Trinidad and Tobago’s Under 20 Men’s Team completed a 6-2 victory over Defence Force’s Super League team 6-2 in their final warm-up fixture on Friday evening at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium, ahead of their opening Caribbean Football Union fixture with Guadeloupe on Wednesday at 7:30pm.
T&T, coached by Brian Williams, got goals from 15-year-old midfielder Isaiah Hudson in the 1st and 25th minutes, a double from forward Nicholas Dillon in the 35th and 70th minutes and one each from Josh Toussaint in the 81st minute and New York Red Bulls defender Noah Powder in the 87th minute.
The team will receive its final addition on Monday with English-based defender Morgan Bruce arriving from London to join the live-in camp which the team entered into at the Metro Hotel in Couva on Sunday for the duration of the three-day tournament.
Head Coach Williams expressed satisfaction with the team’s showing on Friday, saying: “It was a good exercise for us and a good performance by the boys. We conceded two goals but I was pretty satisfied with our offensive display and the fact that we were able to score six goals.
“We have entered the live-in camp and Morgan Bruce will be the final player coming into the team on Monday so we will have our full compliment of players and the preparations will be in relation to how we will approach the game on Wednesday.”
DirecTV W Connection midfielder Jabari Mitchell has been named the captain of the Team. Mitchell was also a member of the previous Under 20 Team under former head coach Derek King which appeared in the CONCACAF Finals in Jamaica.
Mitchell believes this time around the team has what it takes to advance to the CONCACAF Finals in Costa Rica once again but he sees the three upcoming matches as important for the team to gather momentum.
“It’s a good experience for me coming in as a leader. I want to lead the team obviously towards topping the group and going onto reach the CONCACAF stage again. Day by day we are getting better. We may not be progressing as fast as the previous team but we are getting there everyday and I am happy with the way we are coming along,” Mitchell told TTFA Media.
“As the captain the pressure is there but I am thankful for it because it’s the first time I am experiencing it. I want to take control and deliver when the time comes.
“The strength of this team is the speed of the players and the willingness work hard. Our aim now is to get out of the group and go on to reach the CONCACAF stage and hopefully qualify for the World Cup. Personally I also want to deliver because I think it’s time that I step up and deliver on the day. Coach has been doing really well, pushing the players the right way and I hope we can go out there and deliver for him,” Mitchell added.
“These three games are crucial for us and we need to get off to a good start on Wednesday. I think the games will help us to gain momentum by the time we get through to the CFU Finals in Curacao in October.”
Wednesday’s match with Guadeloupe kicks off at 7:30pm. The match will be part of a double header with Turks and Caicos facing St Lucia in the earlier contest from 5pm. The tournament continues with double headers on June 17th and 19th at the same venue. Tickets will be on sale on matchdays at the venue priced at $20 covered section and $10 uncovered.
About the Qualifiers
The CFU First round will see action in four groups with the group winners, plus the best runner, second and third best runner up joining hosts Curacao for the CFU Final Round in October. The top five teams from there will advance to the CONCACAF Final round in Costa Rica in February, 2017 from which four teams will qualify for the 2017 FIFA Under 20 World Cup in South Korea.
The 2017 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship will include a field of twelve teams; Costa Rica as host, three additional teams from the Central American Football Union (UNCAF), five from the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) and three from North America. The qualifying tournaments for the Caribbean and Central America will begin in June and July of 2016 respectively.
A date for the official draw will be announced in coming months.
Mexico is the defending Champion of the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship, after overcoming Panama 4-2 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in the 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship Jamaica.
T&T 23-man squad
Jadiel Poon Lewis – Queen’s Royal College
Jabari Brice – San Juan Jabloteh
Denzil Smith – Shiva Boys College
Tyrek Sampson – North East Stars
Kierron Mason – DirecTV W Connection
Andrew Rullow – Premier Football Academy
Jacob Sooklal – Durham United FC
Kori Cupid – W Connection
Isaiah Garcia – W Connection
Noah Powder – New York Red Bulls
Jabari Mitchell – W Connection
Kareem Riley – Central FC
Shane Sandy – North East Stars
Yohannes Richardson – Shiva Boys
Morgan Bruce – Stevanage Borough
Micah Lansiquot – St Ann’s Rangers
Nicholas Dillon – Central FC
Jarred Dass – Stony Brook College
Rushawn Murphy – East Mucurapo
Kathon St. Hillaire – St Ann’s Rangers
Isaiah Hudson – W Connection
Josh Toussaint – St Ann’s Rangers
Quinn Rodney – Club Sando
CFU UNDER 20 FIXTURES
All Games at Ato Boldon Stadium
Wednesday June 15th, 2016
St Lucia vs Turks and Caicos, 5pm
Trinidad and Tobago vs Guadeloupe, 7:30pm
Friday June 17th, 2016
St Lucia vs Guadeloupe, 5pm
T&T vs Turks and Caicos, 7:30pm
Sunday June 19th 2016
Guadeloupe vs Turks and Caicos 4pm
T&T vs St Lucia, 6:30pm