Looking to defy the odds in Colorado
Trinidad and Tobago’s Senior men’s team will be aiming to defy the odds when they take to the field at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Thursday from 8pm TT time to face off with the United States in a CONCACAF Final Round World Cup Qualifier.
History is not on the side of the visitors but head coach Dennis Lawrence has from day one on the job stressed to his players that they “must write their own history.”
“It’s right there in our hands for the taking. We must show how much we want it. This team, the players, must write their own history,” Lawrence said.
T&T have not scored a goal against the hosts on US soil since the 1996 Gold Cup, a double by Arnold Dwarika in a 3-2 defeat, some six hundred minutes of football have passed. And the last time T&T secured a point was in May, 1989 when Hutson Charles’ last gasp equaliser earned a 1-1 draw in California. In 23 meetings since 1982, T&T have won only twice, both in Port of Spain, lost 17 and drawn four.
US football website StarsandStripesfc.com wrote on Tuesday, “Trinidad and Tobago versus the United States has been one of those David and Goliath matchups where the story never materializes, because Goliath crushes David as expected.”
Whether or not, Goliath’s home advantage will count at Dick’s is left to be seen.
“We are always considered the underdogs when we come up against the United States moreso because of the results but the only way to begin changing that concept is by turning the tables and we have another chance to start this come Thursday,” Kenwyne Jones told TTFA Media.
“The history is rich between the two teams and while they have gone on to play in more World Cups and are a much bigger country that we are, I think that when it comes to stepping onto the same field, anything is possible. We have the right mentality and with the right approach and desire, we have demonstrated that a result is not beyond us,” Jones added.
T&T has a injury-free compliment of players with US-based handful of Kevin Molino, Joevin Jones, Kevan George, Mekeil Williams and Jones (K) all ready to produce the goods along with the rest of the troops. Lawrence has a steady group including the likes of Shahdon Winchester, Daneil Cyrus, Jamille Boatswain, Hughtun Hector, Radanfah Abu Bakr, goalkeepers Jan Michael Williams and Marvin Phillip among others from which to look to.
Veteran Carlos Edwards has lots of memories when it comes to battling the Americans.
“The rivalry is a long one from since I was a kid in 1989 to then coming up against them maybe five or six times in World Cup qualifying football as a player. Every game is different but I don’t think the occasion is one that can easily get the better of us. Hometown advantage is always critical but we know what we are here for and it’s a level playing field from the opening whistle. What we have to do is finish the game with more of everything, more energy, more legs, and more points,” Edwards said.
Seattle Sounders’ Joevin Jones will be up against club teammate Clint Dempsey and he’s ready for the face to face battle.
“Clint is a really good player. We are teammates at Seattle but in this game we’re on opposite ends. I think our players will have to keep an eye on him because he could be dangerous. But generally, I’m focused on playing my game and doing well,” Jones told TTFA Media on Wednesday shortly before the team’s lone training session at Dick’s Sporting.
“WE have never won here in the US but I think if we stay focused we can get a good result. The key to playing in the conditions is getting the lungs opened up early. As the game progresses I think both teams will have challenges but it’s all about who can last the full ninety,” Jones added.
T&T will play in white strips.