By SHAUN FUENTES
STRIKER Leonson Lewis says there are a few footballers in Portugal who are eligible to represent Trinidad and Tobago and may well do so with flying colours.
This is certain to be good news for T&T coach Ian Porterfield, who only last week appealed for information on overseas players who could be added to his squad for the 2002 World Cup qualifying campaign.
Porterfield is in Barbados following a friendly game with that country last night.
Lewis, back home from Portugal on holidays, said there were a number of players about whom he was aware, although he did not know them personally.
However, he knew of 19-year-old striker Akudu Michael Goodrich, who has been at First Division club Benefica since last November and is poised to sign a deal with its first team before the new season begins in September.
"I met Akudu, another Trinidadian eligible to play for T&T. He is a big, tall forward and he also told me about other Trinidadians living and playing in Portugal. Some may be playing in the lower divisions but they are out there," said Lewis.
Goodrich's local representative, Richard Fakoory, said on Monday Benefica will decide soon whether they will assign him to its first team.
If not, the Superstar Rangers' product may move on to another club in Portugal.
Another talented player, Cornell Glen, returned home last week for holidays with Goodrich from Portugal.
He played last season with Second Division club Adsanjonese, alongside former Joe Public player Wesley John.
Glen netted three goals in a season in which he was plagued by
a thigh injury. Glen is a former Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive and Futgof
player. He also has represented T&T at youth level. Another young talented
Sean Cooper, jets out to Portugal to begin a contract with Adsanjonese next week.
Porterfield has English-based scout John Stubbs on the look-out for players in England eligible to represent T&T.
Now Porterfield may consider having a look at those in another part of Europe who are at his disposal.
In related news, there have been reports about a possible return to the national team by Lewis.
"I don't know about that but I think if someone has to be called to the national team, he needs to be presented with some sort of formal invitation and I haven't received that. Of course you feel good when everyone is saying they want you.
"Until the TTFF send me something official then I would decide what I am doing," said Lewis.
Thursday June 29th, 2000
By IRVING WARD
TRINIDAD and Tobago’s England-based professional Shaka Hislop is hoping to return to competitive action a little earlier than planned.
The 31-year-old West Ham goalkeeper, who is still doing rehabilitation work on his left leg, is on course for a return to action for the Hammers in pre-season competition next month.
Hislop, who broke his leg during Premiership action in February, was badly missed by club boss Harry Redknapp who saw his club fall out of contention for a place in Europe while the T&T player was on the sidelines.
However, the injury healed well and he has been doing rehab work since taking off the cast last month.
Naturally, Redknapp was delighted that he would be able to call upon the Trinidadian player’s services once more.
Of course, T&T coach Ian Porterfield will also be viewing Hislop’s progress with his team set to enter into action in the semi-final round of the Football Confederation’s 2002 World Cup qualifying series next month.
The news was hopeful but not quite as promising for midfielder Ronnie Mauge as well.
While the Bristol Rovers playmaker is confident of returning to action soon, he does not foresee it being before the start of the new English Second Division season.
Mauge broke his leg in two places against Mexico in the Gold Cup in February. He took the plaster off last month and recently underwent a fortnight’s rehabilitation course at Lilleshall.
He is now working out daily at a Bristol sporting centre and is expected to report back for light training on July 4.
T&T hopes for strong test from Bajans
By SHAUN FUENTES
THE opponents may not be the most difficult to overcome but national coach Ian Porterfield will be hoping that Barbados can give his players the strongest test possible in a friendly encounter at the National Stadium, Bridgetown, from eight o'clock tonight.
Tonight's game is the first of four friendlies T&T will play
before taking on Canada in their first game of the 2002 World Cup
qualifying semifinal stage on July 16.
The other clashes are against St Vincent and the Grenadines at Arnos Vale on Sunday, Cuba and Jamaica here on July 4 and 8 respectively.
Porterfield admitted he would have preferred to have had a squad,
including the overseas-based players, and even tougher opponents. But the
Scotland-born coach is still in the process of assessing a few players
and hopes he'll have a good chance of doing that tonight.
One player who may attract the most attention is Vibe CT 105 W Connection midfielder Reynold Carrington. Porterfield will be keen to see if the former Defence Force player can fit the position as a good defensive midfielder which the team has notably lacked.
The other player capable of filling that position is Bristol Rovers' Ronnie Mauge, who is not likely to return to action from a broken leg injury until August.
Kansas City Wizards striker Gary Glasgow, coming off a goalscoring
performance in the Major League Soccer at the weekend, will also hope to
impress in the absence of Stern John, recalled to Nottingham Forest earlier
T&T are playing their first international in a little more than a month.
"We've got to handle this return from the break in the right way. We have to get the players fit and the team organised. We've got to start again which is not an easy thing to go because when something stops operating, it takes a little while to get it running well again. But we understand that and we will do what it takes to get back on track.
Hopefully we can get some good performances in these next few games in preparation for the one against Canada on July 16," said Porterfield.
T&T faces six games in the round-robin series from which two
teams will advance to the final qualifying round of six.
Porterfield feels it's important that T&T play unbeaten in their first four games, three of which are at home.
"The Canada and the Mexico games, those are the two that are very important to us. If we can get a good result against Canada then come here and beat Mexico. We have also got to try and get full points against Panama and Canada when we play them here."
T&T faces Mexico (July 23), Panama (August 16) and Canada
(September 3) at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. They then travel to face
Mexico on September 8.
Wednesday June 28th, 2000
In T&T's final game they tied Costa Rica 2-2. Trinidad and Tobago took a 2-0 lead on goals by Delia De Silva and Natalie Des Vignes. But Xiomara Briceno scored for Costa Rica in the 83rd minute, and Alvarez tied it in the 90th.
Stern targets 25 in new season
STERN JOHN is planning to score 25 goals - 10 more than what is expected of him by Nottingham Forest manager David Platt next season. Platt said last week that he expects John to score around 15 goals as the club chases promotion.
However, John who is currently working on his fitness is aiming at 25 goals. "Hopefully there will be no injuries. Training with the national team is keeping me fit before I start pre-season training on July 1," John said last week.
Newcastle United manager Bobby Robson told The Guardian that he
expects John to be playing in the Premiership soon and hinted that his
club may have an interest in the 23-year-old striker. But John wants to
prove himself before considering a move.
Latapy takes on teammate
RUSELL Latapy will play against Hibernian teammate Paul Fenwick when T&T clash with Canada in the opening game of the 2002 World Cup qualifying semi-final stage on July 16 in Edmonton.
Defender Fenwick signed with Hibs last season and while he has not yet met Latapy, he informed the Scottish Press that he will be keeping a close eye on the "Little Magician" when the countries clash.
Fenwick said he expects things to be different this time as Canada was lucky to come away a 1-0 winner in the Gold Cup in February.
"I played against them in Port-of-Spain in January when Hibs were in the Caribbean. Russell played a half and we drew 0-0. We met again in the Gold Cup in the semi-finals and, to be honest, we were very lucky to win."
"Latas" was expected in Scotland for talks with Hibs last week
after holidaying in Portugal.
Yorke versus Shearer
DWIGHT Yorke will meet Alan Shearer when Manchester United take on Newcastle United in their opening game of the season on August 19 at Old Trafford.
Yorke, scorer of 23 goals last season, is gearing himself for another healthy tally in his third season with the "Red Devils."
Yorke will, no doubt, be keen to face the England skipper, who
will be eager to shrug off his country's disappointing run in Euro 2000.
In a recent interview in England, the former Aston Villa player said he's
anticipating the derby with Manchester City, promoted at the end of last
"I think it's good for the city when you have two big clubs. Man
City have been a sleeping giant, United have gone on. It's pleasing to
see the other side of Manchester in the Premiership. If there's one derby,
that's the one I hope I'll be playing," said Yorke.
Leonson's team seventh
LEONSON Lewis said last Friday his final season with Estrela Amadora was not one of his better ones.
Lewis, back home on holidays, said most of his time was played coming off the bench because of a new system that was used by the coach which excluded the use of wingers.
"It was alright but it wasn't one of my better seasons. The coach was experimenting with a new system which didn't include the wingers," said Lewis, who helped the club to seventh spot on the final standings.
The 33-year-old former Chaves player hopes to sign a club closer to Porto after playing much of his football in the Lisbon area, where he resides.
First Division campaigners Belenenses and National Madeira of
the Second Division are after Lewis but he will decide on his new club
within the next few weeks. The new Portuguese season begins in September.
RAITH Rovers management are still smiling after persuading local defender Marvin Andrews to sign a new one year deal with the club.
Andrews who trained with the national team last week, had been
linked to Hibernian, Manchester City and PSV Eindhoven. But after Raith
offered him a "pay as you play deal" because they feared he would miss
too many matches while on duty for T&T, they then decided that he was
too valuable to them.
Rovers manager Peter Hetherson said Andrews has a massive presence
and a great attitude. "One more season with us will do him good," said
Glasgow's a first time finisher says teammate
STRIKER Gary Glasgow netted his second goal of the season as Kansas City Wizards beat the Galaxy 2-0 on Sunday in American Major League Soccer.
The Wizards got their first goal in the 44th minute through Chris Klein.
Glasgow got on the scoresheet in the 55th following a move involving American striker Preki.
Kansas top the Western Division standings with 37 points, nine more than second placed Los Angeles.
The unique Nixons
SWITZERLAND-based professional Jerron Nixon is one half of what the Football Confederation believes in an unique husband and wife football couple.
Nixon's wife Kathy-Ann is a member of the Trinidad and Tobago women's team which entered the Gold Cup in the United States.
The Confederation featured the couple on it's web site on the weekend.
Kathy-Ann is a defensive midfielder for SV Seebach in the Swiss Women's League, while Jerron, a member of the T&T side during the February Gold Cup, is attached to FC Zurich but has been on loan.
"They first met after a Shell Cup match at Arima Stadium in 1996 when she was in a training session for the national team. Now, they have the chance to see each other play and Jerron often drives three hours to catch an SV Seebach game," the article stated.
Jerron is expected to join the national team for training ahead of next month's qualifying match against Canada.
Pressure for Warner
ENGLISH club Milwall is planning to sign a new goalkeeper to put pressure on English-born Trinidadian Anthony Warner.
The Second Division club manager Keith Stevens said the club is
on the look out for a new 'keeper since the departure of Nigel Spink.
"We will be looking to bring someone in who can put pressure on Tony Warner in particular for that first team spot."
Porterfield calls Phillip, Carrington
By SHAUN FUENTES
VIBE CT 105 W Connection defensive midfielder Reynold Carrington has been recalled to the national team for friendly matches against Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The 30-year-old former Defence Force player will leave with the rest of the T&T side this morning for Bridgetown for a warm-up against Barbados tomorrow at the National Stadium from 8 pm (T&T time).
T&T then travel to St Vincent to play at Arnos Vale Sunday before returning home next Monday.
The two games will serve as part of preparations for the World Cup qualifying semi-final round which starts on July 16 against Canada in Edmonton.
T&T squad: Clayton Ince (Crewe), Angus Eve, Arnold Dwarika, Derek King, Sherwin Julien, Stokely Mason, Nigel Pierre, Kerwyn Jemmot (Joe Public), Dennis Lawrence, Sherman Phillip, Ross Russel (Defence Force), Shurland David (Caledonia AIA) Lyndon Andrews, Addison Belfon, Reynold Carrington (Vibe CT 105 W Connection), Carlos Edwards (Wrexham), Brent Sancho (Charleston Battery), Gary Glasgow (Kansas City Wizards).
Latapy bound for Ipswich?
By IRVING WARD
TRINIDAD and Tobago skipper Russell Latapy could soon be joining his
close friend Dwight Yorke on the playing fields of England.
The 31-year-old midfielder is currently being hotly pursued by newly promoted English Premiershipclub, Ipswich Town.
But to get the Little Magician, Ipswich boss George Burley would probably have to make his Hibernian counterpart Alex McLeish an offer he cannot refuse.
The reason is that Hibs have already offloaded much of the talent they used in last season’s campaign. In fact, the club’s last transaction saw the departure of top striker Kenny Miller to Premier Division rivals Glasgow Rangers this week.
And with Latapy already shouldering the brunt of the midfield work last season, McLeish is unlikely to give up his T&T star—currently rated at £2m—now.
But Ipswich are not the only club interested in the services of the Little Magician.
Newcastle United, now managed by Bobby Robson who coached Latapy when
he was at Portuguese powerhouses Porto, and Scottish giants Celtic, are
also reportedly queuing up to get the T&T skipper’s signature.
Confirming this yesterday was a member of the Latapy camp, who preferred to remain anonymous.
“Ipswich are definitely keen to get Latapy,” the source said.
“In fact, they have opened up dialogue with Hibernian and Russell is
set to hold talks with McLeish on the issue soon. Something will definitely
happen and all we can do now is wait and see.”
Unfortunately, though, Hibs will be the ones holding the trumps in any transaction as Latapy is still contracted to the club. But the T&T star also has an ace up his sleeve.
“Russell’s contract with Hibs ends in January (2001),” the source said,
adding, “so he’ll become a free agent then.
“It would therefore be in Hibs best interest to sell him off to the highest bidder now. Of course, they can also attempt to re-sign him to a bigger contract now which may be their best option, given the situation at the club at the moment.”
Ipswich, the source added, had long had an interest in Latapy. They were pursuing him two seasons ago after an expected deal with Aston Villa, whose management were then interested in using him to keep his colleague Yorke in Birmingham, fell through.
“They wanted him (Latapy) then but, of course, they were in the First Division then. They were eventually beaten to the punch by Hibernian but now that they’re up in the Premiership, they are renewing that interest.”
However, Hibs management were reported to be keeping other clubs’ interest
in their T&T star “under wraps”.
Quizzed as to whether Latapy, who is entering his third season with Hibs, was disposed to moving, the source responded in the affirmative.
“Like any professional player, he will be open to discussions with anybody demonstrating an interest in him. He would be foolish not to,” the source commented.
“We are open-minded about this,” he ended, “and we will entertain talks
with any club on a possible move for Russell once the move is in the best
interest of the player.”
Monday June 26th, 2000
By SHAUN FUENTES
TRINIDAD and Tobago striker Leonson Lewis has his sights on becoming
a coach of a local professional team in three years.
The 33-year-old national player spoke of his intentions during an interview at Skinner Park, San Fernando, to mark the start of the South Association's 2000 season.
Lewis' contract with Portuguese First Division club Estrela Amadora ended at the end of last season and he said he may play another two seasons there before returning home to coach.
"I'll be 34 in December and in two years I think I would have
had enough as a player professionally. I would probably get into coaching
because I've learnt a lot. I'll come back home because I have learnt too
much not to put something back into the game. I probably would want to
coach a professional team here and also a school team," said Lewis.
The former Naparima College marksman said he felt youngsters were not enjoying the game compared to how he and others did in the past.
"I think the kids should be enjoying the game more because when I played here it was all about enjoying what you did. I also want to get involved with the younger ones. Professional football is when all the fun stops and the hard work begins."
The former 1989 Strike Squad member said that his agent is currently
looking into possible deals and he (Lewis) expects to move to another Portuguese
club in a month's time.
One of the clubs interested in Lewis is Belenenses of the First
Division, as well as National Madeira of the Second Division.
Recently, Lewis has been the topic of conversation among local
officials and fans about a possible return to the national side after a
Sunday June 25th, 2000
ENGLAND-born midfielder Micah Hyde is wanted by the Trinidad and
Tobago senior football team.
But the Watford player has put coach Ian Porterfield on hold because
he prefers to wait on a call from England.
Speaking last week, Porterfield said he held talks with Hyde during
his recent trip to England but the player, who is also
eligible to represent Jamaica, seems doubtful at this time.
"There are a couple players we have asked if they are interested
in playing for Trinidad and Tobago. However, One of them feels he can play
for England. Personally I don't think so. Hyde plays for Watford and he's
the one I am referring to.
"He can play for T&T and Jamaica, but he wants to play for
England. "We have asked him if he will like to come and play for
us, but at this stage there has been no progress," said Porterfield.
The 25-year-old Hyde signed for Watford from Cambridge United for 225,000 pounds and has been a regular in the side which was relegated from the Premiership last season.
Cox...coming back soon.
The national coach also spoke of other England-born players, including
Ronnie Mauge and Barnsley defender Kevin Austin.
"We spoke to Ian Cox who broke his arm recently. We are hoping
he's going to be here very soon and then we can involve him possibly in
some of the warm-up games before Canada.
Kevin (Steve) Austin....No bionic man, still injured.
"Ronnie Mauge wants to play but he's not fit as yet and could
be out for another month or six weeks. There is another young lad called
Kevin (Austin) who is a good on the left side but he has had a bad injury
and he'll starting training in July." Milwall
goalkeeper Anthony Warner is also being looked at. Porterfield said the door is wide open to new talent.
"Don't get me wrong, because we've got a nice team at the moment.
But we are monitoring every single player we've got and
if there is any players out there who we don't know about, let us know about them because we want the best guys available,"
Porterfield said. He said three USA-based players are being looked at currently, including Brent Rahim.
Following resumption of training tomorrow at the Hasely Crawford
Stadium, Mucurapo, following a one-month break, Porterfield sees the next
stage as extremely critical towards T&T's chances of reaching Japan/Korea.
"So we need every support from man, woman and child. We've got
to work together to achieve the one aim. Okay, we'll get
criticised at times and that's fair and we accept that because that's what football is about," he said
T&T are billed to play three friendlies against Barbados (June
29), Panama (July 2) and Jamaica (July 8) before travelling to
Edmonton to tackle Canada in their opening match of the 2002 World Cup qualifying semi-final round.
(Word to Potterfield: We in T&T don't take anyone's leftovers)-Marc
T&T women crushed
No chance versus the US.
The Trinidad and Tobago women's team went into the Gold Cup with intents of showing some good football. However, the only thing they showed was how far behind they are in the development of the game for women in T&T.
They lost to World Champions USA 11-0 in the Gold Cup opener. The next match for T&T will be versus Brazil.
Friday June 23rd, 2000
T&T women to face USA
TRINIDAD and Tobago's women footballers face a mountainous task when
they come up against 1999 World champions United
States in their opening game of the inaugural Gold Cup tournament from
8 pm in Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA.
Captain Izler Browne's team will be obvious underdogs in this Group A encounter against the Americans, who will have the world's best rated women footballer, Mia Hamm in their attack. The 28-year-old player has scored 118 goals in 195 appearances for her country.
The action in the US will be a true testing ground for coach Jamaal
Shabaaz's squad before they contest the first-ever Caribbean tournament
later this year.
They haven't played much warm-up games and will depend mostly on their
training over the last few months and form from the local women's league.
While 31-year-old Browne may be the one, T&T's opponents may have to keep a close eye on, the squad also includes five foreign based players, including Kathy Ann Nixon (SV Seebach, Switzerland), wife of national striker Jerron Nixon; Tricia Cooper (Brevard College, USA); Jinelle James (Appalachian State, USA); Delia De Silva (Miami FC, USA); and April Reyes (Central Missouri State, USA).
Alongside T&T in Group A are Costa Rica and guests Brazil. Group B includes guest nation China, Mexico, Canada and Guatemala.
The Americans, who all play in leagues at home, are coming off victories
over New Zealand (5-0), Japan (4-1) and Australia (1-0) earlier this month
to win the Pacific Cup Trophy "Down Under".
T&T lost 9-0 to the US in an under-21 affair at last year's Pan
American Games. Local cable viewers can follow tonight's action live on
T&T squad: (goalkeepers) Nicole Mitchell (Jane Public), Lisa-Jo
Ramkissoon (Caledonia AIA) (defenders), Terry Lisa John (Petrotrin), Janelle
Noel, Myra Grant (Vandykes), Natasha Thomas (Caridoc Stingrays), Jamila
Cross, Kathy Ann Nixon, (midfielders), Telishia Joseph (Petrotrin), Margaret
Andem (Rossi Potential), Leslie AnnJames (Central United), Ricarda Nelson,
Rae-Ann Elder (Caledonia AIA), Tricia Cooper , Janelle James (strikers)
Natalie DesVignes (Petrotrin), Delia Desilva, Izler Browne (Petrotrin),
Thursday June 22nd, 2000
T&T to face Barbados and Cuba
By SHAUN FUENTES
TRINIDAD and Tobago's senior footballers will not be going to
the United States for a training camp on Sunday.
Instead, they will remain here over the next week and will then
depart for Barbados to take on that country's senior team in a friendly
on June 29 followed by another warm-up game against Cuba on July 2.
The Bajans are preparing for their World Cup qualifier against the United States.
The second game is a replacement for the cancelled match against
Jamaica. The "Soca Warriors" will then return home to face the "Reggae
Boyz" on July 8 at Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo. Following a one-month
break, T&T resumed training at the Stadium last Monday.
National coach Ian Porterfield said yesterday: "Our plan was to
go to America and then go on to play these international games. But a little
problem came up and we've had to change our plans."
He said talks were held with a few English-based players, including
Milwall goalkeeper Anthony Warner, during his recent trip to England.
About the present state of the team, Porterfield said: "The boys
are coming back together now and obviously it will take a few days to get
things back in order. My ultimate aim is to get the team back to where
it was against Haiti.
"Our programme is okay at the moment. Obviously some players have
had to miss training because of club commitments. We've got the big game
against Jamaica and obviously it's good preparation because they are a
very strong nation.
"I think we are good enough to get a good result against Canada.
We sent our main scout to watch them against Cuba and we know a fair bit
about them," said Porterfield.
The former Zambia coach said he is hoping to have Burnley defender
Ian Cox join training later this month and hopefully play in the friendlies.
T&T's schedule for the semi-final round was finalised earlier
July 16 - Canada vs T&T, Edmonton.
July 23 - T&T vs Mexico, Port-of-Spain.
August 16 - T&T vs Panama, Port-of-Spain
September 3 - T&T vs Canada, Port-of-Spain.
October 8 - Mexico vs T&T, venue to be determined.
November 15 - Panama vs T&T, Panama City.
Stadiums ready by November
FIFA vice president Jack Warner and Sport and Youth Affairs Minister
Manohar Ramsaran are satisfied with the progress on the construction of
four stadiums for the staging of the World Under-17 Championships here
They are expected to be completed by November.
While in Zurich, Switzerland, earlier this month, Ramsaran telephoned Warner, requesting a tour of the sites which is costing approximately $400 million in total.
Three venues in Trinidad (Couva, Marabella and Arima) were visited
last Friday and an inspection of the site in Bacolet, Tobago, was conducted
"We spoke to all the contractors and managers on the sites and
what we saw was very impressive and the four stadiums should be delivered
on time," Ramsaran said yesterday at a media conference at VIP Lounge,
Hasely Crawford Stadium.
He added that the car parks of all venues will be available for
staging of entertainment activities, while the facilities, including athletic
tracks, will also be used for other sports, except cricket.
'Football Week' kicks off July 8
By SHAUN FUENTES
FOOTBALL fans will be treated to international action from July
8 to14 when the Ministry of Sport stages the "Millennium Football Week"
at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
The highlight will be a friendly clash between Trinidad and Tobago's
World Cup team and Caribbean rivals on July 8 from 4 pm. This was revealed
at a launch at the Hasely Crawford Stadium VIP Lounge yesterday.
The T&T women's team, which left yesterday to compete at the
inaugural Gold Cup in the United States, will take on Brazil's women in
the second game of a double header on July 12. T&T's Under-17 team,
preparing for the World Under 17 championships here next year, will face
Grenada's youth team in the earlier game.
A second friendly between T&T and Brazil's women will take
place on July 14, preceded by T&T's under 17 against the Grenadians.
Special packages have been arranged for fans wishing to view all the matches. Adults can pay $100 for stands, $50 for grounds and children $25 to witness all the action.
There will be several ticket giveaways via radio promotions and
a grand prize of a trip for two to any American Airlines Caribbean or American
FIFA vice president Jack Warner, chairman of the project, described
the proceedings as "a week of attractive football."
Both Warner and Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Man-ohar Ramsaran,
said another aim is to give the senior team a positive send off to Canada
for its first game of the World Cup qualifying semi-final round on July
16 and to set the stage for the coming months of what is expected to be
critical to the country's chances of playing in the 2002 Japan/Korea
Wednesday June 21st, 2000
Porterfield: We’ll be ready
By IRVING WARD
TRINIDAD and Tobago coach Ian Porterfield and his technical staff were
yesterday hastily trying to arrange a second friendly international for
his team going into next month’s critical 2002 World Cup qualifying series.
T&T began preparations for the first game of this campaign—against
Canada on July 16 in Edmonton—on Monday after a one-month break from action.
However, with only one competitive match against Jamaica on July 8 already
confirmed, Porterfield explained that they were now trying to get another
friendly on July 2.
The squad is also heading off to the US this weekend for a short training
camp. There they are also hoping to get two practice games against teams
to be determined.
However, Porterfield shrugged off suggestions that these arrangements were made necessary because there were fears about the squad’s readiness for the crucial matchup against the Canadians. The Canadians beat them 1-0 in the Gold Cup semifinal in February this year.
“We’ll be ready for Canada,” Porterfield assured yesterday.
“Right now we just need to get moving again because we’re coming off
a bit of a break. So we now have to try and find the tempo again that we
had in the last round against Haiti.”
He added: “I think we’ve plenty time for Canada. Obviously, we’re going to have the best part of one month and we have a good training programme in place so I’m sure we’ll be ready. It’s really just a matter of getting people back into good habits and getting the job at hand done.”
T&T got past the Haitians 4-2 on aggregate in the last round to qualify for the semifinal phase alongside Canada, Mexico and Panama.
Porterfield’s decision to give the team a break before the start of
the semifinal round came in for some criticism from several quarters, especially
with most of the other countries keeping busy during the
But pointing out that the “break” was not one which he personally felt
was necessary, Porterfield said it was brought upon him to accommodate
several of the foreign-based players.
“It wasn’t a case of us needing a break really. Many of these players (foreign-based) have been playing football in England and Scotland since last July and have had a long and tiring season.
“They needed a bit of rest and it was felt it didn’t make any sense
for us to continue training with just afew individuals. But we felt that
if we took the break and resumed training around June 19, it wouldgive
us enough time to get in some practice games and get ready for the next
Porterfield will not have his full contingent of foreign-based players immediately, though. In particular,both skipper Russell Latapy (Hibernian) and England-based Dwight Yorke (Manchester United), twokey players, are not expected to join the squad until next week.
Also, a couple of the foreign-based players expected to boost the squad for the next phase may not be immediately available. These include England-based Shaka Hislop (West Ham), Ronnie Maugé (Bristol Rovers) and Ian Cox (Burnley) who are all recovering from injury.
This, according to Porterfield, means that there will be very few additions to the squad he had before.
Fortunately, though, T&T will have three home games after their July 16 encounter with Canada. They will meet Mexico on July 23, before hosting Panama (August 15/16) and Canada (September 2/3). And this will be a crucial period for the team.
“I would think that the period between now and September will be a very
important to us,” Porterfield ended. “Obviously, by that time, we are going
to have a good picture about where we will be.”
Platt has high hopes for Stern
the PRO LOOK By SHAUN FUENTES
STERN JOHN has been tipped by Nottingham Forest manager David Platt
to set the English First Division alight next season.
Weeks before Forest begin their preseason campaign, Platt said in England that he believes John will be a better striker following a recovery from a ligament injury which forced him out of action for much of last season.
John got some extra weeks to rest his legs as the Trinidad and Tobago
team was on a break before resuming training last Monday.
According to Platt, John is sure to be recharged from his lengthy rest.
"Stern will definitely benefit from the rest and the chance to recharge his batteries.
"And I would expect him to score at least 15 goals next season. He can't do it all on his own and that's why we've been trying to bring some other strikers in to take some of the weight off his shoulders.
"But he's certainly got the potential to make a name for himself. We
saw flashes of it last season before he picked up that injury.
"However, when he did come back towards the end he looked a different player.
And that is what I would expect him to be like next season," said Platt.
The former England player has been given cash by Forest chairman Eric Barnes to buy a new striker to support John in the coming season.
Robson : Yorke deserves credit
Former England manager Bobby Robson believes that even if Dwight Yorke
never goes on to enjoy another heavy scoring season or help Manchester
United toanother title in England, he deserves endless credit for what
he has achieved in his time there.
Robson spoke words to this effect recently while in Trinidad saying
that the Tobago born marksman was one of the most exciting strikers in
"The boy has come into the big time from a small Caribbean island and has done exceptionally well. Like Shaka (Hislop) he deserves full credit for what he has achieved.
Dwight Yorke is a very good striker. after all he plays for the best
club in the Premiership and that alone says it all," said Robson.
The Newcastle United manager added that England would surely have liked to have Yorke in their attack if he was eligible for selection.
Robson, who also told The Guardian that he expects local striker Stern
John to play in the Premiership soon, left T&T for England earlier
Yorke is expected to go to Germany with United in early August for a
preseason tournament to celebrate Bayern Munich's centenary. Turkish club
Galatasaray and European champions Real Madrid will also compete.
Latapy trains with Porto
Midfield wizard Russell Latapy has spent the last couple of weeks training
with Portuguese First Division giants FC Porto
The T&T captain is not going back to play with his former club, just using the chance while relaxing in Portugal to maintain a decent fitness level.
The"Little Magician" has also been doing some exercises in the swimming
pool before he returns home later this month.
Latapy has one year left on his contract with Scottish Premier League club Hibernian and is expected to return to Easter Road this week to hold talks with manager Alex McLeish about apparent interest from a few European clubs.
McLeish discarded reports at the end of last season that English clubs
Leicester City and Sunderland had made bids for Latapy.
Sancho eyed by Portuguese club
Defender Brent Sancho scored a 71st minute goal to help Charleston Battery
to a 3-1 victory over the Hampton Roads Admirals in American A-League action
Sancho collected a header from teammate Paul Conway after a Temoc Suarez free kick before volleying home from close up.
Sancho, formerly based in Finland, has attracted interest from Portuguese
club Academica, former side of national captain Russell Latapy.
Speaking from Charleston last week, Sancho said that his agent, Graham Smith had been in talks with Academica as well as another club in Portugal and Cyprus.
Sancho added that Academica officials contacted Latapy to find out more
about him and a trial at the club within the next few months looks possible.
Sancho played the full 90 minutes of Charleston's 4-0 loss to MLS powerhouse DC United last Thursday in the US Cup.
Rougier to miss Vale preparations
Anthony Rougier is likely to miss out on Port Vale preseason training
because of national duty.
Up to the weekend, Rougier currently in Trinidad, choose not to comment on the future of his club career after reports that he is likely to leave Vale following their relegation to the Second Division.
But according to The Sentinel newspaper, even if Rougier does stay at
Vale, they can expect to play quite a few games without him.
Vale play Newcastle Town in a warm up on July 16, the same day T&T are scheduled to face Canada in World Cup qualifying action.
Vale then meet Leek Town the following Wednesday and Stone Dominoes
on the weekend.
They will be hoping to have Rougier back in the line-up for a friendly against Nottingham Forest on August 5.
Rougier recently said that he is backing England to win the bid to host
the 2006 World Cup.
He also gave his reason why South Africa may not be ready for hosting.
"Not taking anything away from South Africa, but the World Cup is too
big a stage to be put on in a country where you don't really know what
is going to happen.
"The World Cup is up there with the Olympics and you don't want to host it in a country where you are not sure what tomorrow will bring.
You need to have it where you are sure every aspect is covered and England
has shown they can handle every angle.
In South Africa things can be a bit touch and go and the world of football cannot afford to have an embarrassment," he said.
Haynes thrilled about new Dallas job
Former national midfielder Brian Haynes is thrilled about his new job
as manager of community programmes and liaison officer for American Major
League Soccer (MLS) club Dallas Burn.
Haynes was awarded the post on Saturday after announcing his retirement
from the Dallas team which he played for since 1996.
In his new role, he will oversee and help develop Burn community programs
such as "Burn and Learn" and "Burn Out Drugs." He will also facilitate
the Burn's highly successful Major Sport program while working as a liaison
between the staff, players and the community.
Stern wants more warm-ups for T&T
By SHAUN FUENTES
TRINIDAD and Tobago's senior footballers are
pleased with the treatment from their federation but want more
warm-up matches ahead of the semi-final round of World Cup qualifying action in mid-July.
This was made clear by Nottingham Forest striker
Stern John and other members of the national team, after a
practice session at the Hasely Crawford Stadium yesterday.
According to John, T&T should have a series of matches lined-up after a recent one-month break.
They have played just one friendly which they
lost 0-1 to Canada last month, since the start of the qualifiers in
Coach Ian Porterfield returned from England on Sunday and held a session on Monday. He was not present
yesterday because of a meeting with TTFF officials.
Assistant coach Clayton Morris conducted a
two-hour session, consisting of mainly fitness exercises with eleven
players including John, Angus Eve, Arnold Dwarika, Nigel Pierre, Derek King, Shurland David and Lyndon
John returns to Forest on July 1 for pre-season
training and will hold talks with T&T and Forest officials about his
availability for a friendly against Jamaica here on July 8, which is the only warm-up finalised to date.
But he will like to see more matches being
arranged, even if the overseas players are unavailable. He also felt that
the recent break could have been shorter.
"I think we should have more international games so the guys could get better experience, at least the local
players. There are guys who have come off hectic seasons and there are others now playing but I don't know if
the one month was probably too much. But it was good that we got a little rest."
He added that once T&T can have their best
team available on match-day and in training, he has no doubt that
T&T can advance to the final round from a group comprising Mexico, Panama and Canada.
"It's a tough group. But football is football
and any team can win on a given day. We have a great team so we are
not really worried about any opponent. The performance at the Gold Cup was great and the guys are more
confident now that know we can get the job done against teams like Mexico," said John. He returned last week
from a stay in Columbus, United States, where he underwent treatment on his knee.
In the meantime, John and his teammates are
happy to be back in training.
" The players are happy now because everything is coming in place for us. They are getting their wages when the
games are played and we are getting good facilities in which to train.
"Now we are training at the stadium, which
is better than before when we were using the outside 'B' ground. The
mood is good at the moment as the players are just happy to be back in training."
The T&T players will continue training daily at the stadium.
News from the criminally insane
Thats why I am pushing 220lbs!
Jamaica looses another
There was a slight chuckle coming from some T&T football fans when Jamaica lost another coach just before World Cup qualifiers.
That is what happens when you employ short term solutions for a long term developmental program.
Many Jamaican fans live in a bubble when it comes to there team's qualification for the World Cup. Let me remind you, Jamaica was on it's way out before Rene Simones reached across the Atlantic for four bandages. That move changed the way the team played completely and put them into the history books.
The JFF have tried to put in place the same formula in the hope of repeating the results. Pack your team with English player's of Jamaican decent and fly them off to Brazil for a camp. That process is getting tired.
The fans in Jamaica have to ask some serious questions of the JFF. The
program is almost broke yet the JFF received over US$ 2.5 million from
the World Cup. Also, the amount of Jamaican players breaking into the leagues
in Europe and the USA has not matched there nearest competitors in T&T.
There must be a overhaul of there system just like in T&T.
Austin's fresh start
Kevin Austin will look to make a fresh start to his Barnsley career next season.
The London-born defender arrived at Oakwell
under the Bosman ruling from Lincoln City last summer.
After a promising start to the season, making his debut in the opening day game at Charlton but ironically disaster
struck four games in against Lincoln.
Austin suffered a serious ligament injury which ruled him out for the rest of the season.
He has gradually built up his fitness and in
the hope of featuring in the pre-season programme and if all goes to
plan, Austin will be fit and ready for the start of the new season.
The 27-year-old will be looking to put his
injury nightmare behind him and establish himself as a first-team regular
for Barnsleys push for the Premiership.
Lyndon on short term deal
Hibernian hope to tie up a deal that will bring
Trinidad and Tobago international Lyndon Andrews to Easter Road
on a short-term six month deal. The club are expecting to hear in the next two weeks if a work permit will be
granted to the player.
The move could ensure that the club minimise
the problems of players being missing from SPL duty due to
international commitments. Andrews would be the third player signed by the club who could be involved in World
Cup qualifiers - the others being Russell Latapy and Paul Fenwick - and as such the club will be able to have SPL
games postponed in the likely event of all three players being called up to their national squads.
Mixu Pattelainen is another player who could
well still be involved in World Cup qualifying games, although the
Finn provides less of a problem as his games are all much closer to home in Europe.
Both the Hibs manger Alex McLeish and the man
of the moment, Kenny Miller, meanwhile have resumed their
respective holidays, although further developments on the transfer of the player to Rangers could be expected
Brian Haynes Retires from the Dallas Burn
DALLAS (AP) -- Brian Haynes, a midfielder for
the Dallas Burn of U.S. Major League Soccer, announced his
retirement Thursday so the club could pursue younger players.
Haynes, 38, and a native of Trinidad and Tobago,
played for the Burn since the team's inception four years ago.
He scored eight goals and had six assists in 77 games.
"This is a perfect time for me to step away,"
Haynes said. "The Burn nucleus is made up of young players who are
capable of getting the job done. It was a very enjoyable four years and I have no regrets."
The Burn filled Haynes' roster spot with midfielder/forward
Michael Burke, 23, who played seven games with
D.C. United this season before being waived.
Clint Marcelle may rejoin national team
Marcelle..."I want to come back"
By SHAUN FUENTES
FORMER Barnsley midfielder Clint Marcelle has
indicated his willingness to rejoin the national team for training
ahead of the semi-final round of World Cup qualifying next month. Word is that Marcelle contacted officials of the
technical staff recently and is expected back home soon.
National team assistant manager Neil Mollineaux
confirmed that Marcelle has been in contact with officials. "The
coach will make the decision on team
The door is always open to new players," said Mollineaux.
There have also been rumours that former national striker Leonson Lewis may be recalled, but while Mollineaux
didn't deny it, he said coach Ian Porterfield, who is expected here from England today would make the final
Switzerland-based striker, Jerron Nixon, is
also expected to make a return while Evans Wise, who campaigned
with SSV ULM in Germany last season, is expected to press for selection.
Meanwhile, there was good news coming out of
England yesterday on the fitness of West Ham United goalkeeper
The keeper, who suffered a broken leg in February,
has set his sights on lining up for West Ham in their opening
match of the new Premiership season in August.
"I am getting my strength and my mobility back
now, and I am hopeful that come pre-season I will be ready to go.
I want to be back in full training for pre-season and be involved again with the lads. My target is to be ready for
the first game of next season," Hislop said in England. T&T resumes training at Hasely Crawford Stadium,
Mucurapo, Monday morning and will then face Jamaica in a warm-up game here July 8.
T&T defender Brent Sancho said yesterday
his club Charleston Battery of the American A-League are likely to
play T&T in a friendly later this month during a training camp there but the T&TFF are yet to confirm that date.
T&T is also hoping to play another warm-up
against Costa Rica July 2. T&TFF president Oliver Camps said a
final decision on that game would be made Tuesday.
HISLOP HOPES FOR RETURN
Hislop...coming back soon.
WEST HAM keeper, Shaka Hislop, is aiming to
don the number one jersey again in time for the start of the new
Hislop has been on the sidelines with a broken
leg sustained against Bradford City in mid-February.
He is back on the road to recovery and the giant Trinidadian has now targeted the 2000/01 campaign's
curtain-raiser for his comeback.
In Hislop's absence, manager, Harry Redknapp,
was forced to juggle his keepers, with Craig Forrest succumbing
to injury after stepping into his team-mate's shoes.
Ian Feuer and Stephen Bywater were both then
given the opportunity to impress between the posts, but there
seems no doubt that once Hislop is back to full fitness, he will be restored as the club's number one.
And Hislop has his fingers crossed that he will be able to step back in to the breach during pre-season training.
He said: "I am getting my strength and my mobility
back now, and I am hopeful that come pre-season I will be
ready to go.
Wednesday June 14th, 2000
Hibs close in on Andrews
Hibernian are now very close to securing the
services of Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Lyndon
The 24-year-old first impressed manager Alex
McLeish when he played against the club during the
mid-season break in Tobago, and Hibs subsequently brought him over for a short trial. Andrews
was offered a deal at the end of last season, however a problem remained in obtaining a
work-permit for the player who had not quite made enough full international appearances.
However the club have received indications
in the last few days that these problems can now be
resolved, prompting the Hibs boss to say yesterday: "The prospects of bringing Lyndon to Hibs are
a bit brighter. I am hopeful that we can get a player who can be a worthy addition to our squad."
Andrews is just the type of player McLeish
is looking for, capable of holding the ball in midfield and
retaining possession - something the manager commented on in Hibs.Net news yesterday.
McLeish pointed out that it was one thing having players such as Franck Sauzee who could make a
telling pass, but that was no good unless you had players who could retain possession from that
T&T to host two major matches
THIS country is billed to host two major Caribbean
football tournaments, the regional club
championships and the Copa Caribe this November and September 2001, respectively.
Coach Ian Porterfield's team will defend their
1999 title in what is expected to be an important
period for the national team, a few months before the closing stages of the 2002 World Cup
The local squad begin semifinal action on July
16 against Canada after the Gold Cup champions
drew 0-0 with Cuba on Sunday to advance 1-0 winners on aggregate. T&T's group also consists of
Mexico and Panama. Joe Public, the Caribbean's representative at the Concacaf tournament last
year, will aim to produce another good performance in the competition scheduled to be played here
from October 26 to November 4 this year.
Reigning Professional League champions Defence
Force, as well as 1999 FA Trophy champions
Vibe CT 105 W Connection and CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh, will be pressing for a spot in the
T&T's women footballers, currently preparing
for the Gold Cup in the United States later this month,
will contest the Caribbean tournament in August.
T&T are in Group 'C' along with Suriname,
St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines. Action
takes place between August 11-16.
The winner of T&T's group will take on
the winner of Group 'A', which includes Jamaica, Bermuda,
Martinique and Haiti, in the final on August 19 in Trinidad.
There is also likely to be a tournament involving
youth teams from the Caribbean in Tobago next
Camps pleased as T&T near highest rank
By SHAUN FUENTES
FOOTBALL Federation president Oliver Camps
was all smiles last week as Trinidad and Tobago
jumped seven spots from 41 to 34 on the latest FIFA rankings.
Camps pointed out that T&T was two spots
from holding its best position in the history of the ratings
which could possibly occur at the next ratings in July.
T&T's highest rating was in August of 1996 when it stood at 33.
According to Camps, the jump was made because
FIFA was pleased with the overall progress of
T&T in terms of its Professional League, youth development, and preparations of the national under
20, under 17 team and women's team for the Gold Cup later this month.
He also mentioned that T&T's participation
and hosting of the Olympic qualifying series earlier this
year would have played a part despite T&T making little progress. "FIFA doesn't only look at the
performances of the senior football team.
Although we know that they have performed creditably,
there are several areas which FIFA has
looked at. One is the existence of the Professional League.
Then there is the development programme with
regards to the youth, association programmes, the
women's league and the preparations of our other national teams.
Camps pointed to Jamaica (54), which has dropped
one spot because it has been active at various
levels. I think we have done exceedingly well," said Camps.
However, Camps will also know that the upcoming
months of football are heading to be some of the
most critical in T&T history with the staging of the World Under 17 Championships next April and the
senior World Cup qualifying action which kicks off next month.Failure to do well in those two events
could well see T&T slip into the second half of the top 100 in the FIFA ratings. Camps added that a
preparations recommendations for the senior team made to him by coach Ian Porterfield has
almost been approved.
He said that a training camp in the United
States starting around June 25 which will see T&T playing
some MLS teams in warm-up matches is one the agenda.
He added that attempts are being made to play a game against Costa Rica on July 2.
Another match against Nottingham Forest may
be cancelled or rescheduled as the club which Stern
John is attached to wants to play on July 19 which is around the same time of T&T's opening game
in the semi-final round of the qualifiers.
More warm-up games for T&T
By Shaun Fuentes
NATIONAL coach Ian Porterfield expects to lay
out a schedule of warm-up matches for this country
on his return from England on June 16.
The Scotland-born coach is now in England,
visiting his family, while the T&T players are on a break
from training until June 19.
National team manager Neville Chance said matches
were being scheduled and will be revealed
when Porterfield returns.
Porterfield is also using the trip to look
at a number of England-born players who are eligible to
Since Porterfield's appointment, T&T has
played six World Cup qualifying games and one warm-up
against Canada. FIFA vice president Jack Warner said on Tuesday that there was an obvious need
for T&T to play more warm-up games.
"I agree with the need for more matches and
I await the submission of the coach's plan," said
Caribbean rivals Jamaica are automatic qualifiers
for the semifinal round of the qualifiers and have
played a few warm-up games against Colombia, (lost 3-0), Panama (lost 1-0) and are now in
Morocco for a mini-tournament with 1998 world champions France, Japan and the host nation.
They are then expected to visit Brazil for
a two-week training camp before returning home on June
22 to continue preparations for the game against T&T here.
The local side is scheduled to play its next
qualifier on July 16 against Canada once they get past
Cuba, in a group which also includes Panama and Mexico.
English First Division side Nottingham Forest
are also planning on coming here for a match against
T&T next month.
The TTFF were forced to cancel a match on July
2 against Jamaica because of the unavailability of
Dwight Yorke and Russell Latapy. However, TTFF president, Oliver Camps, said both men will be
available to lead a full strength T&T side against the "Reggae Boyz" here on July 8.
Wednesday June 7th, 2000
T&T cancel 'Reggae Boyz' clash
No clash in Jamaica
TRINIDAD and Tobago's friendly international
football match against Jamaica, scheduled to be played in that
country on July 2, has been called off because of the unavailability of top overseas-based professionals from this
T&T Football Federation president Oliver
Camps revealed this yesterday but added that a second match against
the "Reggae Boyz" at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on July 8 will go ahead as planned.
"We have cancelled the first game but I want
to openly thank Jamaican Football president Captain Horace Burrell
for his patience and understanding and he has agreed to come and play here on July 8," said Camps.
The game is part of the "Millennium Sports
Project" organised by the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs.
Jamaica are due to arrive here on July 6 and
will stay at the Concacaf Centre of Excellence, Macoya. They will
stay here until July 13 before going to St Vincent and the Grenadines to face them in another friendly.
The Jamaicans have extended an invitation to
any local professional club to join them in training here following the
match against T&T.
T&T waits for green light from Yorke and 'Latas'
Latapy and Yorke
By SHAUN FUENTES
THE Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation
will today get word from Manchester United striker Dwight
Yorke and Russell Latapy on their availability for friendly matches against Jamaica in Kingston on July 2 and here
on July 9.
As reported in Guardian last month, if T&T's
two most experienced players cannot make the date, then both
games are likely to be put off.
Officials in both countries fear that ticket
sales may be low if the duo along with other overseas-based players are
not in action. TTFF president, Oliver Camps, said that the games may possibly be played later in the year.
Following the postponement of another game
against the "Reggae Boyz" last year because of a similar situation,
Camps said it was felt that Jamaica deserved to face the full strength of T&T side.
T&T manager, Neville Chance, said last
week: "A lot of effort is being made to ensure that those two games are
on as scheduled."
Coach Ian Porterfield who is expected to be
in England for the next few days to visit his family was also looking
forward to the matches as T&T have fallen short on warm-up games.
The Scotland-born coach said: "I know only
11 players can get into the team for a game but we probably need a
group of 30 players. "
"We resume training on June 19 when we will
play two training games and get in a good week or so of practice
before the first game against Jamaica."
A decision was taken to have a break in training
since several players were coming off hectic seasons in the
Pierre's Rovers return
BRISTOL ROVERS’ search for a new striker took
an unexpected twist yesterday, with news that they could
soon be securing the services of a player already on their books.
Trinidad and Tobago international, Nigel Pierre, signed for Rovers in February.
But despite initially being granted a work
permit, the Department of Employment reversed their decision, citing his
failure to have appeared in at least 70 percent of Trinidad’s games in the last two years.
Pierre returned home, and although Rovers still
hold the player’s registration, they have not paid club side Joe
Public the £50,000 transfer fee.
However, after appearing for his national side
in their last six matches, Pierre’s agent is now confident that he
meets the necessary criteria.
Rovers boss Ian Holloway said last night that
the club were only made aware of the recent developments after
Pierre’s agent tried to sell him to a Scottish side on Thursday.
“His agent rang us yesterday and said that
he’s moving to a Scottish club for £30,000 more than what we were
due to pay for him,” said Holloway.
“His agent thinks the permits can now be sorted
out, but if that’s the case then he’s a player we want to keep
because he’s registered to us.
“I’ve given all the information to Roger (Brinsford) and he and Ron Craig are looking into it.
“His stuff is still at the Beeches and he’s
said that he still wants to come back and play for us, but it’s a shame
it’s happening two months too late. We could have done with him during the run-in.”
Meanwhile, Holloway is continuing his bid to strengthen the Rovers squad .
Holloway denies making a formal offer for Alloa
striker Martin Cameron, but admits that vice chairman Geoff
Dunford has been in contact with the Scottish club.
Holloway, however, believes the club’s chances
of clinching out of contract striker David Reeves from
Chesterfield look slim due to the interest he has attracted from other clubs.
Similarly Crewe defender Marcus Bignot, who
held talks at the Memorial Stadium on Wednesday, is expected to
decide to opt for First Division football next season.
Holloway continues his search for cover at
left-back and will hold talks with Sheffield Wednesday’s Lee Briscoe
'Quakes talking with T&T's Sancho
Trinidad & Tobago international Brent Sancho,
currently playing his club ball with Charleston of the A-League, is
being pursued by the San Jose Earthquakes of MLS.
A San Jose official told goalnetwork.com today
(June 2), “We are in negotiations with Brent Sancho, but nothing
has been finalized and talks are ongoing.”
Sancho, a defender for the Trinidad & Tobago
national team, reportedly prefers to play for the Columbus Crew,
while MLS and the San Jose Earthquakes have other ideas.
As a discovery player, Sancho would sign a
contract with MLS and then be allocated to a team. In this case, it
has been reported that the Crew would agree to Sancho’s desire to sign a one-year contract, allowing him to play
in Portugal in the future, should that opportunity arise. San Jose may not share Columbus’ flexibility in this regard.
An MLS official confirmed to goalnetwork.com
today (June 2) that San Jose had made a discovery bid on
Sancho, but would not confirm or deny that he will be allocated to the Earthquakes. “They (San Jose) filed a
claim, but there has not been a contract signed,” said the MLS official.
In addition to the contract stipulation allowing
for a potential Portuguese deal, Sancho may also be drawn to
Columbus due to the fact that fellow T&T star Stern John is a former Crew member.
John left the Crew and MLS after last season
for Nottingham Forest of the English First Division, and has
remained on such good terms with Columbus that he visited the club this past week.
T&T women after US$150,000
T&T women ready for Gold Cup
TRINIDAD and Tobago's women footballers will
be competing for the same prize money as their male
counterparts when they take part in the Women's Gold Cup tournament later this month.
Just as in the men's version of the Gold Cup,
the champion of the inaugural Wo-men's Gold Cup will receive
US$150,000, while the runners-up will receive US$100,000. The winner of the third-place match will be
awarded US$75,000, the fourth-place team US$50,000, and each of the four teams failing to reach the semifinals
will earn $37,500.
T&T is in the same group with host and 1999 world champions United States, Brazil and Costa Rica.
The second group consists of Canada, China,
Guatemala and Mexico.
FIFA vice president Jack Warner said that the inception of the competition is to put the interest of women's
football on par with that of the men's game.
"This is truly one more historic milestone
along the path of women's football, a trail we are honoured to be blazing.
"Our goal from the inception of this tournament
has been to put the interest of women's football on par with that of
the men's game, and by taking this step we again show our intention of making the Football Confederation the
standard by which future progress in women's football is measured around the world," said Warner.
T&T meet the United States in its opening
match on June 23, followed by Brazil two days later and Costa Rica on
The top two teams from each group progress
to the semi-finals on July 1 with the final scheduled for July 7.
Sancho blocked by MLS
Reports out of Columbus this week said after
the Crew looked set to take up the player, the MLS decided the
struggling San Jose Earthquakes would benefit more with Sancho in its line-up.
A report on the Columbus official Internet
Web site stated, "The big news out of the Earthquakes camp, aside
from the long-grass episode, was the acquisition of the rights to Trinidad's national team defender Brent Sancho,
who was highly sought by Columbus.
Apparently, Sancho was awarded to the Earthquakes
after MLS decided San Jose had a worse record than the
Crew, thus they must need the young player more. A shame, since Sancho seems to be holding out and staying in
Charleston because he wants to be in Columbus."
The 23-year-old Sancho recently signed a one-year
deal with the American A-League's Charleston Battery
which, he said, he preferred as it would allow him to join the national team without problems regarding a release
from a club. Previously, New York/New Jersey Metrostars, New England Revolution and Columbus were after
But only Crew are willing to offer him a one-year
deal which he prefers because of having his sights on playing in
Portugal later this year.
The talented defender's father, Keith Sancho, confirmed he's still attached to Charleston and will remain there until
agent Graham Smith can sort out a proper deal with the MLS.
Sancho had a solid match for the Battery on
Saturday in a 3-2 victory over the Raleigh Capital Express. Battery
netted three times in the final 20 minutes which booked their spot in the US Open Cup later this season.
Meanwhile, national striker Stern John, a former
member of the Crew, returned to Columbus last week to spend
some time with his former teammates. He also will be at the Columbus Stadium on Saturday to back local
teammate Ansil Elcock when his team face DC United.
"I have a lot of friends here. They supported
me so well. The coaches have been great. Without them I wouldn't
be where I am," the Nottingham Forest forward told Columbus reporters.
Yorke keeps that smile
DWIGHT YORKE has spoken about the period during
the recently completed season when he appeared to have
gone through a drought.
Yorke told the Daily Mirror that he tried to keep a brave face but was hurting inside.
"I was going home and just sitting not doing the things I would normally do."
At one point, Yorke scored four goals in five
matches and found himself being placed on the bench by manager
Alex Ferguson. He netted 11 goals up to February before leaving to join the national team for the Gold Cup. He
returned to United and took a little while before finishing the season with a glimpse of the form which saw him to
29 goals in the 1998/99 season.
Yorke eventually ended last season with 23
goals. He has netted goals in each of his last three appearances for
T&T, the latest coming in a 1-1 draw with Haiti.
Yorke is available for T&T in the semifinal of the World Cup qualifiers in July .
Hibernian fans are not looking forward to next
season without the midfield magician Russell Latapy.
Reports out of Scotland on the weekend stated that several supporters were expressing concern about "Latas"
missing games in the Scottish Premier League while on duty for Trinidad and Tobago in World Cup qualifying
Following their winter break which included
a tour to T&T in January, Hibs lost Latapy for nine games and felt
absence along with that of Frenchman Franc Sauzee hampered the team's performance.
Hibs commercial manager Rod Petrie was forced
to speak to fans, letting them know that Hibs will perform at a
high level with or without the T&T captain.
Hibs finished sixth on the Scottish standings. Latapy has one year left on his contract at Hibs and will surely want
to help them to a title this season.
Shaka's brother for Scotland
KONA Hislop, brother of West Ham United goalkeeper
Shaka Hislop, is likely to
join Scottish First Division club Livingston next season.
Hislop (K) is coming off a cruciate ligament injury after playing in the Newcastle Minor League and has been
hampered by several injuries over the last few years.
He even considered giving up the game, but
his father George said last week that after a chat, Kona decided that
he will continue playing.
The 28-year-old midfielder is expected to be
part of the Livingston team, Shaka is recovering from a broken leg
and intends to be part of West Ham's pre-season training, while his youngest brother Kali is getting set for a
season with George Washington State University in the United States.
Newcastle almost took Carlos
MANAGER Bobby Robson almost snatched local
midfielder Carlos Edwards away from English Second
Division club Wrexham.
The Newcastle boss made a decision to buy the
Defence Force player the night after his team defeated a PFL All
Star team 1-0 in a match in which Edwards wasn't involved because of national duty two weeks ago.
However, the 67-year-old former England manager
received good reports from Jabloteh commercial manager
Peter Miller and local players Wesley Webb and Earl Jean while relaxing at the Pelican Inn.
Saying that he would be on the look out for
the next Dwight Yorke, Robson realised that Edwards could have
been a good buy. Robson said openly he would buy the former St Anthony's College player.
But English agent Mike Berry recently came
off a three-month battle to secure work permits for Edwards and
Hector Sam to join Wrexham. Members of the club's management arrived here last Thursday to finalise contracts.
A decision was therefore taken to go through
with the Wrexham deal rather than create any bad blood between
the club and local officials. Both Sam and Edwards signed three year contracts worth £65,000 each. Edwards will
leave for England in the next few weeks for a medical exam at the club before sorting out his release from the
He and Sam will report to Wrexham for pre-season
training on June 23.
Raith look for Andrews fill
Raith Rovers management said last week that
they were offering Marvin Andrews a pay as you play deal after he
didn't agree to a new two-year contract.
On the weekend, the Scottish First Division
club then said they were looking into signing Hibernian stopper John
Hughes in case Andrews doesn't feature for them this season.
Andrews has attracted interest from Hibs, Barnsley, Manchester City and PSV Eindhoven.
Rougier's boss wants no more
Port Vale manager Brian Horton said he will
not consider signing overseas based players because of problems he
encountered with Anthony Rougier last season.
Horton said he was fed up with having to play
matches without Rougier whenever he joined the national team for
international matches. Rougier missed quite a few games in February while evading T&T in the Gold Cup.
He missed three of T&T's World Cup matches
in order to help Vale during the closing stages of the season but
couldn't prevent them from being relegated to the Second Division.
Horton said he recently turned down the chance
to sign a Canadian and Jamaican player because of fears of
encountering similar problems.
"We have a small squad here and we can't afford
to have players away on international duty for long spells. We
can't afford to have foreign players away on international duty. You are paying their wages and it costs you points
and money," Horton said last week.
He will be hoping to convince Rougier to remain at the club as the former T&T captain mentioned that he may
consider joining a better club.
Avery among the best
DEFENDER Avery John was voted the second best
player in the Irish League by The Star newspapers
"Supporters of the Year" awards committee.
John who lined up with Bohemians FC, helping them to third spot in the League and second in the FA Cup, was
beaten by teammate Kevin Hunt.
The former Presentation College, San Fernando
captain is now on loan with American A-League club Boston
Bulldogs. John played the full 90 minutes of T&T's 1-0 loss to Canada last Saturday.
Jeffrey strikes in A-League
FORMER national youth striker Kevin Jeffrey
scored a 15th minute goal to help the Bay Area Seals to a 3-2
victory over the Vancouver 86ers in the American A-League two Friday's ago.
The ex-El Dorado Senior Comprehensive player
collected a pass from teammate Ryan Edwards before firing a
low effort home from 18 yards out to tie the scores at 1-1.
Jeffrey also assisted in two goals for teammates Dean Dobbs and Aman Kebreab in a 3-2 loss to Seattle
Sounders on Sunday.
Meanwhile, local defender Brent Sancho and
Charleston Battery held off a stiff challenge from Raleigh Capital
Express to win 3-2 on Saturday.
Elcock's Crew third in MLS
ANSIL Elcock's Columbus Crew whipped the Miami
Fusion 4-2 on Saturday to move to third spot in the
Central Division of American Major League Soccer (MLS).
Elcock, missed T&T's 1-0 loss to Canada on the same day but played the full 90 minutes to ensure things were
safe at the back for Columbus.
Dante Washington and Brian McBride, Stern John's
former striking partner, netted doubles to lead the Crew.
They have now won two straight matches.
Chicago Fire top the table with 19 points, followed by Tampa Bay Mutiny (18) and Columbus (16).
Gary Glasgow's Kansas City Wizards top the
Western with 32 points. Colorado Rapids, team of local defender
Keyeno Thomas are third in that Division with 15 points, followed by Travis Mulraine's San Jose Earthquakes
Coach: Gutsy game from young T&T
NATIONAL football coach Ian Porterfield felt
the young Trinidad and Tobago side which lost 1-0
to Canada on
Saturday in Toronto gave a gutsy performance but warned that it will be a different scenario if they clash again in
the 2002 World Cup qualifiers in July.
Canada must get by Cuba in a playoff next month
to join T&T, Panama and Mexico in Group "C" of the semifinal
round. They will face T&T in the opening game on July 16 in Toronto. Canada have never lost to T&T, winning
six and drawing two matches after the weekend clash.
Porterfield said T&T owed Canada a match
after an agreement between both Federations and he never intended
to carry top overseas-based players Dwight Yorke, Russell Latapy, Stern John and Anthony Rougier.
"We were obligated to play Canada since they
travelled to Port-of-Spain in January, but there was no way I
would have fielded our top players," Porterfield said.
"It gave me a chance to assess our younger players."
Porterfield used the match to look at midfielder
Lyndon Andrews, Anton Pierre, Derek King, Avery John, Dennis
Lawrence, Stokely Mason and Nigel Pierre, who all played for 90 minutes. Midfielder Brent Rahim (on for
Carlos Edwards 66th minute), Hector Sam (on for Gary Glasgow 75th) and Kerwyn Jemmot (on for Travis
Mulraine 58th), were also given runs.
"Our guys worked hard (and) did well for a
young side. I was happy with the effort. We were playing against a
national football team and we had all our young players," Porterfield told reporters after the match.
T&T were expected back home last night
and will have a break before resuming preparations for their semifinal
fixtures. Two friendly games against Jamaica on July 2 and 9 may also be played, once T&T can have their full
compliment of overseas-based players.
Canada coach, German born Holger Osieck admitted that he expects to meet a tougher T&T unit in the
"It definitely was the not the team with all
the great names and when we go through qualification against Cuba,
we'll definitely face a different team. That's for sure. Trinidad didn't have all of their great names, but we still
couldn't outclass them.
The coming week will be very important for
us. I cannot say I am disappointed. I didn't really expect a brilliant
game as most of our players were coming off a layoff, but we did create a few chances. The important thing is that
I saw some positives from some of the players and it was part of our preparation for the World Cup qualifier,"