very frustrating," says John, "as I've not been able to stay injury-free. But, when I come back this time I'll stay away from injuries and start putting the ball in the back of the net. I need to get a little more match practice and get back fit. It's a big club and everyone knows what I can do, I just need to show it," John told last month.

He has made five full appearances and six off the bench for Forest this season, scoring just one goal.
There isn't a better time for him to be back than when this country faces Jamaica in its World Cup match on February 28.

John came on in the 83rd minute in Forest's 0-1 loss to Queen's Park Rangers on Saturday. Forest is currently 9th in the standings.

Yorke says burden's never too high

Dwight Yorke says the burden of high expectations of himself and other Manchester United teammates is never too high. The 29-year-old striker, forced to miss United's 0-1 loss to Liverpool on the weekend due to suspension, was speaking to reporters in England last week. He added: "

We have been successful in getting through the group phases (Champions' League). The expectation at United is very high. Everybody expects us to win on every occasion. But the burden isn't too much for the players. We go out with the intention of winning every match.

"It has been a year of halves for me. After finishing top scorer for the second season and winning another championship, I find myself on the bench. But, I am determined to come back."

Yorke, who has been rumoured by the English Press to be part of a swap deal with Liverpool's Robbie Fowler, will miss United's next two matches against Ipswich Town and Aston Villa on December 23 and 26. United is top of the Premiership table with 40 points.

Lewis set to be top pick in MLS draft

Striker Darren Lewis is anxious to begin playing professional football. This was indicated when he spoke to reporters in the United States prior to helping the University of Connecticut to the American NCAA title with a 2-0 victory over Creighton earlier this month. He has been tipped as a top pick in next February's American Major League Soccer draft.

"I look forward to pro soccer. I know I have a future ahead of me. I want to play somewhere, anywhere - MLS or wherever. Last year I dribbled a lot. This year, I do a lot more passing because I've had two or three guys on me. In one game against Notre Dame, I had a striker marking me.

It's funny. That's why I haven't scored a lot this year. I've had to play provider because they're marking me up. I had more freedom last year. Now it's a little bit difficult. But, I still pull out the tricks because they don't look for them," said Lewis.

Hislop solid as usual

Shaka Hislop turned in another fine performance in goal to help West Ham United to a 1-1 draw with Everton in the Premiership over the weekend. Hislop, was tested early in the encounter, having to push out Stephen Hughes' attempt and then forced wide a header by Kevin Campbell.

However, Hislop was beaten by Steve Watson's shot from 15 yards out after 75 minutes. Frederic Canoute's strike in the 83rd minute gave Hislop's team a share of the points. The "Hammers" are in eighth spot with 26 points on the table.

Mauge return delayed

Ronnie Mauge's comeback from injury was delayed last week when he had to sit out Bristol Rover's match with Reading because of the flu.

The former Plymouth Argyle midfielder was looking forward to wearing a Bristol jersey again but will have to wait a little while longer. Manager Ian Holloway did not include him in the team which lost 0-3 to Stoke City over the weekend.

Wrexham praises Edwards

Carlos Edwards came in for high praise from Wrexham manager Bryan Flynn after scoring an eighth minute opener in his club's 2-1 victory over Brentford on Saturday.
Flynn said Edwards was undoubtedly in top form, but warned his players not to become complacent in the closing stages of their future matches, like they had done over the weekend.
Meanwhile, local midfielder Clint Marcelle was unable to take the field for Third Division side Hull City on the weekend because of a foot ligament injury. His team fell 1-2 to Torquay United. Marcelle, fresh from signing a deal with Hull until the end of the season, will be hoping to recover before the end of 2000.

Shaun Fuentes is the communications officer of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation.

T&T a force says Capt Burrell

By Gregory Trujillo

THE 2000 football season in Trinidad and Tobago was officially closed on Sunday with a highly successful presentation function hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) at Crowne Plaza, Wrightson Road.

Feature speaker, Capt Horace Burrell, president of the Jamaica Football Federation, showered high praises on the organisers.

He said when he looked at the organisation, the setting was not normal in other football countries around the world.
"Certainly I do think that Trinidad and Tobago has now firmly established a high standard and it is for others to emulate," Burrell said.

"When you talk about things expected in football, Trinidad and Tobago must be considered as a force to be reckoned with," he added.

Other speakers at the function were President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago , Arthur NR Robinson, Austin Jack Warner, a vice-president of FIFA and president of CONCACAF and Oliver Camps, president of the TTFF.

Monday December 18th, 2000

Hibs resigned to life after Latapy

By Stephen McGowan

When Trinidad and Tobago manager Ian Porterfield eventually calls upon the international services of the world's 33rd-best
player in February then Alex McLeish will merely knuckle down and accept the inevitable.
There will be no kicking, no histrionics. After all, it's far from an unfamilar scenario for an Easter Road manager becoming
increasingly resigned to losing his prime talents at inopportune moments.

For this afternoon at least, a full squad will present themselves at McLeish's mercy to face St Johnstone. At the back of the
manager's mind, however, lies the niggling possibility that he may require to implement yet another rescue plan to cover for the
eventual permanent departure of one of his most prized assets. The most prized indeed.

Even to a manager who has played both with and against some of Europe's finest in his own illustrious career, Latapy's
technique represents a different plateau of ability.

Yet, as Hibs join their SPL compatriots in trimming their wage bill at the season's end, McLeish knows that Latapy's
newly-conferred FIFA superstar status will do the club few favours when fresh contract negotiations commence after the winter

Rated by McLeish as better than Strachan at his peak, the former Aberdeen legend regards former Pittodrie supersub Dougie
Bell as the only true ball-juggling contemporary of his Carribean discovery.

McLeish is, however, painfully aware of the fact that mere flattery is far from enough to retain precious acquisitions in an era
when football's shifting sands become more precarious for clubs by the day.

'Russell's technique levels are frightening. Strachan was an excellent player but different in that he was more box-to-box,
whereas Russell is more middle to front.

'But I don't think you can compare the skill levels. Latapy has fantastic technique - as good as anybody I've ever seen.

'Dougie Bell actually had excellent close control and was a very techical player. We once played a game in Munich on the way
to Gothenburg and drew 0-0 and Fergie brought Dougie on when we needed a break at the back to go on a mazy run. The
Germans couldn't get it off him.

'We expect Russell to work like that as well but we do try to work more to his strengths and balance the team accordingly.'

Assessing the impact of Caribbean football official Charles Cook's decision to vote Latapy one of the world's best, McLeish
said: 'The boys are giving him pelters for that.

'Seriously, though, it's important to keep players like Russell but, equally, as you've seen with other clubs in the last month or so,
we have to cut our cloth accordingly.

'We can't let it run away and certainly if we were to lose one or two of the key players out of contract at the end of the season,
such as Russell, you would have to do some research to replace them at a similar cost.'

McLeish has, of course, proved remarkably adept at doing just that. The capture of Latapy, followed by those of Franck
Sauzee, David Zitelli and John O'Neil demonstrate a shrewd approach towards the Bosman market.

'It's become a very short-term game now. Even going down the road of being dogmatic and saying: "Right, we're going to raise
our own youths from now on", you could lose them within a year of their making the first team.

'Who knows how the transfer system will go? They may be away for much, much less than Kenny Miller went for.

'Morally, every coach at a Scottish club should be looking to do it or else where is Scotland going to be in ten years' time? But
the fact is that you build a team every year now.

'But it doesn't worry me. It just means we have to keep our finger on the pulse and do as much research as possible on players
both home and abroad.'

Few should doubt that a side built to tackle the Old Firm can once again be recontructed should the need arise. Hibs are, in
fact, a club in the midst of a rebuild from top to bottom.

The symbolism of a new stadium alongside a new on-field era has not been lost on the players, who have given their blessing to
the inconvienience of seeing the Main Stand torn down during the winter break.

Revealed McLeish: 'I asked the players, who said they were happy for it to come down now and have a new stand in place for
next season.'

For St Johnstone, Momo Sylla is serving a suspension but there is good news, with the return of fullback Gary Bollan.

T&TFF president meets Onigbinde to rescue Team 2001

OLIVER Camps, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) has announced that after a recent crisis
meeting with Nigerian coach Adeboye Onigbinde, a salvage job has begun with Team 2001.

The Team 2001 National Under-17 football team coach had requested an urgent meeting with the hierarchy of the TTFF to sort
out problems affecting the team.

Trinidad and Tobago will host the Fifa U-17 World Championship in 2001 but Onigbinde had constantly complained that his
programmes are not being implemented and that the team was unable to have camps and tours which were proposed.

The team has struggled to beat Caribbean rivals and it is felt that except for vast improvement soon, the team may not be up to
the level of the world class team

Camps told the Independent that the TTFF could not have been pleased with the preparation thus far, but were seeking to put
things in place to remedy the situation.

“Even he (Onigbinde) is not pleased with the preparation of the team,” says Camps, but we have met and have resolved all the

As a result, Camps reports that steps are being taken to find proper facilities for the club to train. They had been virtually
homeless following the closure of the Hasely Crawford Stadium. He added that the team will reassemble again next week and
that a live-in camp was being assembled. He said that they had also made a decision about having a few overseas tours for the

Onigbinde is due to leave for Nigeria on vacation next week, but is leaving a programme in place to be carried out by his
assistant coaches.

Camps announced that the team was still underfunded but he gave an assurance that Team 2001 will be prepared in time for the
tournament which is carded for November next year.

He says Onigbinde had given a commitment to continue the Team 2001 programme to completion. He says also that the TTFF
had no intention of replacing the Nigerian.

“He has been here for so long that it makes no sense bringing someone else at this stage. We now have to try and salvage what
we can.”

2001 FIFA W/Cup in TT September 14-30

THE 2001 FIFA Under-17 World Football Championships will be played from September 14-30 here in Trinidad and

This was announced by Austin `Jack' Warner, the FIFA vice-President, during Wednesday's opening of the new Trinidad and
Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) office at #24 Dundonald Street, Port-of-Spain.

Warner said, "The members of FIFA have set the dates at that time of the year as a compromise with the European teams and
the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL), after an agreement with (SSFL's president) Roy Jagroopsingh."

Warner told the media, "There will be no changes in the dates this time, they are cast in concrete".

Sixteen countries, including hosts Trinidad and Tobago, will participate in the eleventh bi-annual tournament and first to be
hosted by a Caribbean country.

Four new 10,000-seater stadia are under construction while the Hasely Crawford Stadium is being refurbished for the event
with new plastice seats which has reduced the seating from 30,000 to 22,000.

Latapy enjoys his fling with fame

By Roddy Thomson

Hibs star Russell Latapy was last night put on the same pedestal as Manchester United's Roy Keane or Arsenal's Dennis
Bergkamp in world football's eyes - emerging as the only Scots-based player to receive a vote in the FIFA 2000 World Player
of the Year poll.

The Caribbean midfield king did better this year than even Henrik Larsson last year - when the Swede failed to convince any of
the world's 150 top national coaches to vote for him, despite enjoying a brilliant ten months prior to his leg break.

This year, the Easter Road hero polled just a single third-choice vote, from the 22,000-population Caribbean Turks and Caicos
Islands delegate, Charlie Cook. As he did last year, Scotland manager Craig Brown opted first for Luis Figo, with Zidane and
Gabriel Batistuta completing his ballot.

But Cockney Cook - who insists he has no Scots blood whatsoever - explained: 'We don't see much European club football,
but I have seen Russell play lots of World Cup qualifying games and he works off Dwight Yorke extremely well.

'Dwight has the higher profile because he is with Manchester United, but I just felt Russell doesn't get the accolades he should.

'There are lots more players like Russell and Dwight emerging from the Caribbean nations - although don't expect too many
from here just yet. There is a massive gap even between the standard of football here and in St Kitts, let alone Trinidad and
Tobago,' the former Major League Soccer coach added.

Latapy - capped over 100 times for Trinidad and Tobago and a Portuguese title winner with Porto - was named in equal 33rd
place in a list of 41 players who made the count released by FIFA. Yesterday, he described his ranking as his highest ever
honour in football.

'This is a huge honour for me and I am really flattered by it as there were so many great players in the list. It is flattering to see
my name alongside Keane and Bergkamp,' said the 32-year-old.

'There is no doubt that this is my highest honour, in personal terms. It is great to be considered by someone across the world,
although I have been taking a bit of stick from my Hibs team mates. They have been telling me that I have obviously been taking
a lot of people out for lunches and buying my way on to the list.

'Seriously, as far as the national team is concerned, it is good for such a small nation like Trinidad to be represented in such a
poll. And for Hibs, it is merely the type of recognition that the club deserves.'

Hibs assistant manager Andy Watson acknowledged: 'This is great recognition for Russell. We saw just how popular he is over
there when we went to Trinidad last Christmas and the cameras were all there to greet us.

'However, there is no doubt we all appreciate him over here as well. He has genuine quality on the ball and is magnificent for us
in the killer areas in the last 30 yards of the pitch - as he again showed on Saturday against Dunfermline.'

If that last comment doesn't leave 'em roaring in the aisles, how about this: Norway manager Nils Johan Semb even included
goalkeeper Bente Nordby ahead of Rangers' £12million strike star, Tore Andre Flo.

The punchline? Nordby was partof Norway's Sydney Olympic Gold medal-winning women's team.

Latapy selected in world Top 40

Trinidad and Tobago skipper Russell Latapy was named among the world's top 41 players in the exclusive Fifa poll which
named France's Zinedine Zidane as the 2000 "Player of the Year" earlier this week.

The Hibernian midfield maestro came in at 33rd spot, sharing that position with Manchester United Roy Keane, Andy Cole,
Dutch striker Dennis Bergkamp and Portugal's Joao Pinto.

Italian striker Alessandro Del Piero finished two votes ahead of Latapy. Latapy was also the only player from the Scottish
Premier League to be voted among FIFA's best. Highlighting Latapy's selection in the exclusive player poll, The Edinburgh
Evening News said:

"The Trinidad and Tobago captain has been an influential player for the Easter Road side this season, taking them into
contention for their first League title since 1952. " It's another massive boost for the Capital club, currently second behind Celtic
in the table.

"However, few could have predicted such a unique honour for the 32-year-old T&T playmaker ....," the newspaper stated. The
world's top coaches voted in the players' awards and Turks and Caicos manager Charlie Cook picked the "Little Magician" as
his number one player.

A Fifa release showed that T&T coach Ian Porterfield voted for Zidane. TTFF president Oliver Camps was delighted about
Latapy's pick.

"It is a great achievement to have our captain voted among the best players in the world today," Camps said.
"I have known Russell for a long time and I always felt that he was among the best I have seen play the game. We at the TTFF
are extremely proud of him."

Latapy is expected to play a crucial role for Trinidad and Tobago in the finals stage of the Football Confederation qualifying
competition for the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan which gets underway early next year.

Porterfield wants Andrews for three World Cup games

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO Scottish-born coach Ian Porterfield wants Scottish Division One club Livingston to
release TT defender Marvin Andrews for up to three CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers next year.

The TT coach is currently in Scotland to thrash out any problems that may occur between clubs like 'Livvy' and Hibernian, who
have TT captain and midfield supremo Russell Latapy and Lyndon Andrews on their books.

The 24 year-old Andrews, a main stay in the League leading Livingston defence, is said to be in the middle of a club versus
country dispute, and Porterfield, the former boss of Aberdeen, is trying to solve the dispute if any.

According to reports on the TEAMTALK website, the ex-Raith Rovers player will be needed for three games at the end of the
season, but if Livingston are still in with a chance of promotion, they will need all their stars available to ensure Scottish Premier
League football next season.

Livingston hold a comfortable eight point lead atop the Division One standings with 40 points from 18 games followed by
Falkirk on 32 and Ayr United with 31.

Meanwhile, Porterfield is off to England to discuss releases for all Trinidad and Tobago World Cup players. He has already
reached an agreement with 'Hibs' coach Alex Mc Leish for the release of Latapy and Andrews.

The pro look
by Shaun Fuentes

T&T, Hibs hold talks on Latapy.

TWO Scotland-born coaches in charge of teams of which Russell Latapy is a vital member, held talks on the weekend over the
midfielder's programme for next year.

National coach Ian Porterfield saw Latapy in action on Saturday when he created two of Hibs' goals in a 3-0 victory over

Porterfield held talks with Hibs' manager Alex McLeish about T&T's World Cup schedule which will see Latapy having to miss
important games for his club from February 28.

Latapy was optimistic that the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation and Hibs management would come to a suitable
agreement. He said his club understood he is an integral member of the T&T side which will be going after 2002 World Cup
qualification. "It's a difficult period coming up but most of our games will be played on international weekends when other
countries such as Scotland are also playing.

"There's a good relationship between the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation and Hibs so hopefully that will allow things
to be worked out to the best for everyone," he said on the weekend. McLeish said he was willing to allow "Latas" to represent
T&T at any given time.

"We have looked at Trinidad's fixtures and found there are not many clashes. The only problem is the travelling. They have a
chance to qualify for the World Cup finals and we are not going to stand in the way of that sort of achievement."

Meanwhile, the "Little Magician" was in sparkling form on the weekend earning rave reviews in several UK newspapers.
"Russell Latapy is so small he could have been left in someone's Christmas stocking, but he is a bearer of gifts right now.

Hibernian maintained their vibrant title challenge yesterday, thanks largely to the diminutive Trinidadian. Latapy's consummate
skill and unselfish streak laid on second-half goals for David Zitelli and Mixu Paatelainen," stated one report in The Independent.
Local midfielder Lyndon "Chubby" An drews replaced "Latas" in the 80th minute.

A Stern appearance

Stern John made an 84th minute appearance in Nottingham Forest's 2-0 victory over Portsmouth on Saturday. John, coming off
a knee injury, has not featured much for Forest this season and surely would have enjoyed his time allowed on the field by
manager David Platt. The 24-year-old former Columbus Crew striker also saw action in Forest's 1-1 draw with Leicester City
in the Reserve League on Tuesday.

He set up Forest's equalizer by Brian Cash and then almost snatches a late winner when his lob over goalkeeper Barry Roache
narrowly missed the mark. Forest, which faces Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup third round on January 6, are
currently in sixth spot with 39 points on the standings.

Meanwhile, national goalkeeper Shaka Hislop made at least three vital saves, including a shot by Lee Hendrie, to help West
Ham United to a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa in Premiership action on the weekend. They are in 7th spot on the latest
Premiership standings. The "Hammers" have been drawn to face Second Division leaders Walsall in the FA Cup third round on
January 6.

Yorke praises Scholes

Dwight Yorke praised teammate Paul Scholes for his performances this season. According to Yorke, had it not been for some
of the crucial goals by the England international, United may not have been in the race for European Champions' League glory
and may not even have been top of the Premiership.

He was speaking moments after Scholes scored in a recent win over Sturm Graz to become United's third highest Champions'
League scorer with 14 goals, three behind leader Andy Cole. Yorke's team was held 3-3 by Charlton Athletic in the
Premiership on Saturday.

Mauge could return today

English-born midfielder Ronnie Mauge could make a return to action for Bristol Rovers before the end of 2000.
Previously told by doctors that he would be able to play by the start of the new year, Rovers physiotherapist Phil Kite said last
week that Mauge, who broke his leg in February, has been so impressive in training that he could take the field within the next
two weeks.

He may even get the chance to play in a Reserve match against Reading today. Rovers manager Ian Holloway was happy about
Mauge's progress saying "Ask any of the lads if they think Ronnie is back and champing at the bit. Their faces will tell you the
answer. Ronnie has enormous mental strength and his experience could be vital to us at this stage of the season. "I can't see us
giving him 90 minutes just yet, but it will be a big step forward if we can get him involved at all at Reading."

Lewis set to be top pick in MLS draft

striker Daren Lewis has been tipped as a top pick in next February's American Major League Soccer draft.
The former Belmont Secondary player was voted offensive "MVP" in the American NCAA Men's championship cup on
Sunday after scoring an 85th minute item to help the University of Connecticut to a 2-0 victory over Creighton in the final on

It was UConn's second NCAA title in history. Both Lewis and UConn midfielder Brent Rahim, who netted in UConn's
quarter-final victory, joined national defender Brent Sancho as the only Trinidadians to win a NCAA gold medal. Sancho won it
with St John's University in 1996.

Word is that the 24-year-old Lewis may consider a move to the United Kingdom next year but he is not counting out a move to
the MLS. He also feels that he has become more of a team player.

Sam in scoring form

Hector Sam returned to his scoring form when he netted in Wrexham's Reserves 2-0 victory over Shrewsbury in the Avon
Insurance First Division on Wednesday.

Sam lost his regular place in the Wrexham first team over the past couple months after beginning the season with a bang by
scoring six goals in seven matches. Manager Bryan Flynn did use Sam in his first team's clash with Halifax on Saturday but he
failed to score as his club went crashing to a 0-1 defeat and out of the LD Vans Trophy.

The draw meant they now stand in 11th spot on the table. Sam's local teammate Carlos Edwards missed that encounter as he
was in Trinidad for his wedding with his local sweetheart on Sunday.

Rougier comes on

Anthony Rougier came off the bench in the 71st minute during Reading's 2-2 draw with York City in the English FA second
round encounter on Saturday.

The former national captain, who had been on the sidelines with an ankle injury over the past few weeks, replaced striker Jamie
Cureton. Rougier will be hoping to see more action when Reading, fifth on the Second Division table, clash with York again in
their FA Cup replay on December 19.

If they get past York, Rougier and company will face a tough challenge against Premiership side Leicester City in the third round
on January 6.

Sancho eyed by Copenhagen

Defender Brent Sancho has received an invitation for trial at Danish club FC Copenhagen. The 24-year-old former Charleston
Battery player said on Sunday that his English-based agent Graham Smith had arranged for him to visit the club early next year.

However, he is still uncertain as to where he will be when the new season begins. Sancho completed a one-year deal with
Battery earlier this year before joining local club Joe Public.

He also has attracted interest from MLS clubs including the Los Angeles Galaxy. Sancho said he was happy to finish the year
playing in this country, despite it ending on a disappointing note with Public losing the FA trophy 5-6 on penalties to Vibe CT
105 W Connection on Sunday. Sancho missed his team's final attempt.

Shaun Fuentes is the communications officer of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation.

Hibs agree to help T&T

Sports Desk

PREMIER League title contenders Hibernian FC have promised to release midfielders Russell Latapy and Lyndon “Chubby” Andrews at crucial stages in Trinidad and Tobago's World Cup football qualifying campaign.

Both teams will be in crucial stages of their respective campaigns next year but, according to Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (T&TFF) press officer Shaun Fuentes, Hibs coach Alex McLeish has agreed to assist T&T after holding talks with national coach Ian Porterfield.

Porterfield—himself a Scotsman—is at present in Britain where he plans to meet several of T&T’s overseas-based players and their respective coaches.

Porterfield’s first trip was to the Easter Road club, where he made it clear he will do all he can to avoid disrupting Hibernian’s own challenge for honours. He vowed to work hand in hand with McLeish to ensure there will be no serious conflict over Latapy’s World Cup commitments.

Porterfield, who was McLeish’s boss at Aberdeen, was on hand to see Latapy produce another classy performance in a 3-0 Hibs win over Dunfermline with Andrews was also a part of the winning squad.

“I thought it was important to come and speak to Alex,” said Porterfield. “Russell is our captain and it was nice to see him play. He made two wonderful goals and showed great skill. Every time he’s on the ball, he’s quality.”

T&T’s first game in their final qualifying round will be against Jamaica on February 28 and the second against Honduras on March 24. Porterfield is desperate to have Latapy in his squad for those all-important qualifiers.

“We have been fair to all the clubs and they have been excellent when the games have been important,” said Porterfield. “But we really need our players this time... We are trying to fit in our game as well as we can to help all the clubs involved and I think things are going to fit in quite well.

“I am putting together a programme which Alex can look at and hopefully we can work something out reasonably.”

McLeish is optimistic that Hibs won’t suffer too much upheaval when Latapy, in particular, and Andrews are off on their World Cup travels.

“I have looked at the fixtures and don’t think there are too many conflicting games,” said McLeish. “Trinidad have a fantastic chance of qualifying for the World Cup finals, the players recognise that and want to be part of that as well. Obviously I have to speak to Ian, my old boss, and my only concern is if Trinidad start fixing up friendlies.”

Porterfield ended his trip at Easter Road highly impressed with the job McLeish has done at the club and singing the praises of Latapy.

“They played very well,” said Porterfield after the match. “I am maybe biased with Russell but he’s a wee genius. What he did leading up to David Zitelli’s first goal, you would pay your entrance fee just to see.”

Lewis, Rahim star in US College Cup win

THE talented Trinidad and Tobago football duo of Darin Lewis and Brent Rahim capped an excellent 2000 US NCAA Division I season with gold on the weekend as the University of Connecticut captured the 2000 Men’s College Championship.

Playing in front of 11,421 patrons at the Ericsson Stadium, Charlotte, Lewis sealed a 2-0 win for UConn over Creighton with an 86th minute goal on a counter-attack. Earlier, captain Chris Gbandi had opened the scoring in the 15th minute with a superb left-footed freekick after a foul on Rahim.

Lewis—who scored and assisted in UConn’s 2-0 semifinal win over Southern Methodist University—ended the season with ten goals and eight assists playing either as an attacking midfielder or a striker.

The former Belmont Secondary player was named the College Cup’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player and led five UConn players—including Rahim—on the All Tournament Team.

Both Rahim and Lewis have represented T&T from youth right through to senior level.

The 24-year-old Lewis won his last national senior cap in a 3-2 loss to Grenada on April 6, 1997 while Rahim—a stylish but industrious central midfielder—has been capped just once under present national coach Ian Porterfield.

Rahim, formerly of St Anthony’s College, was used off the substitutes bench during a 1-0 away loss to Canada on May 27, 2000.

Rahim and Lewis also earned slots on the Big East First Team alongside countrymen Marlon Rojas (St John’s) and Kirt Dorsett (Boston College) who were both selected on the Big East Rookie Team.

There were a string of other accolades for Lewis as well. He was named Pre-Season Big East Player of the Year, Pre-Season First Team All America, Pre-Season First Team Big East, while he received selections on the NCAA Player of the Week, Big East Player of the Week and was chosen on the Soccer America Team of the Week in September.

There was also good news for local football supporters in NCAA Division II where former Naparima College star Joel Bailey was unstoppable. Bailey, the 1998 Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Player of the Year, was the Division’s top ranked player with 34 goals and 14 assists from 19 matches for Wheeling Jesuit College.

Second on the Division’s goalscoring list and third to Bailey on the Points Per Game table was ex-Signal Hill striker Bert Williams, who had 27 goals and five assists from 18 matches representing New Haven.

Ronnie Hunte, Bailey’s Wheeling teammate and a former rival with St Benedict’s College, ended in fourth spot on the Assists Per Game table with 20 assists from as many matches.

Monday December 11th. 2000

We’re keeping it secret, says Chance

Sports Desk

ON January 8, 2001, 30 locally based players will begin training in preparation for Trinidad and Tobago’s 2002 World Cup
football qualifying campaign.

Little information on the plans of Scottish coach Ian Porterfield and manager Neville Chance is readily available and, according
to Chance, they like it that way.

Chance was evasive when asked about their plans for 2001 by the Daily Express yesterday but he explained that this does not
mean they were sleeping on the job.

“We are at a point where we are completing the fine part of the planning process,” said Chance. “We are about 95 per cent
finished with a planning document... But those things are strategy not the sort of things you tell the media.”

Chance refused to reveal if they had requested any international friendlies before their first World Cup qualifying match away to
Jamaica on February 27 or 28 or to speak on possible team selection or strategies. However he insisted that their stand was
merely in the best interest of the team and did not make them “anti-media”.

“We cannot give out the strategy,” said Chance. “The reason why you are not getting what Jamaica, Mexico and Honduras are
doing is because they are not giving that information to the media who in turn post it on the Internet. Strategy is who you play,
where you play, how you train, etc.

“If you are fighting a war you can’t tell people where you are going to go and set a bomb.”

He did say though that strength training and physical fitness was a critical part of the technical staff’s plans and they have already
proposed a six day per week conditioning programme for approval by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (T&TFF).

The technical staff has also held preliminary talks with the 30 invited local based players.

Naturally he did not reveal who those players were.

T&TFF prefer the Oval

Sports Desk

QUEEN'S PARK OVAL, one of the Caribbean’s most prestigious cricket grounds, seems destined to also become Trinidad
and Tobago’s number one football destination in 2001.

The Oval has already been named as the venue for T&T’s first two World Cup qualifying home matches on Wednesday, April
25 and Saturday, June 16 against Mexico and Honduras respectively. All local World Cup games will begin at 4 p.m.

However, Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (T&TFF) President Ollie Camps said there was a possibility that all local
games would be played at the Tragarete Road sporting ground.

“Both the coaches and players feel more comfortable on the hard surface,” said Camps. “And they have requested that we play
our matches there. But we do not want our opponents to know too far in advance where they are playing....

“They are accustomed to playing on the (Hasely Crawford) Stadium. So if they prepare themselves on that sort of surface and
then come to play on the Oval, we will have the advantage.”

The main difference in both fields, according to Camps, is the width as well as the type of grass.

Although the first two games are booked for the Oval, a press release from the T&TFF indicate that the following three home
matches may be held at either the Hasely Crawford Stadium or the Oval. These games will be held on June 30, September 1
and November 11 against Jamaica, Costa Rica/Guatemala or the United States respectively.

At present, the Stadium is still undergoing renovations but the T&TFF expect it to be ready for use by mid-June, 2001.

But Camps explained that the team’s good string of results at the Oval was weighing heavily on the minds of the technical staff.

In three World Cup qualifying games at the Stadium last year, T&T scored nine goals while conceding just one. In comparison,
they scored 13 goals in their first three Oval games alone while their overall record there is 14 goals for with none conceded.

It seems unlikely that local football fans would see their team tested against any top international teams before their World Cup
campaign restarts in February.

T&T recently withdrew from next January’s Millennium Super Soccer Cup—which features the likes of Yugoslavia, Colombia
and Olympic champs Cameroon—and Camps indicated that the technical staff was concerned of exposing their players to any
“rough and tumble competition” at this stage.

Instead the team is likely to travel to England for a camp in February where they would play against selected British clubs.

The camp would serve the dual purpose of building cohesion among the foreign and local based players as well as keeping the
players away from the Carnival atmosphere.

The T&T squad’s last international match was a 1-0 World Cup qualifying win against Panama on November 15, 2000 but, by
that stage, they were already assured of progressing to the final Concacaf round of matches.

Their last bonafide competitive match came on September 3, 2000 when they whipped Canada 4-0 at the Queen’s Park Oval.


Trinidad and Tobago coach Ian Porterfield believes that his side's run during the June phase of the CONCACAF Zone final
round qualifying series next year, will eventually determine whether they qualify for the 2002 World Cup.

The draw for the final stage of the competition, where six teams will be battling for three spots available to CONCACAF in the
World Cup Final in Japan and Korea in 2002, was made in Guatemala on November 19.

T&T, Mexico, USA, Honduras, Jamaica and the winner of the Guatemala/Costa Rica playoff match, to be played in Miami
between December 16 and January 6, will be competing for those three berths.

T&T got the tough assignment of two away matches to begin the qualifying process. Scotland-based T&T skipper Russell
Latapy's side will face Jamaica in Kingston on either February 27 or 28 before taking the road again to meet with the winner of
the Guatemala/Costa Rica playoff between March 24 and 28 in their second match.

However, coach Porterfield feels it will be the June stretch, where games against Honduras, the USA and Jamaica have been
carded, that will determine whether his team advances to its first World Cup Final. "I'm happy enough with the draw,"
Porterfield said after carefully viewing the draw.

"But everyone's got to totally dedicate the month of June because we have three games and they're going to be crucial. The
boys have got to give that time, which won't be easy, but we've got to have it from everyone."

The June month usually coincides with a break in British football where most of Porterfield's players, including Manchester
United's $17.8 million striker Dwight Yorke, West Ham goalie Shaka Hislop and Nottingham Forest's Stern John, ply their

Porterfield allowed some of his British-based players a break last June even though the team was involved in the early rounds of
World Cup qualifying. However, this will not happen next year as T&T will be going all out for a World Cup berth.

"We're going to have to get the commitment of everyone because getting to the World Cup will be a wonderful thing for
everyone connected and the country as a whole," Porterfield said.

The Scotland-born coach was also fully aware that the early games would be crucial to T&T's hopes. "We've got the first two
games away from home and I think its very important that you try and get off to a good start because its great for confidence,"
Porterfield said.

"I mean, that's what we want whether we're playing at home or playing away. Okay, we've got two tough games away from
home to start with, but all the games are going to be tough."

T&T played 12 games during the first two phases of qualifying for the final stages, losing just once to Mexico 7-0 in Mexico
City. Porterfield is hoping to continue this trend in the final phase but knows that team preparation will be a key element.
However, he will be facing a fight from the clubs of his British players-something he has already encountered-much of the way.

FIFA laws require clubs to release players five days before World Cup games. But on most occasions, this is not nearly enough
time to prepare a team for a tough game, especially when it is being played at high altitude in countries like Mexico and Costa

"What we've got to do is to prepare very thoroughly and as well as we can," Porterfield said. "Because its fairly difficult to
prepare as well as you'd like when you've got so many players playing in England, Scotland and other parts of Europe and
North America. You just can't get the guys together when you'd like them." In an attempt to ease the situation Porterfield, his
technical staff and 10 players who play their soccer in Trinidad, have planned a two-week tour of Britain in December. There,
they will visit clubs where T&T players are attached and hold talks with management.

Porterfield also intends to hold group sessions with all of his players during that tour, as it is expected that the players there will
form the nucleus of his final squad. "When next year comes we want everything to be clear, to know exactly we're were going,"
he said.
"And when we go to England we're going to sit down and explain the importance that next year will bring.

"In the last phase we need every player involved to be really pulling out all the stops so hopefully that will happen in the last 10


T&T coach Ian Porterfield knows the road only gets more difficult as his side seeks to find a first-ever spot in the World Cup
finals, but the Scotland-born helmsman thinks his team has the unity and sense of purpose to carry them through

T&T took one of two semi-final berths in the final round from Group C along with Mexico. The Caribbean side actually finished
atop the group with 15 points, two more than the Mexicans, after edging out Panama 1-0 in their final semi-final qualifier on

The two teams joined Honduras, Jamaica and the United States in the final round, which will feature six teams battling for three
places in Japan and Korea in 2002.

The final team will be decided after Costa Rica and Guatemala meet in a playoff for that berth later this month. However, having
played the last two games without some of his better players, Porterfield says he will definitely need to field his strongest team
for the next round.

"We know, at that final stage, it will be difficult," Porterfield said as he looked towards T&T's' future drive.

"But I feel, with good spirit and togetherness, we'll get there (2002 World Cup). The management and the players know where
we want to go. "Hopefully with the collectiveness, we can continue the success that we've had in the past nine months."

Porterfield has the likes of Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke, Hibernian playmaker Russell Latapy, West Ham goalie
Shaka Hislop and Columbus Crew defender Ansil Elcock for the do-or-die final phase.

Yorke, Latapy and Elcock missed the Panama clash while Hislop only made his debut in that game.

In fact, after their opening 2-0 semi-final win over Canada in July, Porterfield was unable to field a team with all of his big guns
for various reasons.

This will not happen next year though.

"Next year we know we are going to have 10 hard games and the core of our team will come from the players that played
against Canada. Anything else will be a bonus," he said.

However, the Scottish coach knows that even with his best squad there
are no guarantees.

“It's not easy to get to the World Cup. There's been great commitment, great
dedication, great application from the players so far," he said. "But the final hurdle is going to be a little bit harder because the
teams are of a little better quality. So we have got to get through to the players the importance of giving their best over the next
nine months."

Looking back at his team's performance on Wednesday, Porterfield said: "We certainly created a lot of chances and we should
have taken them, but that didn't happen.

"But it was a game that we learned a little bit from and, at the end of the day, we still ended up winning."

He added: "I think the lads deserve a lot of credit. They've been magnificent. I'm disappointed in a sense that we didn't give the
fans a little bit more to shout about. But at the end of the day we've got 15 points and it's been a good second round for us."

On the immediate horizon will be a break for his players. Porterfield then plans to head to the United Kingdom to hold
discussions with his players based there.

"We will go to the UK, not so much to play, but to bring the players back together again and to discuss many topics that need
to be discussed concerning our programme next year," he ended.

T&T has never reached a World Cup Final.
Thursday December 7th, 2000

T & T pulls out of the 2001 Millennium Super Soccer Cup

TRINIDAD and Tobago have pulled out of the 2001 Millennium Super Soccer Cup, scheduled for India next month.

Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation officials said it became necessary to withdraw from the series due to the tight
CONCACAF final round World Cup qualifying schedule.

The TTFF had earlier accepted an invitation to play in the Millennium Super Soccer Cup from January 10-25 in India. TT,
along with 15 other countries including Cameroon, Colombia, Yugoslavia, Chile and Jamaica were among the invited teams to
compete for a first prize of US$150,000.

Also withdrawing from the India series are the Jamaicans who Trinidad and Tobago will face in their first CONCACAF finals
on either February 27 or 28 in Kingston.

Trinidad and Tobago have set Wednesday 25, April 2001 as the day to host Mexico at the Queen's Park Oval from 4 pm in
their first home game. Following this match, TT plays Honduras at the same venue on June 16.

The Hasely Crawford Stadium or Queen's Park Oval will be the venue for the next game against the Reggae Boyz on June 30.
Trinidad and Tobago takes on either Costa Rica or Guatemala on September 1, at either the Crawford Stadium or Oval.

Their final home game will be against nemesis United States, who edged the national team 1-0 to deny them a place in Italia 90
World Cup here on November 19 at the then National Stadium. This time the game will be played at either the Oval or
Crawford Stadium on November 11.

The top three teams in the CONCACAF region heading the standings after the ten home-and-away matches will advance to the
2002 World Cup in the pool of 32 teams.

Yorke didn't mean to see red

BY Shaun Fuentes

Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke has admitted he was at fault after clashing with Emerson Thome in United's 1-2 loss to Sunderland in a Worthington Cup match last week.

However, the 29-year old Tobago-born player claimed there was no malice in his action. "I apologised after the challenge and again at the end of the match," Yorke said after game.

"I just went into what I thought was a 50-50 challenge too high. We'd had a battle throughout, but that's cup football. It wasn't any different to what you would expect in any big game.

It's the first time I've been sent off and, in the heat of the moment, you don't really think you should be shown the red card. It certainly wasn't intentional.

The boss (Sir Alex Ferguson) backed me. He is always 100 per cent behind the players. I think he knew it wasn't intentional, just the heat of a cup-tie."

Yorke missed United's 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, but hopes to be back in United colours as quickly as possible as he attempts to keep on scoring.

"Things are coming back together and the goals are going in again. With Andy Cole out of the first team with his injury, I've had a decent run that has ignited my season and my goalscoring," he said.

Ince back in England

Goalkeeper Clayton Ince is back in England, inactive after having a trial at Gillingham blocked by Crewe Alexandra manager Dario Gradi.

Ince's agent Mike Berry, who is currently in Trinidad, revealed after moving to Scotland to join Dundee on a three-month loan, Berry pulled Ince out of the contract to allow him to go on trial at the English First Division club.

Gradi said officials there were very keen on offering Ince a deal and wanted to see him in action in a trial game against Queen's Park Rangers before sorting out final contract details. However, Gradi put a block on that deal last month. Ince is still on Crewe's transfer list, but Gradi is requesting £100,000 for the 'keeper.

"That cost is too high for Ince because he is not a highly-known goalkeeper in England. He's done well for his country and is now paying the price for that because of missing much of the season while playing in the World Cup. Gradi refused to pay him, then put him up for sale and is now asking a high price. It's totally unfair to Clayton," said Berry.

He (Berry) added he will wait until the start of the new year before looking into options over Ince's future.
Berry is here to view the FA Cup matches as well as attend Carlos Edwards' wedding this Sunday.

Latas in Hibs video

Russell Latapy is among three Hibernian players featured in a "behind the scenes" video documentary on the Edinburgh club released last month.

Hibs has been enjoying a fine run this season, sitting in second position on the Scottish Premier League table behind Celtic.

The video highlights some of Hibernian's impressive victories, as well as captures moments in the dressing rooms and other activities off the field.

Latapy, capped more than 100 times by Trinidad and Tobago and a seasoned Champions League campaigner with Porto, recalls how he was asked to play a trial game against Brechin on a bleak winter's night before joining Hibs. "No offence to Brechin," Latapy grimaces, "but it was very cold!" an extract from the Scotsman newspaper stated last week.

Local cable viewers would have caught glimpses of "Latas" in action for Hibs in their 0-0 draw with Celtic last Wednesday. That result, according to manager Alex McLeish, has put Hibs back in with a good chance of catching the leaders.

"The performance has restored a bit of belief in the players. There weren't too many chances created on the night, but we restricted two of the best strikers in Scotland to only a few chances as well. I felt in the last couple of weeks they had taken a knock with some indifferent defending, but they're human and I think the Celtic game will have restored the standards," said McLeish.

Latapy, fresh from the Hibs video documentary, also has his face on limited T-shirts now on sale in Trinidad.
The image of Latapy taking the shot that led to the goal in T&T's 1-0 win over Mexico earlier this year is on the front along with the midfielder's autograph. Earnings from sales will go toward the Russell Latapy Sports and Education foundation.

Rougier nets winner

Anthony Rougier seemed well on his way to full fitness when he netted a first half winner to give Reading a 1-0 victory over Gillingham in a reserve fixture last week.

The former Hibernian winger had been on the sidelines over the past few weeks with an ankle injury. Rougier sent an excellent stooping header into the bottom right corner of the net late in the opening half for the eventual winner.

Reading used a number of first team starters on the day and Rougier showed manager Alan Pardew he was ready to make a return to Second Division action.

He did get the chance to do so, coming on in the 78th minute of Reading's 3-0 whipping of Cambridge United in League action on Saturday.

Marcelle stays at Hull

Local midfielder Clint Marcelle has set his sights on firing Hull City towards a playoff spot after being asked by manager Brian Little to remain with the club for the remainder of the season. Marcelle had previously signed two short-term deals with the Third Division side. He has been with the club since September.

"I'm just glad everything has been sorted out. I'm very happy at Hull. I would have been prepared to sign for another month, but a longer deal suits me just fine. I'm loving every minute of it here and I'm very grateful to the gaffer who has had a massive influence on me. He encourages me to go out and play my natural game and he's one of the best managers I've ever played for," Marcelle said last week after recovering from a slight ankle strain.

Rahim steers UConn into 'semis'

A well-converted 20th minute goal by national midfielder Brent Rahim steered the University of Connecticut into the American NCAA Men's College Cup national semifinals.

The strike by the former St Anthony's College player gave UConn a 1-0 victory over Brown University on Sunday to send through to the last four for the fourth consecutive year.

Running in from the right flank, Rahim collected a delicate pass from American Mansour Ndiaye before slamming a shot from 18 yards out past goalkeeper Matt Cross into the left corner of the net.

Local boy Darin Lewis has also been an integral member of the UConn outfit this season. He and Rahim hope to lead their College past Southern Methodist University in the semi-final clash on Friday at the Ericsson Stadium in Charlotte. Both players tasted defeat in the 'semis' last year when they were edged 2-1 by Santa Clara.

Avery's Shels top in Ireland

Avery John's Shelbourne FC are currently leading the Eircom Irish Premier Division League standings after completing a convincing 3-0 victory over Killkenny City on Saturday. Goals by Dessie Baker, Richie Foran and Jim Crawford gave John's team their eighth win of the season.

It was the perfect way for Shels to come back after a 0-3 loss to Bray Wanderers in the previous round. During that game, John was switched from a left back position to sweeper in the second half.

Shelbourne are 29 points ahead of Longford Town (27) and Bohemians FC (25), John's former team.
John, a former Presentation College, San Fernando captain has earned several call ups by national coach Ian Porterfield this year and while being unable to make the starting line-up, he surely must be eagerly awaiting the start of next-year's final World Cup qualifying round.

Platt gives Stern a run

Stern John got a taste of English First Division football for seven minutes on Saturday when manager David Platt introduced him in the 83rd minute of Nottingham Forest's 0-1 loss to Burnley.

Burnley got the winner from Andy Payton after 79 minutes from the penalty spot to get the three points.
Platt was furious with the referee's decision to award the penalty afterwards saying, "I got hold of a copy of the video and David Prutton clearly headed the ball, there was no handling offence.

"Against Wimbledon a couple of weeks ago we played well, but were punished for the mistakes we made. Unfortunately, today, we've been punished for a mistake made by somebody we've got no control over."
T&T's English-born defender Ian Cox saw full action for Burnley and went close to scoring when his effort was cleared off the line in the second half.

Shaun Fuentes is the communications officer of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation.

Yorke bracing for a Gunnar ambush


TRINIDAD and Tobago star striker Dwight Yorke may find himself back on the sidelines at Manchester United sooner than expected.

As the “Red Devils” prepare for this evening’s European Champion League clash with Austrian outfit Sturm Graz, Yorke is likely to lose his starting position to Norwegian ace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Solskjaer, whose goal earned United the coveted Champions League Cup two seasons ago, gave coach Sir Alex Ferguson another glimpse of his credentials on Saturday with the final goal in their 2-0 win over Tottenham Spurs.

The Norwegian replaced Yorke in the second half of that match and finished confidently after a pass from the club’s top goalscorer Teddy Sheringham.

Yorke has done precious little to maintain his starting position at United which only came his way this season after an injury ruled out English international Andy Cole. His own strike rate—five goals in 22 appearances—is hardly impressive.

The Tobagonian did his cause no good last Tuesday either when he was ejected for a violent tackle in their Worthington Cup defeat to Sunderland. Yorke’s sin—a late sliding tackle—came after he had opened the scoring—led to United’s eventual demise via the penalty shoot-out.

Should he play today, it is likely to be his last outing for at least two weeks before he begins serving the automatic suspension for last Tuesday’s red card.

When it rains...

                   No room for Kevin Austin

TRINIDAD and Tobago’s newest international, Kevin Austin, must be unsure about his future since returning to his English First Division employer Barnsley.

Austin spent the past two months at Second Division club Brentford but had his loan spell cut short when their club manager Ron Noades resigned.

Barnsley, it seems, were hardly overjoyed to have him back.

At present, his position at left-back is being capably handled by Chris Barker while teammate Matteo Carbo is also in contention. As a result, Austin has been unable to force his way into the Barnsley squad for either of their two games since his return.

It has been tough going for Austin ever since he snapped his Achilles in the opening weeks of last season. Since then, he has managed just one appearance for Barnsley before being sent to Brentford on loan.

                   Stern challenge for Forest place

Nottingham Forest’s “forgotten man” Stern John sent a much needed reminder to club coach David Platt on Monday in the FA Premier Reserve League.

The former El Dorado schoolboy has been having a hard time regaining his spot in the Forest lineup since his recent return from a knee injury.

However, John showed some signs of recapturing his old form with a fine performance in a 1-1 draw against the Leicester City reserves.

Trailing at the interval, John created the equaliser for teammate Brian Cash with some fine approach work and nearly cashed in himself—his late lobb just narrowly missed the target.

His main target right now though would be breaking into Platt’s first-team line up.

                    New Year Mauge gift for T&T

Trinidad and Tobago coach Ian Porterfield should get an early New Year’s surprise.

Combative midfielder Ronnie Mauge is back in training at Bristol Rovers and has proclaimed that he is just three weeks away from returning to the playing fields.

Mauge, who has never been capped under Porterfield, broke his leg while representing T&T at the 2000 Gold Cup in the United States.

But his club manager Ian Holloway is certain the player is an asset.

“Ronnie is so enthusiastic and that is infectious. He may not be fully fit yet, but he is flying into tackles and sets a great example.”

Rovers have badly missed Mauge’s ball-winning ability in the middle of the park, particularly as Dave Pritchard, a similar type of player, has also been sidelined long term.

Maybe in 2001, Porterfield will also be able to sing Mauge’s praises.

Monday December 4th, 2000

Tough luck for Carlos Edwards, Hector Sam

Trinidad and Tobago's England-based duo of Carlos Edwards and Hector Sam yesterday did all they could to help Wrexham earn at least a point as action in the Second Division continued.

Alas, their teammates failed to accept their gifts as the club went down 1-0 to Peterborough.
Edwards gave Wrexham a chance to take an early lead when he induced goalkeeper Mark Tyler to bring him down in the penalty area in the
15th minute.

But the keeper promptly got up to stop midfielder Darren Ferguson's penalty before Peterborough's Leon McKenzie scored the lone goal of the game.

Sam came on in the 61st minute of the game but could not find his scoring touch.

Brilliant Hislop takes West Ham up

Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Shaka Hislop showcased his fine talent in the Premiership to lead his side, West Ham, into the top six clubs for the first time this season yesterday.

Hislop made several brilliant saves to keep the Hammers in the game against Middlesbrough before they eventually eked out a 1-0 win.

The victory, their fifth in six matches, saw them moving to 24 points and exactly sixth place on the 24-team table. This after they had been anchored in the relegation zone in the first month of the season.

Hislop's most crucial save came in the 22nd minute when he dived low to his left to parry a close range header from Middlesbrough's Ugo Ehiogu, off a corner kick, around his post.

Hislop's compatriot Dwight Yorke's Manchester United meanwhile stayed eight points clear at the top after a 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspurs.

Yorke, who has not yet begun serving a three-match suspension after a red card in United's midweek Worthington Cup clash against Sunderland, started up front with Teddy Sheringham.

However he did not have the kind of impact he desired and was taken off after 72 minutes.
In the First Division, Burnley defender Ian Cox won the battle against striking compatriot Stern John's Nottingham Forest 1-0.

Cox missed a chance to grab another goal this season when his header was cleared off the line by Forest's Keith Foy midway through the second half.
John, just back from knee injury, came on eight minutes from time but could not alter the course of the game.