Trinidad and Tobago’s Men Under 20 footballers have settled down in Cali, Colombia as they engage in a residential training camp ahead of the CONCACAF Final Round of Under 20 World Cup qualification later this month.
T&T played their opening training match on Wednesday, losing 5-0 to Acol Futpro, a team comprising of several Colombian senior professional players currently either playing in the Reserve League or out of contract.
Head Coach Brian Williams described the exercise as rigorous but useful.
“We had our first game on Wednesday which turned out to be a rigorous but beneficial exercise. The opposition was a senior outfit with professional players and they put on a strong showing which is what we were hoping for. Our first half performance was decent and were trailing 1-0. I made several changes in the second half and we went on to concede four more goals, “ Williams told TTFA Media.
“But generally things have been good here. The conditions are suitable and we’ve had one and sometimes two sessions daily. We are putting in some extra work on the physical side this week. We have another three games to play before we head over to Costa Rica,” he added. “I will rotate the squad a bit before we get down to having a better idea of what our starting team will before the opening match against Bermuda in the tournament.”
T&T is scheduled to face Atletico FC on Saturday at 8am and will also play Colombian Pro team Orsomarso FC on Wednesday and Deportivo Cali the following Saturday.
CONCACAF Finals Overview
T&T faces Bermuda in its opening CONCACAF qualifier at the Ricardo Saprissa Stadium on February 19th, before taking on hosts Costa Rica at the National Stadium on February 22nd and El Salvador at the same venue on February 25th.
The National Stadium and Estadio Ricardo Saprissa will both be used for the tournament, to be played in a new format consisting of a group stage, a classification phase, and the grand final.
Under the new format, designed to increase the number of meaningful, competitive matches, the top two teams from Groups A, B, and C will advance to the Classification Stage, where the Confederation’s four tickets to the World Cup at this level will be determined in round robin play among two groups of three teams each.
The top two teams of each of the two Classification Stage groups will qualify as CONCACAF representatives to the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017.