July News
June News
Tuesday July 18th, 2000
I am on my way to T&T to see the Mexico-T&T game. I will be back on August 2nd. Look out for new video when I get back.

For the current news I direct you to the Trinidad Guardian and Trinidad Express sports pages. You should also check out the Flex's site for additional information.

Mexico unimpressive in win over Panama
The good news for Mexican soccer fans Sunday was that their beloved Tricolor went to Panama and took care of business. A 1-0 win, good for three points and first place in Group C of the Football Confederation's World Cup qualifying group.

The bad news? Well, everything except the result.

Mexico hardly looked like the region's dominant team against Panama. El Tri looked disorganized, appeared lost offensively and played without rhythm. The starting lineup was questionable, the subs ineffective.

But does it really matter how the team played? Should the win not take precedence over everything else? Much to the dismay of Mexican fans, a win in this case does not necessarily make up for everything.

Mexico's play Sunday is not a fluke. El Tri dodged numerous bullets in the first half. Had it not been for a lack of finishing on the Panamanians' part, El Tri could very well have left the country with nothing.

Percival Piggott missed two clear scoring chances just yards from the goal. Who knows how the Mexicans would have responded to a one or two goal deficit?

Mexico fielded a questionable starting lineup. Omitted from the starting 11 were Luis Hernandez and Francisco Palencia, two lethal forwards proven on the international stage. In their place were Jose Manuel Abundis, a normally dependable forward who was nearly invisible, and Jesus Olalde, a youngster with less than five games of experience with El Tri.

Midfielders Braulio Luna and German Villa were left off in favor of two relatively untested youngsters, Victor Ruiz and Miguel Angel Zepeda.

The absence of Cuauhtemoc Blanco only made matters worse. Blanco injured his knee in May during a Copa Libertadores match with Club America and has not fully recovered. Even if healthy, who is to say he would have started?

Tri coach Manuel Lapuente has the habit of experimenting with lineups. Ever the architect, he seems intent on finding the exact combination that works, regardless of how long it takes. In 1998, Mexico had nine friendlies in Europe to prepare for the World Cup.

Lapuente fielded nine different starting lineups.

The tactic may have worked then, as El Tri's second-round finish would prove, but his is hardly the way to build stability.

Players misunderstood each other from the start. Defenders Pavel Pardo and Salvador Carmona made several runs up the field at ill-advised times, perhaps trying to compensate from the inexperience at midfield. This left the defense shorthanded, which the quick Panamanian forwards nearly took advantage.

Hernandez and Palencia started the second half. Both players, though, took time to get adjusted to the herky-jerky rhythm of the match. The goal, a feeble 88th minute score by Zepeda, did not make up for the team's poor play.

Mexico must take a different approach to next week's match at Trinidad & Tobago. Where Panama failed, T&T will surely succeed. If Trinidad & Tobago is able to penetrate the Mexican defense the way Panama did, rest assured some goals will be scored. Dwight Yorke will certainly not miss on chances the way Piggott did.

Perhaps Mexico thinks once the team takes the field in Azteca Stadium for its home matches that everything will be better. This may very well be the case. After all, Mexico is 43-0-3 in its last 46 qualifying matches in Mexico City.

However, a loss this Sunday in Port-of-Spain will not bode well. This would force Mexico to win all of its home matches or face the unenviable task of needing a win in its final match, in Toronto against Canada in mid-November.

Lapuente needs to make a decision on one starting lineup, preferably with experienced players, and stick with it. Continued lackluster results could embarrass the country and cost Lapuente his job.

Cheers in Trinidad follow 2-0 soccer win over Canada

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (AP) -- Smokey and Bunty's bar burst into cheers as Dwight Yorke drilled home an insurance goal at the 75th minute of Trinidad's 2-0 World Cup qualifying-round win against Canada.

A handful of Canadians on hand at the popular St. James bar on Sunday rued the bets they'd made on their team, which put up enough of a final assault to keep the attention of 50-odd fans until the closing whistle.

Once the game was won, the salvos started.

Callers to a post-game program on one radio station, FM 105, said the Trinidadians still looked vulnerable at midfield and defence one week before hosting Mexico at Port-of-Spain's Hasley Crawford Stadium.

The individual performances of fullbacks Dennis Lawrence and Mervin Andrews were praised, as was Angus Eve's scorcher, an upper-net shot set up by a nimble spin and turn that put Trinidad up 1-0 in the first half.

Commentator John Williams called Yorke's goal "clinical and romantic" all at once.

The striker moved the ball single-handedly from near midfield toward the goal and got off a shot just before a Canadian defender was to strip him of the ball.

The win comes after a series of lacklustre performances that make Trinidadians feel the team is playing beneath its potential.

Trinidad had lost three of its last five games, including a 1-0 loss to Canada and a recent 4-2 defeat to Jamaica. Neither was in World Cup competition.

With the West Indies cricket team led by Trinidadian batter Brian Lara getting pummelled in England, the soccer win came as an especially sweet triumph, albeit one goal short of the 3-0 trouncing local newspapers were calling for.

Now team awaits Mexico


NATIONAL football coach Ian Porterfield was obviously happy with Trinidad and Tobago's 2-0 victory over Canada and will be awaiting an assessment of Mexico's 1-0 victory over Panama, as the local team prepares to face them on Sunday at Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo.

T&T's English-based scout John Stubbs was sent to Panama City to witness the game and according to Porterfield, Stubbs will send through his report today.

The Scotland-born coach praised the efforts of Russell Latapy and his teammates against the Canadians.

Latapy too was a happy captain.
"We got a lot of stick after the game against Jamaica and today the boys came out and showed a lot of courage and determination today. It's nice to get three points in the first game of this round," Latapy said Sunday night from Edmonton Plaza.

Also speaking from Edmonton Plaza, Porterfield made special mention of Dwight Yorke for his effort to play with an ankle strain.

"All credit to Dwight who wasn't 100 per cent fit going into the game. He scored a wonderful goal for us. Many a player would not have wanted to play in his condition but he went out there and did it for his country," said Porterfield.

While there are areas to work on, he's confident that T&T will improve as the campaign goes on.

Now T&T must concentrate on doing well against Mexico.
"People back home in Trinidad and Tobago should give these boys all the credit.
"To get three points was most important, because winning is what the game is all about," said Porterfield. The T&T team is expected home this morning.

Monday July 17th, 2000

T&T defeat Canda 2-0
Trinidad and Tobago defeated Canada 2-0 in there first game of the semi-final round of world cup qualifiers. This was the first time in the history of T&T's meeting with Canada that the Soca Warriors came out on top.

T&T returns home to face Mexico, Panama and Canada.

Goals: Angus Eve scores in the first half.
          Dwight Yorke puts T&T up 2-0.

Post Game: CTV Sportsnet including Latapy interview
                  TSN Sportsdesk

Sunday July 16th, 2000

Latapy : My country comes first
DYNAMIC Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Russell Latapy has been the target of a few European clubs, but the "Little Magician" has put thoughts about a move on hold, preferring to concentrate on national duty.

Since arriving in Edmonton, Canada, Latapy and Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke have been grabbing the headlines in newspapers there, being sighted as Canada's main threats in today's World Cup qualifier.

Yorke was a featured guest at the City Hall there on Thursday.
Latapy has been targeted by English clubs Sunderland, Leicester City and Ipswich Town, who are willing to pay £2 million for his services.

While "Latas" is happy at Hibs, he's not counting out a move.
"There was some interest from other clubs at the end of the season but I just left it with the club and the agents. It's a very long season and I just wanted to go on holiday.

"I can't be focused on everything at the same time and it's really important that I'm focused on the national team at this present time.

"To be honest, I'm very happy at Hibs and I'm really enjoying playing my football. It all depends on what offers come in and sitting down and thinking about it properly before making a decision," said Latapy.

He won't mind playing alongside Yorke at Manchester United, who had their eyes on him, at one stage during the 1998/99 season.
"Ah, that'd be lovely to play alongside him, not only with the national team, but that might be difficult."

Injury worries T&T

"GO T&T! Show them what you've got!"
That's how the Carib song for the Trinidad and Tobago senior team goes, and that's what captain Russell Latapy and his men will be aiming to do when they clash with Canada in the opening game of their 2002 World Cup qualifying semi-final round at Common-wealth Stadium, Edmonton, from 8 pm (T&T time).

T&T had a late session at the stadium yesterday but coach Ian Porterfield was being forced to rethink his strategies, after Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke and Stern John picked up injuries.

According to Porterfield, speaking from Edmonton Plaza last night, Yorke awkwardly stepped into a hole on the Victoria Training Ground Friday, straining his ankle in the process. John's case is serious, as a knock on the knee has made him doubtful to play any part tonight.

Kansas City Wizards striker Gary Glasgow is a likely replacement for John in the starting line-up, while either Arnold Dwarika or Nigel Pierre may step in for Yorke.

The local team has gone six World Cup qualifying games unbeaten, but tonight is when the real "thing" starts as the two countries begin action in Group "C" which includes Mexico and Panama, with the top two advancing to final qualifying round, from which three go through to Japan /Korea.

Yorke is expected to attract the most attention from the Canadians, but while he's known as the country's most celebrated player, Dwarika, Angus Eve, Marvin Andrews, Ansil Elcock, Latapy and goalkeeper Clayton Ince among the rest will surely need to play their part if T&T are to break the jinx of never beating the Gold Cup champions in a major competition.

There's no pressure on the United striker.
Porterfield said T&T are focused on getting a good result. "The guys are in a very good mood at the moment. I think they have begun to understand the importance of the World Cup."

T&T to try for three

Sport Desk

TRINIDAD and Tobago continue their quest to reach the 2002 World Cup tonight when they tackle Canada at the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton from 8 p.m. (TT time).

The game is their first engagement in the semifinal phase of the Football Confederation’s qualifying series but it has taken on an even greater significance for skipper Russell Latapy and his teammates.

Already under pressure to go one better than the 1989 “Strike Squad”, it has become even more urgent for Latapy’s squad to do well today in the wake of a series of poor performances coming into the encounter.

The men in red, white and black lost three out of five games in the build-up to today’s game, including a 0-1 loss to Canada and a 4-2 defeat to archrivals Jamaica last Saturday right here at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

However, contending that they had “learned invaluable lessons” from these encounters, T&T coach Ian Porterfield was confident they would be able to lift their game today.

Their principal goal will be to take all three points from the home team, the best possible start they could ask for. “You always go for victory in football,” Porterfield told the Sunday Express. “And I certainly believe we’ve got the ability and the ammunition to get a good result. But it’s not going to be a case where you just throw caution to the wind to go and win the game.”

Pointing out that they had sent their England-based scout, John Stubbs, to look at the Canadians during their build-up to this game, Porterfield explained that he felt they had obtained enough information on them to facilitate victory.

“Football’s a science and you’ve got to understand that. And the fact is that we’ve watched Canada play and know all about them. We know their strengths and I think we know their weaknesses and we’ve got to cancel that out if we’re to win the game.”

But, aware that the Canadians had also done their homework, the Scotland-born coach was also wary of making any predictions about victory by his team.
“I’m sure the Canadian coach (Holger Osieck) thinks he knows our strengths and weaknesses as well. So to be honest I feel that this stage, to win the game would be wonderful and that’s what we’d really like to do. But if we came back with a point, in our first game away from home, then I wouldn’t be totally disappointed.”

Latapy himself will be in charge of the midfield, which should also include Angus Eve, Arnold Dwarika and Reynold Carrington, who looks set to earn the defensive midfielder role after impressing during the build-up to this game.

England-based duo Dwight Yorke (Manchester United), the man Canadian coach Osieck explained will be the home team’s main concern, and Stern John (Nottingham Forest) will spearhead the attack.

Speaking about his side, Porterfield said: “We’ve got some very good players and I certainly believe that if we get the right breaks, we can qualify (for the next round). But in saying that, we know that you only get out of life what you put in.”

On the other side, T&T will—thankfully—not have to worry about goalkeeper Craig Forrest, the man who single-handedly kept Latapy’s side at bay in the 0-1 loss to Canada in the Gold Cup semifinal earlier this year.

Forrest, who plays with T&T custodian Shaka Hislop at English Premiership club West Ham, is still recovering after having a hernia operation in the off-season.

The big question expected to be answered today is whether Porterfield’s decision to grant the team a six-week break in between the first phase of the series and preparation for this game was indeed too big a risk to take.

The 57-year-old Scotsman only got his players back a week ago and the team’s jaded look during the 4-2 loss to the Reggae Boyz last Saturday furrowed the brows of many T&T fans.

But, noting that it was not accurate to say the entire squad had been on a break because the locally-based players were playing in the Professional Football League, Porterfield said he was not too worried because they had worked hard in the time they had had.

“Yes, we’ve only played one training game, against Jamaica, when everybody was back but training since then has been terrific. Obviously, it’s my job to create the right impression and the right enthusiasm and the appetite to play.

“Hopefully we’re physically and mentally ready for what is obviously a very important game for us. But everything is fine and the spirit is great with the boys.”

Against a Canadian team which has beaten T&T six times in eight meetings, the coach was also fully aware that the defensive problems his team had against the Jamaicans will have to be eradicated.

“We’ve got to make sure that we don’t make silly mistakes because if we do we will get punished badly,” he explained.

“But we know what we’ve got to do to put it (defensive problem) right and we’ve got to make sure that these deficiencies don’t show up against Canada.”

He added: “But to be fair, we’ve approached all the World Cup games very positively and very professionally.

“We’ve trained very, very hard. I know it’s going to be a little bit harder now, if we do the same thing in this phase, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t do very well in this semifinal programme.”

Possible T&T XI: Clayton Ince, Shurland David, Ansil Elcock, Marvin Andrews, Reynold Carrington, Angus Eve, Stokely Mason, Arnold Dwarika, Russell Latapy, Stern John, Dwight Yorke.

Canadians downplay Yorke factor

 EDMONTON (CP) -- He's easily one of the best strikers in the world, but the Canadian soccer team isn't losing sleep worrying about trying to stop Dwight Yorke in Sunday's World Cup qualifying game against Trinidad and Tobago.

 "We should not just focus on him," coach Holger Osieck said Friday, as his team piled off a bus following a late flight from Toronto.

 "There's a lot of good players on that team. We cannot concentrate on only one."

 Defender Jason deVos, who will captain the Canadian team in Sunday's game (8 p.m. EST) at Commonwealth Stadium, said there's no doubt the Manchester United star is a formidable force.

 In the two seasons since Manchester United paid a $28-million transfer fee to obtain him from Aston Villa, Yorke has scored 52 goals to establish himself as one of the game's premier strikers.

 "Everyone on our team respects his reputation and his abilities," said deVos, who plays for Dundee United of the Scottish Premier division.

 "He's one player that could give us problems. I don't think we'll spend our entire time focusing on one player. They have a number of players that are capable of scoring goals. We'll have to be very concentrated defensively as a whole team."

 Coming off their stunning Gold Cup championship in February, Canada moved into the second round of World Cup qualifying by defeating Cuba 1-0 and tying the Cuban's 0-0 at home.

 Trinidad comes into the game having won only once in five friendlies. They also have lost their last two games to Canada, 1-0 in the Gold Cup semifinals and again 1-0 in a May exhibition game in Toronto.

 Canadian striker Carlo Corazzin, who has 43 international caps, noted that Yorke played in neither of those games.

 Still, the Canadians refuse to be brow beaten by Yorke's reputation.

 "Defensively we've never had a problem, touch wood," he said.

 "Hopefully that continues, that we are solid and build from the back. If we do that, yes Dwight is a very good player, but there's another 10 players out there with him. If we can keep them away from our goal and create our own chances, then hopefully Dwight won't be a factor."

Osieck mum on who'll have to contain Yorke

By SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

 If Holger Osieck knows who he'll have marking Trinidad and Tobago super-striker Dwight Yorke, he's not tipping his hand in any way, shape or form.

 The head coach of Canada's national soccer team and the architect of the squad's 15-game unbeaten streak maintains that he will assign his fittest defender to thwarting the slick moves of the Manchester United forward. The choice might be made at today's late-afternoon practice or it could be a game-time decision.

 Either way, Osieck isn't offering up much on the subject. He did point out, though, that Yorke isn't the only threat for Canada's back line to be concerned about.

 "We should not just be focused on him because the other players are good as well," Osieck said. "(Arnold) Dwarika is good, Stern John is very dangerous and (Russell) Latapy is a very influential player, so we can not just concentrate on one."

 Even if he's not directly responsible for guarding Yorke's every move, Captain Canuck Jason De Vos is sure to see a great deal of one of the world's most creative footballers who is as lethal in the air as he is with the ball at his feet.

 "A great player. I think everybody on our team respects his reputation and his abilities. Certainly he's one player who could give us some problems, but I don't think we'll spend our entire time focusing on one player," said De Vos, Canada's best player at last summer's Canada Cup at Commonwealth Stadium.

 But perhaps T&T's strategy plays right into the Canucks' plan as evident by the Maple Leaf Gang's back-to-back 1-0 victories, including the clean-sheet verdict in the semifinal of the Gold Cup in February.

 "We're well aware that they're a very talented team. They're very skilful going forward and very attack-minded, so that should match up very well with our defensive strategy," noted De Vos.

Glasgow can be secret weapon

By Shaun Fuentes

TRINIDAD and Tobago's senior footballers are expected to have their first training session today at the Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton, venue for tomorrow's World Cup semi-final round qualifier against Canada, 8 pm TT time.
Since arriving there on Wednesday, coach Ian Porterfield held sessions at the Victoria field.

Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke and captain Russell Latapy head the list of highly talented players on the T&T squad including latest overseas-based signee Lyndon Andrews, who agreed to a three-year deal with Scottish club Hibernian on Wednesday.

Nottingham Forest striker Stern John is expected to partner Yorke up front, but according to coach Porterfield, Kansas City Wizards striker Gary Glasgow could well be T&T's secret weapon in Edmonton.

Porterfield pin-pointed Glasgow and Wrexham midfielder Carlos Edwards as potential dangermen in T&T's attack.

Glasgow replaced Latapy in the second half against Jamaica last Saturday at Hasely Crawford Stadium and looked impressive. He has netted two goals for the Wizards in the American MLS this season.

Porterfield, aware that T&T needs to sharpen up in a few areas, particularly defence, is prepared for battle.

"We know we have to put one or two things right. We have played four training games and there's been disappointing results but good things as well," Porterfield said.

Friday July 14th, 2000

Elcock fit, Porterfield happy

Sports Desk

TRINIDAD and Tobago coach Ian Porterfield was breathing a little easier yesterday evening after his team settled down in Edmonton for Sunday's opening Football Confederation World Cup semifinal round qualifier against Canada.

The Scotsman's anxiety was eased after learning that seasoned United States-based defender Ansil Elcock was given the all-clear to play in the game, which kicks off 6 p.m. (4 p.m. TT time) at the Commonwealth Stadium.

Fears about Elcock's fitness for the game had arisen after he was carried off on a stretcher during T&T's 4-2 loss to Jamaica in a friendly last Saturday.

But yesterday, after going through a fitness test, Elcock was passed by team doctor Dr Calvin Inalsingh.

The Columbus Crew defender has cemented his place in the starting XI in the last couple years and offers Porterfield the option of playing him either in defence or on the flanks.

And with England-based goalkeeper Clayton Ince expected to join the team yesterday evening, Porterfield could finally make his final game plan.

Confirming this yesterday from Edmonton was team Administrator Neville Chance. According to Chance, the team had settled in well and contrary to what they had been expecting, the weather was very friendly.

"Today was one of the warmest days for the month," Chance said.

"The guys went out to our first training session this morning dress as they would back home. But we are well rested, having arrived here yesterday (Wednesday) a couple hours earlier than scheduled, and everything is fine here."

Chance said Porterfield was due to take the team through its paces a second time yesterday evening. Two sessions are also planned for today while they will have their compulsory workout at the Commonwealth Stadium tomorrow.

Brazil vs T&T

THE visiting Brazilian national women's team have volunteered to let three of their members play with Trinidad and Tobago when the two countries face off in an exhibition game at Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, from 7.30 pm today. The game is part of the Millennium Sports Football Week organised by the Sport Ministry.

T&T's boys' Under-17 team will meet Grenada in another friendly match from 4 pm to be followed by the opening of the Women's League at the Stadium.

At a media briefing at Crowne Plaza Hotel yesterday, Brazilian coach Jose Duarte said he will allow his top striker and captain Sisleide Lima do Amor, nicknamed "Sissi", to line up with the local team which will be without eight USA-based players, who were part of this country's recent Gold Cup campaign in the United States.

Striker Izler Browne and Ricarda Nelson, both currently in the country, are also out because of injuries.

Switzerland-based defender Kathy-Ann Nixon, wife of national striker Jerron, and midfielder Tamara Valentine of USA's Bethel College, are the two foreign-based players on the local team.

Coach Jamaal Shabaaz is in the United States on personal business and Kester Lendor will be in charge of the today's team.

T&T will surely hope to improve from their performances at the Gold Cup, where they were beaten by Brazil (11-0) and United States (11-0) before letting a two-goal advantage slip in a 2-2 draw with Costa Rica.

Brazil are gearing towards the Sydney Olympics and will be playing their first match since going down 1-0 to the US in the Gold Cup final earlier this month.

Football Confederation boss Jack Warner said he's not duly worried about T&T's performance and is instead concerned about the development of local women's football.

Thursday July 13th, 2000

Special to TTFOL fans:

Check out this morning's broadcast on CTV Sportsnet about the Trinidad and Tobago versus Canada game on Sunday.

The mighty Dwight is ready to strike

By SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

 The appearance of a world-class soccer star in Edmonton is about as common as wearing Bermuda shorts in the middle of January.

 But having Dwight Yorke pull into town with the rest of the Trinidad and Tobago national team is cause for commotion.

 The lethal striker from Manchester United arrived with his mates yesterday afternoon and will begin preparation today for the Sunday-night World Cup qualifying tilt with Canada.

 "This is a very big match for us," said the slick and skillful forward as T&T was welcomed by supporters at the International Airport.

 "We need to get off on a very positive note because we see Canada as one of the threats to us to go through to the next round.

 "If we play positively and get a good result it will encourage us for the rest of the campaign."

 Hard to imagine a player of Yorke's calibre giving Canada's national squad such high praise, but the Canucks have earned it with their play under head coach Holger Osieck, who must now give one of his defenders the unenviable task of marking Yorke, who was named most outstanding footballer in England

 "I don't really know yet. I have to assess the fitness level of our group and then I will decide," said Osieck.

 "The fittest player will definitely be in charge of him."

 But at the same time, Canada can't let Yorke's running buddies have acres of free space out there.

 "Obviously Dwight is the outstanding player we have in our country, but we have some good young players who are developing and coming on," said T&T head coach Ian Porterfield, who singled out gifted defender and T&T captain Russell Latapy, a member of Scottish First Division club Hibernian.

 Porterfield's national squad is coming off a disappointing loss to Jamaica, one of its few tuneups for this round of World Cup qualifying, and now T&T faces a stiff challenge from Canada, regarded as one of the hottest sides in FIFA's rankings.

 "Canada has been a good side of late and they've been on this consistent run for the last year or maybe longer. We've got total respect for them," Porterfield said.

 "We will have to play our best to get a result. Everyone is in their first game (of the qualifying round) and they all want to get off to a good start."

 While this is the first visit to Canada for many of the T&T players, it is a nice return for Porterfield, who has made stops in Toronto and Montreal as well as a notable venture to Victoria back in 1993 when he was the manager of English Premier club Chelsea.

Yorke: We’ll make it to W/Cup finals


MANCHESTER United professional footballer Dwight Yorke is “confident and determined to get the right results” for Trinidad and Tobago at the first World Cup qualifier against the Canadians in Canada on Sunday.

Despite the disappointment of defeat in last Saturday’s game against Jamaica at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Yorke and his teammates—who flew out yesterday morning at 6 a.m.—will “start the campaign on a positive note”, he said.

“We do not expect to lose,” he said, adding that “when you play group matches away you try to get a great result and at home you capitalise on the three points.”

“Do not judge us from Sunday, we did not lose any points nor did we gain any. It was a preparation to the real campaign,” said Yorke who agreed with the critics that they should have come together earlier.

But he added: “We are human beings and we need our bodies to recover from the strenuous months of constant football.” The next time the team will get a vacation is next May.

Despite all that has gone on, the spirit of the team is “fantastic”, says Yorke. “There are a happy bunch of guys all committed to the cause,” he added.

“During the past few days the team endured rigorous training routines twice daily at the Stadium in preparation for the game,” Yorke said.

“My body has aches and pains at the moment, but come Sunday,” he added, he will not be far away from complete fitness which he expected to regain in eight to ten days time.

Mentally, he feels “totally relaxed and not under any pressure”, said the 28-year-old star player who usually gets a gamut of requests to attend various events whenever he’s in the country.

While explaining that his preparation for this game is very similar to his routine with Manchester United, Yorke said this included abstaining from any alcohol since July 3.

When asked how far he thought Trinidad and Tobago could go in this World Cup, he said: “I think we can make it. Especially with the quality team we now possess in the likes of Stern John, Anthony Rougier, Shaka Hislop and Russell Latapy.”

Added to which he has an excellent relationship with the coach Ian Potterfield.

“He sees me as a leader and a very good one. We have a very open relationship and that is a sign of good things,” Yorke says.

High ticket prices may have been the reason for a poor spectator turnout at last Saturday’s game. Yorke responded to this, saying, “It is better to lower the ticket price and have heaps of people than have no fans.

“As players, we have no control of the price, but I do sympathise with the fans. We need the people at the Stadium. There is no better feeling than a player walking out to the cheers of the fans.”

“The games are crucial,” Yorke said, adding: “and we want the support, encouragement and backing of Trinidad and Tobago”.

With regard to his own health, Yorke says: “I am in good shape.”

He will leave to join the team after the game against Mexico on July 23, in preparation for their first game on August 19, against Newcastle United. Manchester United began their 2000/2001 season’s training yesterday.

On his best friend Brian Lara, whom he spoke to before the yesterday’s interview, Yorke said Lara “seemed fine but disappointed with the way the (cricket) match (against New Zealand) turned out”.

“He has all my support,” Yorke said, adding that as soon as he returns to Old Trafford, he will going to show his support when Lara plays a cricket match there.

About Lara’s form, Yorke said Brian needs to remember that when one is out of a game for a while time is required before they return to form.

The best part of their friendship, Yorke says, is that “we talk about everything in-depth not just about sports but our personal lives. It is great to have such a close friend that you can talk to about everything”.

Stop £12.6m Yorke


TRINIDAD and Tobago coach Ian Porterfield is not the only man who may be having problems fine tuning his squad for Sunday’s opening 2002 World Cup semi-final game.

Indeed, it would seem that his Canadian counterpart Holger Osieck is also having the same problem.

Days before his team is expected to take the field against T&T, Osieck was sweating over its readiness for the big dance.

Speaking to reporters about Sunday’s match-up at the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Osieck expressed fears about the team’s fitness.

“I’m a little concerned whether we are already good enough to play on a decent level,” Osieck said.

The coach pointed out that his players had gone on holidays right after eliminating Cuba in their quarterfinal qualifying round in early June. Also, his European-based players had only just started pre-season workouts between June 26-29.

“So you can see from the calendar it’s not much training so far,” he revealed.

Porterfield had also afforded the T&T players a one month rest period after they qualified for this phase of the competition. The full team only came together late last week to begin preparations for the game.

The Canadians were in a similar situation when they last regrouped for friendly games at the end of May.

“Some were already in the off-season,” Osieck said.

“Some played pretty deep in May, like the guys from Scotland. Others started the A-League season, so they were in the pre-season, so it was quite a mixed group and a different fitness level. To bring that together in a short time was definitely very difficult.”

In comparison, Osieck had plenty of time to get his team ready to play in the Gold Cup tournament, with friendly games in early January.

“We got to train a little bit more intensely,” he said. “We had a couple of games where we could build on the experience from previous games.”

He added:“Right now, we already had a break. It’s always a little bit problematic when you start again. When you are in a series of matches, it’s definitely easier.”

Canada are not only undefeated in their last 15 games, they haven’t lost to T&T in three outings this year. The teams tied 0-0 in a friendly in Port of Spain on January 8, then Canada won 1-0 in the Gold Cup semifinal February 24 and 1-0 in another friendly on May 27 in Toronto.

But despite this record, Osieck will not rest easy, especially with England-based striker Dwight Yorke in T&T’s line-up.

Yorke, Osieck says, will be their main concern.

“I expect them to be pretty strong. They’re going to have everybody on board. They’re going to have big names from Europe—Dwight Yorke from Manchester United and Stern John from Nottingham Forest and a couple of others.”

Osieck called Yorke “one of the most valuable strikers in the world.”

Yorke did not play in the Gold Cup semifinal because he had been injured in a league game in Europe.

Osieck said it would be important for Canada to play good defence against the £12.6m marksman on Sunday.

“I think our guys know what’s coming up so it’s going to be tough, but they are really committed. I hope they can stop him.”

Sancho still on Porterfield's mind


USA-based defender Brent Sancho is not in the Trinidad and Tobago squad which will face Canada in Sunday's World Cup qualifier.

But according to coach Ian Porterfield, the 23-year-old former Finland-based player can expect to play a part in T&T's quest to reach the 2002 World Cup, later in the campaign.
Sancho left the local camp for the US last week after being left on the bench in T&T's 4-1 victory over Cuba. He was not included by Porterfield in last Saturday's 4-2 whipping from Jamaica.

Sancho, now attached to the American A-League's Charleston Battery, sounded as though he had given up hope of playing for T&T during the semi-final round qualifiers against Canada, Panama and Mexico.

"Right now I will just be concentrating on my club career because I don't know where I stand with regards to playing for the country," said Sancho.

Among the defenders in the T&T squad who left for Canada yesterday were Marvin Andrews, Ansil Elcock, Shurland David, Dennis Lawrence and Sherwin Julien.

"Brent played in the first four games in the World Cup series and when we want to play against Haiti both home-and-away it was my decision to bring Ansil Elcock back into that left back position. I felt he was the right man for the two games against Haiti.

We brought Brent back for one game when we played Barbados. Then we played Cuba and I decided that Dennis Lawrence should play in the back because I went back to the original way we played (3-5-2). But Brent is a good young player and he will be part of our future plans," said Porterfield.

Sancho recently attracted interest from MLS clubs Columbus Crew, New York/New Jersey Metrostars and San Jose Earthquakes as well as clubs in Cyprus, Belgium and Portugal, including Academica, former club of national captain Russell Latapy.

Meanwhile, Canadian coach Holger Osieck said he's confident his team can score a third successive win over T&T, following their 1-0 and 2-0 results since February. But he's worried about the team's fitness following a recent break.

Canada are currently 55th on the FIFA rankings, 18 places behind T&T.
"The rankings don't mean anything. What matters is that we get our points in the qualification round. I'm a little concerned whether we are already good enough to play on a decent level.

"Right now, we already had a break. It's always a little bit problematic when you start again. When you are in a series of matches, it's definitely easier. I expect them (T&T) to be pretty strong. They're going to have everybody on board.

They're going to have big names from Europe - Dwight Yorke from Manchester United and Stern John from Nottingham Forest and a couple of others," said Osieck, who will not have goalkeeper Craig Forrest in his line-up on Sunday as he is recovering from a hernia operation.

Wednesday July 12th, 2000

Man U striker to face Canada

   By NEIL DAVIDSON -- The Canadian Press

Canada will face a $28-million man Sunday when it kicks off the next stage of World Cup qualifying in Edmonton.

Striker Dwight Yorke, Manchester United's most expensive purchase, will lead Trinidad and Tobago, which promises to have most of its European-based players in place.

That list includes striker Stern John, who plays alongside Canadian Jim Brennan at English First Division team Nottingham Forrest; Hibernian midfielder Russell Latapy, Raith Rovers defender Marvin Andrews, Chester's Angus Eve and Crewe Alexander goalie Clayton Ince.

Starting 'keeper Shaka Hislop, No. 1 at England's West Ham ahead of Canadian Craig Forrest is recovering from a broken leg. Forrest is also out as he recovers from a hernia operation.

Despite the foreign-based talent, Trinidad looked unimpressive in a  4-2 loss on the weekend to Jamaica. Team officials have dismissed the defeat as a mere blip.

"Notwithstanding the disappointment on Saturday, people have considered this team one of most talented in a long while, since 1989," team administrator Neville Chance said Tuesday from the Trinidad and Tobago football headquarters just outside of Port-of-Spain.

In 1989, the team came within one point of qualifying for the 1990 World Cup but lost to the visiting Americans. Chance was an assistant coach that day.

Trinidad will look to Yorke to lead the way this time.

Yorke has scored 52 goals since joining United for 12.6 million pounds in August 1998 from Aston Villa, who had paid just 120,000 pounds ($268,500 Cdn) for him in 1989 after spotting him during a pre-season tour of the West Indies.

The five-foot-nine, 175-pound striker was named player of the year in the Premier League in 1998-99, his first season with United when he scored 29 goals. Last season he added 23 more.

The striker with the huge smile scored on 32 per cent of his shots last season and completed 82 per cent of his passes, the highest among strikers in the Premiership.

According to Carling Opta, the English soccer equivalent to baseball's Elias Sports Bureau, Yorke ranks second only to Paolo Di Canio among Premier League strikers last season.

Canada is in a semifinal group, one of three in the CONCACAF region, with Mexico, Panama, and Trinidad and Tobago. Teams will play other home and away with the top two advancing to the final round of qualifying.

At No. 13, Mexico is the top-ranked team in CONCACAF, although it was beaten by Canada in February at the World Cup. Canada (No.55) is expected to challenge Trinidad and Tobago (No. 37) for second position ahead of Panama (No. 119).

Trinidad and Tobago's fortunes were boosted off the pitch with a $2-million US sponsorship deal with Carib Brewery.

Latapy’s men hit the road


TRINIDAD and Tobago skipper Russell Latapy and his teammates leave here this morning bound for Edmonton.

There, they will begin preparations for their opening Football Confederation Zone 2002 World Cup semifinal round qualifier against Canada on Sunday.

And despite a far from impressive run in the build-up to this game—they lost three of five warm-up games including a 4-2 defeat by Jamaica on Saturday—Latapy’s squad seem confident they can accomplish their mission in Canada.

The men in red, white and black will be looking to take all three points from the home team. Failing that, they would be content with a draw.

Speaking on the eve of the team’s departure yesterday, Latapy seemed confident enough that they could indeed re-start the campaign in the right manner.

“We’re very confident going into the game,” Latapy said.

“We’ve been working hard in training and we’re going to go out there and play our brand and, hopefully, we’re going to get a fantastic result.”

Saturday’s loss was still fresh on the team’s mind. But the “Little Magician” explained that there has been much good coming out of it.

“Obviously in our preparation game, you want to win because football is about winning and about results and, unfortunately, we didn’t win.”

He added: “But, you know, there were a lot of good things that came out of the game as far as our preparation is concerned. So I’m very confident about getting a good result there (Edmonton).”

Of course, T&T fans will readily recall T&T’s last big match against the Canadians at the Gold Cup in February. Despite dominating most of the play and creating several scoring chances, T&T lost 0-1 and were denied their first ever chance of reaching the tournament’s final.

“Football is a funny game,” the Hibernian star said of that game, before adding, “You work hard, you try to take your chances and you hope for the best with a bit of luck as well because I also think there’s an element of luck in football.

“But everybody who saw the Gold Cup semifinal saw we had many more chances than they did and we just didn’t stick them away. They (Canada) had one chance and they scored. But you know we just have to be confident going into the game.”

Coach Ian Porterfield took his troops through their final training session yesterday morning at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. And afterwards, he made only one change to the squad which took on the Reggae Boyz. Goalie Brian James, who came off the bench on Saturday, will make way for England-based keeper Clayton Ince.

This also means that Porterfield, despite the problems the team encountered in midfield during the loss, has stuck to his decision to omit former skipper Anthony Rougier.

Porterfield has remained mum on the issue. However, Rougier was being reprimanded for not making himself available—in response to a request from the technical staff—for training.

He also missed the last couple of friendly games against Barbados, St Vincent and Cuba despite being home in T&T on vacation.

Quizzed as to what he felt the game plan would be for Sunday’s game, Latapy said it was up to the coach.

But, pointing out that it was the first game of the semifinal round and that the team would “want to get some points on the board”, he said: “Hopefully, he (coach) will be bang on in his plans. And if we’re bang on in our game, then we can get a result.”

T&T Squad: Clayton Ince, Ross Russell, Shurland David, Ansil Elcock, Marvin Andrews, Angus Eve, Arnold Dwarika, Dennis Lawrence, Dale Saunders, Stokely Mason, Lyndon Andrews, Reynold Carrington, Russell Latapy, Nigel Pierre, Gary Glasgow, Carlos Edwards, Dwight Yorke, Stern John.

Ince: Porterfield settled in with national team

GOALKEEPER Clayton Ince believes Scottish coach Ian Porterfield has settled in well with the Trinidad and Tobago team and has described his job as having been made easier because most of the team play in Europe.

Speaking to the Sentinel on the weekend, Ince said it was not difficult for T&T to adopt the European style. "It's not difficult for us to switch from a continental style to the European style of play.

Ince leaves on Friday to join the T&T team for the Concacaf World Cup semifinal match against Canada on Sunday.

"Two go through from the group to the next stage and I think we've got a great chance as three of the first four games are at home. If we can pick up maximum points from those, then we will really be in the driving seat.

Last season, I was playing all of my games on foreign soil and it was a bit frustrating really,'' admitted Ince.

He also warned of intentions to press strongly for the "number one keeping position on the Crewe side this season."

"I need to put in a real challenge to Jason (Kearton). He did very well and was the fixture in goal. But, of course, he is not an international keeper and can focus on things here completely.

"But I'm looking forward to the challenge and I feel I have had an active summer. After Sunday, I will be back straight away as it's important for me to be here to do a complete pre-season and start the season in good nick to impress Dario.

"He knows I have these international games coming up, but myself and the national coach Porterfield are trying to work closely so I spend as little time out of the country as possible," said Ince.

Yorke waiting for Lara century

Dwight Yorke is hoping his pal and former West Indies captain Brian Lara scores a Test century soon. Yorke was speaking here last week, prior to T&T's 4-2 loss to Jamaica at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

"We see each other so we could motivate each other. Hopefully, it's not too long before he goes on to get a century. He's back and he's loved it. He's missed it a bit but he found it very difficult as you would when you stay out the game as long as he did.

But it's nice to have him back now and I'm sure he will enjoy every minute of it," said Yorke, who was reportedly a major influence in Lara's decision to return to the game after contemplating retirement.

Yorke notched a double for T&T on Saturday and will be hoping to maintain his form for the important World Cup qualifier against Canada in Edmonton on Sunday.
Latapy misses Germany trip

Russell Latapy is likely to miss a series of preseason matches for Hibernian because of T&T's opening set of matches in their 2002 World Cup qualifying semi-final round.

The national captain will miss Hibs' match against PSV Mainz in Germany on July 18, two days after T&T meet Canada in Edmonton.

A day later, they face Karlsruher SC, then SV Au (July 21) and SV Weingarten on July 23, same date as T&T's qualifier against Mexico at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Hibs boss Alex McLeish is willing to allow Latapy to miss preseason training so that he could represent his country in the 2002 Japan/Korea World Cup.

However, he is hoping the "Little Magician" can make it back to Easter Road in time for their season opener against Hearts on July 30.

There have been rumours that Latapy may leave with English Premiership club Ipswich Town willing to bid two million pounds. While a move remains possible, Hibs management appear unwilling to allow Latapy to leave.

T&T go for points


CAPTAIN Russell Latapy and his national teammates leave today for Canada, mindful that they must collect at least one point against the 2000 Gold Cup champions on Sunday if they are to move on in their 2002 World Cup campaign.

Coach Ian Porterfield believes a draw, or better yet a victory, will put T&T in a better frame of mind for crucial qualifiers against Mexico, Panama and Canada to follow here.
Porterfield made reference to T&T having great achievements in the past.

"People say you're not a Trinidadian and you shouldn't be here. Maybe that's right, I'm Scots and I'm very proud of it.

"But I've come here and no one wants Trinidad and Tobago to do any better than me because I feel for the boys, I feel for my staff and I feel for a lot of people out there. The biggest mantle this country can get is a football team progressing and all other things should follow. We need everyone pulling one way, not just for me but for your country because it will be a wonderful achievement. Some great things have happened in the past, you look at Brian Lara and Ato Boldon," said Porterfield.

He hit out at critics deeming him a defensive coach and criticising him of using the long ball approach.

"We've got a big player here in Dwight Yorke. I've worked with players in England similar to Dwight. At the end of the day, I never buy the newspapers now because I've never read so much silly nonsense in my life. I'm not a defensive coach but if you look at the facts, this country can't defend so I tried to put coaching drills in the training session and try to improve that.

"Now the time has come for the 'Soca Bomb Squad' (as the local team will be referred to in an upcoming song) to be switched on.

"We've got to have more desire and more determination than them on the day. Nobody wants to play football more than me. People write all the stories about me kicking long balls, they have no education. You need a short ball in football and you need a long ball as well. It's an education game."

Rougier will be back for Mexico


FORMER national captain Anthony Rougier will return to the team after Sunday's Concacaf World Cup semifinal round clash against Canada.

This was the assurance from national coach Ian Porterfield and Football Federation special adviser Jack Warner on Monday.

Rougier was surprisingly dropped from the team for last Saturday's match against Jamaica and Sunday's qualifier against Canada in Edmonton.

Warner said Rougier was dropped because the Federation was not willing to pay him a wage for Saturday's friendly.

"We had to dispense with the services of Rougier, who wanted to be paid for the match. The entire team played for free as it was a gift to the nation.

"Rougier was, of course, dropped, but the time to find a replacement was insufficient. The facts are we picked him to play against Cuba but he did not provide a good reason for not turning up," Porterfield said.

Warner revealed that it costs US$35,000 to prepare a team for a friendly at home.
"We can't afford to pay players for a practice game that the team needs," he said.
However, the FIFA vice-president said it was not time for unnecessary controversy. "We need to focus on what we are doing on Sunday."

Porterfield said Rougier will be considered for the Mexico qualifier here July 23.
"He's a good player and has done well for us but I've got to have discipline and the right things in the team. I am not closing the door on any player, but we've got certain situations that's got to be addressed. After the Canada game, the situation will be back to normal," said Porterfield.

Meanwhile, Dwight Yorke will miss the start of Manchester United's preseason training today as he leaves with his national team-mates for Edmonton, Canada.

Meanwhile, captain Russell Latapy was yesterday optimistic of a good result against Canada. "I'm very confident about getting a good result there. It's the first game (semi-finals) so obviously we want to get some points on the board," said "Latas".

Tuesday July 11th, 2000

Turn to God, Rougier advises youngsters

ANTHONY Rougier has special advice for any footballer wanting to get better - turn to God.

Rougier, a born-again Christian, recently spoke to the Sentinel newspaper, saying his religion was more important than any agent, scout or manager.

"God is very important to me, not just in my football but in my life and beyond that. Every day my goal is to please my God. Football is massive all over the world. Sometimes I think players here don't realise how lucky they are and what they have. They can make such a difference to people's lives.

"I know it is a long shot, but if more footballers got involved in religion the game would improve. That is the way of life through God. He helps chart the way to being a better person and if you are a better person you will be a better footballer.

"While God teaches us to turn the other cheek, he also teaches us to be the best we can. We will be competitive and we want to win for ourselves and for our team. If a ball is there to be won in a 50-50 challenge I will win it," said Rougier.

The former national captain, who turns 29 next Monday, was surprisingly dropped from the T&T side on Friday for games against Jamaica, Canada and Mexico. He immediately said this might cause him to retire from international football.

There are sure to be local fans hoping that he wears the T&T jersey again.
He is also looking to move to another club from Port Vale, which was relegated from the First Division last season.

Carib $2 million for T&T football


LESS than a week before the start of the 2002 World Cup qualifying semi-final series, Trinidad and Tobago's senior footballers received a sponsorship boost from Carib which has pumped $2 million into the local game.

This was announced at a media briefing yesterday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel (formerly Holiday Inn).

The sum of $300,000 will be utilised by the T&T Football Federation for regional associations, (North, South, East, Central and Tobago zones) competitions, with the rest going to coach Ian Porterfield's team in their quest to qualify for 2002 Japan/Korea World Cup.

Captain Russell Latapy, Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke and Nottingham Forest's Stern John were on hand to witness the signing of the sponsorship deal by Norman Sabga, chairman of the ANSA Mc AL Group of Companies and TTFF president Oliver Camps.

"On behalf of the players I will like to thank Carib for coming on board at this time and giving us that steam we need with preparation towards the World Cup qualifying. I hope that the public of Trinidad and Tobago will support the team the way they support Carib," said Latapy.

Carib joined Miami-based Inter/Forever Sports as sponsors of the senior team.
Sabga said Carib, current sponsors of the West Indies cricket team, welcomed the opportunity to be associated with the national team after a short break.

Remembering the 1989 Road to Italy experience when T&T missed out on qualifying by one point, Sabga said "The euphoria was unbelievable. We could think and talk of little else but the 'Road to Italy.'

"Our opportunity has come again in 2000 and I have no doubt that our current team has the best chance of all in reaching that ultimate goal - World Cup 2002. What Carib is to beer, Yorke and Latapy and each member of our team is to football - simply the best.

"It is through the efforts of stalwarts such as these executive members combined with the work of visionaries like Jack Warner that has brought us to the point where Trinidad and Tobago can put its name on the football map by qualifying for the 2002 World Cup.

I now encourage every Trinidadian and Tobagonian to come together in the largest, most unifying celebration of our nation ever in support of the national football team."

FIFA vice president Warner directing his comments at Sabga said "The timing of this sponsorship has been extremely opportune, in fact, fortuitous. You have come at a time when the country is very critical of the team. You have come at a time when the team's morale seems to be low. You have come on board and say I want to be counted."
The Concacaf president added that the door was always open to new sponsors.

"There are businesses outside that believe Carib Brewery has some automatic right to sponsor sports and culture. Two million, one million, two dollars, one dollar, come forward and be identified with the national effort," Warner appealed.

Monday July 10th, 2000

Jamaica better prepared says Whitmore


 JAMAICAN midfielder, Theodore Whitmore, said on Saturday that his team was better prepared than Trinidad and Tobago ahead of the World Cup qualifying semi-final round matches next Sunday.

 Whitmore was speaking moments after Jamaica whipped T&T 4-2 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Saturday.

 He said the absence of five foreign-based players did not hamper his team, as several young players were in training and capable of doing well.

 Whitmore said the Jamaicans had a greater desire to win as forward Onandi Lowe proved with his hattrick.

 "Basically the two teams played well, but at the end of the day goals win matches. We got our chances and put them away. Trinidad also had their chances but didn't do well. The Trinidad back line gave us some easy goals and we took full advantage of it.

 The Jamaicans meet St Vincent and the Grenadines on Sunday under Brazilian coach (Clovis de Oliveira).

 T&T meanwhile, having suffered their third defeat in friendlies since the Gold Cup, including losses to Canada and St Vincent and the Grenadines, are expected to leave for Canada on Wednesday.

 Coach Ian Porterfield is hoping that his team can get their act together in time for Sunday. "I think we gave them the four goals. If you concede goals like that, you won't win football matches," said Porterfield.

 Crewe Alexandra goalkeeper Clayton Ince is reportedly available for the Canada clash, saying in England on the weekend that he will join the team on Friday.

 Defender Ansil Elcock, who went off after being knocked in the head on Saturday, is said to be in stable condition.

Porterfield still confident


Despite a disappointing 4-2 loss to Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago coach Ian Porterfield is still confident his side will be ready to face Canada in their opening Football Confederation 2002 semi-final opener on Sunday.

Porterfield expressed this view immediately after the game when asked if his side would be able to regroup in time to face a tougher Canadian side.

“Today was an exercise and we’ve learned a lot from today’s game. We know we’ve got to do a lot better. We understand that, but we’ll learn from this and we’ll be ready for next Sunday.”

The game was T&T’s last competitive match heading into the July 16 encounter against the Canadians in Edmonton.

But, with many of the more seasoned players still showing signs of rustiness having just come off a one-month break afforded them by Porterfield, T&T did not look the part against the Reggae Boyz.

And while Porterield admitted that the performance was indeed not what he expected, he said there were still some pluses.

“It was disappointing today in a lot of aspects but Dwight (Yorke) came through well and that was encouraging. But obviously we’ve a bit of work to do before we play next Sunday.”

The Scotsman also revealed that goalkeeper Ross Russell had complained of feeling ill before the start of the game. But, with uncapped young keeper Brian James as his back up, he decided on going with the experienced man.

Eventually, Russell still had to be taken off in the second half with the Jamaicans already up 3-1.

Asked what went wrong for them Porterfield said: “The difference in the two teams was that we made bad mistakes for the goals and I think they were a little bit better than us in the game.

“I think we gave them the four goals really. We didn’t cover or support for the first two goals. All the goals were disappointing and to be honest with you, you can’t concede goals if you’re going to win games and we conceded four bad goals today.”

Yorke, who scored a double, meanwhile also accepted that the Jamaicans were better on the day.

“We (T&T) haven’t been together for some time and we’ve got one or two injuries,” he said.

“But at the same time, Jamaica is a team that is full of experience. They’ve been to the World Cup and they came with a lot of people and they’re a well organised team. I’m sure by the time we get round to meeting them we’ll probably be together a lot more and hopefully we can pull another one over them.”

He also felt that the team was a bit jaded after their lay off. In fact, he conceded that both he and skipper Russell Latapy were not themselves.

“Yeah, I mean I did (feel out of sorts) as well too, to be fair although I scored two goals. We’ve been off for a little while and people expect miracles when you come straight back.

“But it takes a little while to get back to your best and that’s what me and Russell and the other guys are trying to achieve in the next week or so.”

And while they were “a little bit disappointed” to lose in front of the home crowd, Yorke said he was sure that they would be able to get ready for Canada.

“As I said before, the key aspect of this is the (World Cup) qualifiers. On the (July) 16 come Canada, hopefully we’re all fit and ready to go at that particular time.”

Sunday July 9th, 2000

T&T dumped by Jamaica
Just when you thought it couldnot get worse for T&T, the crap hit the fan yesterday. Trinidad and Tobago lost to Jamaica at home 4-2. It was T&T's final game before they play Canada next Sunday in Edmonton in there first World Cup qualifier.

If the defense plays as poor as they did yesterday Canada will be victor next week. Jamaica has basically handed the Canadian defense a definate way on how to handle the threat of Stern John. Once they figure out how to tackle Yorke, the game should be in there hands.

Dwight: Don't get despondent

DOUBLE goalscorer Dwight Yorke was pleased with his performance in yesterday's match and while disappointed with the 4-2 loss to Jamaica, he pointed out that several players were coming off a lengthy break and will now focus on attaining full fitness for the July 16 World Cup qualifier against Canada in Edmonton.

"As I said all along when I came back was to prepare for the Canada game. We haven't played together for some time. But at the same time Jamaica is a team full of experience, they've been to the World Cup and they are well organised.

"The progress we have made over the years, I mean we have to take a lot of heart from it. At the same time we are little bit disappointed to lose in front of our home crowd but we shouldn't be too despondent about it. The key aspect is the qualifiers and on the 16 (July) come Canada, hopefully we will be all fit and rearing to go at that particular time," said Yorke, who netted his fifth goal in four games for T&T since February.

When asked about captain Russell Latapy appearing unfit, Yorke told reporters, "Well yeah. I did as well to be fair although I scored two goals. We've been off for a little while and people expect miracles when you come straight back, but it takes a little while for you to get back to your best. And that's what me and Russell and the other guys will be trying to achieve in the next week or so," said Yorke.

Coach Ian Porterfield said it was obvious T&T had some work to do before July 16.
"We got a work-out. I think the big difference between the two teams was that we made bad mistakes for the goals. I think they (Jamaica) were a little bit fitter than us.

Okay disappointing today but Dwight came through well and that was encouraging. Obviously I'm a bit concerned about our goalkeepers because maybe Ross (Russell) shouldn't have played today. He wasn't feeling well.

"Obviously we have a bit of work to do before we play next Sunday, "said Porterfield.

Canadian roster released

 OTTAWA -- (CSA) Canadian men's World Cup team head coach Holger Osieck today released the roster of players he will draw from for the upcoming World Cup Qualifying games against Trinidad and Tobago and Panama. Canada faces Trinidad and Tobago in the first game of the Semi-Final Round on July 16 at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton (6:00 p.m. kickoff local time) and then travels to Panama City for their game against Panama on July 23 (1:00 p.m. kickoff local time).

The squad includes Jim Brennan of Nottingham Forest and Mark Watson (currently unattached), both of whom missed Canada's World Cup Qualifying games against Cuba due to injury. Striker Dwayne De Rosario, now playing with the Richmond Kickers of the A-League, also returns to the World Cup squad.

Seventeen of the 19 players who competed against Cuba have been named to the team which will gather in Alliston, ON on Tuesday, July 11.

Canadian Men's World Cup Team Schedule Schedule is subject to change at short notice.

                   Tuesday, July 11 - Meet at Nottawasaga Inn in Alliston, Ontario
                   Wednesday, July 12 - Training at 10 and 4
                    Thursday, July 13 - Training (Times to be determined)
                    Friday, July 14 - Travel to Edmonton (3:30 p.m. arrival local time, train at Victoria Club
                    at 5:30 p.m.)
                    Saturday, July 15 - Training at Commonwealth Stadium (4:00 p.m.)
                    Sunday, July 16 - Canada vs Trinidad and Tobago, 6:00 p.m. kick-off
                    Monday, July 17 - Travel to Toronto
                    Tuesday, July 18 - Training at Nottawasaga Inn (Times to be determined)
                    Wednesday, July 19 - Training at Nottawasaga Inn (Times to be determined)
                    Thursday, July 20 - Travel to Panama City
                    Friday, July 21 - Training (Times to be determined)
                    Saturday, July 22 - Training (Times to be determined)
                    Sunday, July 23 - Canada vs Panama, 1:00 p.m. kick-off
                    Monday, July 24 - Return to Toronto and various Clubs

                    AND TOBAGO AND PANAMA

                    Name            Position        Club    Date of Birth   Caps
                    Pat Onstad      GK      Dundee United, Scottish Premier 1/13/68 27
                    Lars Hirschfeld GK      Unattached      10/17/78        1
                    Mike Franks     GK      Unattached      1/21/77         0
                    Jason deVos     D       Dundee United, Scottish Premier 1/2/74  24
                    Paul Fenwick    D       Hibernian, Scottish Premier     8/25/69 17
                    Tony Menezes    D       Botafogo Rio, Brazil    11/24/74        14
                    Carl Fletcher   D       Hampton Roads, A-League 12/26/71        22
                    Kevin McKenna   D       Energie Cottbus, Germany        4/20/77 3
                    Jeff Clarke     D/M     Hampton Roads, A-League 10/18/77        16
                    Mark Watson     D       Unattached      9/8/70                  58
                    Richard HastingsM       Inverness CT, Scottish Div 1   5/18/77  13
                    Davide Xausa    M       Inverness CT, Scottish Div 1    3/10/76 16
                    Jason Bent      M       Colorado Rapids, MLS    3/8/77          16
                    Paul Stalteri   M       Werder Bremen, Bundesliga       10/18/7723
                    Jim Brennan     M       Nottingham Forest, English Div 1 5/8/77 14
                    Dwayne De Rosario F     Richmond Kickers, A-League   5/15/78    4
                    Paul Peschisolido F       Fulham, English Div 1   5/25/71       36
                    Carlo Corazzin  F       Unattached      12/25/71                43
                    Martin Nash     F       RochesterRhinos, A-League 12/27/75      17
                    Robbie Aristodemo F     University of Tulsa       5/20/77        7

Saturday July 8th, 2000

Jamaica test for T&T today


TRINIDAD and Tobago's senior footballers are expected to be out in full force today when they clash with Caribbean rivals Jamaica at Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, from 4 pm.

The rivalry between the both teams always has been keen but today's warm-up match could have more intensity as it serves as T&T's final rehearsal before the more important World Cup qualifying semi-final round which starts against Canada on July 16 in Edmonton, Canada.

Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke heads a multi-talented "Soca Warriors" line-up, including skipper Russell Latapy (Hibernian), Stern John (Nottingham Forest), Ansil Elcock (Columbus Crew) , Marvin Andrews (Raith Rovers), Carlos Edwards (Wrexham) and Gary Glasgow (Kansas City Wizards), the latest of the overseas-based players to catch coach Ian Porterfield's eye.

All mentioned were part of yesterday's training session at St Anthony's College Ground, Westmoorings, except Andrews who was receiving treatment for a slight foot injury.
Ross Russell is likely to stand in goal after Crewe Alexandra's Clayton Ince did not arrive from England .

The only shocking news yesterday was the axing of Anthony Rougier for today's, as well as, the Canada game.
Joe Public's Arnold Dwarika, Angus Eve and Shurland David are among those who should feature as well.

Midfielders Dale Saunders, Lyndon Andrews, Stokely Mason, Kerwyn Jemmot and Reynold Carrington will also be pressing for some playing time.

Yorke said yesterday T&T had something to prove against Jamaica and Canada.
"They have been to the World Cup and deserve to be the number one team in the Caribbean but it's all about pride.

Jamaica is good preparation, but Canada has got to be our number one priority and that is what is going to make us get to the World Cup. Yeh we're looking for some revenge there, but at the same time I would say if we could get a point ... then it's always a good result," said YorkeT&T should be up for a good showing against the "Reggae Boyz" who are preparing for a World Cup qualifier against St Vincent and the Grenadines on July 16.

The visitors trained at Concacaf Centre of Excellence, Macoya, yesterday.
Under recently-appointed Brazilian technical director Clovis de Oliviera, Jamaica's line-up was shuffled at the last moment when English-based players Deon Burton, Michael Johnson, Frank Sinclair. Fitzroy Simpson and Darren Moore were dropped for disciplinary reasons.

Their attack will be centred around strikers Walter Boyd and Onandi Lowe. Both men scored in a 5-0 win over Barbados earlier this week, and should be well-supported by Tyrone Marshall and Jermaine Johnson.

With today's game kicking off the Millennium Sporting Project "Week of Football", Jack Warner, chairman of the committee, has agreed to put up a cash prize worth $200,000 for the winners of today's match. The Basdeo Panday Trophy is also at stake.

T&T battle Reggae Boyz

Sports Desk

TRINIDAD and Tobago skipper Russell Latapy and his teammates will continue their quest to reach the 2002 World Cup in Japan and Korea this evening at the Hasely Crawford Stadium from 4 p.m.

Standing in the way, as a mere distraction until T&T meet Canada in their opening game in the next phase of the World Cup on July 16, will be their Caribbean arch-rivals Jamaica.

The friendly encounter will be used by both teams as their final preparatory match going into the next round of the World Cup series. And in the wake of a fine 4-1 cake walk over Cuba on Tuesday evening, a victory which was achieved by a second string squad, Latapy’s men will be fired up and out to prove once again that they are indeed the best Caribbean team.

The rivalry between the two countries is well documented. But the Reggae Boyz shot past the men in red, white and black ever since they became the first ever English-speaking country to play in a World Cup in 1998.

Unfortunately, since their French escapade the Jamaicans have been on a somewhat downward spiral.

T&T, on the other hand, while not getting the accolades on the big stage have steadily been working to achieve the one goal which has so far eluded them.

And with the likes of Latapy (Hibernian), Dwight Yorke (Manchester United) and Stern John (Nottingham Forest) in the current squad, many feel this will be the best chance the country will have reaching the World Cup for years to come. But for most of the more seasoned players on the T&T squad, this game will be used to restart their engines.

Both Yorke and Latapy took up coach Ian Porterfield’s offer of a one-month break after the first phase of the World Cup qualifying series and only joined the team this week.

Yorke and John only joined the team yesterday while Latapy joined the camp the day before.

But all the players, Porterfield explained, have benefitted from the break.

“I think the lads are all fresh and they all want to do well. But it’s a training game and the most important game will be when we play against canada. We want all the lads read for then.”

But, with one eye on the Canada encounter, fans should not be surprised if Porterfield also does not run his top pros for the entire 90 minutes either.

“Obviously we have one or two players that are just starting to get back to fitness back. Yes we want to play hard, but at the same time, I don’t want to get any of these players injured because the important game is against Canada.”

He added: “Don’t get me wrong. We want to perform well against Jamaica, we want to get the right result and hopefully want a good performance but, certainly, we don’t want any injuries if possible.”

In fact, Porterfield explained that victory, while it will be a big confidence boaster, will not be the highest thing on their agenda.

“We’ve had three training games but the team tomorrow (today) will be a little bit different than the one that played on Tuesday. So obviously we’ve got to get harnessed, playing together again and getting the spirit and togetherness going again. That’s very important because spirit, work rate and appetite is crucial to the group we’ve got.”

Yorke meanwhile was eager to return to action.

He has not kicked a ball for the past six weeks and said he felt he had to be here to help the country achieve its goal of reaching the World Cup.

Pointing out that he would need at least 10 days to get himself back into gear, the Manchester United star said: “It’s going to be a lot of hard work but this is something I wanted to do for Trinidad and Tobago football team.” Yorke also explained that the team was out to prove itself as the better team once more.

“They’ve been to the World Cup and they deserve to be the number one team in the Caribbean for that. But its all about pride and what you want to achieve and certainly, by beating them, that’s what we want to do.”

However, Yorke explained that while the Reggae Boyz were on their immediate agenda, the Canadians—who beat them 1-0 in the Gold Cup semi-final earlier this year— were occupying much of their thoughts as well.

“Jamaica is a great preparation to look forward to but Canada has got to be our number one priority because that is what is gonna make us get to the World Cup.

“We’ve got to respect them because we’re going to them so if we can get a point there its always a good result. The key in group stage is to win your home games and then take something away and that is something we will bear in mind.”

Rougier to hang up T&T jersey


ANTHONY Rougier is considering retiring from international football after being officially informed by coach Ian Porterfield yesterday that he was dropped for today's game against Jamaica and the World Cup qualifier against Canada on July 16.
The former national captain turned up for training at St Anthony's College Ground, Westmoorings, but did not train with the squad.

"I am not being considered for the Jamaica match and the World Cup qualifying tournament. Obviously I'm not happy with the situation and I'm just trying to get the next flight out of Trinidad. It may even be a case of me considering retiring from the international game," Rougier said yesterday.

The Port Vale winger, who turns 29 on July 17, said he isn't sure whether he will remain at Vale.
"Honestly I don't know as yet but I don't want to stay there," he said.
Porterfield preferred not to comment.

Rougier was quoted in the English Sentinel newspaper in April as saying he wanted to concentrate more on his club career.
"I don't really want the predicament of having to choose if it comes to having a job or playing for my country. So it is not going to be very long before I retire from international football.

"I have to concentrate on my career, I have to make provisions for my family, for my daughter and for my children's children.
"My God has blessed me to play for Trinidad and blessed me further by me being captain of my country and I cherish that and will never forget it."

Is he now turning his back on T&T ? He said: "There will come a time when I will give back to Trinidad and Tobago football, but it will be hard to repay as they have done so much for me," Rougier said in April.

Since those statements, Rougier lined up in World Cup qualifying matches but now time will tell whether the cool-headed lad wears a T&T jersey ever again.

Rougier gets the axe

Former Trinidad and Tobago skipper Anthony Rougier has been dropped from the squad which will take on Jamaica in a friendly international at the Hasely Crawford Stadium today.

Rougier was a glaring omission from the 18-man squad which includes his British-based compatriots Russell Latapy (Hibernian), Dwight Yorke (Manchester United) and Stern John (Nottingham Forest).

The team will also be without England-based goalkeeper Clayton Ince who will now join them in Edmonton for the July 16 World Cup match against Canada.

T&T coach Ian Porterfield refused to comment on the reasons behind Rougier’s omission yesterday evening though saying only that all of his decisions were made for the benefit of the team.

Rougier’s place is expected to be filled by Vibe CT 105 W Connection midfielder Reynold Carrington.

The former Portugal-based player has performed creditably in the defensive midfield role during the previous three friendlies against Barbados, St Vincent and Cuba and Porterfield seems set to draft him into his World Cup squad as well.

Friday July 7th, 2000

Camps: Porterfield not under the axe

Porterfield...man under the gun.


RUMOURS abound but Trinidad and Tobago coach Ian Porterfield’s job is not in jeopardy.

The assurance came yesterday from local football federation president, Oliver Camps.

Camps was responding to questions as to whether his organisation had been considering giving Porterfield marching orders prior to the start of the next phase of the 2002 World Cup qualifying series.

A recent article in the press suggested that the Scottish-born coach’s job was no longer secure now that England will not stage the 2006 World Cup.

Nothing of the sort, says Camps.

“I myself have not seen the article,” he explained.

“But it is totally untrue. We (the TTFF) are always having ongoing discussions about the performances of all the teams. At the last meeting we had there was no discussion whatsoever about Porterfield’s tenure.”

He added: “We are satisfied with what he’s doing up to this point.”

In fact, according to Camps, the only alteration they are considering to the senior team is the inclusion of a goalkeeping coach.

Currently, former “Strike Squad” keeper Michael Maurice discharges those duties with all the teams.

Quizzed as to whether the TTFF was considering bringing in former national goalie Lincoln Phillips, Camps responded with a laugh that they had not yet shortlisted any contenders.

Porterfield, who took over from Bertille St Clair in February, led T&T to an unbeaten six-game run through the first phase of the 2002 Football Confederation Zone World Cup qualifying series.

Skipper Russell Latapy’s side won four of the six games and rose up to 34th in the Fifa rankings—the country’s highest rating ever—on the basis of this effort.

Since then, Porterfield has had four friendly games with “second string” squads after opting to give the majority of his foreign-based professionals a one-month break.

But he will put his best possible squad back together tomorrow when they take the Hasely Crawford Stadium field for a friendly international against Jamaica.

This will be their final preparatory match before Porterfield names his squad to face Canada in their opening World Cup semifinal round game against Canada on July 16 in Edmonton.

And Porterfield may well draft a couple of the new players called up and give them the chance to prove themselves during the period between T&T’s last competitive match and the present.

The team continued its preparations for the match against the Reggae Boyz yesterday morning with a three and a half hour workout at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

Scotland-based Latapy, who arrived here on Monday but opted out of the game against Cuba, led his troops through the session.

England-based striker Dwight Yorke (Manchester United) and Anthony Rougier (Port Vale) are also already in the country but will join the team today.

United States-based duo Ansil Elcock (Columbus Crew), Gary Glasgow (Kansas City Wizards) and England-based striker Stern John (Nottingham Forest) were also expected in last night and should work out today as well. England-based goalie Clayton Ince is due to fly in today, the last of the lot to arrive.

US-born striker joins Team 2001

AMERICAN - born striker Lee Superville has made himself available to represent Trinidad and Tobago at the World Youth Championships here next April.

Superville, who will be 15 today, turned down a call from the United States youth team and has already began training with "Team 2001."

Son of Trinidad-born doctor, Lennox Superville, the talented player is a member of the CASL Elite Premier team of Raleigh, North Carolina.

He plays there under coach Oliver Weiss, who is a member of the technical staff of North Carolina University.

Coach Adegboye Onigbinde intends to include Superville in the local squad for upcoming warm-up games and hopes he can make himself available following his return to the US at the end of this month.

Superville is enjoying his stint here and wants to continue being a part of the team.
"The coaching staff has held some beneficial training sessions and I hope to be available for some warm-up games in the future," said Superville.

Noted for his strong passing and shooting skills in the US League, Superville also plays basketball, golf and tennis for the Enloe High School.

He is expected to be part of the local outfit for an invitational tournament in the US from late August.

Earlier this year, T&T's Under­17 team lost matches against England, Mexico and the United States. However, Onigbinde is expected to step up preparations in the next few months.

Pros come home for 'Reggae Boyz' clash


GOALKEEPER Clayton Ince has been released by Crewe Alexandra for tomorrow's friendly international against Jamaica at Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo.

Ince is expected here today to join a near-full-strength team to face the Jamaicans, who arrived here yesterday minus English-based players, Fitzroy Simpson, Deon Burton, Frank Sinclair, Darren Moore and Michael Johnson, all dropped by technical director Clovis de Oliveira on Tuesday, for disciplinary reasons.

Ince returned to England earlier this week and there were fears that Crewe may have kept him for pre-season training. However, T&T assistant manager Neil Mollineau said yesterday the club had no problem with Ince's return here.

Mollineau added that Kansas City Wizards striker Gary Glasgow was also released and was expected in the country along with Columbus Crew defender Ansil Elcock last night.

At the time of speaking, Mollineau was on his way to collect Nottingham Forest striker Stern John at Piarco International Airport.

Dwight Yorke, who arrived here Monday before going to Tobago, will be out for training today in a closed-door session at St Anthony's College Ground. Captain Russell Latapy, Anthony Rougier and Marvin Andrews all trained at the Stadium yesterday.

Also there was former national midfielder Verron Skinner, who Mollineau said was not in the team for tomorrow's game.

All overseas-based players are expected to remain here before leaving with the rest of the team for Edmonton, Canada, on Wednesday for the July 16 World Cup qualifier against Canada.

With Germany earning the right to host the 2006 World Cup yesterdayT&T may get the chance to face German Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich later this year.

On his visit here earlier this year, Franz Beckenbauer, head of the German bid, promised T&T a friendly game against Munich in Germany in May. FIFA vice president Jack Warner also spoke of the match then. However, that was put on hold.

When questioned about the game last week, Warner said it may depend on Germany's outcome in the bid.

"I'm sure that this hinges on Germany's selection as the host country for 2006 and therefore it would be premature at this stage to say anything until after the vote. It will however have no bearing on how CONCACAF eventually votes," said Warner.

Warner, who arrives home today, also took time on Wednesday to comment on this country's preparations for the World Cup qualifying semi-final round.

" I can understand the cause for panic by the local football fraternity vis a vis the team's preparations for the upcoming match against Canada. I, too, am disappointed over the result in both Barbados and St Vincent and so, too, are my colleagues in the FIFA executive committee."

Wednesday July 5th, 2000

T&T dump Cuba

Trinidad and Tobago defeated Cuba 4-1 in an international friendly yesterday. This was a rebound victory after a dissappointing road trip last week which they tied Barbados 0-0 and lost to St. Vincent and the Grenadines 2-1.

T&T face Jamaica later this week before heading to Edmonton for their first World Cup qualifier versus Canada on July 16th.

Porterfield has overseas camp in mind


 NATIONAL football coach Ian Porterfield is hoping his team will have an overseas camp following the early round of matches in the World Cup qualifying semifinals next month.

 There were reports that T&T was planning to go on camps in South America and Europe, but since the appointment of the new technical staff, those plans have been put aside.

 T&T has played six qualifying games since March and has important matches against Canada, Mexico and Panama coming up.
 Porterfield said it will be inappropriate to hold overseas training camps before the end of the year.

 "I would think it might be a bit difficult now to have an overseas camp. Once we get through the first phase by September then we can assess it. The problem is we are going to play four games by September and by that time our foreign-based players will all be playing regular games in their respective leagues.

 I would say that our plan is just to get through this next phase. Our vision is then to get that situation, involving the training camps, into place," said the national coach.

Yorke: England must move with the times


 IN LIGHT of France's success at Euro 2000, Dwight Yorke has some advice for Manchester United teammate David Beckham and England. The 28-year-old striker believes England must compare themselves with the World champions and move with the times if they are to reestablish themselves as an international powerhouse.

 "The game has changed and the national team has to change with it - but getting rid of the manager is not the answer. That's what England always seem to do and where has it got them?

 "England's thinking and approach has to change. A lot of people have said England just have not got the quality any more. But they have - they just have not been able to put the bits together again. You are not telling me the likes of David Beckham and Paul Scholes suddenly can't pass the ball because they are in an England shirt.

 "That's rubbish but there is obviously something wrong in the philosophy of how the team should play," Yorke said in England on Sunday.

 "The country has to start looking at how Holland, Portugal and France do it and learn from them. England definitely have the players, it's just a matter of getting them to play. Yorke: England must move with the times There was a time when people feared England, now they look forward to the challenge with confidence. The tide needs to be reversed and quickly," he said.

 Yorke is expected home later this week to line up for T&T in Saturday's friendly against Jamaica at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

 Rougier's boss works with Porterfield

 Brian Horton, manager of Port Vale has agreed to allow Anthony Rougier to remain and train with the national team for their World Cup qualifying match against Canada on July 26 in Edmonton.

 Horton said he intends to assist coach Ian Porterfield in whatever way possible as he attempts to get T&T sufficiently prepared for the semi-final matches.

 "I have spoken to the Trinidad and Tobago coach Ian Porterfield and we have agreed to work together. I don't mind Tony staying out there until after the World Cup."

 Rougier will miss Vale's preseason match against Newcastle Town on the same day T&T are scheduled to meet Canada.

 John put through the paces

 Stern John and his Nottingham Forest teammates were put through the paces by manager David Platt when training began on the weekend at City Park.

 John was called by Platt for training last week.

 John, coming off a ligament injury is expected to have eight days of tough training before leaving with Forest for preseason tours of the United States, T&T and Jamaica. They are scheduled to face MLS club Miami Fusion as well as Jamaican club Harbour View.

 However, John may not be part of the matches in Trinidad as he is expected to be with the T&T side for World Cup qualifying action against Canada on July16.

 Hibs fans fear Latapy exit

 Following the news that Ipswich Town may be bidding 2 million pounds for Russell Latapy, there has been some concern among Hibernian fans as they realise they may be without the "Little Magician" next season.Latapy became a favourite at Easter Road in his two seasons, winning several awards.

 Sancho blanks Cyprus club

 Defender Brent Sancho blanked a Cyprus First Division club last week because they were only willing to sign him before his one year contract with Charleston Battery ends.

 The 23-year-old player said he doesn't intend to leave the American A-League club until their season ends.

 However, his agent, Graham Smith has spoken to two unnamed Belgian clubs who are keen to have a look at him, while Portuguese club Academica remain interested.

 Sancho came on as a substitute in T&T's 0-0 draw with Barbados last Thursday and was replaced by midfielder Carlos Edwards at halftime when T&T lost 2-1 to St Vincent and the Grenadines on Sunday.

 Sancho described the loss as "extremely disappointing." "It was just one of those days when nothing went our way. We conceded two quick goals and then missed too many. We simply didn't play well and the guys are a bit down," he said following the loss on Sunday night.

 Glasgow's a first time finisher says teammate

 "He's a goal scorer. He's one of those guys, when he gets the ball, after he takes a player on one or two times, they start to back off him. Gary is very technical and he's got great ball skills and can beat a player one-on-one, whereas Miklos (teammate) is hard in the box. He's a first-time finisher, more power."

 That's what Kansas City Wizards striker Chris Henderson had to say about Gary Glasgow .

 The former Defence Force player has so far scored two goals for Kansas and is coming off another scoring performance in T&T's 2-1 loss to St Vincent and the Grenadines on Sunday.

 Hislop and company doing well

 West Ham United manager Harry Redknapp is confident that he will have injured foursome, local goalkeeper Shaka Hislop, striker Joe Cole and Stuart and Ian Pierce recovered from injuries for the start of the new season.

 They have all have all been on the sidelines following serious injuries.

 Hislop suffered a broken leg in February and is now targeting the opening match against Chelsea on August 19 for his return.
 "They are all coming on well, and they should be fit for the start of the season," Redknapp said last week.

 Rahim impresses Porterfield

 IAN Porterfield is impressed with American based midfielder Brent Rahim and believes he can become a top class player.

 However, the Scotland-born coach feels it may be too early to throw Rahim into a heavy midfield responsibility when T&T starts the World Cup later this month.

 Rahim, now at the University of Connecticut is one of three players campaigning in the United States.

 "Rahim's got great enthusiasm and attitude. But he's learning and maybe it's not the right time from him to be the main player in the team and we've got to respect that because he's only a young boy.

 But I was really impressed with what I saw of him and there are a couple others out there in America who we are addressing. When the big matches come around we must have our experienced players," Porterfield said recently.

No move for ‘Latas’

Sports Desk

TRINIDAD and Tobago skipper Russell Latapy will not be playing anywhere else but in Scotland for the 2000/01 British season.

And if his current club, Hibernian, have their way, Latapy will finish his career in Edinburgh.

The 31-year-old midfielder has been the target of approaches by several British clubs during the current off-season.

High on this list is newly-promoted English Premiership club Ipswich Town who were reportedly ready to make a £2m bid for the Hibs playmaker.

However, word out of Scotland yesterday was that Hibs were prepared to resist any bid for their T&T star.

A Hibernian club spokesman told reporters that the club was not only unwilling to part with Latapy but had not been officially approached either.

“No approach has been made and no approach would be welcomed from Ipswich Town. He (Latapy) is too important to our plans to allow him to leave,” said the spokesperson who was not indentified.

In any event, any bid for Latapy would have had to be very very attractive for Hibs boss Alex McLeish to part with the T&T captain.

McLeish had already off-loaded several seasoned players from last season’s roster before last week’s sale of promising young striker Kenny Miller to Scottish giants Glasgow Rangers for £2m.

That makes Latapy now too influential a player for him to be released as he has established himself as the club’s go-to man in his two seasons with them.

It appears now then that Ipswich manager George Burley may well be regretting the day he let the Little Magician slip through his hands.

Burley had had the second bite at signing Latapy when Ipswich were campaigning in the First Division two seasons ago. After a planned move to Premiership club Aston Villa had fallen through for the T&T star, Burnley gave him a trial.

But Burnley took a little too long to put pen to paper and the former Portugal-based player was snapped up by Hibs where he went on to win the Division One “1998-99 Player of the Year” title in his debut season in Scotland.

Latapy led Hibs back to the Premier League during that first season and continued his good form last year up in the big leagues.

It is largely that effort that has clubs including Celtic and Newcastle United, reportedly keeping their eyes on him and their hands on their cheque books. But Hibs have made it clear that their man is not for sale.

Monday July 3rd, 2000

T&T embarrassed

Trinidad and Tobago got a serious reality check this weekend with a tie and a lost to two very weak opponents in international friendlies.

T&T tied Barbados 0-0 and lost to St. Vincent and the Grenadines 2-1. T&T return home to face Cuba and Jamaica before heading to Edmonton to face Canada in World Cup qualifiers on July 16th.

Ipswich willing to pay £2m for Latapy


ENGLISH Premiership club Ipswich Town is willing to bid £2 million for Trinidad and Tobago captain Russell Latapy.

Ipswich management yesterday confirmed their interest in the "Little Magician" after reports last week revealed that manager George Burley was keen to strengthen the club's midfield department. Ipswich has already contacted Scottish Premier League club Hibernian about Latapy.

The 31-year-old Latapy had a trial at Ipswich in 1998 but moved to Hibs after a signing with the English club was delayed until a move for England international Keiron Dyer to Newcastle United was completed.

Latapy's local representative said that all offers will be closely examined.
"That's basically the situation now. There have been offers from some other clubs that we'll be looking at."

Hibs may be reluctant to let Latapy go especially with the departure of their star striker Kenny Miller to Rangers last week but with the kind of bid being offered, it surely will be difficult one to resist since Latapy has only one year left on his current contract.

Latapy has been in England over the last few days looking at his friend Brian Lara in action for the West Indies in the Test Match with England which ended on Saturday.
He was given time off from Hibs, which began pre-season training last week.

Latapy is expected later this week to line up for T&T in a friendly clash with Jamaica at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Saturday.