Having failed to lead Trinidad and Tobago to
the championship in the Football Federation
2000 Gold Cup, Bertille St Clair yesterday also lost his job as national senior team coach.
Trinidad and Tobago special adviser Jack Austin
Warner, president Ollie Camps and
secretary Richard Groden met with national technical director Edgar Vidale to review St
Clair's tenure on Friday night. Warner announced the decision to terminate him the next
The committee also decided that the services
of veteran midfielder David Nakhid, striker
Jerren Nixon and goalkeeper Michael McComie will no longer be required.
It was also recommended that the position of
T&T General Manager Richard
Braithwaite be restructured and a separate manager be named to take over the team.
St Clair and the team were notified of the
decisions hours just before they were set to
break camp here at the Radisson Wiltshire Hotel and return home to prepare for next
Saturday's 2002 World Cup qualifying match against the Netherlands Antilles.
Many reacted by deserting their rooms to vent
their frustrations in one way or other,
dissatisfied with a move which may yet throw the country's future into shambles.
The Tobago-born St Clair is coming off a Gold
Cup series in which he steered T&T to
their best ever finish. What is more is that he has also had a highly successful
two-year-stint, earning two Caribbean titles and scoring historic wins over South Africa
(2-0), Colombia (4-3) and a first ever win over Costa Rica (2-1) here in the quarterfinals.
But St Clair was deemed to have too many technical flaws to be allowed to continue.
It is not yet known who will replace St Clair.
However, the name of Joe Public's new
English coach, Ian Porterfield, has been tossed around for some time and his presence in
the country makes his selection a real possibility, particularly as the opening World Cup
qualifier is so close at hand.
Warner gave some insight into what was to come
on Friday, at a luncheon he hosted for
the team at the Caribbean Tree House Restaurant. But he did not commit himself to any
decision, pending the outcome of the meeting.
"We (TTFF) have to sit down and analyse this
effort," he said, "and find where we went
wrong and see what kind of remedial measures we will have to take and take quickly.
We can"t seek to solve this problem next month or next year; it has to be solved now. "
Asked about St Clair's future, Warner explained:
"You will bear in mind that Mr St Clair
was given a contract up to the end of February. One of the conditions in the contract was
that if he won the Gold Cup, we would look at it (renewal) positively; if he did not, we
reserve the right to come to some kind of decision on his future."
He revealed that while they were all appreciative
of and thankful for St Clair's efforts, it
would eventually be a decision which they would have to give serious consideration, it
was felt that he could not take the team forward. And Warner is not worried that
removing St Clair-who has gained the respect of the squad and instilled in the team the
discipline and fighting spirit which were conspicuous by the absence in the last two World
Cup campaigns-might endanger the forthcoming drive.
"The immediacy of the World Cup match does
not make a difference," he said. "In fact, it
might be prudent to make whatever changes we have to now rather than wait till later."
It would seem then that the loss to Canada was the breaking-point.
"Canada is by far one of the weakest teams
in this competition. They came through on
the toss of a coin, yet to all intents and purposes, they are now the CONCACAF
champions," Warner said.
"I have consistently said that in spite of
our success and victories, I stll find the team to
be technically deficient in several areas-particularly with regard to our defence and, to a
lesser extent, our midfield."
"I felt all along," Warner added, "that we would pay for those deficiencies."
Skipper Anthony Rougier's squad managed to
reach the semi-finals without five key
players in Stern John, Shaka Hislop, Ian Cox, Ronnie Maugé and Dwight Yorke, who
was injured after the prelims.
But that achievement did not seem to count for much as far as Warner was concerned.
"This team has got all the resources possible,"
he said. "Just for the matches they have
played so far, I have paid them US$175,000 from my own pocket."
"Not one single player has not been paid and
I just felt it was time the players give back
something," he ended. "If I tell you I am not hurt by this loss, I would be lying. "
T&T football coach sacked
COACH of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Team,
Bertille St Clair has been sacked,
FIFA vice President Jack Warner confirmed last night.
Warner said St Clair's contract will not be
renewed and a new coach will be announced
on Thursday. He also confirmed that Jerren Nixon, Michael McCommie, Ian Cox and
David Nakhid have been dropped from the team to play in the World Cup qualifiers to
take place on Saturday.
Meanwhile, team manager Richard Brathwaite
will retain the post as general manager of
all national teams, but a new manager for the senior team will also be appointed on
Thursday, Warner said.
The sacking follows the team's loss of the
Gold Cup semi-final match to Canada 1-0 last
Thursday. Football sources speculated that the new coach will be Englishman Ian
Warner said that the decision was taken after a meeting last night with technical director
Edgar Vidale, and other T&TFF officials. Vidale was advised to inform St Clair about the
Warner thanked St Clair for his services over
the past two and a half years. The team
has been asked to turn up for training on Thursday.
T&T's Gold Cup campaign ended on Thursday
night when they were beaten 1-0 by
Canada in the semi-final. Canada play Colombia today for the championship in Los
There were widespread speculations that disciplinary
action was forthcoming because
several players had severely criticised the T&TFF for revealing details of their
remuneration for playing in the Gold Cup.
A committee, headed by Warner, who is also
president of the Caribbean Football Union
(CFU) had recommended a new management and technical structure for the team as
T&T prepare for the qualifying matches leading up to the 2002 World Cup in Korea and
Their first match is on Saturday against the
Netherland Antilles at the Hasely Crawford
Stadium in Mucurapo.
On Friday, St Clair spoke to Sunday Guardian
sportswriter Shaun Fuentes in Los Angeles
about his plans for the future. St Clair said he was resigned to whatever fate awaited him
but was optimistic of being given a chance to coach the team for the World Cup
St Clair believes that he has done enough to
be given the chance to carry T&T to the
2002 Japan/Korea World Cup. But the Tobagonian said he was prepared for anything in
the months ahead.
St Clair was interviewed at the Intercontinental
Hotel, Los Angeles, the morning after the
Moments after he had received many words of congratulations by dignitaries, coaches
and players at the tournament's awards ceremony.
St Clair said he is not prepared to allow his
critics get the better of him.
"In Trinidad and Tobago it doesn't seem that
people recognise that I have been a
successful coach, probably the most successful in recent times and still they criticise me
everyday. I took them to the World Youth Cup, I won the Shell Caribbean Cup, I took
them to the furthest in the Gold Cup and still you have people saying my job is going to up
just now like if I'm living on the streets or something. But let them know where Bertille St
Clair comes from," he stated.
"That's important because I want people to
know that I am in this job to help T&T and
nothing else. People wouldn't recognise that. I was paid more money in the Cayman
Islands to do the job (in 1996) but I wanted to give and prove something to T&T.
"The nice thing about it is that I can handle
pressure. When you say I can't do something
I doubt you instead . I like to bounce back. I think this is the best opportunity now for me
to take T&T to the World Cup.
"But I mean if the powers that be think otherwise
I have no problem with that. That's the
life of a coach. And I am prepared for anything. I keep telling people that you could walk
into a stadium and thousands of people rave you. Ninety minutes after your house burns
down because you just lost a game.
"My contract is not up until June and I feel
that I've done enough. I am here to do a job
and if you want to put me away before time then pay me off my contract money and let
me go. I have no problem with that," he said St Clair was obviously disappointed with the
semi-final loss as he felt T&T dominated but had the luck running against them.
"But people don't want to understand these
things. They say the coach this and that.
Most of the detractors are those looking for a job and the others wise after the event. If
you could tell me before a match how to win it, I'm happy for that. Don't be wise after
because I am too. When you come off a first half playing beautifully, do you expect to
change what is being done?" he asked.
Newcastle United coming!
Newcastle, the former club of Trinidadian goalkeeper
Shaka Hislop , are expected to visit
Trinidad May 28-June 1.
Each of the visiting UK clubs will play two
matches - one against one of the teams
participating in the Professional Football League and another against a Tobago XI.
The programme is designed not only to improve
the standards of local football, but also, in
the light of the travelling supporter base of teams, to develop a niche market which has
considerable tourism potential.
From tomorrow to Thursday Jabloteh will be
undertaking an inspection of the available
facilities for the matches.
Gordon Milne, technical director, and Alex
King, commercial director, will represent
Jabloteh. They will be accompanied by two representatives of Sports Caribbean - Bob
Harris (chairman) and Rufus Gobat (managing director).
Sports Caribbean Specialists, in the marketing
of sport and entertainment packages, will
be handling all travel relating to the visits of the UK clubs.
Money's the problem
THE Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation
has run into trouble with the members of
the senior team who went down 1-0 to Canada in the Gold Cup semifinal on Thursday
Ironically, at the heart of the problem is the decision of the frequently uncommunicative
Federation to provide information to the public. The members of the Gold Cup squad
were visibly upset here at their temporary base at Radisson Wiltshire Hotel in Los
Angeles when news reached them that the TTFF had released information about the
monies they have so far earned in the 2000 edition of the biennial Football Federation
An exclusive Express story on Tuesday gave
details of the players' match fees for the
series and revealed that they had been awarded a US$750 bonus for their 2-1
quarterfinal win over Costa Rica.
One of the players most upset by the decision to release the information was former
skipper David Nakhid, who had a 35th minute penalty saved by Canada's Craig Forest.
"Would you like your salary to be known in the press?" the outspoken veteran midfielder
asked rhetorically. "Would you like your salary as a journalist to be known in the press or
anybody else who worked for that matter?
"That's a private matter between you and your
Saying that transparency was "good and a departure from what they did before", Nakhid
said, "we would have had no problems with the TTFF or whoever put this out releasing
the total amount given to the team.
"But we would have liked them to remain transparent on all sides," he went on, "and
release not only what they pay out but what they take in for the competition as well."
Particularly disturbed by the news was US-based
Brent Rahim, who came on for Jerren
Nixon in the first half. As a player on scholarship at the University of Connecticut,
Rahim's contract conditions do not allow him to receive any money for playing. However,
he, too, was named among the players receiving cash incentives for their efforts in the
But all the players were particularly cheesed off because, despite the release of the
information, they were yet to receive the fees and bonuses earned for their historic
"We have not seen the money for the quarterfinal up to now," Nakhid said. "But we've
been assured that we will be paid so I'm sure it is now going to be paid as quickly as
Terming the TTFF's action "a definite breach of trust", Nakhid expressed the hope that
there would be no repeat.
"It would seem as though it's a trend they
want to start," he explained. "But they should
have first discussed it with the players cause ultimately, it is the players' business and
should be authorised by them."
According to the release, a total of US$138,350-US
$87,000 for the preliminary round
games and US$51,350 for the quarterfinal-had been paid out. The team could also have
benefited from a further US$100,000 in cash incentives if they had made it all the way to
the finals and won the prestigious Gold Cup and the US$150,000 first prize money.
However, Nakhid declined to comment on the accuracy of the amounts quoted.
"Wages correspond to how well we do," he said.
"The better we do in the tournament,
obviously the better we are paid. But the exact total figure, I really don't know. I'm only
aware of the figure each player is paid and I've not bothered to add it up."
Asked if the team was very upset over the issue, Nakhid responded: "I can't speak for
the team, I can only speak for me. But you only have to keep your eyes and ears open."
However, there was not a player who expressed satisfaction at the release of the news
and some of them even went so far as to express fear for their personal safety when
they return home. They hold reservations for a Monday flight but efforts were being
made yesterday to arrange for an earlier departure on the weekend.
All of the offensive stats were in T&T's
favour at the end of Thursday's game. The most
telling of the was shots at goal which numbered 16 for Rougier's side.
The man who made the difference in this game for Canada was England-based
goalkeeper Craig Forrest who often single-handedly thwarted the T&T attack.
Forrest, West Ham teammate of T&T keeper Shaka Hislop, came up with save after
save, including one off David Nakhid's penalty in the 36th minute.
The lone game-winning goal came off the head
of defender Mark Watson in the 68th
In seven meetings all time, Canada have now won five, drawn twice and never lost to
T&T, although this win will go down as their biggest ever.
But Rougier's side have a lot to be proud about. Defeated but not disgraced, they will
now regroup quickly to refocus their energies on the opening 2002 World Cup qualifier
against the Netherlands Antilles on Carnival Saturday.
The small 2,841 crowd included England-based professional Dwight Yorke, forced to sit
out the game after failing a fitness test earlier in the day, and sprint star Ato Boldon could
have predicted the finish of this game.
After all, their compatriots had jumped all
over the Canadians from the first blast of
referee Gustavo Mendez's first whistle.
Once again, the key midfield combination of Angus Eve, Russell Latapy and Nakhid,
clicked early providing good service to strikers Dwarika and Jerren Nixon up front.
Nixon himself had three clearcut chances inside the first 20 minutes. Two he muffed
through poor shooting. The other, in the 15th minute, was cleared off the line by David
The turning point in the game came in the 35th minute when the referee awarded a
penalty kick for a foul on Nixon. The Switzerland-based striker was bundled over by
Watson in the penalty area while going for a right-side cross from Rougier.
Nakhid stepped up to take the kick ahead with
Forrest dancing around on his line as the
new Fifa laws now allow keepers to. After a stutter-step approach, Nakhid put his kick
fairly tamely to the right of Forrest who dived low to catch it safely out of the air.
On the stroke of halftime, Latapy, converted to striker by coach Bertille St Clair after
Nixon was taken off with an ankle in the 43rd minute, brought an acrobatic save from
Forrest with a long range left-footer.
The second half started in much the same way
as both Nakhid and Dwarika forced
Forrest into desperate saves to keep his side in the game.
Then came Watson's heart-breaking goal against
the run of play. The defender positioned
himself inside the penalty box as Xausa delivered a left-side freekick on the far post.
When Carlo Corazzin headed the pass back in his direction, an immobile Arnold Dwarika
allowed three attackers to remain onside behind the defence and Watson headed past
Ince from inside the six-metre box.
After that, Latapy might have equalised in the 79th minute when
Stokely Mason made a fine run up the left flank and delivered a cross over the heads of
the Canadian defence. Running through two defenders to get into the box, but could not
control the shot and put it over the bar with the goal wide open.
St Clair then played his final trump card by
introducing both Mickey Trotman, who had
scored the golden goal winner in the quarterfinal victory against Costa Rica, and Evans
But neither could do anything to save T&T.
Team: Clayton Ince, Shurland David, Marvin
Andrews, Ansil Elcock, Anthony Rougier,
Angus Eve, Stokely Mason (Evans Wise 85th), David Nakhid (Mickey Trotman 85th),
Russell Latapy, Jerren Nixon (Brent Rahim 43rd), Arnold Dwarika.
Dwarika, Latapy All Stars
TRINIDAD and Tobago's footballers started to
depart Los Angeles yesterday following
their proud showing at the 2000 Gold Cup.
Coach Bertille St Clair and his technical staff
including the T&T based players were
heading home while the overseas professionals were all on their way back to their
Arnold Dwarika and Stokely Mason were expected
to head straight for South Korea to
begin their four-month on loan contracts with J Cheetars there.
While the mood in the T&T camp was a sad
one on Thursday night following the 1-0 loss
to Canada in the semi-finals, the team was yesterday celebrating the selection of striker
Dwarika and Russell Latapy on the tournament's All Star team which was chosen with
the help of the media.
Among those present at the awards ceremony
at the Intercontinental Hotel in LA
yesterday were players and officials of other teams and dignitaries such as Sir Bobby
Charlton of England's 2006 World Cup committee, T&T Minister of Sport Manohar
Ramsaran and TTFF president Oliver Camps.
After receiving his token of appreciation from
FIFA vice-president Jack Warner,
Dwarika told the audience "I want to say thank you for picking me on this all-star team.
It was a pleasure to play here and we just have to put this one behind us (defeat) and
continue playing well. I want to congratulate Colombia and Canada for reaching the
St Clair collected on behalf of the absent
Latapy. "I believe he (Latapy will be very
happy about this. I think this was a great tournament and a great experience for me.
Unfortunately we didn't make it to the top and hopefully in time, Trinidad and Tobago will
be champions," said St Clair.
KANSAS CITY, MO (February 24, 2000) - The Kansas
City Wizards announced the
club has signed forward Gary Glasgow as a 2000 Discovery Pick. Glasgow, a native of
Trinidad and Tobago, spent the 1999 season with the Richmond Kickers of the
"I first saw Gary (Glasgow) a number of years
ago, and then in the A-League when he
played against my Milwaukee Rampage," head coach Bob Gansler said. "He scored then
and has been scoring since with New Orleans, Richmond and the Trinidad National
Team. He's a goal scorer with a forte to create these goals himself. Gary is very quick
with the ball and off the ball and has the ability in the box to create his own opportunities.
He will be a great complement to the forwards we already have."
The 23-year-old finished the 1999 regular season
second on the Kickers in goals (13) and
points (33) and tied for first in assists (7). In addition, he topped the club in starts (28),
minutes (2426) and shots (73).
Glasgow, 5-10, 155 pounds, led the A-League's
New Orleans Storm in scoring during the
1998 campaign. In 24 games, the striker tallied 15 goals and 4 assists, for 34 total points.
With the Storm, Glasgow was an All-Star and was selected to the second-team all
He was named the A-League Player of the Week
in Week 7 of the 1998 season after
scoring two goals and notching the game-winning assist in the Storm's 6-5 overtime
victory over the Albuquerque Geckos.
Prior to his arrival in the United States,
Glasgow played in the Trinidadian First Division
with the Trinidad and Tobago Defense Force. In 1997, Glasgow netted a league-leading
Glasgow also has competed for his native country
at the U-14, U-20, U-21 and U-23
Glasgow will be reunited with Wizards General
Manager Curt Johnson, who was the
Vice President and General Manager of the Richmond Kickers from 1998-99.
"Gary Glasgow adds a different dynamic to what
we already have," Johnson said. "He
has speed and quickness with the ball at his feet. He is also an extremely hard worker,
versatile and will be very positive in the locker room."
The Kansas City Wizards roster is now at 24,
including three Project-40 players and one
Junior International player.
Gary Glasgow #22
Ht: 5-10 Wt: 155
Born: May 13, 1976
Hometown: La Horquetta, Arima, Trinidad and Tobago
Citizenship: Trinidad and Tobago
Last Club: Richmond Kickers (A-League)
Year Team GP G A Pts Min
1998 New Orleans 24 15 4 34 1712
1999 Richmond 28 14 7 35 2516
Holloway keeps up fight to sign Pierre
BRISTOL Rovers are to launch another appeal
against the decision not to reinstate Nigel
Pierre’s work permit – and hope that means they can use the Trinidad striker for at least
The club are determined to continue fighting
the young marksman’s case, and that means
another hearing in London.
And they now believe that Pierre, pictured,
will be allowed to make his debut and play in
Director Ron Craig, who has been heavily involved
with the complicated attempt to land
the youngster, said: “The permit Nigel arrived with says he can ply his trade in this
country for up to a month. Now we are waiting for confirmation from the Football
League that we can go ahead and register him.
“In the meantime we hope a month should give
us time to gather more evidence –
including video evidence – to support our argument that we have a special player.
“Because we had a relatively short time to
sort everything out, it was hard getting
everything we needed for the previous appeal. A lot of the Trinidadian FA have been in
America at the Gold Cup and it was not easy to get the information we needed.”
Boss Ian Holloway has vowed to maintain the
battle to make Pierre a Rovers player – no
matter how long it takes.
“He has already inspired some of my older players
with what he has been doing in
training and I think he would raise the standard here,” he said.
“I am determined that he will become a Bristol
Rovers player, although I can’t say how
long it will take. But I will fight tooth and nail to get him.”
Rovers are putting Brian Parkin on alert for
this weekend’s trip to Oldham in case Lee
Jones fails to recover from a back injury.
The Welshman suffered back spasms after last
weekend’s 4-1 win at Luton and Rovers’
physio Phil Kite said it could be tomorrow before any final decision is made on his
“It has been easing off so we are hopeful,
but we will have to wait and see how Lee
feels tomorrow,” he said.
Rovers today launched a new service allowing
fans to buy tickets via computer – and are
one of only a handful of Second Division clubs able to offer an on-line ticketing service.
Supporters who log on to the club’s website
– www.bristolrovers.co.uk – can order
tickets for all remaining home games, apart from the derby clash with Bristol City.
Commercial manager Ralph Ellis said: “We recognise
that many fans don’t find it easy to
visit the club during working hours.”
By SHAUN FUENTES in Los Angeles
THE Los Angeles Coliseum will transform into
a battlefield at midnight (T&T time)
tonight when Trinidad and Tobago footballers and Canada collide in the second
semi-final of the Gold Cup tournament.
For both, the significance of this match is
the same as any European, African, Asian or
South American nation going after glory in their respective major regional tournaments.
For T&T and Canada, this is their longest
run in the fifth edition of the competition and
it comes at a time when both are less than two weeks from beginning their quest for
2002 World Cup qualification.
Neither team may consider themselves unsuccessful in this tournament, having gone
beyond the expectations of many.
Trinbagonians have a whole lot to be proud of but winning tonight's encounter and
having the chance to contest Sunday's final against either Peru or Colombia is the main
Bolstered by the return of Manchester United
marksman Dwight Yorke, despite talk of
a second club versus country row, T&T have found themselves as firm favourites to
capture the title, particularly by the Confederation who want the Cup to remain with
one of their teams.
It is no secret that hardly anyone would have
expected T&T in this position prior to the
start. But under the guidance of coach Bertille St Clair and the fine efforts of the
players, the sky is now the limit.
St Clair said T&T will attempt to take
the same approach they have in previous games.
" I think that the players have played with a lot of heart in the tournament and I believe
that we will be a force to reckon with in the very near future. Things are beginning to go
well for us and we'll try to let things continue that way," said St Clair yesterday.
Striker Arnold Dwarika and midfield magician
Russell Latapy are both fighting slight
injuries and are set to be in the starting eleven led by captain and defender Anthony
Goalkeeper Clayton Ince, on the end of a fine
performance in the previous 2-1 win
over Costa Rica will hope that his defenders Shurland David, Ansil Elcock and Marvin
"Dog" Andrews, though not the most secure of defences, continue to defend as if their
lives depended on it.
And the midfield of Russell Latapy, the experienced
David Nakhid and hardworking
Angus Eve will need to take control of matters against the Canadians, who are capable
of sudden bursts of attacks that can prove deadly.
The players will be going after more success
with the injured Ronnie Mauge, Stern
John and Shaka Hislop still on their minds.
For Canada, their front duo of Carlo Corazzin
(Northampton Town) and Paul
Peschisolido of Fulham will shoulder most of the scoring responsibilities.
Golden goal scorer against Mexico, Richard Hastings also poses a danger with the
support of midfielders Paul Stalteri, David Xausa and skipper Jason Devos with the
reliable Craig Forrest of West Ham in goal.
There is no margin for error in this do or
die stage that already had a stunning upset
with the Canadians 2-1 defeat of Mexico.
T&T fans will be hoping there are no bad cases of butterflies in the stomach of their
Canada's Germany-born coach Holger Osieck said
in an interview after his team's
shut-out of Mexico, that he is expecting a tougher assignment from T&T than when the
two teams drew 0-0 last month.
"Of what I've seen in the Concacaf, teams like
Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras,
Jamaica and now Trinidad play tremendous football. We (Canada) have good
discipline and technical ability and we stick to our game plan which is they key to our
"Against your team (Trinidad) we don't exactly
know what to expect but a tougher
match than when we played in January. Like Mexico, we have a high opinion of
Trinidad and are aware of the kind of quality players they have," said Osieck.
Whatever the outcome of tonight's match, not
expected to be played in front of any
massive crowd, fans looking on particularly the T&T posse at home or in the stands are
in for a keenly contested affair.
Only time will tell if the party will continue
back at the Radisson Wilshire Hotel and
streets of T&T in the wee hours.
It has emerged that Crystal Palace were also
in the hunt for Marcelle's signature. But
the player favoured a switch to the Midlands.
Baggies boss Brian Little could make a second
raid on Oakwell as he is also believed
to be interested in out-of-favour striker Georgi Hristov.
Barnsley could be ready to sell Hristov for
a cut-price fee as he will be out of contract
at the end of the season. The Macedonian international joined the Reds for a
club-record £1.5million from Partizan Belgrade in July 1997.
Thursday February 24th, 2000
By KWAME LAURENCE
TRINIDAD and Tobago's footballers will dig
into a $1m-plus pot of gold if they get right
to the end of the 2000 Football Confederation tournament rainbow. The national senior
team's on-field exploits in California have so far earned the players and technical staff
almost $900,000 in match fees and bonuses.
Before Sunday's quarterfinal victory over Costa
Rica, captain Anthony Rougier and his
hard-fighting soldiers had collected $548,100 (US$87,000). The thrilling sudden-death
triumph over the Central Americans added another $323,505 (US$51,350) to the kitty.
The major beneficiaries were senior professionals Russell Latapy and David Nakhid. The
former captains each received $23,625 (US$3,750).
Arnold Dwarika, who sent T&T ahead in the
26th minute of the Costa Rica game, is one
of ten players in the 18-man squad who will return home at least $17,325 (US$2,750)
richer as a result of the team's historic qualification for the semifinal round of Concacaf's
biggest tournament. Also in that group of ten is skipper Rougier. The other eight are
goalkeeper Clayton Ince, his understudy Ross Russell, Angus Eve, Stokely Mason,
Shurland David, Jerren Nixon, Ansil Elcock and Marvin Andrews.
T&T had held on to their 1-0 lead against
Costa Rica for all of 64 minutes, before a
last-minute equaliser from William Hidalgo sent the quarterfinal showdown into
Fifteen minutes into sudden-death, another
substitute-the Caribbean team's Mickey
Trotman-sparked wild celebrations in living rooms and bars across the nation with a
right-footed shot that deflected past the flat-footed custodian into the Costa Rica goal.
The match-winning effort was worth a total
of $11,025 (US$1,750) to the former Arima
Senior Comprehensive striker. Another Arima old boy, Derek King, as well as former St
Anthony's standout Evans Wise, earned a similar payday.
To the injured Ronnie Maugé, the win
was worth $6,300 (US$1,000) and $3,150
(US$500) to Brent Rahim, called up into the squad to replace the Bristol Rovers
Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke, who
returned to England for his club's crucial
Premiership clash with Leeds United on Sunday, was the only player missing out on the
quarterfinal cash incentives.
There were also rewards for the technical staff.
Coach Bertille St Clair, whose job may
well have been saved by the team's 4-2 first round triumph over Guatemala, was the
most handsomely compensated. The Tobagonian's quarterfinal take home "pay" was
Edgar Vidale and manager Richard Braithwaite
each received $8,505 (US$1,350), while
another $30,240 (US$4,800) was split evenly among the other four members of the
Victory over Canada in tomorrow's semifinal
duel in Los Angeles would swell the overall
purse even more. Should T&T go on to become the first Caribbean nation to lift the Gold
Cup, a total of $630,000 (US$100,000) will be added to the $871,605 (US$138,350)
Rougier's team opened their California campaign
with a 0-4 loss to Mexico, the widest
margin of defeat to date in the competition.
Not only would triumph at the LA Coliseum on
Sunday earn T&T the $1,501,605
(US$238,350) Cup of Gold, it would also provide a fitting fairy-tale ending for the
Manager Richard Braithwaite has asked for support
for national football coach Bertille St
Clair and called on the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) to renew his
contract in light of the performances of the team in the Gold Cup now being contested in
St Clair's contract expires at the end of the
Braithwaite was speaking moments after Trinidad and Tobago defeated Costa Rica 2-1
in the quarterfinals on Sunday.
Braithwaite said that it was because of the closeness between St Clair and the members
of the team that Trinidad and Tobago was able to absorb the pressure from Costa Rica
and run off winners in extra time.
The Costa Ricans equalised in the last minute of the game, leaving St Clair with a
gigantic task of re-energising the team.
After a short pep talk, substitute striker
Mickey Trotman slotted home the "golden goal"
in sudden death extra time.
Braithwaite said that St Clair had done a great job over the years. "He has been able to
instil a fighting spirit, a sought of never-say-die attitude into the team and that is crucial if
we are to make it to the World Cup Finals.
"One minute to go and Costa Rica scored but the guys did not allow it to get away.
"This is in tribute to Bertille. That is the hallmark and stamp of the man.
"I've said all along that what T&T lack is heart, determination and commitment. Our
problem is not technical or tactical.
"Once we have a coach who can instil that fight, we are going to go places" said
St Clair's record last year was nine victories, one loss to Honduras and a draw to
Panama. This year began with a 0-0 draw with Canada and 1-0 and 2-1 losses to
Morocco and Costa Rica, before 4-0 loss to Mexico and 4-2 and 2-1 wins over
Guatemala and the Costa Ricans.
Braithwaite also praised Miami based sponsors Inter/Forever Sports for their support to
"They have done a wonderful job and we are grateful for their support."
Dwight keeps 'em waiting
By SHAUN FUENTES
in Los Angeles
MEMBERS of the Trinidad and Tobago football
team were settling into their new base at
Radisson Wilshire Hotel here in Los Angeles last night after completing the two and a
half hour journey from San Diego at about 8pm T&T time.
It is from here that they will be hoping to continue their dream run in the Confederation
Gold Cup when they play Canada in a semifinal tomorrow.
There was some uncertainty concerning the arrival
of Manchester United striker Dwight
Yorke who was expected to rejoin the team around 10 o'clock (T&T time) last night
Yorke started the Gold Cup tournament, playing
against both Mexico and Guatemala
before returning to England for a weekend Premiership match against Leeds. However,
in that game he limped off the field with an injured thigh after 29 minutes.
Although he gave the assurance that he would
be back with the squad a report on
Reuters which quoted Sir Alex Fergusson, the United manager, as saying that it made no
sense for an injured Yorke to return to the team, left some anxiety within the T&T camp.
T&T team manager Richard Braithwaite was
quoted Monday as saying that Yorke had
called to congratulate the team on their victory over Costa Rica in the quarterfinals and
would be rejoining the squad.
Yorke has received a great deal of attention
from the media here particularly the Los
Angeles Times, which questioned his exit from the team last week, but highlighted T&T's
progress to the semifinals in his absence.
The newspaper put T&T as strong contenders
for the title.
Several local players were keeping their fingers crossed. "Dwight's a class player and I
think any team will like to have him on their side," said midfielder David Nakhid.
T&T technical director Edgar Vidale added:
"The mood in the camp is always good but I
am sure it's going to be better with Dwight here. That's the kind of effect he has on the
Yorke's presence is also a kind of living dream
for young midfielder Brent Rahim, who
came on as a substitute against Costa Rica and will be touching shoulders with the player
for the first time.
Braithwaite said T&T will be concentrating
on getting past Canada before thinking of the
final at the weekend against the winners of the all South American semifinal between
Peru and Colombia which will be contested today.
Also attracting attention is Joe Public striker
Arnold Dwarika. The pony-tailed striker
now has four goals in three tournaments, having scored a double when T&T lost 3-2 to
the United States in 1996.
He's expected to go on a four-month loan with
J Cheetars club in South Korea when the
local team return home.
"Right now the confidence is high and it will be very nice if we can make it to the finals.
It's like a big carnival back home and all the parties and all the bars are going to be
opened until we reach the final," said Dwarika.
T&T completed a light training session with Dwarika (swollen ankle) and Russell Latapy
(groin strain) taking things lightly, in San Diego before leaving for Los Angeles.
Yorke back in LA today
From IRVING WARD in San Diego
Trinidad and Tobago skipper Anthony Rougier
and his teammates break camp here in
San Diego today and head out to Los Angeles. And it is from the "Glamour Capital"
that they will launch the next phase of their quest to be crowned Football
Confederation's Gold Cup champions for the first time.
By the time the team settles down in LA, their
chances of doing so are expected to be
greatly strengthened by the re-inclusion of England-based professional Dwight Yorke.
The hotshot Manchester United striker will join the team in LA to begin preparation for
Thursday's all-important semifinal against Canada.
There had been fears in the T&T camp that
Yorke, who pulled up with a calf injury
after half-an-hour in United's 1-0 win over Leeds United on Sunday, would not be able
But the United doctors have ruled the injury
not serious enough to keep him out of
action and, as promised by club boss Alex Ferguson, Yorke will be back at the Cup to
help his team attempt to continue its Cinderella run in the prestigious tournament.
"This is great news for us," T&T General
Manager Richard Braithwaite told the
Express yesterday, "because Dwight's contribution to the team on and off the field has
After the £12.6 million striker was recalled
to England by Ferguson last week, it was
Braithwaite himself who had made contingency bookings for Yorke's return in the event
T&T made it through to the semis.
The decision had infuriated the T&T team,
then going into their crucial quarterfinal
game against Costa Rica. But yesterday, having taken care of the Central Americans
2-1 in sudden-death without the services of Yorke, all seemed ready to forget
Yorke has been much criticised by the T&T
public in the past for his apparent lack of
enthusiasm about representing his country. However, Braithwaite never hesitated to
defend the 28-year-old star player, declaring that as far as he was concerned Yorke
was one of the mainstays of this squad and would be for a long time to come.
According to the manager, his arrival will
certainly provide added impetus to the T&T
squad, still pumped up in the wake of Sunday's success.
"Apart from his actual play, Dwight has also
been able to help us to build the wonderful
team spirit that we have in the squad," he explained. "He is an integral part of the team
and having him around will be a tremendous boost for the semifinals-whether he plays
Adding that Yorke is "very excited by what
he has seen since he joined the team",
Braithwaite noted that there is a completely new aura surrounding the former Strike
"You can see it by the way he mixes with the
players and in the way he trains. It is a joy
to see the effort he puts out in training and it is also a good lesson for the younger
players because it demonstrates to them how hard one of the best players in the world
has to work to stay on top."
And he credits Yorke, Russell Latapy and David
Nakhid with generating in no small
part the "tremendous confidence that the team now enjoys".
It is a confidence which they can literally
make pay. Two teams will represent the
region in next year's Fifa-sanctioned Federation Cup and the Mexicans, as the 1999
defending champions, have already secured one berth. Victory on Thursday against
Canada would guarantee T&T of the second spot and a share of the US$2 million
jackpot, the guarantee pay-out to participants in the tournament.
The other two semifinalists, Colombia and Peru,
are guests in this tournament and not
eligible for qualification by this route. So by beating Mexico on Sunday, Canada have
kept alive their chances of denying T&T the second qualifying spot.
Yorke, Latapy, Nakhid and company will be doing
their utmost to earn it by their own
efforts on Thursday.
On current form, they will fancy their chances
of doing so.
St Clair hails his boys
By IRVING WARD
in San Diego, California
TRINIDAD and Tobago coach Bertille St Clair
was a very proud man here in San
His squad continued their Cinderella run in
the Football Confederations Gold Cup
series by booking a semifinal berth for the first time ever with a 2-1 "sudden death'' win
over Costa Rica.
St Clair, despite having one of the better
records as a T&T coach, has still been put
under severe pressure by the footballing fraternity and naturally, after securing this
historic win the Tobago-born tactician could not hide his emotions.
"I'm very elated over this success. I told
the boys to play with a lot of heart and that's
what we did,'' he said.
St Clair's side had been severely depleted
after the loss of Shaka Hislop and Ronnie
Mague through injuries and Dwight Yorke, recalled to England by Manchester United
earlier in the week. Yet despite this, the team managed to pull off yesterday's stunning
But St Clair explained that this was always in the making:
"I have been saying over the years that Trinidad
and Tobago has an abundance of
talent but what was lacking was the attitude, discipline and the organisation.''
"I believe Trinidad and Tobago will be a force to reckon with in the near future.''
After the Central Americans had earned a 90-minute
equaliser, St Clair said he had
told his team:
"You cannot die now we've come too far and we have to lift ourselves now.''
"Golden Boy'' Mickey Trotman was the man of
the moment after the game. He was
used as a starter in T&T's opening preliminary round game against Mexico but had
been relegated to the bench for the next two games. And, put into the game on the
hour-mark for Jerren Nixon yesterday, he did not let his coach down.
But after scoring his golden winner he immediately
ran off the field into the team dugout
and towards the dressing room. And, speaking about his strange manner of
celebrations he said: "I knew it was a big goal. I just had to go home with it.''
Trinidad & Tobago Shock Costa Rica with 2-1 Extra Time Victory
By Jay Hipps
San Diego, Cal. (February 20) - On a day that featured both sudden downpours and
sunny skies, it turned out to be a beautiful day for Trinidad and Tobago as they
defeated Costa Rica 2-1 in extra time in the Gold Cup quarter final. The day offered all
the emotions ranging from joy to frustration and, for the Trinidadians, joy again.
The action started early as Costa Rica created
the first scoring opportunity in just the
second minute. Wilmer Lopez played a through ball which Pablo Wanchope ran onto
in the right side of the penalty area. His low shot to the far post beat the keeper but
went just wide.
Trinidad and Tobago didn't wait long to challenge
the Costa Rican goal, though. They
worked the ball through the midfield, moving the ball out to defender Angus Eve,
making an overlapping run into the corner. His hard shot was too much for Costa Rica
goalkeeper Hermidio Barrantes to handle, but he was able to punch it out of play to
end the threat. Barrantes was called into action just a minute later when Jerre Nixon
was freed in a similar manner, this time on the left side. His angled shot was parried
dangerously by Barrantes, the ball deflecting straight up the middle of the penalty area.
It came tantalizingly close to Arnold Dwarika, but the Trinidadian couldn't get off a shot
as defenders converged on him. The ball squirted out across the top of the box and
was fired back in, but a Costa Rican defender blocked the shot.
The action continued end to end throughout
the opening 25 minutes, with both teams
alternating in their dominance of midfield. The game was shaping up to be quite an
offensive display, the question being not if a goal would be scored but how soon and
Russel Latapy, Trinidad's "Little Magician,"
nearly broke the deadlock in the 24th
minute, taking a free kick from 25 yards out just about 10 yards off center. His shot
rocketed off his boot and over the wall, bound for the upper reaches of the Costa
Rican net. Only an athletic leap by Barrantes kept the match scoreless.
Costa Rica's reprieve was a short one, however.
Just three minutes later, Latapy made
a run down the left side, crossing the ball into the area about 15 yards out. Barrantes
rushed out to field the ball only to have it headed away by one of his own defenders,
Pablo Chinchilla, and the ball landed at the feet of Dwarika as though it had been
passed to him. With the goalkeeper out and only a defender to beat with his shot,
Dwarika finished with ease to give Trinidad and Tobago a 1-0 lead.
The goal led Costa Rica to redouble their efforts
and, combined with Trinidad's desire
to protect their lead, created some good opportunities for the Ticos. The 32nd minute
saw a buildup into Trinidad's penalty area, giving Wilmer Lopez an open shot from just
12 yards out. His first-time shot was mis-hit, however, and goalkeeper Clayton Ince
easily stopped it. The Ticos threatened again in the 34th minute, but Harold Wallace's
hard, bending shot from the right side curled just wide of the near post. Despite their
chances, though, Costa Rica was unable to score and the half ended 1-0.
Costa Rica again pressed forward after the
interval. Though the Ticos were able to find
space down the wings, their crosses failed to connect with their front runners. A
sequence in the 51st minute was typical, where Austin Berry was freed down the left
wing. He first put in a low cross that was cut out by a defender, but the ball deflected
back to him. He took it deeper into the area and floated in a cross, but it was
misplayed and sailed over the heads of his teammates in the box. Hernan Medford ran
it down on the right side, but his cross landed in a cluster of Trinidadian defenders and
was cleared easily.
T and T saved its offensive efforts for counterattacks
which, though infrequent, looked
dangerous. In the 58th minute, Latapy, Dwarika, and Jerren Nixon led a rush up the
field, with Latapy squaring up and walloping a shot from the edge of the 18 that went
over the top. They scored a goal in the 63rd minute when Dwarika took a through ball,
dribbled the keeper, and put it home, but the linesman's flag held aloft made it all for
The back-and-forth action continued in the
64th minute when Wanchope nearly
converted Costa Rica's best chance yet. This time, the Ticos' interplay in the area
clicked, sending Wanchope in on the right side. Wanchope got everything he wanted
out of the shot with perfect placement and power, but Ince's reflex dive to his right got
enough of the ball to slow its momentum and cause it to trickle across the goal and out
Costa Rica threatened again minutes later when,
in the 72nd minute, Medford beat his
man on the left corner and moved in to fire a rocket from 10 yards out. His aim was
off, though, and the ball dented only the side netting.
With time running out, the Ticos' desperation
was building and Trinidad's counter
attacks became more frequent. Latapy again showed off his powerful shot in the 76th
minute, ripping a ball from 22 yards out that Barrantes could only parry. The 81st
minute saw an opportunity for Dwarika, who held up the ball at the edge of the area in
a two-on-two to fire a carefully-aimed shot off the far post. Costa Rica was still alive,
though, and their assault on the goal continued.
Time and again, the Ticos would play the ball
into the area, only to see it cleared by the
tenacious defense, shot with little power, or simply fired close, but wide. It looked as
though Costa Rica was simply suffering from a jinxed effort, one of those games where
no matter how many chances are created, the ball will simply not go in.
Just before the final whistle, however, they
finally broke through. With what seemed
like every player on the field in the Trinidad penalty area, William Sunsig booted a low
shot from about 16 yards out. Ince dove to his right but the ball was deflected before it
reached him, and he was lying on his stomach as the ball rolled, seemingly in slow
motion, behind him and into the net. The referee blew the whistle immediately after the
restart and the teams took a moment to catch their breaths before extra time.
It was going to be a difficult tast for Trinidad,
due both to the crushing last-second goal
and to the fact that their midfield genius Latapy had been substituted in the closing
minutes of regulation time as they sought to protect their lead.
Costa Rica created the first real opportunity
of extra time, when Wanchope received
the ball with his back to goal just 12 yards out. He fired a low shot on the turn, but
placed the ball directly at the goalkeeper whose heart must have skipped a beat before
making the stop.
Following the narrow miss, Trinidad began to
take a more conservative approach,
often playing with Dwarika as a lone front runner. It was clear that they were playing
for either a counterattack or favored the idea of taking the match to penalties.
It turned out to be the counterattack. Dwarika
took a long ball at the edge of the area
and flicked it sideways to Trotman, who held off a challenge by Mauricio Wright,
turned, and shot. The kick probably would have been an easy save for Barrantes, but
the ball took a deflection off of Victor Cordero as he attempted to block it and
bounced into the net past a helpless keeper. Trotman, in celebration, sprinted off the
field and into the players' tunnel, his jubilant teammates following him.
Trinidad and Tobago will meet the winner of
this afternoon's match between Mexico
and Canada in the semifinal to be played Thursday night in Los Angeles. The game,
along with the rest of the Gold Cup, will be broadcast live on internetsoccer.com.
Costa Rica: Hermidio Barrantes; Harold Wallace,
Mauricio Wright, Victor Cordero,
Pablo Chinchilla; Austin Berry, Walter Cente?o, Wilmer Lopez; Hernan Medford,
Pablo Wanchope, Jeaustin Campos.
Trinidad & Tobago: Clayton Ince, Angus
Eve, Ansil Elcock, Stokely Mason, Russell
Latapy, David Nakhid, Anthony Rougier, Arnold Dwarika,
Latas says World Cup hopes bright
By SHAUN FUENTES in Los Angeles
TRINIDAD and Tobago midfielder Russell Latapy
feels that the 4-2 victory over
Guatemala on Tuesday night, especially after a 4-0 defeat to Mexico two days before,
is a good indication that the team is making the right kind of progress ahead of the
2002 World Cup qualifiers which begin in March.
The Little Magician made a valuable contribution
towards the latest result, scoring
T&T's opening goal and then creating the second for Joe Public striker Arnold
Dwarika before being replaced by Evans Wise late in the match.
But Latapy said in an interview after the win that he feels he can make a larger input in
the team's showing.
"It's always good to get a victory, especially
after a 4-0 defeat to Mexico. We didn't
play badly against Mexico but goals win matches and to bounce back here full of
confidence shows that the team is going somewhere.
"To be honest I am struggling a bit with a
groin injury so I'm just fighting my way
through games which is a bit unfortunate because I wanted to be 100 percent fit.
"I think I had a decent contribution in some of the goals but not the way that I wanted
to play. But the important thing is no my personal performance but Trinidad and
Tobago winning," he said.
The 31-year-old Hibernian midfielder spoke
of his understanding with striker Dwight
"Because of my style of play, it's always good
if I can play with a striker who can hold
the ball up so I can play into him and run off of him like the first goal. And Dwight's
exceptional at holding the ball up.
"He's (Yorke) been unlucky with so many missed
chances with referees calling him
back for penalties and so on, but that's all football and Dwight is a top class player and
he's performing exceptionally well for the team."
But for the time being, Latapy wants injured
teammates Ronnie Mauge, Shaka Hislop
and Stern John to know that the team is performing for them.
"We wanted to dedicate this victory to Ronnie,
Stern and Shaka in particular and let
them know that in their time of difficulty that we are thinking about them.
"This is also for T&T because we know they were disappointed with the last result and
they have been giving us tremendous support," said Latapy.
TRINIDAD and Tobago footballers get their biggest
chance to qualify for the semi-finals
of the prestigious Gold Cup tournament in the United States today.
The Soca Warriors battle Costa Rica in the
first game of a double-header at the
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego from 4 pm (T&T time).
That clash will be followed by a second quarter-final
encounter between Group C
winners and defending champions Mexico and Group D runners-up Canada two hours
The winners will meet in one of two semi-final
matches next Thursday at the Los
Coach Bertille St Clair's outfit will be hoping
that today's outcome will be similar to that
of Tuesday's 4-2 win over Guatemala in the "City of Angels" Los Angeles.
The match is expected to be a fiercely contested one with T&T looking to avenge a 2-1
loss to the Central Americans in Costa Rica last month.
T&T, who trained at the Cuyamaca ground
on Friday and had a light session yesterday
beat the same team 2-1 in a first round affair in the inaugural Gold Cup in 1991. But they
didn't go past that stage while the Costa Ricans reached the semi-finals.
Captain Anthony Rougier's team hit back well
from a 4-0 beating to Mexico last week, to
defeat Guatemala 4-2 and clinch second spot in Group C.
The difference today is that Manchester United
striker Dwight Yorke will not be present
today having flown back to England on Wednesday. Yorke's inspiration was a key factor
before and only time will tell how T&T can pick themselves up after coping with the
earlier losses of Stern John, Ronnie Mauge and Shaka Hislop.
Up to yesterday, the team was gradually regaining
a positive vibe and are gunning to fight
off the odds.
Today could see FC Zurich striker Jerron Nixon
making his first appearance in the
tournament, alongside Arnold Dwarika, who scored his third goal in three Gold Cups,
against Guatemala on Tuesday.
The hardworking Mickey Trotman is also vying
for a starting position.
Midfielder Russell Latapy, has already played a striker's role in the 1996 Gold Cup but it
is likely that he will remain in the midfield, still fighting off a groin injury.
The form of Crewe Alexandra goalkeeper Clayton
Ince is also a worrying factor for
T&T and the custodian said he doesn't mind if Ross Russell is given the start, for the
sake of the team.
"I wouldn't have a problem if Ross is given
a try. That will also make me push my self to
the next level," Ince said last week.
Young midfielder Brent Rahim joined the camp
in San Diego on Friday night, in place of
the injured Ronnie Mauge and will wait to see if he's in the starting team.
There are no major injuries with only yellow cards for midfielder Angus Eve and
defender Marvin Andrews going into the match.
The Costa Ricans fought back for a 2-2 draw with South Korea on Thursday to win their
group. Although they have a psychological advantage over T&T with their victory last
month, they are not taking anything lightly.
Goalkeeper Hermidio Barrantes said after Thursday's win: "Even if Dwight Yorke is not
in the team, we cannot take anything for granted."
OFFICIALS of the Trinidad and Tobago Football
Confederation Gold Cup delegation
yesterday expressed the wish that the T&T Football Federation would take a firmer
stand in future when requesting players for international duty.
The view was expressed in the wake of the loss
of star striker Dwight Yorke who left
the team camp for England on Wednesday. The 28-year-old striker returned to his club
Manchester United to take part in tomorrow's Premiership game against Leeds United.
His departure was part of the deal made when the T&TFF negotiated for the player's
release for the tournament with United boss Sir Alex Ferguson but it has not gone down
well with the T&T rank and file.
"Somewhere along the line," declared T&T
General Manager Richard Braithwaite, "we
have to start standing up for our own cause. I think the time has now come because we
are playing with restrictions that other countries do not have."
Theorising that the T&TFF may well have
capitulated under pressure from "such a big
powerful club", he said it was the wrong thing to do because other countries here at the
Gold Cup, have had no such problems acquiring their star players.
"West Ham's star forward (Paulo) Wanchope will
be lining up with Costa Rica against us
on Sunday," he noted. "Their other keeper, Craig Forrest, was allowed to come to play
for Canada. But we were given all kinds of reasons why Shaka (Hislop) couldn't come to
play for us."
"They claimed they had no alternative to Shaka,"
an angry Braithwaite declared, "and
now he has broken his leg they find they have one. So clearly, there were options all
along and they were simply being difficult. That is the nonsense that is going on that we
all have a difficulty with."
Yesterday, the former Petrotrin football team
manager was still being besieged with calls
about Yorke's unceremonious departure from scores of international media personnel and
angry Trinidad and Tobago fans. United's high-handed move to recall their £12.6m man
has attracted so much attention that the US-based media giant CNN/SI, not well known
for their football coverage, conducted a quick poll on the issue on their website yesterday.
The poll asked whether United were right to
recall Yorke to England. Of the 742
respondents, 65 per cent (486) said no while only 35 per cent (256) felt United were
justified in doing so.
Braithwaite was not surprised at the interest the news had sparked worldwide.
"It doesn't surprise me that CNN have conducted
this kind of poll. Dwight is a huge
international star and he is always big news. I've been getting calls from all over the
world, especially the British press, because some people are quite concerned about it."
Expressing his own view of the situation, he
concluded that the issue is bigger than
Manchester United and the TTFF.
"It really has to do with how the big countries
perceive Trinidad and Tobago and its
football. There's the perception that our football is of no great consequence and some of
the major clubs have a real difficulty trying to understand why players want to leave their
clubs in Europe to go and represent a tiny island way off in the Caribbean."
Braithwaite then cited the example of a club
manager who called "to ask why I was
bothering his player to come and play an insignificant little game when I requested his
release last year".
He revealed that the manager subsequently apologised
for his comment but that his
attitude showed the kind of thing you have to deal with.
"And that is why," Braithwaite ended, "we have
to take a stand now!"Dwarika, Mason for Korea
By SHAUN FUENTES
TRINIDAD & Tobago and Joe Public's duo,
Arnold Dwarika and Stokely Mason are
expected to fly out to South Korea later this month to join First Division club, J Cheetars
on loan for four months.
If both players, currently in the US for the
Gold Cup, impress Cheetar officials, they will
sign three-year contracts worth over US$100,000 per year.
The news was revealed by FIFA vice-president
and Joe Public chairman, Jack Warner in
Los Angeles yesterday. Speaking at the Intercontinental Hotel, Warner said he was
preparing to field an almost completely different team for the 2000 Professional League
season which is scheduled to begin in March.
Already Warner has lost three players, Travis
Mulraine, Keyeno Thomas and Adrian
Narine to American Major League soccer and striker Nigel Pierre to England's Bristol
"The clubs in T&T had better be careful
because I am coming after their top players. I
will also go out to the Caribbean Islands and Colombia to get more players but the Club
will be as strong as, or even stronger than before, said Warne My aim is to expose
players, to give them a livelihood playing football at the highest level, so that they can
come back home better equipped to play for their country. It makes no sense that I keep
the guys merely to win a local competition and the country suffer. While my investments
may be in danger, I have no regrets about sending the players overseas. If any player
wants to get an overseas contract, he may be well advised to join Joe Public," Warner
Englishman Simon Kennedy contacted Warner on
Tuesday to reveal the contract details .
If Dwarika is signed by J Cheetars, Joe Public will receive a £100,000 transfer fee, a
follow on of 30% and the Eastern Lions Club is already set to get £10,000 for sending the
player on loan.
If successful, Dwarika will sign a three year
deal worth $120,000 US per year. The
TTFF Player of the Year for 1999 will be making approximately $10,000 per month.
Mason, Joe Public's 1997 Player of the Year will get the same benefits as Dwarika,
including luxury apartments and motor vehicles, while on loan and will collect US$100,000
per year for three years, if he signs the long term deal.
By Shaun Fuentes in Los Angeles
TRINIDAD and Tobago's senior footballers have
already accumulated US$73,000 in
fees for the two matches played so far at the Football Confederation Gold Cup in the
The technical staff, headed by coach Bertille
St Clair, manager Richard Braithwaite,
technical director Edgar Vidale and three assistants have also racked up US $7,100 in
In total, fees applicable at the end of the
first round have amounted to just around US
$90,000 which includes a bonus of $3,500 for the technical staff for the 4-2 victory over
Guatemala on Tuesday.
Football fans in T&T are rejoicing at their
first ever qualification for the quarter-finals of
the Gold Cup and are slowly building their hopes of seeing the Soca Warriors contest the
2002 World Cup.
The Japan/Korea qualifiers begin in March but
the shortage of sponsorship continues to
be a problem.
The T&T team recently acquired a new sponsor
in Inter/Forever Sports who have
agreed to take care of expenses only for the World Cup campaign.
Hence, concern has been expressed on how the
T&T squad is to be paid for their
Towards this end FIFA vice-president Jack Warner
is the one currently dipping into his
pockets to ensure that all is well in the T&T camp.
The Football Confederation president handed
over US$77,200 to the squad on Thursday
to cover part of the match fees so far.
Only payment to Manchester United striker Dwight
Yorke worth US$6,500 has been
retained until his return after leaving for England on Wednesday.
From the Football Confederation, the T&T team will receive US$25,000 up front for
having contested the opening round of the Gold Cup and an additional US$25,000 for
qualifying for the quarter finals.
The sum increases by that same amount as the
team progresses to each new round.
Speaking at the Intercontinental Hotel in Los Angeles yesterday, Warner said he is
assisting in the costs with hope that it will be paid back later down the road.
He is not banking too heavily on the reimbursement but has no problems with
underwriting the team.
"This is just for the people to get the facts
instead of hiding and keeping the thing as a
secret. I am tired of just spending from my pocket and having some people still talking
nonsense. It's not that I intend to stop doing this but it's just that the facts must be told,"
Warner said that airfare for the tournament,
which was also been funded by him, "has
The Football Confederation handled the airfare
of the contingent to and from Trinidad on
However the Joe Public chairman had to handle
costs of the foreign-based players
coming to the US from England, United Arab Emirates, Switzerland and Germany.
TRINIDAD and Tobago's Football Confederation's
Gold Cup hopes will get a major
The squad, depleted severely since the start
of the series by the loss of Shaka Hislop,
Ronnie Maugé and most recently Dwight Yorke, will be strengthened by the inclusion of
Connecticut-based midfielder Brent Rahim.
Rahim will be an emergency replacement for
the injured Maugé, a necessary cover with
the team down to 15 players after Yorke's departure for England on Wednesday.
The former St Anthony's College player had
impressed St Clair after joining the T&T
Gold Cup training squad. In fact, he subsequently made his senior debut against Canada
before going on to play against Morocco as well, coming off the bench in both instances.
Rahim is in his final year at the University
of Connecticut where he is on scholarship. As
a result, after deciding that his education was far more important at this time, St Clair had
decided not to name the player in his Gold Cup squad.
But it became clear on Tuesday against Guatemala
that the squad would need to be
After St Clair had named his starting line-up
for the game against the Central Americans
at the Los Angeles Coliseum, Germany-based Evans Wise was the only specialised
midfielder on the bench. Wise would later be the only substitution St Clair made in the 4-2
With this in mind, St Clair spoke with University
of Connecticut officials before making a
decision. And Rahim's proximity to San Diego made it easy to make the arrangements
for him to link up with the team.
T&T regroup after Yorke loss
TRINIDAD and Tobago coach Bertille St Clair
and his squad were yesterday trying to
re-focus their attention on their Football Confederation Gold Cup title drive following the
loss of England-based professional Dwight Yorke.
The 28-year-old Manchester United star left
here on Wednesday evening to rejoin his
teammates at Old Trafford for Sunday's Premiership match-up against Leeds United. It
came as no consolation to the team that the arrangement was part of the deal negotiated
between TTFF adviser Austin Jack Warner and United boss Sir Alex Ferguson when
they were agreeing terms for the release of Yorke for the prestigious tournament.
Yesterday morning the feeling in the T&T
camp was that United management had put
one over the TTFF. Originally, the United/Leeds game had been scheduled for tomorrow;
at least, that is what the T&T camp had been led to believe. This would have allowed
Yorke to fly into Manchester, play the game and then return to San Diego-particularly
since England is nine hours ahead of California-to take part in the quarterfinal matchup
scheduled for Sunday here.
Coach Bertille St Clair himself was in the
dark about the arrangements until Yorke, who
was himself reluctant to leave but bound by a decision taken at a higher level, turned up
at his door to say goodbye.
One of the men most upset by the issue was outspoken former skipper David Nakhid.
"I couldn't imagine this happening anywhere else,'' he told the Express.
"I think it's somewhat unfair to the country
and to the team that everything was not done
and all the steps taken to ensure Dwight remained here,'' an angry Nakhid said. "Even if
the TTFF had to step on the toes of people in United, I think all should have been done to
make sure that he was kept here.''
United would have been powerless to stop T&T
from enforcing the Fifa law to keep the
services of the £12.6m striker here. But there seemed to be little resistance from the
T&TFF even as it became clear that Yorke would not be here for the crucial quarterfinal
stages for which a knockout format is being used.
"I could never know what they (TTFF) had in
their minds. But I will say that I can't think
of any precedent that I could refer to where you will see a team going into the
quarterfinals of what undoubtedly is the most important regional tournament and having a
player going back to his club.''
He added: "Having said so, we are still going
to try our best to win because I have
confidence in the people who we have here. Dwight is an integral part of our team but
this is no one man team. So we'll do the best that we can but we would have loved to
have him here.''
News out of England yesterday was that there
was no guarantee that Yorke-relegated to
the bench before he flew out for the Gold Cup-was going to return to the starting line-up
against Leeds. This made United's request for the player and the T&TFF's willingness to
concede, in the light of the fact that the team had already lost the services of Stern John,
Shaka Hislop, Ian Cox and Ronnie Maugé, even more perplexing to the T&T camp.
Nakhid added that the current squad had the
"utmost respect'' for both St Clair's ability
and their own. Their latest effort against Guatemala, he said, was proof of this.
"I think the game against Guatemala showed
the strength of character of the players. I
can't remember the last time Trinidad and Tobago has beaten Guatemala and this was in
a very hostile environment because it was basically a home game for Guatemala in LA.
"But it also showed the respect the team has
for the coach. We are willing to go the
extra mile for the coach and for our country,'' Nakhid ended. "I think that's a tribute to
By Shaun Fuentes in Los Angeles
DWIGHT YORKE has promised to return to the
Los Angeles Gold Cup at his own
expense if Trinidad and Tobago defeat Costa Rica in Sunday's quarterfinals.
The Manchester United striker made the promise moments before leaving the T&T
camp in San Diego for England on Wednesday.
The 27-year-old striker was the outstanding
player on Tuesday as Trinidad and Tobago
defeated Guatemala 4-2 to almost assure themselves of a place in the quarterfinals.
But a few hours later, it was revealed that he had to return to England, to play for
Manchester United in a crucial premiership clash against Leeds United.
National coach, Bertille St Clair said he was under the impression that Yorke was with
the team for the entire tournament.
However, he was later told that the TTFF had
agreed with Manchester United to have
Yorke return to England for the weekend's premiership game.
Speaking in Los Angeles yesterday, FIFA vice-president,
Jack Warner said that he had
met with Yorke, Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton in Brazil earlier this year
where an agreement was reached to have Yorke go back to England. Warner said that
Ferguson was at first willing to release Yorke
for only the final stages of the Gold Cup.
"I told him it makes no sense that he (Yorke) comes at the end. If he is not there at the
beginning, we may not be there at the end. We, therefore, made a gentleman's
agreement. I know that I could have come down on them (Man. U) and bring FIFA in
and so on but, at the end of the day, if Dwight Yorke has to come to play for his country
under pressure, he wouldn't give his best and he would also jeopardise his future with the
club. Therefore, doing so made no sense," said Warner.
T&T manager, Richard Brathwaite, said that
the entire team was disappointed at Yorke's
departure."Dwight told Bertille before the tournament kicked off, that he wanted to help
T&T do well. Now he has left at a crucial stage and it puts additional pressure on the
coach, as he now has to readjust his game plans."
Relating to the injury problems involving Stern
John, Ronnie Mauge, Shaka Hislop and the
last minute withdrawal of Ian Cox, Brathwaite added: "It's not the first time we have to
deal with unexpected adversity. Dwight explained it to all the players that this one was
really out of his hands. It's a bit unfair but that's the reality we have to face. That is why
it's important that we have people of strong character on the team."
The team rested on Wednesday following the
victory over Guatemala. They had two
training sessions at the Cuyamaca Ground yesterday, before taking in last night's match
between Mexico and Guatemala in which Guatemala needed to win by at least three
goals to stop T&T meeting Costa Rica in the second round of competition.
Versatile player Brent Rahim was also expected to join the team in place of Ronnie
Mauge who broke his leg in the opening game against Mexico.
Trinidad and Tobago general manager Richard
Braithwaite could not hide his
Dwight Yorke returned to Manchester United.
Braithwaite is unhappy after he reluctantly
agreed to release Yorke from international
duty at the
CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States to play for United against Leeds on Sunday.
Trinidad and Tobago are virtually guaranteed
a place in Sunday's quarter-finals of the
tournament for the first time ever.
The Caribbean nation will qualify as runners-up
in Group C unless Guatemala achieve a
highly-unlikely win against Mexico in the early hours of Friday morning.
Braithwaite, though, is upset that they must do without their star player.
"I don't want to say too much about this, but
what I would say is that it's very
disappointing for us
because Dwight is our key player," he said from the team's hotel in San Diego.
"We've qualified for the first time ever for
the quarter-finals - the first time ever! But
now we will
be without Dwight.
"Dwight's been playing very well for us and
it's a major disappointment for us that he has
had to leave."
United have said that Yorke can return to America
if Trinidad and Tobago reach
However this is of little consolation to Braithwaite
and he hinted that he was less than
impressed by United's conduct in the affair.
THRINIDAD and Tobago were yesterday left contemplating
their future in the Football
Confederations Gold Cup after losing the services of key striker Dwight Yorke.
Yorke had been an influential figure in the
team's 4-2 victory over Guatemala in their
final preliminary round Group C game on Tuesday night at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
And while the win almost certainly secured a spot in the second phase, Yorke was
forced to make his departure for Manchester last night.
The arrangement had been agreed to long before
yesterday as part of the deal between
Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson and the Trinidad and Tobago Football
Federation. The deal allowed for Yorke to return to England for United's crucial
Premiership clash with Leeds United on Sunday.
This means he will take no part in Sunday's
quarter-final game, should T&T qualify as
Speaking yesterday, T&T General Manager
Richard Braithwaite was understandably
"We are still trying to fight it as we speak," Braithwaite said.
"But it is quite clearly an agreement reached
long before now and we may have no other
choice. It is not what we want. But we may have no control over it."
Braithwaite added that Yorke had also been
reluctant to leave having set the team up for
a quarter-final clash with the winner of group C which features Canada, Costa Rica and
South Korea. The winner of that group was to be decided last night.
"It's unfortunate because Dwight was really
enjoying himself with the team and was
finding his form. We are still hoping something will change within the next couple hours."
He added in frustration: "These are the kinds
of things the technical staff have to work
with. We lose Stern, then Shaka, then Maugé and now we lose Dwight."
Already without Stern John, the loss of Yorke leaves the T&T attack somewhat thin.
While leaving Los Angeles with only one goal
to his name, Yorke made valuable
contributions to the overall play. His goal against Guatemala came after he had set up
goals for Russell Latapy and David Nakhid.
Asked to comment on his return to scoring form,
after a recent lean period, Yorke said:
"In many ways, I have nothing to prove to anybody. The important thing is one, my
manager in England is pleased with my all-round performances. Obviously he'd like a few
more goals but I came here and it's the same thing, you know. I think my all around
performance has been good.
"But everyone, because of last year and probably
in the previous years because I've
scored so many goals for my club, expects me to keep scoring goals".
He added: "I think my game is based on more
than just scoring goals. If I don't score I
can create for my teammate."
Yorke will not be around to make any plays in the likely quarter-final.
But he leaves with a good feeling about his trip.
"It's also good that the guys have shown a
lot of character coming off the defeat against
Mexico which is tough in many ways. Maybe we were unfortunate in losing the game
like we did.
"Saying that, we showed a lot of character
against a team that is not particularly as
strong as Mexico.
But still we had to go out there and get a good result and we did today and it's very
He ended by saying he hoped the T&T fans
would "appreciate the effort that coach
Bertille St Clair and the players have put in".
T&T keep hopes alive
By Shaun Fuentes
in Los Angeles
TRINIDAD and Tobago football coach Bertille
St Clair got a big boost in his quest to
renew his contract when the Soca Warriors pulled off a terrific 4-2 romp over Guatemala
in their final Group C match at the Los Angeles Coliseum on a chilly Tuesday night.
The victory, through goals by Russell Latapy (26 th minute), Arnold Dwarika (36th),
David Nakhid (52nd) and Dwight Yorke (83rd) virtually booked T&T in the quarter-finals
of the Football Confederation tournament for the first time.
Of significance also was the fact that Manchester
United striker Dwight Yorke broke his
recent scoring streak, giving one of his best performances in a T&T jersey for almost a
St Clair, whose contract as coach ends shortly came
in for praise from the team
members including Yorke, Dwarika, Latapy and manager Richard Braithwaite.
They all hope that the coach will be part of their quest in realising the dream of qualifying
for the 2002 Japan/Korea World Cup.
"Hopefully the people of Trinidad and Tobago could
appreciate the efforts the coach
Bertille St Clair has put in," said Yorke, who promised his Tobagonian mentor a goal
mere minutes before kick-off.
"I just want to thank the coach for getting us ready
for this match, especially after the big
loss to Mexico. We knew it was going to be difficult to come back against Guatemala.
Hopefully Mexico will do us a favour so we can go through to the next round," added
Dwarika, who rose to the occasion after gaining
the nod over Mickey Trotman for the
chance to play alongside Yorke for the first time in his career, also paid tribute to St
"I want to congratulate Mr Bertille for helping keep
our spirits up and letting us know that
it was not the end of the road after we lost to Mexico. This one was also a special one
for my team mate Ronnie Mauge (injured out with broken leg). We went out there and
did what we were supposed to do and now we look forward to the next round," said
Captain Anthony Rougier and his "Soca Warriors"
took the field in front of a partisan
crowd of 23,621 of which some 150 were "Trini" supporters.
The Guatemalans, who knocked T&T out of the 1991 competition with a 1-0 win,
showed early intentions of taking the attack to their opponents.
T&T slowly got into stride and "Latas,"
playing with a slight injury, would have hoped to
do better with his direct free-kick which missed the left post from the edge of the 18-yard
Guatemala worked most of their attacks from
the right and fortunately for T&T,
Everaldo Valencia was rusty with his crossing.
T&T got their opening goal with a quickly taken
free-kick following a foul on Angus Eve.
Latapy found Yorke, who with his back to the goal, sharply slipped a pass behind him for
the on-rushing "Little Magician" to beat goalkeeper Edgar Estrada.
The entire T&T bench was on their feet and "Latas"
celebrated in style by raising his
jersey and pointed to the under top which was worn by all the players reading "This is for
But those celebrations were shortlived as three
minutes later the Guatemalans equalised
when Carlos Plata stabbed home from close range from a left-side corner by Valencia.
T&T, who had Eve and Marvin Andrews picking up yellow cards, refused to drop any
gears and seven minutes later, Dwarika's glancing header beat Estrada on his far post
from a Latapy right-side delivery.
That goal followed a shot by Eve which was
cleared by a defender after a combination
between Yorke and the Hibernian midfielder.
Guatemala didn't lie down and die and after a couple missed chances before the interval,
they tied the scores two minutes into the second half.
Goalkeeper Clayton Ince untidily dropped a
long range attempt by Jorge Rodas providing
substitute Guillermo Ramirez with a gift to tap home from close-up.
The Guatemalan fans could have been heard two blocks away from the stadium, but
T&T called the shots from there on.
Dwarika sent Yorke goalwards on the left but
the "Duke" saw his left-footer graze the
right post on its way out, bringing his trademark smile into play.
A minute later, Yorke once again showed his
creative ability, taking to the ball to the
by-line before hooking back for Nakhid to nail T&T's third goal.
Latapy and Yorke combined again in the 64th
minute but the latter cracked one wide of
the mark from inside the box and two minutes later, fired another inches over.
Once again Yorke smiled and the "Smiling Assassin"
then showed part of his £12.6
million worth when he calmly slotted the fourth goal from the six-yard box after Rougier
out-muscled a Guatemalan on the right.
Ince had to pull off two saves in the closing
ten minutes but T&T were already thinking
about their next assignment.
By Jeremy Butler
MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Manchester
United striker Dwight Yorke is set to
against Leeds United in Sunday's top-of-the-table premier league clash after agreeing to
exhausting travel schedule.
The forward has been playing for Trindad &
Tobago in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in
Angeles this week but after pressure from his club has taken a 13-hour flight to ensure
he joins up
with his United team mates on Thursday.
If his country wins through to the semifinal
of the tournament in his absence Yorke will
back on a plane on Sunday to return to the U.S..
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed:
"Dwight will be flying back to join us. If
for the later stages he will rejoin them next week."
The club versus country row over Yorke's availability
has been an ongoing battle for the
month with Trindad and Tobago coach Richard Braithwaite determined to keep his star
with the national side.
Equally Ferguson has been just as resolute
in his bid to ensure he has Yorke back in his
squad for the key match.
But Yorke has always harboured hopes that a
compromise could be agreed between the
two parties allowing him to keep both
He has previously said: "Things have been sorted
out and it's not as bad as people have
been saying it was. As far as I'm
concerned I will only miss the Newcastle game."
But despite Ferguson's determination to have
Yorke available there is no guarantee he
will start the game as Teddy Sheringham
has been in outstanding form recently alongside the prolific Andy Cole.
Ferguson may have won his battle over Yorke
for Sunday's game but if Trindad and
Tobago win a place in the Gold Cup Final he will not try and stop the striker representing his country in the prestigious event even though that means Yorke will miss the trip to
The striker will not be coming home early now
that Trinidad and Tobago is odds-on to
reach the quarterfinals following its 4-2 win over Guatemala in Los Angeles last night.
Yorke bagged the final goal in the victory
and only a highly unlikely win for Guatemala
over Mexico in the final Group C game on Thursday night will deny the Caribbean nation
a place in the last eight.
Trinidad and Tobago looks set to qualify as
runners-up from Group C behind Mexico and
play the Group D winners on Sunday.
Trinidad and Tobago will not know its fate
until Thursday, but Yorke has made it clear
that he wants to stay in the United States.
Yorke was thrilled to beat Guatemala after
the disappointment of its 4-0 defeat against
Mexico on Sunday when he missed a penalty.
"I want to thank coach Bertille St Clair for
getting us up for this match following the loss
to Mexico," he told the Press Association.
"Now I want Mexico to win their next match
against Guatemala so that we can also
United is powerless to recall Yorke because
the CONCACAF tournament is
FIFA-sanctioned and it is almost certain that he will miss the clash with Leeds.
MLS Draft: Quick take on Trinidadians
Earthquakes grab best of draft's foreign legion
The mystery surrounding the "youth internationals"
finally ended three days before the
draft when nine in-ternational players suited up for the MLS Youth Select team at the
Four members of the Trinidad & Tobago club
Joe Public, two players from Bolivia's
Tahuichi Academy, two Mexicans and one Venezuelan joined the nine Project-40 signees
to form the weekend's least cohesive squad.
With new Project-40 coach Alfonso Mondelo trying
to give every player equal playing
time, MLS coaches essentially had about 135 minutes to evaluate these players.
"It would have been nice to see them a little
more, or maybe know who they were sooner
to perhaps get a chance to see them in their environment," Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid
said. "But I thought it went pretty well."
San Jose coach Lothar Osiander had more than
enough time to see Trinidadian midfielder
Travis Mulraine, whom he selected eighth overall, I know for a fact that in the Concacaf
region, Trinidad has always produce good players.
"I needed a defensive midfielder in a hurry,"
Osiander said. "And this guy was my No. 1
pick right from the first day. I got happier and happier as our pick came closer."
Mulraine, captain of T&T's Olympic team,
has 21 caps with the full national team and
played with Joe Public against D.C. United and Chicago in the InterAmerican Cup the
past two years.
"Ever since the inception of the league I had
my eye on coming here because I saw it
was a good avenue for Caribbean and Central American players," Mulraine said. "I had
nothing left to accomplish in my country. I played for the best club in the Caribbean and
for the national team."
As far as the Earthquakes, however, "all I
know is that they were formerly known as the
Clash," Mulraine said.
Defender Keyeno Thomas and attacker Adrian
Narine, Mulraine's Olympic teammates,
went in the second round along with Tahuichi's Roland Vargas. Jose Retiz, Thomas
Serna and Angel Rivillo went in later rounds, but Bolivian Carlos Alberto Duran and Joe
Public's Alvin Beharry went home undrafted.
Thomas, playing alongside Dan Califf, Nick
Garcia and Carlos Bocanegra, formed a
nearly impenetrable backline that helped offset their team's lack of chemistry. Colorado
picked Thomas 16th overall.
"I came here praying that some team will see
that I can play," Thomas said. "I know
myself that I am a very good player, but I had to hope they would have time to see that."
Media packets handed out on the first and second
days showed discrepancies that
illustrated why the list of players had not been publicized earlier. Just days before the
games, two Ecuadoran prospects were replaced by the two Mexican immigrants from
the Los Angeles area and one of the Tahuichi players had changed.
Schmid ended up picking Retiz and Serna, the
two Mexican-Americans he had
recommended to the league who played at Orange County's Saddleback High School and
Santa Ana College, a junior college.
"Both the kids we picked moved to the United
States when they were 9 or 10 but haven't
gone through the process of changing their citizenship," Schmid said. "They present an
opportunity for the league to benefit financially down the road, and it gives those ethnic,
inner-city kids a chance to play."
Lost in the shuffle over new classifications
(see box) are players like Virginia
Commonwealth's Kevin Jeffrey, who is from Trinidad, is 25 and therefore would count as
a senior international. At least two MLS scouts rated Jeffrey the top forward at the
Umbro games, but he had to settle for being picked first in the A-League draft by San
"It is frustrating to a certain degree to see
a guy who has gained from being in this
country, both athletically and academically, be held back by an age requirement," VCU
coach Tim O'Sullivan said. "But I can understand why the league has to go about it this
Bristol Rovers midfielder Ronnie Mauge has
undergone a three-and-a-half hour operation
since breaking his leg while representing Trinidad and Tobago in the Gold Cup.
Rovers physio Phil Kite learned yesterday that
the operation in a San Diego hospital
involved the fusing together of the broken bones – but the club are still furious at the lack
of communication they have received from the Trinidad FA.
According to the hospital, Mauge was discharged
yesterday and has returned to the team
hotel in Los Angeles, although the club have been unable to speak to either a Trinidad FA
official or Mauge himself.
“It’s turning into an absolute nightmare especially
as their people out there aren’t the
most efficient,” said Kite.
“We’ve been chasing and chasing to find out
the severity of the injury,” added Kite, who
only found the name of the hospital that had been treating Mauge last night.
“The nurses and doctors wouldn’t give me too
many details, but from what one of the
nurses told me, it was his tibia and fibula and not a compound fracture.”
“If any bone had broken through the skin, then
he would not have been released this soon
because of the risk of infection, so from what little I’ve found it, it doesn’t sound as bad
as it could have been.”
With Mauge’s season now over, manager Ian Holloway
now faces a real selection crisis
in midfield with Dave Pritchard, Simon Bryant and Jamie Shore all injured.
“Yes you could say we’ve got a slight crisis
as we’ve got four midfielders now out, and
Lee Zabek is only just back in training,” said Holloway.
But he refuses to discuss bringing in any new
signings to replace Mauge until he knows
the full extent of his injury, adding that the wishes of everyone at the club go out to
“All the players know that what happened to
Ronnie is an occupational hazard – every
player is only a second away from an injury like that,” said Holloway.
“The lads were really upset in training today
when they heard the news, but I think it will
spur them on for the rest of the season – they will want to do it for Ronnie.
“Ronnie will be sorely missed – he’s a great
character and a tough fellah – just the kind
of person you want in the trench with you.”
Rovers are now expected to name a midfield
featuring Trevor Challis, Rob Trees, David
Hillier and Vitalijs Astafjevs for their crucial trip to Luton on Saturday, as the team try
and get their promotion campaign back on track.
Challis is tipped as a likely replacement for
Mauge in the role of midfield ball-winner.
Thursday February 17th, 2000
Yorke leads Trinidad past Guatemala
LOS ANGELES, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Manchester
United's Dwight Yorke scored one
goal and assisted on two more to lead Trinidad to a 4-2 victory over Guatemala in a
Group C match in the Gold Cup on Tuesday.
The victory elevated Trinidad into a tie with Mexico for the group C lead.
Yorke set up Trinidad's first goal in the 26th minute.
Russell Latapy sent the ball to the tightly-marked
Yorke in the penalty area and Yorke
passed back to Latapy, who scored inside the left post from eight meters.
Yorke's second assist made David Nakhid's winning
goal possible in the 52nd minute.
After a run down the left side, Yorke crossed to Nakhid, who scored to snap a 2-2 tie.
Yorke completed the scoring in the 83rd minute, finding the goal from nine meters out.
Juan Carlos Plata and substitute Guillermo
Ramirez scored equalisers for Guatemala only
to watch Trinidad regain the lead within six minutes each time.
Guatemala would have to beat Mexico by at least
three goals on Thursday night to
qualify for the quarter-finals.
Trinidad and Tobago show some very good talent,
even without their full squad.
YORKE TO MISS LEEDS CLASH
Dwight Yorke is set to miss Manchester
United’s crunch Premiership clash with Leeds
on Sunday after Trinidad and Tobago won their Gold Cup clash with Guatemala.
The Caribbean side now look set for the quarter-finals of the tournament, resulting in an
extended stay in The United States of America for the United striker.
Only an unlikely victory for tiny Guatemala
over Mexico will deny the nation a place in
the next round after Trinidad’s 4-2 victory over the side, with Yorke scoring the final
The 28-year-old made it clear that he wants
to play for his country. He said: "I want to
thank coach Bertille St Clair for getting us up for this match following the loss to Mexico.
"Now I want Mexico to win their next match
against Guatemala so that we can also
The win marked a change in fortunes for Yorke,
after he missed a penalty in Trinidad
and Tobago’s 4-0 defeat by Mexico.
The news will be a blow to Sir Alex Ferguson
who was keen to have the 13-goal striker
available for the crucial top-of-the-table encounter with Leeds on Sunday, which can be
seen live on Sky Sports at 11:30am.
Wednesday February 16th, 2000
T&T vs Guatemala
By SHAUN FUENTES In Los Angeles
"WE must win. That's the only way we are going to make it to the next stage." Those were the words of Trinidad and Tobago football coach Bertille St Clair and echoed by the majority of players including skipper Anthony Rougier and David Nakhid.
T&T suffered a serious setback losing 4-0 to Mexico in their opening
match of the Football Confederation Gold Cup on Sunday. Tonight, T&T
go for nothing less than victory against Guatemala at the Los Angeles Coliseum
from 1 am T&T time (9 pm LA time). A win for T&T and a second win
or a draw for Mexico against the Guatemalans on Thursday will put the Soca
Warriors through to the
This will be on Sunday against Group D winners comprising South Korea,
Costa Rica and Canada.
The Guatemalans are yet to play a match in the tournament and the fact that the Soca Warriors have already been in action could work in T&T's favour as they seek to get things right this time around.
The last time the teams met in the Gold Cup was in 1991 when the Central Americans came away 1-0 winners to send T&T home in a final group encounter. The only surviving player from that year's tournament is Russell Latapy.
The most recent affairs saw a 1-1 draw and a 2-1 win for the Guatemalans in Los Angeles during the 1998 World Cup qualifying campaign.
Strangely, the Guatemalans have been dubbed the "Dark Horses" of the
tournament. Midfielder Martin Machon is their most dangerous player and
strikers Freddy Garcia and Mario Acevedo will hope to
deliver for them.
The Guatemalans are coming off a 2-1 victory over Chile two weekends ago.
For T&T, Dwight Yorke will be desperate to open his Gold Cup account after squandering a few good chances including a penalty in Sunday's loss.
He will also need the support of his teammates including Mickey Trotman, Angus Eve, David Nakhid and Jerren Nixon who could be given a run by St Clair today.
Midfield general Russell Latapy demonstrated good understanding with Yorke on Sunday though he was guilty of struggling to regain ground whenever a T&T attack broke down.
The Little Magician suffered a slight groin strain on Sunday but is expected to start against the Central Americans.
The unfortunate leg injury to Ronnie Mauge on Sunday could prompt St Clair to start with Stokely Mason or push Rougier in midfield with Derek King in defence.
Reflecting on Sunday's loss, St Clair said: "I don't think we should have lost the match by such a large margin. We played so well in the first half.
"We gave away a couple goals and then the guys seemed to have lost their rhythm. They (Mexico) may have had better match fitness but we were a more cohesive unit.
"They were playing the long ball but we were putting that ball down and were looking really well. Then we made a couple errors. I thought the first goal was a goalkeeping mistake. Eventually everything went to pieces and fatigue came into play," said St Clair.
"Against Guatemala it's the only chance we have of making the next round. We are going all out in this one to beat the Guatemalans," he added.
Rougier said during a press conference minutes after the loss that he was certain T&T will attract a lot of attention in the future.
"In the future you all will hear a lot more about T&T. It's just a matter of us sorting things out. Remember we are a small country and it's very difficult to get every player every time a coach wants him," the Port Vale man said.
St Clair goes for broke
T&T must win the fixture which will be
played at the Los Angeles Colosseum from 9
p.m. (1 a.m. T&T time) or be ousted from the playoffs yet again.
Three times before-in 1991, '96 and '98-T&T
have been sent back home after the first
Having put Sunday's 4-0 defeat by Mexico behind
them, St Clair and his troops are
hoping to turn some of the positives uncovered in that encounter into fuel for today's
He said he felt they had held their own in
the first half. However, after the Mexicans
scored what he described as a "soft goal" on keeper Clayton Ince in the 36th minute,
things turned around.
"We played fairly well in the first half but
I think that we basically broke down in the
back in the second half. I think it was because of the first goal. A goal like that will
deflate a team. But I thought coming out of the dressing room that we would have come
out stronger but it wasn't to be."
"I believe that this loss should give us the
impetus to go forward stronger," he added.
"And I feel we are capable of beating Guatemala to go into the second round."
The players took a half-day's rest yesterday
before taking to the training field in the
evening and most of them used the opportunity to visit teammate Ronnie Maugé, kept
overnight at the nearby Alvarez Medical Centre.
Maugé's absence means that either young
defender Derrick King or midfielder Stokely
Mason will get a chance to start. Already down to 17 players before losing Maugé, St
Clair is also toying with the idea of bringing in US-based Avery John and Brent Rahim to
join the squad as emergency replacements.
St Clair employed a 5-3-2 system, with skipper
Anthony Rougier and Ansil Elcock on the
flanks. Neither played the role expected of him for the full 90 minutes. So while the
current situation does not allow him to make a big adjustment now, St Clair plans to
revisit the wingback situation.
"I don't know if their legs went in the second
half or what. But we weren't getting the
things we wanted from them.
"But for now, I will have to do a few more drills with them because we have to do with
what we have here now."
The team's failure to score any goals in Sunday's
match could also be a big factor today,
with T&T having to press for a win.
"We had our chances against Mexico and couldn't
score," St Clair said, "and this is sad
because we used to score so many goals.
Saying that the dearth of goals was perhaps
due to Stern John's absence, St Clair
immediately corrected himself.
"But we have Dwight Yorke," he ended, "who
threw away two easy chances. At this
level, you've got to score them. So we will have to make one or two adjustments for
Yorke ready to rebound
The Manchester United star has found it tough
to hit the net over the last two months and
had even been relegated to the substitute's bench before he flew out to San Diego to join
Trinidad and Tobago's squad for the Football Confederations Gold Cup.
But after he failed to score in T&T's opening
4-0 Group C loss to Mexico, despite having
several good chances, Yorke was even more determined to end the slump.
In a conversation with T&T coach Bertille
St Clair after Sunday's loss. Yorke explained
that he just did not know what he was doing wrong.
"It's been like that for the past six weeks," the 28-year-old player said.
"I've been doing everything right, getting
the perfect shot, good headers and it's either the
keeper is getting a hand to it or something like that."
Even St Clair admitted that Yorke's situation
was perplexing, he having hit the net almost
at will the day before in the team's practice session in preparation for the Mexico game.
However, the coach offered Yorke some advice:
"You've got to keep going. If you let
this keep you down, then you lose the battle."
To this, Yorke responded: "I'll keep at it.
I've got to get it right eventually. Hopefully it
will be against Guatemala."
Victory for Stern, Shaka and Ronnie
"It's just a wonderful dream come true for me," the Bristol Rovers man kept saying. A few days earlier he received his T&T passport and was showing it to almost everyone nearby flashing a wide grin.
"We are smack banging in the middle of the English season so my fitness
and form is good at the moment. I'm just grateful for the opportunity to
be here. I think this is a good tournament for all the
players because I mean we're representing our country here," Mauge said on Friday
Mauge's living dream sadly ended in the second half of Sunday's 4-0 defeat to Mexico when he suffered a broken left leg.
When the player went down, Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke was the first to rush to his assistance, immediately signalling for the attention of the T&T bench.
Play was held up for almost five minutes before Mauge was taken off the field and carried to the El Verado hospital.
Yesterday morning, doctors operated on his leg and ruled him out of action for two months.
Mauge maintained a positive mind frame after receiving visits from the T&T squad, including Stern John on Sunday night and yesterday.
Late Saturday evening, the T&T camps was hit by the news that West Ham goalkeeper, scheduled to arrive in San Diego later that day suffered a similar injury in a Premiership match against Bradford City putting him out of action for at least three months.
Last month John injured a posterior cruciate ligament ruling him out for five months.But the T&T team is content on shrugging off those disappointments and getting on with the show.
"We are the walking wounded now and it's a question of getting theplayers back in the right frame of mind. It's a real test of character now," said team manager Richard Braithwaite yesterday. Mauge is certain his teammates can overcome the latest setback.
Rovers rocked by Mauge's agony
IAN Holloway will look to bring a new
face to Bristol Rovers with Ronnie Mauge likely
to be out of action for the rest of the season.
The midfielder is recovering in a Californian
hospital after breaking his leg in Trinidad and
Tobago’s 4-0 Gold Cup defeat by Mexico.
And that is a savage blow not only to the player
himself, but also Rovers’ promotion
It leaves Holloway with a growing midfield
injury crisis, and now the manager will seek
backing from the board to strengthen his depleted ranks.
“We don’t have another player of Ronnie’s type
in the club,” said Holloway. “We would
have if Simon Bryant was fit, but with him and David Pritchard both out at the moment,
we have a few problems.
“What has happened to Ronnie leaves a very bitter taste in the mouth.”
Rovers are still waiting for confirmation of
the full extent of Mauge’s injury, sustained
after an hour of the match.
“We will hopefully hear from the Trinidadian
FA later today,” said Rovers’ physio Phil
“Until we know the severity of the injury,
it’s hard to say exactly how long he’s likely to
be out. But apparently it took them around 15 minutes to get him off the pitch, so it
doesn’t sound too good.
“The only comforting thought is that the medical
facilities in America are first class, so at
least he should be getting properly looked after.”
Mauge is expected to fly back to Britain later
this week. It was his impressive club form
that won him a belated breakthrough into international football this season.
Holloway admitted after the 1-1 weekend draw
with Scunthorpe that he was short of
options in midfield and thought his side lacked their usual balance.
With Pritchard and Bryant both around a month
away from fitness, and Lee Zabek only
just back in full training, the manager has had to throw recent signing Vitalijs Astafjevs in
to action sooner than he would have liked.
Rovers’ assistant boss Gary Penrice, who recovered
from two broken legs during his
playing career, said: “You are usually out for six weeks even with a minor break, and the
rehabilitation time needed means we could be looking at the end of the season for
“Having done it myself, I really feel for him.
He’s a good player and we are certainly
going to miss him, although we feel more concerned for him than we do for ourselves.”
Ironically, Trinidad’s defeat is likely to
prompt an early exit from the competition, which
means Mauge could have been back in Bristol earlier than expected had he not sustained
“Until we know the severity of the injury,
it’s hard to say exactly how long he is likely to
“The only good thing about it is that the medical
facilities in America are first class, so at
least he should be getting properly looked after.”
Rovers’ assistant boss Gary Penrice, who recovered
from two broken legs during his
playing career, said: “You are usually out for six weeks even with a minor break and the
rehabilitation time needed means we could be looking at the end of the season for
“Having done it myself, I really feel for him.
He’s a good player and we are certainly
going to miss him, although we feel more concerned for him than we do for ourselves.”
Ironically, Trinidad’s defeat is likely to
prompt an early exit from the competition, which
means Mauge could have been back in Bristol earlier than expected had he not sustained
Jabloteh draft four Colombians
NO stone will be left unturned this year as
Professional Football League clubs bid to
unearth as much talent as possible for this year's competition.
Vibe CT 105 W Connection have already gone
beyond the frontiers of the country to
bring in a dozen Brazilians. Now CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh have revealed that they
too will be going abroad to South America to recruit Colombian talent.
Jabloteh vice-president Vijay Bhaggan last
weekend confirmed his club's intention to
secure the services of at least four Colombians.
Heading the list is goalkeeper Heiber Alejandro
Figueoa, who last year campaigned with
Doc's Khelwalaas. Figueoa played with Jabloteh in the Mt d'or "Big Four" series at the
end of last season and made a very favourable impression on coach Ron LaForest.
Having signed just a one-year contract with Khelwalaas, the custodian was able to make
the lateral move.
Coming with him to San Juan will be countrymen
Jersón Ramos Peñaranda, a striker,
Luis Arán Cuero Murillo, a defender, and midfielder David Lagarejo Villaquirán.
Both Peñaranda and Murillo have played
in the Colombian First Division team,
But the talent search did not stop at Colombia
as Jabloteh have also recruited two
Grenadians, Finbar Williams and Patrick Modeste, and have set in train plans to secure
the services of a Dutch player later on in the year.
Yesterday Bhaggan explained that the move was
forced on them by the fierce
competition for scarce top local players among PFL clubs.
"We don't usually look outside for players," Bhaggan
"But with all the competition for players,
the talent pool here has dried up. If we're to stay
competitive for the new season, this was one of our options. We took it."
Jabloteh are also expecting that their star
striker, Hector Sam, will at some point this year
be moving on to greener pastures in a foreign club.
Bhaggan ended by saying that the club does
not expect to have to return to the foreign
market every year since they are confident that their youth programmes will soon be
throwing up the talent needed by the club in the future.
Canada to meet Trinidad & Tobago in Toronto
OTTAWA, ONTARIO - The Canadian Soccer Association
today announced Canada's
men's national team will host Trinidad & Tobago in an international friendly in Toronto on
May 27, 2000. The game will be played at Varsity Stadium with a kick-off time of 16:00.
This home game will allow Holger Osieck, Canada's
head coach, the opportunity to
prepare for upcoming World Cup Qualifying matches beginning in June. Canada's
opponent in World Cup Qualifying home and away series will be the runner up of
Caribbean Group 1.
Canada has played Trinidad & Tobago seven
times in international competition hosting a
record of four wins, two losses and one tie. The last time the two teams met was on
January 8, 2000 in an international friendly in Port of Spain. The match finished in a 0-0
draw. Canada and Trinidad & Tobago are currently competing in the Football
Confederation (CONCACAF) Gold Cup in the United States.
Tuesday February 15th, 2000
Mexico Faces Serious Injury Issues After T&T Win
SAN DIEGO - Mexico national team coach Manuel
Lapuente took one last look
around his team's locker room as if to make sure he didn't lose anything else Sunday.
Mexico's 4-0 demoliton of Trinidad & Tobago in the Gold Cup's Group C opener in
front of 20,131 at Qualcomm Stadium wasn't even an hour old and already Lapuente
was facing his first crisis of the tournament.
Where are the Tricolores' goals going to come from?
Mexico's masterpiece of attacking soccer came
with a steep price. ``We were not
lucky,'' Lapuente said.
Just when Lapuente thought the Tricolores had
come out of a scoring drought, he finds
himself without three top strikers.
Forward Jose Manuel Abundis was sidelined after
just 30 minutes with a sprained left
knee that will keep him out of the rest of the tournament. Luis Hernandez, the scoring
hero of Mexico's 1998 Gold Cup triumph, will miss Thursday night's match with
Guatemala at The Coliseum with a pulled hamstring. Jesus Arellano, Hernandez's
replacement in the 62nd minute, also will miss the Guatemala match after picking up a
red card in the 88th minute.
All of which leaves Lapuente with just one
forward - Francisco Palencia - left on
Mexico's 18-man Gold Cup roster and eight-match stretch leading up to Sunday in
which the Tricolores scored only six goals. Lapuente likely will ask the Football
Confederation, soccer's governing body in the North and Central America and
Caribbean region, to allow him to call in another forward to replace Abundis. He
cannot, however, bring in Club America's Cuauhtemoc Blanco, who was not listed on
Mexico's pre-tournament reserve player list.
Lapuente could play Rafael Marquez, Mexico's
rising world-class star in defense, up
front. Marquez celebrated his 21st birthday with a spectacular goal that would have
done Pele proud.
"Marquez had the best goal," Hernandez acknowledged later. "It was fabulous."
But it was far from the only highlight in a
nearly flawless performance that reaffirmed
Mexico's place among the sport's elite. The Tricolores' brilliance was clear to all but a
handful of Trinidad & Tobago players.
"I don't think," T&T defender Anthony Rougier
said. "I know Trinidad & Tobago will
be a team on the map in the future."
On Sunday T&T offered little resistence
as Mexico plowed full spead toward a fourth
consecutive Gold Cup title and a place in international soccer history. No other country
has won four consecutive continental championships.
The few chances T&T had early went wasted
and then Marquez's goal kicked
Mexico's game into a higher gear. The deflection of a T&T free kick was cleared long
in the 37th minute to Emilio Mora. Marquez took up field and was open when Mora's
pass found him in full stride 40 yards from the goal. Marquez trapped the ball and
unleashed a right-footed blast that dipped just inside the left post past T&T's helpless
goalkeeper Clayton Ince.
"It was a great pass," Marquez said, "and a great goal."
"That really opened the game up for us," Hernandez
said of the goal. "The first half is
the very best we've played in a long time."
But Mexico was just getting started. Hernandez
added a flashy goal in the 52nd minute,
the 34th of his career for Mexico _ equaling Carlos Hermosillo's national record.
While Lapuente considered his limited options
up front, T&T coach Bertille St. Clair
has his own problems. For starters, superstar Dwight Yorke cannot play goalkeeper.
Ince was scheduled to be relieved by normal T&T starter Shaka Hislop for Tuesday
match with Guatemala. But Hislop, playing for West Ham in England's Premier League,
broke his leg in the third minute of a match against Bradford Saturday.
On the other end Yorke, the Premier League's
leading scorer last season for
Manchester United, was the victim of poor service and was smothered by as many as
four defenders when he did receive the ball.
"At times it looked like Dwight alone was playing
against Mexico's defense," Rougier
Saturday February 12th, 2000
By SHAUN FUENTES In Los Angeles
THE Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego is set for what could turn out to
be one of the more intriguing matches of the 2000 Football Confederation
Gold Cup when our Soca Warriors, Trinidad and
Tobago take on the might of Mexico from 6 pm (T&T time) today. This will be the second match of a double-header with Costa Rica facing Canada two hours earlier.
T&T are raring to go with an attack spearheaded by Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke and captained by Port Vale defender Anthony Rougier.
The team, decorated with the wizardry of midfield ace Russell Latapy
go for broke today against the three-time tournament champions (1993,'96
and '98) who will be playing behind a massive band of
supporters at the stadium near the Mexican border.
West Ham goalkeeper Shaka Hislop joined the camp in San Diego yesterday after recovering from a hamstring injury but is not expected to start as Crewe Alexandra's Clayton Ince is already set for that role.
However, Hislop's mere presence along with that of injured-out striker Stern John who arrived yesterday is expected to play a big part in the team spirit.He could start next Tuesday.
T&T coach Bertille St Clair, obviously setting his sights on the 2002 World Cup qualifiers in March and a victory in next Tuesday's clash with Guatemala, for a quarter-final spot, is expecting a tense affair.
This is especially so after the Mexicans pulled off a 4-2 win over T&T
to send them out in the first round of the 1998 tournament."Mexico is one
of the best teams in the world right now, that's
obvious," said St Clair.
The Tobagonian will decide between FC Zurich striker Jerren Nixon or Mickey Trotman for the position alongside Yorke.
His midfield will include former T&T skipper David Nakhid, Latapy and Angus Eve with English-born defender Ronnie Mauge playing just behind that trio.
Marvin "Dog" Andrews is expected to marshall the defence comprising Ansil Elcock, Shurland David and Rougier.
The T&T captain is hopeful of a positive account but is appealing to fans back home to bear with the team.
"We are very optimistic of doing well. The important thing is that we
are playing well as a team and by the grace of God, everything will take
its place from there," said Rougier. He also said that the players
will have John on their minds during the action.
"Obviously we're going out there to play for the country but Stern is
in our hearts and knowing that he's injured is a big blow for us. It's
just one of those things like for instance one of the guys said something
about the late Kitchener.
"We are going out there to do our best and hopefully the people back home can be proud of us. Some things may not go our way and while I'm not making any excuses I'm just asking for the fans to be patient. Even if we win the Gold Cup, don't get carried away."
T&T showed some cohesiveness in a 3-1 victory over Lasers, a San Diego club on Friday with Latapy scoring a double and Eve the other goal. Ross Russell conceded an own goal in the second half after six changes were made including the substitution of Nakhid, Yorke, "Latas" and Rougier.
Following a short session yesterday morning under cloudy conditions
at Cuyamaca grounds where free kicks and set plays were conducted,the squad
checked out the match venue for the first time at
They were not allowed to train there because of competition rules. T&T's Minister of Sport Manohar Ramsaran and T&T Football Federation president Oliver Camps then met with the players.
Mexican coach Manuel Lapuente is eying a fourth title and will not be taking anything lightly against T&T. "We have one thing on our minds and that is victory," he said. Striker Luis Hernandez will be their trump card in today's outing.
T&T will take the field in their new all white uniform sponsored by Central American manufacturers Athletica, the same sponsors of Mexico who will be in red, white and green. El Salvador's Rafael Rodriguez, will carry the whistle with Walter Rivera (Honduras) and Vladamir Bertiaga ( Panama) as his assistants. T&T (Possible starting line up): Ince (goalkeeper), Rougier, Elcock, David, Andrews, Mauge, Eve, Nakhid, Latapy, Yorke, Nixon.
PFL soccer kicks off on March 25
THE formal opening of the Professional Football League's 2000 season
is expected to take place on March 25 at the Dr Joao Havelange Centre of
Excellence, Macoya, Tunapuna, during the
Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
The opening of the new season was decided during meetings of PFL Board and clubs recently. As far as possible there will be no double-headers during the new season.
There will be a feature match-of-the week on Fridays at the Tunapuna
venue, kicking off at 7 pm. At these matches there will be added attractions
like spectator competitions, door prizes and sponsor
giveaways. PFL Fixtures have been carefully developed so as to ensure that the necessary preparatory time is available to the national team as it works towards qualification for the World Cup in 2002.
Accordingly, no PFL matches are scheduled in the six days prior to the staging of a qualifying match for either the World Cup or the Olympic Games.
Also, due to the tight schedule of local and international fixtures,
the President's Cup will not be contested during the season. Meanwhile,
implementation and operation of football academies
designed to improving the existing structure within the football community is expected to be established shortly by the Professional Football League (PFL) in their new initiative drive.
And, to ensure that all systems are put in place PFL Commissioner/Chief Executive Officer, Colin Prevatt left on Thursday for England, courtesy of the FA, on a fact finding mission. Prevatt, who is expected to spend a little over two weeks in England, will be examining issues pertaining to the rules and regulations of the PFL such as organisation structure, match officiating, disciplinary systems as well as marketing and promotion.
During Prevatt's absence from February 11-29, Earl John will act as Commissioner/CEO of the PFL.
Also as part of the PFL's marketing strategy, the eight affiliated clubs will be making regular visits to schools in their community in the form of football teaching clinics.
These sessions will be conducted by both club officials and players.
The PFL will also be introducing a Youth League which will be administered
by the National Youth Development Committee of the
Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation.
The tournament will cater for 16 teams in the Under-20 Division, inclusive of those belonging to the eight PFL clubs. Only players born on or after January 1, 1981, will be eligible to participate and venues will be arranged by the competing clubs.
There will be two rounds of matches in the league competition which will be held primarily on Saturdays. In addition, there will be a knockout competition.
Pierre in euphoric mood
NIGEL PIERRE, who signed for Bristol Rovers last week, was still in euphoric mood as he was interviewed in England on Thursday.
"It's all been a really hectic period for me over the past couple of
weeks. Firstly Oxford United were interested in signing me, and then my
representative Simon Kennedy of Time Management Corporation
Limited told me that Bristol Rovers wanted to sign me."
"I was obviously more interested in Bristol Rovers with them being top
of the Second Division, and I'm really surprised at the speed at which
Time Management acted and brought this deal to the table.
They've done a tremendous job for me."
Time Management has been working extensively in the Caribbean for over a year, representing and working with footballing and cricketing clients including Brian Lara, Daren Ganga, Dinanath Ramnarine, Lincoln Roberts, Reon King, Stokely Mason and Lyndon Andrews to name a few.
Time Management utilises the services of local attorneys John Mair and Company for its legal work, and they helped in the Nigel Pierre transfer to Bristol.
Simon Kennedy, Director of Time Management, was obviously pleased with
Pierre's move saying:
"Nigel has a great future in the game and this is a superb move or him. He now has the platform to progress to the highest football stage - the Premiership."
With Pierre at Bristol Rovers is fellow Trinidadian Ronald Rogers, national
and West Indies "A" Team and Under-19 physiotherapist. Rogers is helping
Pierre acclimatise whilst having a period of work
experience at the club himself.
By IRVING WARD
THE Trinidad and Tobago Gold Cup team were
yesterday getting lots of extra
attention from the international media in San
Diego. The reason? Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke is in town.
Reporters and photographers almost literally
pitched camp at the team's temporary
base at the San Diego Hilton after Yorke, who arrived on Wednesday night with
teammate David Nakhid, turned out for his first session in preparation for T&T's
opening Football Confederation Gold Cup game against Mexico on Sunday.
Despite his current slump in scoring form,
Yorke, who was bought by United for a
record £12.6m, has a constantly growing fan base in North America and Europe.
Additionally, he has been in headlines on occasions for reasons having little to do with
his activities on the field, which is at least part of the reason for the added attention.
Speaking to the Express yesterday, T&T General Manager Richard Braithwaite
seemed rather amused by the situation.
"The paparazzi have been following Dwight's
every move," he said. "They can't get
enough of him. The other guys have been getting some attention too but every reporter
wants to talk to Dwight."
Braithwaite explained that they had also been
deluged with requests from the media to
open the doors of their training session to them. However, they had not acquiesced.
"We obviously can't have them distracting us
in that way. Apart from this, we haven't
lost our focus at all. They (media) are actually quite well behaved so we haven't had
any kinds of headaches with them."
Yorke and Nakhid's arrival brought coach Bertille
St Clair's squad up to full strength.
But they are still awaiting news from England on goalkeeper Shaka Hislop who has
been responding well to treatment on his injured hamstring.
"I spoke to him today and he said the injury
was coming along. But he will have a
fitness test Saturday (tomorrow) to assess it and it is only then we will know for sure.
And that's why we have Ross Russell here."
The Gold Cup management have given St Clair
until 4 p.m. today (7 p.m. T&T time) to
indicate whether Hislop will play or not. However, the rules provide for an emergency
injury replacement for any player so long as it comes 24 hours before the scheduled
Yorke's arrival, according to Braithwaite,
has made a big difference in the camp as
"Dwight's arrival has lifted the team spirit
significantly. Apart from the match against
Jamaica last year, he's not played for the team for the past three years and the guys are
really happy to see him."
He added: "I'm also extremely pleased with
the attitude he's brought to the team. He's
ready to work and has already blended in well with the team and it's rubbing off on the
Saying that the senior players had been "tremendous"
in helping to build team spirit, the
team manager ended by saying that the technical staff had worked very hard on this
aspect and were extremely gratified to see what a close-knit family-type unit already
exists in the camp".
It augured well, Braithwaite concluded, for
team performance in the two preliminary
round games next week.
Mexico vs. Trinidad & Tobago
San Diego, Calif.
The key to this match lies in Trinidad and
Tobago's super striker Dwight Yorke, one of
the world's premier forwards. If Yorke is fully committed, Trinidad and Tobago will be
an extremely dangerous side; however, if he only puts forth a partial effort, as has been
suggested, T&T are in danger of not advancing past the first round. The absence of
Nottingham Forest striker Stern John, out with a knee injury, puts additional pressure
on the Manchester United star to come out in top form.
Mexico, meanwhile, will field a healthy squad,
and come in with the most talent-laden
side in the competition.
Luis Hernandez and Cuahtemoc Blanco make for a formidable combination up front,
and will be expected produce offensive fireworks throughout the tournament. The
three-time defending champions will have an expected crowd of 70,000 behind them.
T&T will need a Herculean effort to beat the world's 10th-rated team in their own
backyard, but it's certainly not out of the realm of possibility for the talented Caribbean
side. A tough second match against Guatemala awaits Trinidad & Tobago, and they
would love to get a result from their opener to ease their path to the knockout stage.
Mexico, coming off a stinging 2-1 loss to the Czech Republic in the Hong Kong Cup,
will want to get off to a strong start as they attempt to continue their Gold Cup
T&T settle in San Diego
By IRVING WARD
STERN JOHN will be going to the Football Confederation's
Gold Cup after all.
However, he will still not be playing in the February 12-27 tournament. Instead, he will
be there merely to lend moral support to his Trinidad and Tobago teammates from the
John is expected to fly into Trinidad tonight
to collect a US visa before flying out almost
immediately for California to catch T&T's first game against Mexico on Sunday.
Meanwhile, England-based striker Dwight Yorke
(Manchester United) and United
Arab Emirates-based midfielder David Nakhid were expected to link up with the T&T
squad last night at their temporary base at the San Diego Hilton.
The pair were the last of the lot to arrive
in California for the prestigious tournament
which kicks off on Saturday.
The seven members of the T&T squad who
left here on Tuesday morning, Ansil
Elcock, Shurland David, Derek King, Arnold Dwarika, Mickey Trotman, Stokely
Mason. Arnold Dwarika and Ross Russell, linked up with the foreign-based players
there upon arrival in San Diego.
That contingent included Scotland-based Russell
Latapy, Angus Eve, Marvin Andrews,
skipper Anthony Rougier, Clayton Ince, Ronnie Maugé, Evans Wise and Jerren Nixon.
T&T coach Bertille St Clair held his first
training session with the squad yesterday
under sunny conditions at the Cuianaca College ground, 20 minutes away from the
Speaking to the Express yesterday, General
Manager Richard Braithwaite said the
team had settled in well.
"The weather is good. It gets a little chilly
at night but were playing our first game in the
day time so it won't be a factor. Team spirit is high and we're ready to make an impact
in this tournament."
Braithwaite also explained that they were given
until Friday to make any last minute
emergency changes to the squad.
A question mark still hangs over the availability
of England-based goalkeeper Shaka
Hislop who is ailing with a hamstring injury.
Russell is on standby for Hislop while St Clair
was also contemplating calling in
midfielder Brent Rahim as a replacement for defender Ian Cox who was forced to pull
out of the team due to a contractual agreement with his new club Burnley.
Meanwhile, TTFF adviser Austin Jack Warner
yesterday announced that John may
return to action in a friendly at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on July 21. The
announcement came at the Trinidad Hilton where Warner and Nottingham Forest CEO
Mark Arthur were hosting a media conference for local sports editors.
Arthur told the gathering that the injury that
has put John out of action for the club and
out of the Gold Cup will not now sideline him for as long as originally thought. The
Belgium specialist consulted initially had said that the striker would be out of action for
at least five months. However, John requested that a second opinion be sought and a
British specialist told the club that he could return to the field "much earlier".
He could therefore be ready to return to competitive
action in time to run out against his
Gold Cup teammates at the Stadium in the July friendly. According to Arthur, Forest
manager David Platt may also make an appearance in the game, perhaps the last time
the now 33-year-old former England international striker plays "competitively".
Bay Area Seals Add Trinidadian Striker in A-League Draft
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Sunday, February 6,
2000) – The new-look Bay Area
Seals made Trinidad native Kevin Jeffrey the first selection in the 2000 A-League Draft
The Seals, who will play under new ownership
in 2000, selected the Virginia
Commonwealth forward to add scoring punch to an offense that produced just 38
goals in 1999. The goal-starved team scored just 31 goals in 1998, which was the
second-lowest total in the league.
The fourth annual draft, held at the Radisson
Bahia Mar in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.,
completed the Umbro Select weekend, which also featured a team of USL All-Stars in
an exhibition match and a men’s college all-star game that included several players from
the Premier Development League Saturday. Sunday’s events included the U.S.
Women’s National Team squaring off against Norway and the women’s college all-star
Jeffrey pumped in 29 goals in 38 career games
for Virginia Commonwealth and was
the Virginia State Player of the Year in ’99. The NSCAA Third Team All-American
captained the Rams to a 14-7-1 season and their third consecutive NCAA Tournament
Public trio make history
Mulraine and Narine-both midfielders-were chosen
by the San José Earthquake while
Thomas was snatched up by the Colorado Rapids.
Mulraine was selected in the first round of
the draft as the eighth overall pick. He may
also get the chance to move over to defending MLS champions DC United as they
have approached San José for his services.
Narine went in the second round as the 24th
pick. Thomas, a six-foot-plus defender,
also went in the second round of the draft as the 20th overall pick.
The draft is conducted over six rounds with
12 players being selected in each round.
But the trio are the first Trinidadians ever to be selected this high up in the draft.
Only two other T&T players, Brian Haynes
and Evans Wise, faced the draft. Haynes
(Dallas Burn) was selected in the fourth round of the inaugural draft in 1996. Wise,
now campaigning in Germany, was also selected that year but in the supplemental draft
where he was selected in the first round as the fourth overall pick by the Tampa Bay
All the other Trinidad and Tobago players either
now playing or formerly of the MLS,
Ansil Elcock-still playing with the Columbus Crew-Stern John, David Nakhid and
Mickey Trotman, were chosen through the scouting process.
Another Public player, Alvin Beharry, missed his chance to be selected after injuring his
knee during the MLS draft camp.
T&T striker Gary Glasgow also secured a
contract with the Kansas City Wizards. He
was acquired from A-League outfit Richmond Kickers.
Vibe for tourney in Venezuela
By Shaun Fuentes
VIBE CT 105 W Connection, fresh from acquiring
12 Brazilian players for the 2000
Professional League season, have been invited to take part in a quadrangular club
tournament in Venezuela next week.
The 1999 FA Trophy winners will have the opportunity
to come up against Colombian
First Division side Independiente, Venados de Yucatan of the Mexican Second
Division and Venezuelan First Division club Estudiantes de Merida.
W Connection accepted the invitation from the
Venezuelan embassy to play in the
tournament "Sun Fair 2000" which runs from February 15-17 in Merida.
Connection added South American players from Brazilian and First and Second
Division clubs Barbosa, Buritama, Baura, Penapolis and Avanhandava.
With hope that the "Samba Boys, "who arrived
here yesterday plus the recent hiring of
Andrew Look Lin as their marketing manager can help them to the PFL title this year,
Connection will start their 2000 season in late March without St Lucian striker Earl
The club's leading marksman last year with
35 goals, has been signed on loan by
Scottish First Division side Hibernian for three months.
He will partner local midfield wizard Russell Latapy who is now in his second season at
the same club.
Spotted here last month by Hibs manager Alex
McLeish, Jean had no problems settling
to the conditions having had experience with English teams Ipswich Town, Rotherham
and Plymouth Argyle.
"He has done well during the time he has been
here. We've offered him a deal and we'll
see how he does," said McLeish.
With the Scottish season less than three months
from closing, McLeish decided to sign
the player on loan and is likely to offer him a long-term deal later on.
Local under 23 defender David Atiba Charles also went on trials at Hibs but was not
as fortunate as his Connection teammate and will return home. He is expected to be
regular member of the T&T under 23 team during the semi-final round of the qualifying
competition for the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Pierre work permit bonus
Nigel Pierre has been granted his work permit
in record time and could be
in Rovers' squad for Saturday's home game with Scunthorpe United.
The Trinidad striker only joined the club on Tuesday night and after all the
problems obtaining a permit for Latvian Vitalijs Astafjevs the speed of this
application being processed is a real bonus.
Rovers were expecting written confirmation
from the Department of
Employment today, having been assured verbally that there would be no
delay last night.
Commercial manager Ralph Ellis said the club has
learned from the
Astafjevs experience and reckons the time between him signing and verbal
confirmation of the permit was just 26 hours.
Now manager Ian Holloway has some extra thinking
to do about selection
for Saturday's game as his team look to bounce back from the narrow
defeat at Burnley.
Pierre becomes one of five strikers seeking
places in the 16-man squad.
Jason Roberts and Jamie Cureton look certain to be retained in the starting
line-up so it could be a case of competing with Nathan Ellington and Bobby
Zamora for substitute roles.
Teenager Zamora was today being linked with
a possible loan move to
Brighton, having just returned from a similar spell at Bath City. If that goes
through Pierre could be on the bench against Scunthorpe.
Holloway said: "Nigel is fit and raring to
go. He's an exciting player with
some unorthodox skills. We don't know what he's like in the air yet
because every time we throw the ball to him he tries to volley it!"
Man Utd waiting for Yorke's release
MANCHESTER, England - Manchester United were
waiting for confirmation on
Tuesday that striker Dwight Yorke will be released from international duty to play in
the crucial premier league clash against Leeds United on February 20.
Yorke is currently with the Trinidad and Tobago
squad preparing for the
CONCACAF Gold Cup which starts in Miami on Saturday with the quarter-finals
scheduled for February 19 and 20.
He will definitely miss the game against Newcastle
United on Saturday and should his
country reach the last eight he could miss the clash between the premier league's
current top two.
But Trinidad and Tobago general manager Richard
Braithwaite has said he might be
prepared to release Yorke for the Leeds game.
"As far as I'm aware he will be with us for the duration of the tournament," Braithwaite
was quoted as saying on Manchester United's official web site.
"But I think the Federation would be willing to look at the situation and try and reach a
mutually acceptable compromise if necessary."
Yorke, who has played only one international
in the last three years, has already made
it clear he wants to play for United against Leeds.
"Things have been sorted out and it's not as bad as people have been saying," he said
recently. "As far as I'm concerned I will only miss the Newcastle game."
St Clair puts a hold on Cox
By IRVING WARD
TRINIDAD and Tobago coach Bertille St Clair
yesterday decided to shelve his
request for the services of England-based defender Ian Cox for the forthcoming
Football Confederation Gold Cup.
Cox, who signed on with Burnley on Friday,
had pleaded with the T&T technical staff
to allow him to stay with the Second Division team after they made it a pre-contract
requirement that he not play any international football until the end of the current season
The decision had initially caused a stir in
the T&T camp and St Clair seemed ready to
call on Fifa to intervene in the matter.
According to Fifa rules, Burnley would have
had no choice but to release the player
once they got a request. If they failed to comply, he would not be allowed to play for
them during the period of the Gold Cup (February 12-27), even if he did stay away
from the tournament.
However, the matter did not get that far as
St Clair, who has said in the past that he
would do nothing to jeopardise a player's career, acceded to Cox's wish.
And St Clair, it seems, has no plans to call up another defender as replacement.
Local football federation president Oliver
Camps confirmed yesterday that goalkeeper
Ross Russell was the only person to be drafted into the side.
"The last time I saw our Gold Cup squad, Cox's
name was not on it," he told the
"That was the one we finally submitted to the
Football Confederation. In fact Ross
Russell's name was there and he seems at this time to be the only change to the squad.
This situation may change but as of this time, I cannot say if someone else will be called
Russell had been lined up as a possible replacement
for England-based goalkeeper
Hislop is due to join the team on Friday but
is still ailing with a hamstring injury he
picked up in action for West Ham which may well rule him out of the tournament.
A source told the Express that of the options
available to St Clair, US-based midfielder
Brent Rahim, who is close to the San Diego venue of the tournament, was top of the
The six members of the T&T squad assembled
here-Ansil Elcock, Shurland David,
Derek King, Arnold Dwarika, Mickey Trotman, Stokely Mason and Arnold
Dwarika-and Russell flew out to California yesterday morning.
They were to be joined by the other members-Russell
Latapy, Angus Eve, Marvin
Andrews, skipper Anthony Rougier, Clayton Ince, David Nakhid, Ronnie Maugé,
Evans Wise and Jerren Nixon there last night.
Pierre's a Rover
UNDER-23 striker Nigel Pierre has signed a
three-and-half-year deal with English
Second Division club Bristol Rovers.
The 20-year-old former Joe Public player was contracted for a fee of £50,000 on
Pierre left for England last week bound for
Oxford United, who made the first bid for
him. But after recomendations to Rovers management from T&T striker Dwight Yorke
and English- born midfielder Ronnie Mauge, Pierre was snapped up.
Pierre told the Bristol Evening News that his
aim is to follow in Yorke's footsteps
"Dwight is someone I've always admired, although we haven't played together that
often because he doesn't come back to Trinidad a lot. But my ambition is to be the next
Dwight Yorke one day" said Pierre.
Rovers coach Gary Penrice believes Pierre has
the sort of natural talent to make a big
impact in the future.
Dwight won't be allowed to leave the Cup
TRINIDAD and Tobago Football Federation president
Oliver Camps said yesterday
that reports in England stating that Dwight Yorke may be allowed to play for
Manchester United in a Premiership top of the table clash against Leeds United on
February 20 even if T&T qualify for the quarter finals of the Gold Cup are untrue.
Reports in the Sporting Life Soccer publication, Sky Sports and the Daily Mirror on
Monday said that the TTFF would be willing to seek a compromise regarding Yorke's
It appears that comments from team manager
Richard Braithwaite were misinterpreted
as Camps said that an agreement was reached with the United staff that Yorke remain
with T&T for the duration of their Gold Cup stay.
If T&T fail to go through to the quarter-finals scheduled for February 20, then Yorke
will return to England.
The reports also quoted Braithwaite as saying
that T&T need Yorke for the Gold Cup
and the important World Cup qualifying matches later this year.
"I think the Federation would be willing to look at the situation and try and reach a
mutually acceptable compromise if necessary.
"We like to talk to clubs and we would be keen to keep the dialogue open without
having to resort to bringing FIFA in," said Braithwaite.
He also pointed out that T&T have been
more than fair in their treatment of Yorke.
"Certainly I want him to be available. The Gold Cup is an important tournament and
this is our European Championship.
"We have bent over backwards to accommodate clubs and I'm not just talking about
Manchester United, but several other clubs and several other players.
"Dwight has played just one game for Trinidad and Tobago in the last three years and
that was against Jamaica in January 1999.
"So I don't think we could be accused of monopolising his time. According to FIFA
rules we are entitled to call him up for seven games annually. That means in the last
three years we could have used him for 21 games, where in actual fact he have only
had him for one," said Braithwaite.
Yorke is expected to join his T&T teammates
in Los Angeles today, who arrived there
last night for a live-in camp.
T&T cancelled an earlier trip to the Cayman Islands where Jamaica are currently
Brazilian invasion for PFL
By Shaun Fuentes
TRINIDAD and Tobago football fans will get
a treat this year in the Professional
Reports circulating last week that CT Vibe 105 W Connection, the south Trinidad
based club would be signing the an entire squad of Brazilian players were confirmed
Team officials said that a contingent sufficient
to field an entire starting line-up and
already contracted to W Connection, will arrive at Piarco International Airport at 1 pm
today, outfitted in W Connection gear.
Reports out of Brazil indicated that 12 players will be adding a "Samba" flavour to the
Heading the list is striker Fabio Agripino,
who played with Joe Public over the last two
seasons. He agreed to move to W Connection last week in exchange for defender
At least five of the Brazilians have experience
playing in their country's First Division.
Three of the players go by the names "Ronaldo," "Emerson" and "Jose Luis."
W Connection officials are excited about the prospect of the Brazilians being able to
add glamour to the Profesional Football League similar to how their countrymen have
done on the international stage.
The players left Brazil on Monday and stopped
off in Caracas, Venezuela before
heading for T&T.
They will undergo their first training session with the "Radio Boys" on Thursday at the
Hydro Agri ground, Pt Lisas.
W Connection had an impressive first season in the PFL last year, winning the FA
Trophy and finishing second in the PFL and President's Cup. They were also third in
Two of their players, striker Earl Jean and
defender David Atiba Charles are currently
on trial with Scottish First Division club Hibernian.
Also stepping up preparations for the 2000
PFL is CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh
who will have three Colombian players on trial later this week.
They are striker Jensen Peneranda, defender Luis Murillo and midfielder David
Lagarejo Villaquiran, who arrived here on Monday night.
Colombian goalkeeper Alejandro Figueoa is almost
certain to sign with the 1999 PFL
Jabloteh also have Grenadian defender Patrick Modeste and Fimber Williams on trial.
New boy aims high – just like Dwight
NIGEL Pierre today spoke of his determination
to follow in his hero Dwight Yorke’s
footsteps by carving
out a top career in the English game.
Bristol Rovers’ latest international recruit
has agreed a three-and-a-half year contract in
a deal which is
costing an initial £50,000.
And the new 20-year-old marksman makes no secret
of his admiration for the
Manchester United star,
who has partnered the Trinidadian youngster in the national side in the past.
“Dwight is someone I’ve always admired, although
we haven’t played together that
often because he
doesn’t come back to Trinidad a lot,” said Pierre today.
“But my ambition is to be the next Dwight Yorke one day.”
Rovers sounded Yorke out over Pierre’s talents,
and the youngster is now looking
forward to trying to
force his way in to Ian Holloway’s promotion-chasing side.
“I thought Rovers should have won at Burnley
on Saturday, but I didn’t think the
football looked too much
different from what I’ve been used to,” said Pierre. “The pitches will probably be a bit
heavier, but I don’t
think that will be a problem.”
Coach Gary Penrice, who watched the young Yorke
emerge during his time at Aston
Pierre has the sort of natural talent to make a big impact in the future.
“It’s difficult to compare them directly because
Dwight is already operating at the top
level, but there are
similarities between Pierre and what Dwight was like when he was younger,” said
“Pierre has very quick feet, a tremendously
hard shot and looks hungry – and that is
one of the major
factors you want.
“If you are going to make it, you have to have
talent – but you also have to have hunger
measure if you are going to do anything with it.
“We don’t want to put any pressure on the lad,
but the prospect of having
someone with his ability and being able to work to help him develop it is really
T&T dealt another Gold Cup blow Cox coaxed out
TRINIDAD and Tobago coach Bertille St Clair
may call upon Fifa today for help in
resolving a problem which may seriously dent the country's chances at the forthcoming
Football Confederation Gold Cup.
The world governing body for football may have
to step in to moderate with English
Second Division club Burnley who have apparently coerced defender Ian Cox into
opting out of participating in the tournament, which kicks off on Saturday.
Cox, born in England to Trinidadian parents,
is one of two new players drafted into St
Clair's squad for the Gold Cup.
However, the 28-year-old player made a £500,000
move to Burnley from
Bournemouth on the weekend, signing a lucrative three and a half year deal with his
new club. And it would appear that one of the signing requirements was that Cox
foregoes international duty until the end of the season to Burnley's run for promotion to
the First Division.
Cox, who was inked into St Clair's Gold Cup
side immediately after his debut against
Morocco last month, actually ran out for Burnley on Saturday and reportedly made an
immediate impact with the fans and club management.
But, speaking in England yesterday, both Cox
and Burnley boss Stan Ternent
confirmed St Clair's greatest fear when they commented on his international future.
"My main aim is to concentrate purely on Burnley," Cox told reporters.
"At the moment I haven't got anything to do
with the national (T&T) team. That's all
been put on hold for the moment."
Ternent added: "He (Cox) certainly won't be
playing any international football this
season. I've already sorted that out."
Speaking on the eve of the team's departure
for the Gold Cup yesterday, T&T General
Manager Richard Braithwaite remained as diplomatic as possible in the circumstances.
"We are aware of the problem but we have written
to Burnley requesting a response on
the matter and are still awaiting an official response.
"Ian's withdrawal following on Stern's (John)
injury is another major blow to the team.
But we have already placed players on standby and if necessary we will call upon
He added though that with the forthcoming World
Cup campaign to think about as
well, they would also try to settle the matter as amicably as possible.
Cox is not the first T&T player to be put
under pressure by his club. He is, however,
the only player who has actually wilted under it and bowed out of the Gold Cup.
It seems likely therefore that Warner, who
had decried those tactics from the clubs at a
press conference two weeks ago, will pick up the challenge to negotiate Cox's release.
There was also a strong possibility yesterday
that England-based Shaka Hislop could
be forced out of the series due to injury.
The six-foot-plus keeper, ailing with a strained
hamstring, did not play for West Ham
on the weekend after failing a fitness test before their game against Southampton.
Ross Russell has been put on standby as a result
with the rules of the Gold Cup
allowing for squads to pick replacement players in emergency cases such as these. The
six members of the T&T squad here-Ansil Elcock, Shurland David, Derek King,
Arnold Dwarika, Mickey Trotman, Stokely Mason and Arnold Dwarika-will fly out to
Los Angeles this morning.
They will be joined there today by the foreign-based
players Russell Latapy, Angus
Eve, Marvin Andrews, skipper Anthony Rougier, Clayton Ince, David Nakhid, Ronnie
Mauge, Evans Wise and Jerren Nixon.
They will be joined by Manchester United's Dwight Yorke tomorrow.
Under-23 and Joe Public trio for American soccer league
By Shaun Fuentes,
TRINIDAD and Tobago under-23 footballers and
Joe Public trio captain Travis
Mulraine, striker Adrian Narine and defender Keyeno Thomas will be showing off their
potential in the American Major League Soccer (MLS) this season after securing picks
during the league's SuperDraft in Ft Lauderdale, Florida, on Sunday.
Former Defence Force striker Gary Glasgow will also be part of the MLS this season
after signing with the Kansas City Wizards last Friday.
Glasgow campaigned with the Richmond Kickers
in the American A-League last
Mulraine, captain of the national under-23
side and Narine will join the San Jose
Earthquakes while Thomas will head off to the Colorado Rapids.
Mulraine, 22, was the eighth overall pick during the draft.
Thomas and Narine, who scored the winner in
T&T's 1-0 victory over Denmark last
month, were chosen in the second stage of the six round selection process. All three
players left here last Wednesday for screening sessions in the United States.
Once the trio can maintain selection, it will
mean that five players from Public would
have gained overseas picks in the last two months after Kerwyn
Jemmot and Nigel Pierre left last week for England's Oxford United. Murlaine's team
open their 2000 MLS campaign against Ansil Elcock's Columbus Crew on March 25.
Thomas' Colorado play their opening match against the Los Angeles Galaxy on March
With Thomas out, Public have already filled
his spot by signing national defender Derek
King from Vibe CT 105 W Connection last week.
Two other Trinidadians in contention during the SuperDraft, Alvin Beharry and Kevin
Jeffries, were not as fortunate to earn picks. The four players selected will be joining
other Trinidadians currently in the MLS including Bryan Haynes (Dallas Burns) and
Elcock (Columbus Crew).
Local defender Brent Sancho, who was recently
offered a deal by Joe Public, left
home for Florida on Sunday and is expected to sign with the New York/New Jersey
Metrostars later this week.
These players began the MLS Spring Training in Ft Lauderdale/Boca Raton area
Russell, Rahim on stand-by for Gold Cup series
By Shaun Fuentes,
DEFENCE Force goalkeeper Ross Russell and midfielder
Brent Rahim of the
University of Connecticut have been named as stand-bys on the Trinidad and Tobago
squad for the Gold Cup football tournament which starts in the United States this
Seven T&T based players leave at 8 am today
for the US. The team will be staying at
the San Diego Hilton in California.
Coach Bertille St Clair, manager Richard Braithwaite and fellow officials will
accompany Derek King, Shurland David, Ansil Elcock, Stokely Mason, Mickey
Trotman and Arnold Dwarika on the trip.
Expected to join them in the US later today
from England are Hibernian midfielder
Russell Latapy, David Nakhid, Anthony Rougier, Marvin Andrews, Angus Eve,
goalkeeper Clayton Ince and Ronnie Mauge.
Germany based Evans Wise and FC Zurich's Jerren Nixon will also join the squad this
It is understood that T&T management needed
to make a second request for the
release of English born defender Ian Cox from his new Second Division club Burnley.
His presence is in doubt as part of the agreement with Burnley following his signing last
Friday is that he stays away from international football until April. Rahim has therefore
been placed on stand-by.
Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke is scheduled
to arrive in the US on
Wednesday, and West Ham goalkeeper Shaka Hislop on Friday once he is fully fit.
Hislop is recovering from a hamstring injury and so Russell has been placed on
Nottingham Forest striker Stern John, who will
miss the tournament because of a
posterior cruciate ligament injury, called Braithwaite on Sunday night to send best
wishes and is hoping to make the trip to LA to see his teammates in action in the
opening game against Mexico on Sunday.
T&T play their final group encounter against
Guatemala next Tuesday.
English Second Division side Bristol Rovers are finalising the signing of 20-year-old
Trinidad and Tobago and former Joe Public striker Nigel Pierre after Yorke gave the
seal of approval to his international team-mate.
Rovers, of which English born midfielder Mauge
is a member of contacted the United
star for his opinion before pressing ahead with the £50,000 deal.
ROVERS CAPTURE ANOTHER INTERNATIONAL
Rovers have this evening signed 20-year-old
Trinidadian striker Nigel Pierre on a
three-and-a-half year contract for a fee of £50,000. Pierre, has received rave reviews
from Dwight Yorke during the course of the club's enquiries about the youngster,
confirming his reputation as the brightest talent on the islands.
Pierre flew in for initial talks at the weekend
and watched Rovers in their 1-0 defeat at
Burnley on Saturday; today he joined the squad in training, took a look around and
was impressed with what he saw.
Ralph Ellis was quick to dispel any talk of
current strikers leaving the club. "This is not
a prelude to selling Jason Roberts or any other player" said Ellis. "As a former natioinal
newspaper journalist, I was trained to be cynical and can quite understand if any of our
supporters are thinking that this means we are about to sell one of our strikers. I can
only try to reassure them that this is NOT the case at all. We are serious about trying to
win promotion and then stay in Division I and to do that the club can never have too
And vice-chairman Geoff Dunford also make it
clear that this signing would further
strengthen Rovers' push for promotion. "We are in the business of improving and
strengthening the squad and that means we will not be looking to sell any of our
strikers", he said.
Meantime, Ralph Ellis said he did not anticipate
any problems with a work permit.
International on trial
Oxford United, in a bid to solve their goalscoring
crisis, have turned to the
Caribbean to take on a Trinidad & Tobago international on trial.
The identity of the player is as yet unknown, and is thought to be a
forward, and has been granted a work permit by the authorities, although
the club would not provide any confirmation of this.
The player is likely to be one of Sam Hector,
21, Arnold Dwarika, 23 or
Mickey Trotman, 25 who are all in the Trinidad & Tobago squad. All would
be good additions to the Oxford strikeforce, who are in desperate need of
some inspiration, after the U's recorded their fifth straight blank in the 1-0
home defeat by Blackpool.
Two Trinidad strikers already play in England
and have both been a big
success at opposite ends of the game. The first, Dwight Yorke, plays for
Manchester United, while his strike partner Angus Eve recently signed for
Third Division Chester City, and has already scored twice for the
Cox becoming firm favourite
New signing Ian cox is quickly becoming a crowd
favourite at Turf Moor
following his £500,000 switch from Bournemouth.
The centre-back played a starring role in helping
the Clarets to take three
valuable points against Bristol Rovers at the weekend and now he has also
pledged his 100 per cent commitment to the club.
For the Trinidad & Tobago international
says he wants help Burnley to get
promotion to the first division, even if it jeopardises his international
"My main aim is to concentrate purely on Burnley.
At the moment I haven't
got anything to do with the national team. That's all been put on hold for
the moment," said Cox.
He has a chance to further enhance his reputation
with the Turf Moor
faithful when the Clarets take on his old club Bournemouth next week, in a
game Cox must already be relishing being involved in.
Rovers eye Trinidad Goal Ace
BRISTOL Rovers were today running the rule
over 20-year-old Trinidadian striker
Nigel Pierre and could
make the marksman their next signing.
Landing the youngster would cost an initial
£50,000, but the striker comes personally
Manchester United star and international teammate Dwight Yorke.
Rovers believe they could be in line to seal
another bargain signing with huge potential
for the future.
Boss Ian Holloway has been impressed with video footage of the front runner but
wanted to see him in
training today before deciding whether to try and clinch a deal.
“There is still a fair bit of talking to do and nothing is finalised yet,” said the manager.
Pierre flew in for initial talks at the weekend
and watched Rovers in their 1-0 defeat at
The club had already sounded out Yorke for
his opinions on the youngster, who has
the Old Trafford star and is being tipped to follow in his footsteps to the top.
And the United striker spoke highly of the
prodigy’s talents, confirming his reputation
as potentially one
of the hottest young players to emerge from the Caribbean.
Pierre has made four full international appearances
for Trinidad and Tobago, scoring
twice, and also has
a string of youth caps to his name. He has been playing his club football with
Trinidadian outfit Joe
Holloway remained cautious about whether a
deal would be concluded today but said :
“We’ve been told
he is 6ft 1ins, strong, has a shot like a mule and scores goals – 48 in 63 games last
season. But we
need to check him out ourselves before anything is decided.
“It may be we could get another one for the
future and when it comes to good, young
strikers, I’m happy
to stack them and rack them.”
Pierre’s arrival would further strengthen Rovers’
push for promotion and provide a
timely boost after the
Turf Moor defeat, which left them in second place.
And vice-chairman Geoff Dunford made it clear
that Pierre’s arrival would not signal
the departure of any
of the current strikers.
“We are in the business of improving and strengthening
the squad and that means we
will not be looking
to sell any of our strikers,” he said.
After the battle they faced to seal the capture
of recent £150,000 signing Vitalijs
Astafjevs, who made
his full debut at Turf Moor, Rovers know they should not be faced with any more work
Pierre already has one and was being lined up for a move to Second Division rivals
Oxford United before
Meanwhile, Rovers are to ask referee Neil Barry
to reconsider the booking he issued
to Astafjevs on
Saturday. Trevor Challis was involved in the incident which saw Burnley’s Andy
Payton sent off, but
Barry is believed to have cautioned Astafjevs by mistake.
(the Bristol Evening Post)
Tuesday February 8th, 2000
By Shaun Fuentes (Trinidad Guardian)
Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation president Oliver Camps is setting out to ensure that there be no mix-up among national teams concerning the use of the Hasely Crawford Stadium playing field for future training sessions.
He was referring to Thursday's disturbing occurrence when the national under 23 footballers were halfway through a practice game against CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh before they were asked to vacate the area to allow the T&T under-17 team (TEAM 2001) use of it for training.
The Olympic side was asked to continue their match at the Stadium's nearby training field. Team 2001 assistant manager Winston Sinclair asked local under-23 manager Peter Rampersad to allow the youngsters use of the ground because the second field was unfit for use. The match never continued for that same reason.
The youth team is currently preparing for a tournament in March, while the under-23 side is also in training for the semi final stage of the 2000 Sydney Olympic qualifiers here that month. "As president of the Federation I don't get involved in such situations until it becomes a problem.
Now that it has become a problem I am certainly going to ensure that a similar thing does not happen in the future. I think that occurred on Thursday because of a lack of communication between officials of both teams.
It has nothing to do with a lack of organisation. I can assure you that this will not happen again," said Camps. It is understood that the senior team which leaves for the United States on Tuesday to take part in the Gold Cup and the under 23 side will continue to use the training ground.
Camps also took time to express his feeling that T&T will give a
solid performance at the Gold Cup. "I think that with the calibre
of players we have in the squad we surely have a very good chance of going
beyond the first round. "I feel certain that we can beat Guatemala and
I know we can give Mexico a strong battle. I am not saying it is going
to be easy but I am confident that we will hold our own," said Camps.
Time may be running out for Dwight
Yorke...Smiling less these days
TRINIDAD and Tobago's England-based professional Dwight Yorke continues to feel the heat this season.
The Manchester United star, in the face of continuing poor form this season, was yesterday broadsided by the English media for failing to deliver the goods.Yorke, who scored 29 goals in his debut fling for United last season, has been but a shadow of himself during their current run.
The £12.6m signing's erratic form has already forced United boss Sir Alex Ferguson to relegate him to the bench once this season. There was also talk last week that Ferguson may once again be considering that option.
But Ferguson decided against the move opting to drop Yorke's striking partner Andy Cole and bring in Teddy Sheringham instead.
Yorke remained in the starting XI up to yesterday when the Red Devils stopped Sheffield Wednesday 1-0. However, the Tobago-born star gave yet another lacklustre performance and it was Sheringham who saved them yet again with the lone goal.
The media did not wait for the game to take Yorke to task though. In
a story headlined "Time may be running out for Yorke", which was splashed
across the internet, one journalist suggested that the player's days at
United could be numbered if his form continues in the current vain.
The writer, Ken Lawrence, pinpoints the dulling partnership between Yorke and Cole as one of the main areas of concern.
"Yorke, dubbed the 'Laughing Cavalier of Old Trafford', has all but lost that cheeky grin while his double act with (Andy) Cole is fast losing its lustre," he wrote. He added: "Indeed, nothing seems to be going right for Yorke at the moment." Lawrence also suggested that the time Yorke spends away from Old Trafford while on duty with T&T at the forthcoming Football Confederation's Gold Cup (February 12-27), could well allow someone else the chance to fill the void.
"By then (end of Gold Cup), one way or another, Ferguson will know whether his biggest buy has simply been suffering from the kind of drought which afflicts any striker, or whether he must re-assess Yorke's importance to the team."
In related news, England-based goalkeeper Shaka Hislop's Gold Cup hopes remain in doubt. Hislop was yesterday ruled out of Premiership action this weekend for West Ham as he is still recovering from a hamstring strain suffered against Leicester 12 days ago.
Ian Cox Transferred
AFC Bournemouth would like to announce the transfer of Ian Cox to Burnley FC in a 3 1/2 year deal worth £500,000.
The 28 year old Club Captain has today agreed personal terms with the
Turf Moor side and both clubs
have concluded the deal.
The transfer signals the start of a restructuring process at AFC Bournemouth
as the club looks to build
on the foundation of the outstanding young players in the squad.
Manager Mel Machin said, "The long term success of this club is all important. We're looking to the future and this deal enables us to develop things the right way.
"Obviously we're disappointed to lose Ian; he's been a terrific Club Captain and a great servant to the club but we feel it's the right time for both him and the club to move on." he continued.
Ian is also sad to part company with the club that he joined from Crystal Palace in March 1996. He said, "It hurts to leave Bournemouth, especially as Captain but when it was clear Burnley wanted to sign me and I talked to them, it seemed the right move to make."
He added, "I want to thank all the fans for their support to me and the team while I've been here. They've shown their loyalty time and time again and I know the club is on the right tract to achieving what we've been striving for. Bournemouth will always be a special place for me."
Ian, who celebrates his 29th birthday in March, has made over 250 appearances
for AFC Bournemouth and recently received an international
call-up to the Trinidad and Tobago squad, where
his teammates include Manchester United's Dwight Yorke.
Ironically, the next home match sees the return of Ian to Dean Court
when we entertain Burnley on
Saturday 12th February for what will surely be an emotional day for the fans and the player.
Corneal takes over Under-23s
Former national footballer Anton Corneal has been officially named as head coach of the local Olympic football team following a meeting among officials of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation on Monday.
Present at the meeting were FIFA vice president Jack Warner, TTFF president Oliver Camps, Edgar Vidale (technical director), Bertille St Clair (senior team coach), Richard Braithwaite (T&T manager), Peter Rampersad (assistant manager) and Richard Groden (secretary).
Earlier this year, Corneal, son of former national coach Alvin Corneal, was tipped to begin working with the under 23 footballers going into two friendly matches against Denmark. However, the former national player left for the United States to handle personal business before taking up the post.
Corneal, who replaces St Clair, will prepare the team for the semi-final round of qualification for the 2000 Sydney Olympics which takes place here in March against Canada, Guatemala and Netherlands Antilles.
The other positions of the technical staff will be filled based on the recommendations of Corneal. During Monday's meeting, the omission of Brent Sancho from the local senior team for a trip to Costa Rica was investigated and TTFF was informed by management of the T&T team that the player was replaced because of technical reasons which had nothing to do with his rasta hairstyle.
The TTFF also confirmed that Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke
will miss T&T's training camp in the Cayman Islands from February 7
to 10. He will join the team on February 9 while West Ham goalkeeper Shaka
Hislop will do the same two days later in the United States.
Brazilians for W Connection
By SHAUN FUENTES
Vibe CT 105 W Connection may be adding a Brazilian flavour to their line-up as they go in search of the 2000 Professional League title.
According to a report in the Brazilian newspaper on Tuesday, a number of players sufficient to make up more than half of a starting line-up are expected to arrive in Trinidad in coming weeks to join the South-based team.
The newspaper hyped the possibility of the South Americans playing in
Trinidad, relating the skill of some of the T&T Under 23 players during
a 7-0 loss to Brazil last month.When contacted yesterday Club president
David John Williams did not deny or confirm the report adding, "If there
is anything further to report, you will be informed in due time."
W Connection took the local football scene by storm last year winning the FA Trophy and finishing runners-up in the President's Cup.The also won the PFL Cup tournaments and third in the League in their first season at the top level.
Currently they have striker Earl Jean and Atiba Charles on trial with Scottish Premier League club Hibernian, and are also noted for contracting foreign players who were able to communicate with some part of their contingent.
French speaking Haitians Gabriel Michel and Chrismona Telusma both unable to speak English, were able to relate with the St Lucian players who also spoke their language.
Now the Portuguese-speaking Brazilians will be able to communicate with goalkeeper Anthony Clarke and striker Wesley Webb who have past experience playing in Portugal. Some seven St Lucians were in the Connection side last season and word is that midfielder Sheldon Mack and defender Francis Lastik may be new additions.
Meanwhile, Connection head coach Stuart Charles Fevrier is currently
serving as technical director of the St Lucian national team preparing
for the 2002 World Cup qualifying campaign. He is expected to rejoin Connection
English FA stages workshop in T&T
The English Football Association will assist in the staging of a football administration workshop for Caribbean officials here in late March.
This was revealed by England 2006 World Cup Committee delegate Jason Hughes last Friday.
Hughes was in Trinidad with fellow England head coach Kevin Keegan and
assistant coach Derek Fazackerly, who delivered the feature address at
Joe Public's awards ceremony at the Dr Joao Havelange Centre of Excellence
The England 2006 Committee is hoping to get the Football Confederation's vote to stage the 2006 World Cup. The decision will be announced by FIFA in July.
Following a media briefing at the Holiday Inn on Friday, Hughes said that the English FA intends to maintain a good relationship with the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation and are willing to assist in the development of the Professional League and the staging of the World Under-17 Championships here in 2001.
"There are areas in world football where we see ourselves being able to assist in the development of Leagues, coaches and players and Trinidad is one. "The Caribbean is an area which is of great interest to England. "We will be having a workshop with the help of Austin Jack Warner for the people who run the game to help in getting the level up," said Hughes.
He was also part of a meeting which included England coach Keegan and officials of local professional clubs at the Eastern Football Association boardroom on Friday. "Really it was about the clubs and us exchanging ideas because they are the guys who understand what it's like to coach teams in this environment and Kevin may well find that he learned about the way it's done here," said Hughes.
Hibs face fight for Latapy
HIBS were today hoping that midfield magician Russell Latapy would receive special dispensation from Trinidad and Tobago to avoid missing up to five matches including next month's derby with Hearts.
The Easter Road outfit are already resigned to losing Latapy later this month as the Soca Warriors play in the Gold Cup in the United States.
But they were left dismayed when it was revealed that T&T's opening World Cup qualifying matches, against Netherlands Antilles would clash with home games against Celtic and Hearts. The first game in Port of Spain is scheduled for March 4 -just 24 hours before Celtic visit Easter Road and the return leg is due to be played on Match 18, the day Hearts cross the Capital.
Hibs boss Alex McLeish, however, has been working hard on building a good relationship with the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation, releasing Latapy for two recent friendly internationals.
His olive branch was reciprocated when the TTFF did not demand Latapy's presence for this week's friendly against Costa Rica and allowed the 31-year-old permission to play for Hibs, against Rangers this Sunday before flying out to join his international team-mates in a training camp on the Cayman islands ahead of the Gold Cup.
Today McLeish insisted there wouldn't be any problems with Latapy's release to play against Celtic and Hearts at a time when T&T are beginning what they believe is their best-ever chance to qualify for the World Cup finals for the first time.
Having been told that T&T don't envisage any problems in disposing of the Dutch Antilles, McLeish said: "This is where the accord we have struck up with the authorities in the Caribbean comes into play."
"I don't anticipate Russell being called up for those games thanks to the relationship we have with the TTFF"
That news will come as a huge relief to Hibs supporters who know that after this Sunday's match Latapy will miss the following Saturday's Premier League clash against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park as T&T kick off their Gold Cup campaign against Mexico in San Diego the next day.
A second game against Guatemala in Los Angeles follows two days later but as T&T are confident of at least malting the second round of the Gold Cup the Americas' equivalent of the European Championships - it is also likely Latapy will be forced to sit out the Tennents Scottish Cup tie against Clydebank at Easter Road on February 19.
But if T&T were to progress to the final of the Gold Cup, although that is thought unlikely Latapy would also miss another League game, away to Aberdeen on February 26.
Regardless of the Gold Cup, however, it now seems certain that Latapy will be available for two matches, which will undoubtedly be crucial to Hills' season.
Meanwhile, wannabe Hibee Atiba Charles was today pinpointed as one of the rising stars of Caribbean football after arriving in Edinburgh for a weeklong trial at Easter Road.
Striker Earl Jean, captain of St Lucia, accompanied the 21-year-old defender and a former team-mate of Latapy in Portugal, when he reported for his first Hibs training session yesterday.
Both are on the books of one of Trinidad and Tobago's top clubs, W-Connection's that arranged Hibs recent tour.
Today W-Connections team operations administrator Norris Ferguson predicted a bright future for 6ftl Charles, who missed Hibs' sunshine trip because he was starring for Trinidad and Tobago's Under-23 side in Brazil at the time Ferguson said: "Charles is a young, exciting player, very dynamic, very athletic. He's fast, good in the tackle and in the air."
"He's a very good prospect, one of the rising stars of Caribbean football. He's a tough player, powerful but very disciplined and a strong character.
"With Alex McLeish having played in the same position he can only improve because he works hard at his game, he listens and learns. I am sure he will improve by leaps and bounds. Being with Hibs will be a learning process for him. The experience and exposure to training with a Scottish Premier League side will be of great benefit."
"It will, of course, be Alex McLeish's decision. He may prove to be what Hibs are looking for or it may be that they'll took upon him as a good prospect, one to keep on file and perhaps have another look at in a year or so."
"But I believe he is a very good prospect who is already picking up international experience."
While McLeish got his first look at Charles yesterday, he already knows a fair amount about 27-year-old Jean, who trained with Hibs in Trinidad and actually scored against the Easter Road outfit in a closed-doors match.
Ferguson said: `Jean is a quality player. He played in England with Plymouth Argyle and Ipswich Town as well as with Latapy in Portugal."
"He has plenty of experience and obviously wouldn't have any problems acclimatising to the weather in Scotland."
Braithwaite confident without John
Trinidad and Tobago's football manager Richard Braithwaite is confident
that the local team will find a competent replacement for Nottingham Forest
striker Stern John who has been ruled out of next month's Gold Cup through
FC Zurich striker Jerren Nixon, Joe Public's Arnold Dwarika, SSV ULM's Evans Wise and Mickey Trotman are the options available to play alongside Manchester star Dwight Yorke.Braithwaite does not see John's absence having a major affect on T&T's showing in the Gold Cup
"Of course, the news of Stern's injury is a big blow to the team. It was under Bertille St Clair that he was given the chance to start for the senior team and he really took a lot of the burden by scoring goals for us over the past two years. "We know it will be difficult to get someone to fill Stern's boots, but fortunately because we have carried out the policy of exposing so many young players over the past two years, we should be able to find an adequate replacement. The presence of Yorke will also be a tremendous boost to the team despite us playing without Stern," said Braithwaite.
About T&T's Gold Cup squad, Braithwaite said: "I think that the coach has done a very good job in selecting the team. He took his time as we knew that we had players with tremendous ability and experience. "This is why we continued the policy of exposing as much players as possible over the two years. But remember the real challenge comes in the World Cup qualifiers, especially in the latter half of 2000."
The manager also found it difficult to understand why reports were being made that defender Brent Sancho was dropped from the senior squad because of his dreadlocks hairstyle.
"How come all this talk suddenly came up. I really can't understand it because Sancho was selected on the team for Panama and Canada. "Interestingly, Brent's name was on a list of 25 players approved by Bertille which Concacaf requested to be submitted by January 14," said Braithwaite. Sancho was not included in the final 18-man squad announced on Friday.
T & T trip was no holiday
From Hibs.Net (by Shaun Dennis, Hibs Centre-half)
IF anyone had the mistaken idea that our trip to Trinidad and Tobago was going to be something of a holiday then that notion was quickly dispelled on our first day's training.
There's this perception here that you'll find a beach and a palm tree on every corner in the Caribbean so it was something of a shock to find ourselves training in front of a huge chemical factory complete with towering chimneys and massive oil tanks.
The morning and evening sessions the boss and Andy Watson put us through proved right away that we'd be in for a tough ten days, although, to be fair, we also had time to relax and recharge the batteries as well as getting our fitness after the break we enjoyed over New Year.
Whether or not the trip was a success will, I suppose, be judged on our results from tomorrow, but I think we all felt the benefit of it.
It was good to get the sun on your back, to get away from the terrible weather we can suffer at this time of year and the frozen pitches.
Having said that, however, I don't think any of us quite anticipated just how hot it would be - it was unbelievable at times.
The conditions, of course, dictated how our games would be played, you certainly couldn't go bombing about the pitch as players do in this country. You had to take your foot off the pedal at times and you could see from the local players how their style is more suited to the conditions, very slow with quick bursts which caught us out initially.
It was also incredible to see the status Russell Latapy enjoys at home. He is certainly a legend over there wherever we went people wanted to meet him - the West Indies cricket captain Brian Lara, for instance, is a great friend of Russell's and he came round especially to say hello.
The local people were, I think, genuinely pleased to see Hibs over there. Everybody we came across was very welcoming and made sure we wanted for nothing.
But while we enjoyed our trip away it was, sadly, overshadowed by the death of one of our fans, Alex Urquhart.
It was a shock to all of the players to hear what had happened as Alex had obviously travelled to Tobago to watch us in action.
We heard of the tragedy after our game on the Wednesday and none of us could quite believe it. All of us extend our deepest sympathy to Alex's family.
It may have come as something of a surprise to many when, on our arrival back in Edinburgh, we were told to report for training on Monday morning as usual.
But it was important after such a long journey that we got back into the swing of things right away. The boss had told us to try to stay up as long as we could on the Sunday night, to try to go to bed as near normal as possible and get a good sleep to get back into our normal sleep patterns rather than head for bed the minute we got in and then be waking up in the early hours of the morning because of the four-hour time difference between here and the Caribbean.
Because of the journey involved we hadn't trained since the final game of our tour on the Friday tight and it would have been much more difficult had we been off Monday and then had to come back in on Tuesday.
But we are back in the old routine again and looking forward to tomorrows game.
STARS GEAR UP FOR ACTION IN GOLD CUP 2000
The stars are returning home in full force for Gold Cup 2000 which begins in the Orange Bowl, Miami on February 12 and ends with the final in the Los Angeles Coliseum on February 27.
Confederation countries have recalled a host of players from many of the major teams in Europe to take part in the 12-nationGold Cup, the region's most prestigious tournament.
Among the many big names on view will be Trinidad and Tobago's Dwight Yorke (Manchester United),Shaka Hislop (West Ham ), Anthony Rougier (Port Vale ), Russell Latapy (Hebernian), the USA's Claudio Reyna (Glasgow Rangers), Costa Rica's Paulo Wanchope (West Ham United) and his club teammate Craig Forrest (Canada) and Jamaica's Deon Burton (Derby Co) and Marcus Gayle (Wimbledon).
Similarly, Peru, one of the three invited guest nations, include Newcastle United's Nolberto Solano on their roster.
Not only is the prestigious Gold Cup 2000 at stake but, for many of the Confederation's competing teams, the first qualifying rounds for World Cup 2002 begin shortly after the end of the Gold Cup and thus the tournament serves the dual purpose of vital preparation for those games, too.
The first of the World Cup qualifiers, in fact, will be only a week from the Gold Cup final when, on March 4, Trinidad and Tobago will meet Netherlands' Antilles and Honduras will face Nicaragua. The Central American zone schedule has already been announced while the full Caribbean schedule is expected to be confirmed this week.
The Gold Cup, featuring nine qualifiers from the Confederation of North,
Central American Caribbean Association Football and three invited teams,
kicks off in Miami on February 12 with a double header of USA vs. Haiti
and Colombia vs. Jamaica and concludes with the Final in Los Angeles on
Kevin Keegan lends his support
By Shaun Fuentes
England head coach Kevin Keegan says he willing to assist FIFA vice president Jack Warner and the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation whenever called upon, once in coincides with his scheduled in his homeland.
The former England player conducted two coaching clinics for Joe Public and Laventille youngsters on the weekend and also had an advisory session with officials of the clubs in the Professional League.
Keegan understands that this country has a strong desire to improve it's football and be a regular participant at the World Cup. And so he is willing to lend support in whatever areas possible.
"I want to have a good relationship with anyone who's interested in football. I have been to a lot of other countries and Jack Warner is someone who I like and he's a lot of fun to be with. He's got a dream and a vision and that is something I can relate with. Somebody's got to make things happen and there are always people who say we should do this and do that but Jack is the one who makes things happen. "He'll get my support whenever I can give it. I mean Trinidad is a long way from England but it's not that long that I can't come and help a friend. "The next time I'll probably come and give week long coaching courses," Keegan said in an interview on Friday.
The former Newcastle boss gave a 27-minute address at Joe Public's Awards Ceremony at the Concacaf Centre of Excellence, Macoya on Saturday night in which he appealed for there to be sufficient patience and support from all those concerned in order for local football, particularly the PFL to be a success.
He added that more emphasis must be put on the youth of the nation and that senior players should act as role models for their (youngsters) development."This is a tremendous responsibility because it is the youth who are going to carry everything forward," said Keegan.
The former England skipper and 1979 European "Player of the Year" added that it is important for the administrators to always have good communication with the players being able to explain reasons for decisions such as why the player was dropped or put in a different position and other club relating matters.
Rating Manchester United's Dwight Yorke among the top five strikers
currently in England, Keegan said a players' past or background is never
a factor in being allowed the chance to play the game. "It doesn't matter
where you come from but where you go," said Keegan.
Latapy to sit out warmup
Trinidad and Tobago's Russell Latapy may not be joining his teammates for a three-day stay in the Cayman Islands prior to the Football Confederation Gold Cup later this month. The Little Magician said in Scotland on the weekend that he will remain to play for Hibernian against Premier League giants Rangers on Sunday.
T&T are scheduled to arrive in the Cayman Islands on Monday for a three day training camp before moving onto to the US for their Gold Cup opener against Mexico on February 13.This is not good news for local coach Bertille St Clair who was hoping to have all his players in camp before the tournament.
FIFA vice president Jack Warner said efforts were also being made to have Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke and West Ham goalkeeper Shaka Hislop join the team at least five days before the Mexico clash.
"The squad is going to the Cayman Islands to prepare for the Gold Cup but I will be here for the Rangers game and then probably go straight to the States. Mexico are the seeds and it will probably be between us and the Guatemalans for the other place," said Latapy.
Reports in Scotland stated that Latas could end up losing his place in the starting eleven if he stays away for a long period with the T&T team.The Hibs fans are therefore hoping that the local squad is knocked out in the first round of the Gold Cup.
But Latapy will not be backing out of the World Cup qualifiers which begin on March 4 against the Netherlands Antilles. "I want to play in the World Cup qualifying ties because I think with the European club players we have at the moment we have a real chance of making the finals," he said.
If T&T progress to the Gold Cup quarter finals, Latapy will miss
Hibs' Scottish fourth round clash. "I've had these problems previously
when I played in Portugal. When I was 25 I could step off a plane and play
the next day but I'm getting on a bit now and it is not very easy."
A house for Mr Dwarika
JOE Public striker Arnold Dwarika, continues to reap the benefits for his outstanding achievements on the field of play in last year's inaugural Craven A Professional Football League.
Already awarded a brand new Nissan Sentra motor car after being named PFL "Player of the Year" for 1999, Dwarika was presented with keys to a brand new three bedroom penthouse on Saturday.
This came after he was unanimously voted as club's "Player of the Year" at a gala awards function, at the João Havelange Centre of Excellence.Dwarika, who scored a record 44 goals last season, had expected to earn the car-put on show before the start of the season-for his efforts in the PFL.
But the house came as a surprise, after the National Housing Authority (NHA) decided to donate it to him, as part of what appears to be a new promotional campaign to attract customers from a broader spectrum of the society. After receiving the keys from NHA chairman Peter Greogoire and signing his lease, Dwarika was overwhelmed.
"I feel great about this," he said. "I worked very hard last season and so far I'm reaping nice benefits. I now have a car, a house, I don't need anything else right now. It's an incentive to work even harder next season."
Dwarika added that while he was not expecting to score 44 goals last season, he had set himself a target of at least 32 goals, one more than he scored the season before.But now, his main focus, is the forthcoming Football Confederation's Gold Cup (February 12-27).
"Right now we (national team) have a nice preparation. I think we'll be surprising some of those big countries in the Gold Cup." T&T lost the services of England-based striker Stern John for the Gold Cup due to injury. And while pointing out that John's loss will be a big blow, Dwarika said the other players would all have to fill the void.
"That (injury to John) was a very sad thing. the morale of the team was down a bit on hearing that knowing Stern, bound to score as they call him, was out. Now we'll have to work a bit harder so everybody will have to pull their weight and each one must chip in and score goals now."
Greogoire explained the reason for their decision to donate the house to Dwarika. "He's a national hero and we're supposed to treat him now, not wait till he's dead," he explained.
"We mustn't have people who are national heroes going like how the Flag Man (Gerald Lewis) went. Let us give him his honours. that's where we come in." Club chairman Jack Austin Warner, was also proud for his player. However, he was also, more pleased that his club, and by extension the local federation and the players, were finally being honoured for their achievements.
"I've seen, over the last few months particularly, that things are falling into place at the national level, at the club level and in the League (PFL). It gives me a sense of achievement and I feel very gratified that this whole success is based on the collective effort of everybody."
Dwarika was not the only player honoured on the night. Former skipper Angus Eve, who has now gone on to join English Third Division club Chester City, was named as the PFL team's "Most Valuable Player" while Kerwyn "Hardest" Jemmott copped the "Rookie of the Year" title.
On the women's side, Jane Public goalkeeper Nicole Mitchell got the
"MVP" nod.It was also announced at the session that the club had landed
a new US$3m sponsorship deal with Italian sportswear manufacturer L-Sporto.
Tuesday February 1st, 2000
Trinidad and Tobago droped a 2-1 decesion to Central American powerhouse Costa Rica last Thursday. A early goal by Mickey Trotman was not enough to stop Costa Rican forward Hector Medford from running through the Trinidad and Tobago defence and causing trouble.
Trinidad and Tobago next encounter is expected to be versus Peru just
before the Gold Cup.
Keegan praises Dwight, Shaka
Keegan on Friday spoke of his admiration for the Tobago-born Manchester United striker and feels that he could form a formidable partnership up front with teammate Andy Cole in England colours.
Unfortunately, FIFA rules prevent Yorke from playing for another country since he has already represented T&T at senior level even with British citizenship. "I can't have him but if you're saying whether I will like Dwight Yorke in an England team the answer would be yes. "Because he's got talent and he's a great player. And also he makes teams tick. Whenever he plays well the whole team plays well. "I'll like to have him but it's no good wanting something you can't have.
Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole have been sensational together.They have a lot in common both on and off the field and they work very hard for each other,' said Keegan. The former England player is in Trinidad as guest speaker at the third annual awards function of Joe Public Football Club held last evening and to conduct two coaching clinics.
Keegan also spoke very highly of goalkeeper Shaka Hislop who played under him at Newcastle United. Hislop, was once eligible to play for England before deciding to join the T&T side.
"I don't know why he wasn't picked. I could only guess. I signed Shaka for a lot of money and he's a great goalkeeper but maybe he thought he couldn't wait any longer to play for England," said Keegan.
The former England international added that probably Hislop may have gotten the chance to play for that country had he waited a little bit longer. "Probably yes, he would have gotten a pick. But Shaka has to realise is he's not getting any younger now. Maybe he wanted desperately to play international football. He and Dwight Yorke are close friends.
Maybe Dwight said to him come on let's help make Trinidad and Tobago
a stronger side," said Keegan
Warner to fight for Yorke, Hislop
By MARK POUCHET (Courtesy Trinidad Express)
In naming the team for the February 12-27 Gold Cup in San Diego, California,
Fifa vice-president Austin Jack Warner said all stops would be pulled
out to secure the services of Dwight Yorke and Shaka Hislop in time for
the team's February 7-10 training camp in the Grand Cayman.
At the Calypso Room of the Holiday Inn yesterday, Warner was talking at a media briefing called by his own Joe Public Football Club to introduce England manager Kevin Keegan. Keegan is scheduled to deliver the feature address at the club's 3rd Annual Awards ceremony tonight at the Indoor Facility of the João Havelange Centre of Excellence.
Saying that Manchester United and West Ham United had indicated that Yorke and Hislop would only be released for national duty on February 12, the CFU boss disclosed that the English Premier clubs' concession did not satisfy him.
"We can't agree with that," he stressed, "but first we will try diplomatically to get these players for the training camp. And if that doesn't work then, I will have to use my clout in FIFA to get it done."
Earlier, the Football Federation chief made reference to the ease with which the African nations were able to secure their foreign-based players for the XXII edition of the African Cup of Nations Cup co-hosted by Ghana and Nigeria.
"Imagine Nigeria, out of their 22-man squad were able to get all 22 foreign-based players for the African Cup. So why is it so difficult for us to get our overseas players for our games? We have to be more aggressive from now and our aggresion starts today with the naming of this team," he declared.
Despite Warner's complaints, T&T's 18-man squad comprises 13 who ply their trade outside this country. That figure does not inclde Shurland David who recently signed with Chester City and is still awaiting a work permit. Arnold Dwarika, Mickey Trotman, Derek King and Stokely Mason are the only locally-based players included in Bertille St Clair's squad.
Earlier, Warner revealed that Keegan would conduct a clinic with some local youths at the Centre of Excellence where each child would be given a ball. At his turn at the podium, Keegan said he hoped that his visit here would "leave behind enjoyment for the kids of this country". Before appearing at the media briefing, Keegan paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Basdeo Panday at his residence.
T&T GOLD CUP SQUAD:
Shaka Hislop (Westham), Clayton Ince (Crewe Alexander), Marvin Andrews
(Raith Rovers), Ansil Elcock (Columbus Crew), Anthony Rougier -Capt. (Portvale),
Ian Cox (Bournemouth), Ronnie Mauge (Bristol Rovers), Russell Latapy (Hibernian),
David Nakhid (Al Emirates), Angus Eve (Chester City), Evans Wise (SSV Ulm
1846), Arnold Dwarika, Mickey Trotman, Stokely Mason (Joe Public), Shurland
David (San Juan Jabloteh), Derek King (W Connection), Jerren Nixon (FC
Trinidad player says dropped because of hairstyle
(Reuters) - Trinidad and Tobago's Brent Sancho says he has been dropped from the national soccer team because of his Rastafarian hairstyle.
Sancho, a midfielder based in Finland, told the Caribbean news agency CANA he was omitted from the team to play in a friendly against Costa Rica on Wednesday because of his dreadlocks.
The 22-year-old player was told by coach Bertille St Clair he would not be considered for the Costa Rica match if his hair were not cut or made neat. Several other players have complained of similar hair problems under St Clair.
Trinidad and Tobago team manager Richard Braithwaite this week defended St Clair's position, saying the coach was not discriminating against the players because of their hairstyle.
"There is a code of deportment that the coach demands of all national players," Braithwaite said. "Bertille has insisted that once you are representing your country you must be neat in your appearance.
"I think the issue is one of neatness than hairstyle. The coach does
not have a problem with Rasta hairstyles as long as it is neat."
Stern in tears
By IRVING WARD (Courtesy Trinidad Express)
ENGLAND-based professional Stern John fought desperately to hold back
the tears yesterday.
This after 22-year-old Nottingham Forest striker was ruled out for the rest of the season after a visit to a knee specialist in Belgium.
The diagnosis effectively ended John's hopes of representing Trinidad and Tobago at both the forthcoming Football Confederation's Gold Cup and the early World Cup qualifying rounds.
Speaking to the Express from his England flat just after returning from Belgium, John was still wrestling with the disappointing news.
"This really hurts," he said in a crackling voice.
"This is still really disappointing for me because I really wanted to play badly. But there's nothing I can do about it. I can't contribute as I would like to but I'll be there at the Gold Cup. If I can't be on the field at least I'll be there to support my teammates."
But Trinidad and Tobago coach Bertille St Clair's woes do not stop there. News out of England yesterday also suggest that he could lose the services of goalkeeper Shaka Hislop as well.
West Ham doctors said that Hislop, who limped off the field on Saturday with a hamstring injury, could be out of action for six weeks.
Team doctors were still hopeful that, with treatment, Hislop could be back in a fortnight's time. There is no such hope for John, though.
"The doctor told me I'll be out for five months," he said adding, "the only good news I got there was that I won't be needing surgery and rest and rehabilitation should get me ready for the next season".
John had been eagerly anticipating linking up with England-based compatriot Dwight Yorke in the February 12-27 Gold Cup.
But those hopes were dashed on Saturday when he limped off the field with the injury, a posterior cruciate ligament tear in his left knee. He added that Yorke, Manchester United's £12.6m striker, had already helped him to look ahead.
"When (Yorke) heard I got injured he called me the same night. We were talking about the fact that we hadn't played together and we still wouldn't get the chance. I told him I was disappointed, but he told me not to worry because I was young and have some time yet."
At first, Forest doctors were hopeful that John would be out for a couple weeks. But an MRI scan on Monday revealed serious damage had been done.
While his visit to the knee specialist in Belgium revealed that he will not require surgery, John must now go through extensive rehabilitation process, beginning today.
John said the incident occurred in the last 15 minutes of the game in a clash with the West Brom keeper.
"I went for a diving header in the box and just barely hit the keeper. But I hit my knee when I fell to the ground. When I tried to get up and run off it just locked up and I had to go off immediately," he said.
Nottingham Forest boss David Platt has already been very accommodating. He has already indicated that he will give his Trinidad and Tobago star time off to travel to see his country play in the Gold Cup and World Cup.
This is the first major injury of John's career. It comes after he played out three seasons in the United States. He began his pro career with the New Orleans Riverboat Gamblers in 1997 then played with Major League Soccer outfit Columbus Crew from 1998 up to November last year when he was snapped up by Platt for £1.5m.
He is still not sure he will be prepared for what is to come next.
"I've never gone down this road before and it'll take me a while to adjust for sure," he said.
"It'll be kind of hard just doing rehab and watching when you really
want to play. But I must lift myself and put the work because there's next
season. I'm starting rehab from tomorrow."
Stern injured out Gold Cup
TRINIDAD and Tobago were yesterday preparing themselves for a battle with several English clubs over the release of their top pros for next month's Football Confederation's Gold Cup (February 12-27).
This after news came from England that star striker Stern John had been injured out of the prestigious event.
The 22-year-old Nottingham Forest star is eyeing a lengthy lay off after damaging a posterior cruciate ligament in his knee during action against West Brom on Saturday.
According to reports out of England yesterday John-who had an MRI scan done on the injury on Monday-is now expected to visit a knee specialist to determine whether he needs surgery.
This will no doubt force T&T coach Bertille St Clair to leave him out of his 18-man Gold Cup squad which must be named by the end of this week. John has been the country's most prolific scorer in the last year and was expected to form a very potent frontline with England-based Dwight Yorke.
Speaking about the matter yesterday, T&T general Manager Richard Braithwaite said it would be unfortunate if indeed John were to miss the tournament.
He however, added that the technical staff would wait until they heard from the player and his club before making a final decision.
Braithwaite's somewhat guarded comment was sparked by the kind of treatment being meted out to several of T&T's foreign-based players by their respective clubs over their availability for the Gold Cup.
"I think Trinidad and Tobago has tried to be very reasonable and flexible in requesting our players from overseas clubs to play with the national team. But it seems that some clubs do not appreciate our diplomatic approach," he said.
Braithwaite revealed that players including John, skipper Anthony Rougier (Port Vale) and Angus Eve (Chester City), were being put under pressure by their clubs to stay away from the prestigious tournament.
He explained that the issue of the players' absence from their clubs was the main area of concern. This topic, he added, was being misrepresented in the British press though.
"There is so much misinformation in the British media about the overseas players that it is unbelievable and it has been going on like this for a long time now, increasing in hysteria.
"At first I thought it may have been a mistake, because the information is terribly inaccurate, but there appears to be more to it than that."
Braithwaite said he believed the information was being fed to the media as part of a massive campaign by the clubs to influence Fifa to change its policy on the release of players for international duty.
"What is even more absurd is that the same clubs have players from several different countries but those countries have no problems getting their players. Anytime it is "small Trinidad and Tobago" it is a big problem and a long story with all kinds of problems and threats."
Some clubs, he added, do not "even have the courtesy" to reply to requests for players for international duty.
T&T aim for victory against Costa Ricans
Trinidad and Tobago footballers will aim to get things right when they
face Costa Rica in a friendly encounter at the Ricardo Saprissa Stadium,
Costa Rica at 10 pm tonight (T&T time).
After nine consecutive victories last year, T&T drew 2-2 with Panama in October and then lost 3-2 to Honduras a month later. A 0-0 draw with Canada and 1-0 lost to Morocco followed.
Captain Anthony Rougier will hope that the T&T side which includes seven Under-23 players and missing several key overseas based players including Stern John can give a fine account of themselves.
The Central Americans are also hoping for a good result in their first international of the year.
Rougier, FC Zurich striker Jerren Nixon and midfielder Clint Marcelle trained with the side yesterday morning and were expected to have their first session on the Saprissa Stadium last evening.
Olympic team captain Travis Mulraine said from the team hotel yesterday that the players were in high spirits ahead of the match.
Costa Rican coach Marvin Rodriguez is concerned about his team's fitness level and will also be looking at four new faces (Sandro Alfaro, Hermidio Barrantes, Jervis Dummond and Jafet Soto) before finalising his Gold Cup squad.
"The idea here is to maintain a team that can gel to the coaching staff's ideas about the game. The Gold Cup is around the corner and one of the most important points is that we have a team that presents itself well.
" This friendly against Trinidad and Tobago will be a good test for the Cup. We will still take precautions towards Trinidad and Tobago, even without their star striker Dwight Yorke," Rodriguez said at a press conference yesterday.
T&T team manager Richard Braithwaite and coach Bertille St Clair
are hopeful of a positive performance just before the Gold Cup. Another
match, against Peru may also be contested before next month's tournament
"The Gold Cup squad is almost finalised. The coach just needs to see a couple more players before selecting his final squad. This match against the Costa Ricans is somewhat of a dress rehearsal for the players," said Braithwaite.
With midfielder Russell Latapy, David Nakhid and Ronnie Mauge out of this match, young Brent Rahim, who came on against Canada earlier this month, may make his first starting appearance for T&T.
CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh striker Hector Sam, Joe Public's Nigel Pierre, Nixon, Kerwyn Jemmot and Mickey Trotman will all hope to make St Clair's starting eleven tonight.
The last time the two teams met Costa Rica were 4-0 winners in a friendly
in January of 1998.
Sancho to meet Warner on
By SHAUN FUENTES (Courtesy Trinidad Guardian)
National defender Brent Sancho is expected to hold talks with FIFA vice president Jack Warner this week concerning his omission from the national senior team because of his dreadlocks hairstyle.
Sancho claimed that he was dropped from the side for today's match against Costa Rica by coach Bertille St Clair because of his hair.
He was also left out of the side which played Morocco for the same reason. The 23-year-old Sancho said yesterday that he is also expected to have a meeting Trinidad and Tobago Football president Oliver Camps on the matter.
Warner said from Brussels, Belgium before leaving for T&T yesterday that he wasn't aware of such a situation but will look into the matter later in the week. "I really am not aware of the rumours which y are now circulating and, if they are, it is unfortunate at this particular point in time," said Warner.
The Joe Public chairman also took time to dismiss claims that new Joe Public coach Ian Porterfield will be joining the technical staff of the senior team, as the offer has already been turned down.
"Ian Porterfield came here to coach the Joe Public team and no one else. His record is impeccable and I did offer him to the National Team for any assistance which they may need but the offer was not accepted and I have since moved on.
I am doing all that is humanly possible to allow this country to succeed
where I know it can but in the end one can only do so much and no more"
said Warner It is understood that a few national players including under
23 captain Travis Mulraine will also be spoken to for further details on
Word is that Public are also trying to have Sancho in their line-up
for the 2000 Professional League season.
Meanwhile, England head coach Kevin Keegan arrives here on Thursday before delivering the feature address at Joe Public's awards ceremony on Saturday at the Concacaf Centre of Excellence, Macoya. Keegan will be accompanied by England 2006 delegates John Hughes and Derek Fazackerley.
Yorke to play only one game?
MANCHESTER, (Reuters) -
Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke said on Monday he would miss only one Manchester United league game while on international duty.
United were worried that Yorke's national side Trinidad and Tobago would demand the forward remain with the national squad after the CONCACAF Gold Cup to play in a series of World Cup qualifiers.
But Yorke insisted he would miss only the match at Newcastle on February 12 and would be back for the trip to Wimbledon on February 26. "Things have been sorted out and it's not as bad as people have been saying it was. As far as I'm concerned I will only miss the Newcastle game.
"The World Cup qualifiers start in March, but they are games that Trinidad cancertainly win without me, and I'm sure they understand. "I've had many conversations over the phone with the Trinidad F.A. and they understand the position clearly. I will only go back if they really need me."
T&T off to Costa Rica
TRINIDAD and Tobago's football coach Bertille St Clair has included seven Under-23 players in his senior squad of 17 which leaves this morning for a friendly match against Costa Rica on Wednesday.
Following a practice session at the Concacaf Centre of Excellence at Macoya yesterday morning, St Clair called up Joe Public's Kerwyn "Hardest" Jemmot, Nigel Pierre, Travis Mulraine and Keyeno Thomas, Hector Sam (CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh) as well as midfielder Brent Rahim and Vibe CT 105 W Connection defender Derek King.
The squad will be captained by Anthony Rougier. The only noticeable name missing from the line-up is Finland based defender Brent Sancho.
The other regular senior members on the side to face the Central Americans are Arnold Dwarika, Shurland David, Jerren Nixon, Mickey Trotman, Ansil Elcock, Stokely Mason, Rougier, goalkeepers Michael McComie and Ross Russell and midfielder Clint Marcelle.
English-born defenders Ian Cox (Bournemouth) and Ronnie Mauge (Bristol Rovers), former national skipper David Nakhid (Al Emirates), Stern John, Angus Eve (Chester), Dwight Yorke (Manchester United) and Russell Latapy (Hibernian) were all excused by St Clair because of commitments to their clubs.
John also went off with an ligament injury during Nottingham Forest's
0-0 draw with West Bromwich Albion."It does appear that he has a ligament
injury which will need a scan over the weekend. It doesn't look too good
at the moment but we'll just have to wait and see the result of
X-rays," Forest manager David Platt said after the match.
Sancho has caught the eyes of many T&T fans with his play at the back recently after appearing in the Mt D'or Champions League with Joe Public and starting with the Olympic team.
He is reportedly having selection problems because of his dreadlocks hairstyle. During the last two months, Sancho gave up the chance to play on loan with Dutch club Willem II Tilburg as well as try out with a couple Belgian teams because T&T team management requested that he return home to play with the national team. It is understood that the 23-year-old player has been asked to trim his hair before he can command a place on the senior team.
However, T&T general team manager Richard Braithwaite yesterday
said this was not the case.
"This is just old talk that people are trying to spread. Brent has played for the Under-23 team and even went to Brazil. If that's the case then what about Arnold Dwarika?" asked Braithwaite.
Dwarika also sports a dreadlocks hairstyle. Braithwaite added that the Costa Rica match will give St Clair his final chance to view a several players before finalising the squad for next month's Football Confederation Gold Cup in the United States.