While pleased with their performance in a 0-1 loss to Jamaica in game one, Trinidad and Tobago's Head coach Angus Eve is anticipating even more improvements from his Soca Warriors when the two teams meet in the second game of the two-match series on Sunday.

With Jamaican debutante Kaheim Dixon scoring the game's lone goal in the 58th minute at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Friday, Eve opted to focus on the positives in the exercise, which provided an opportunity for several local-based players to make their national senior team debut.

Eve gave debut starts Tiger Tanks Club Sando pair of left back Shervohnez Hamilton and midfielder Kai Moos, while AC Port of Spain's versatile wing back Liam Burns also got his first start for the twin island republic. The overseas-based pair of Kai Garvey and Justin Obikwu, who started at the left wing and centre forward positions respectively, also found favour with Eve, who felt the new players adjusted well in their first outing.

"It is going to be difficult for these guys (Garvey and Obikwu) coming from where they are coming from and trying to adjust in just a couple days of work. I thought they adjusted well. They tried to bring the strengths they had to the group," Eve said in a post-match conference.

"For the most part, I thought the group did really well. We gave up a really soft goal and we could not get ourselves back in the game. I think it was a lack of belief and that happens when players are not accustomed to playing at this level consistently. For effort, you must give all of the guys an A," he added.

Still, with the main objective being to identify players to fit into his final squad for the upcoming Copa America playoff fixture against Canada on March 23, Eve is expected to look at a different line up with hopes that they will be mor fluid and consist in their play to give the coaching staff much to think about.

"I thought it was a great exercise for the guys. When you look at the starting team, we had about six or seven players who were uncapped. We need more exercises like this to expose these guys and give them the opportunity because they have been doing well in the league," the tactician shared.

"So, it's now to give the guys who are more established a run out going into the playoff game. Rhondel Gibson was good on the ball and when he came on, the team started to believe a little bit more. He wasn't afraid to get to the ball and those are the type of players we are looking for to be that brave and show themselves," Eve ended.

The second game is scheduled for a 4:00pm kick off (3:00pm Jamaica time), at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Malabar on Sunday.

NB: That game will be live on SportsMax.

Jamaica’s Carey McLeod secured bronze in the men’s long jump final on day two of the World Athletics Indoor Championships, as Saturday’s morning session yielded mostly positive results for Caribbean athletes in Glasgow, Scotland.

McLeod, who just missed a medal at last year’s World Athletic Championships in Budapest, cut the sand at a new season’s best 8.21m. He placed behind Greece’s World Champion Miltiadis Tentoglou and Italy’s Mattia Furlani, who both leapt to a mark of 8.22m.

Another Jamaican, Tajay Gayle was sixth at 7.89m, while LaQuan Nairn of the Bahamas was 15th at 7.59m.

McLeod's medal is Jamaica's second at the Championship, adding to Ackeem Blake's bronze won in the men's 60m final on Friday.

On the track, St Lucia’s in-form sprinter Julien Alfred, Bahamian Anthonique Strachan, Barbadian Tristan Evelyn, as well as Jamaicans Briana Williams and Shashalee Forbes, all progressed to the women’s 60m semi-finals, after contrasting performances in their respective heats.

Alfred, 22, comfortably won her heat in 7.02s and headlines the qualifiers, as Strachan (7.24s), Williams (7.22s) and Forbes (7.17s), all placed second in their heats, while Evelyn (7.17s) was third in heat four.

Beyonce Defreitas (7.44s) of British Virgin Islands, and Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye, despite a season’s best 7.26s, failed to progress, as both placed fifth in their heats.

The women’s 60m semi-final and final is scheduled for Saturday’s evening session.

Elsewhere on the track, Jamaica’s Damion Thomas and Tyler Mason, both failed to progress in the men’s 60m hurdles, after both placed sixth in their respective heats in 7.73s and 7.86s.

Jamaica’s Natoya Goule-Toppin also missed out on a spot in the women’s 800m final, following a sixth-place finish in her semi-final race. Goule-Toppin stopped the clock in 2:01.41.

Meanwhile, Ken Mullings of the Bahamas, started the men’s Heptathlon on a positive note, as he placed third in his heat of the 60m dash in a personal best 6.83s.

Mullings also registered a new lifetime best of 7.69m when he placed fifth in the long jump, and that was followed by a heave of 14.49m in the shot pot. By virtue of those performances, the 26-year-old currently occupies third position on 2684 points, behind Switzerland’s Simon Ehammer (2800 points) and Estonia’s Johannes Erm (2739 points).

They still have the high jump, 60m hurdles, pole vault and 1,000m to come.

Jamaica's senior Reggae Boyz drew first blood against their Trinidad and Tobago counterparts, as they registered a 1-0 win in the first of their two-match friendly series at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Friday.

Kaheim Dixon's 58th-minute strike proved the solitary goal of the contest which was played behind closed doors to facilitate preparation for the twin island republic's Carifta Games trials.

Dixon, the former Clarendon College stalwart, was the first Reggae Boy to score on debut since Justin McMaster's feat against Cameroon in 2022.

Reggae Boyz assistant coach Merron Gordon said their main objective to expose new talents were met as they fielded 13 debutants on the day.

"Games like these are always tough playing against Trinidad and Tobago, but I think it was a good game. Both teams, I think had the same objective which was to expose these players as much as possible and I think we got that," Gordon said in a post-match interview.

"When you see a player like Kahiem score a goal on his debut is amazing and these are the kind of things that we want for them to transition from schoolboy football into international football and I think he acquitted himself well, and young Jayden Hibbert in goal is a teenager as well so that augurs well for us," he added.

The Jamaicans started well, and were more threatening in open play in the early exchanges, before Trinidad and Tobago's Soca Warriors found their rhythm. Though the first half ended goalless, it wasn't for a lack of trying, as both teams had looks at goal.

In the 12th minute, Kaihim Thomas got the first effort off for the Soca Warriors from a distance, but Reggae Boyz goalkeeper Kemar Foster took flight to tip over.

Alex Marshall, who proved a menace to the Soca Warriors's backline, responded for the Reggae Boyz, but his effort was parried by Adrian Foncette, in goal for Trinidad and Tobago.

Jamaica's Reggae Boyz maintained the momentum on the resumption and again went close through Romeo Guthrie, whose shot was blocked by Foncette at his near post two minutes in.

The deadlock was eventually broken when Dixon produced an intelligent run down the right channel, dismissed a defender and tucked home.

They should have doubled the lead in the 65th when Sue-Lae McCalla found himself with space and time to fire home from Guthrie's corner, but somehow steered the effort wide.

Seconds later, Marshall and Dixon connected well with the latter driving his right-footer into the sidenetting.

The Reggae Boyz continued to apply consistent pressure but found the Soca Warriors defence in defiant mode, as a 69th-minute effort by Jason Wright from Andre Fletcher's pass, was charged down.

A minute later, Devante Campbell played a perfect pass across the face of goal, but Wright couldn't apply finishing touch.

Campbell also had a grand opportunity to get on the scoresheet in time added, when he found himself in a one-on-one situation with substitute goalkeeper Christopher Biggette, but his tame effort was swallowed up by the custodian, who left his line well.

Despite the scoreline, Soca Warriors Head coach Angus Eve, took heart from the performance.

"Not disappointed at all. Many of these players are playing at this level for the very first time and I think they acquitted themselves well and we were in the game for the most part, but we gave away a sloppy goal that proved the difference in the game. We want to give people exposure as you can see, we made minimum number of changes because we wanted to expose the young guys as much as possible. So, this is a good exercise for them to understand the pace of the game at this level going forward," Eve said.

The teams will meet again on Sunday at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Arima at 3:00pm Jamaica time.

NB: That game can also be seen live on SportsMax 

Kieron Edwards or Colin Wharfe will take the reins of a new Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) administration, after both confirmed their candidacy for the presidential elections scheduled for April 13, 2024.

Edwards, the Eastern Football Association (EFA) president, confirmed his nine-member slate, which includes Colin Murray, Osmond Downer and Jameson Rigues as vice-presidential candidates, while Wharfe, the CEO of the Trinidad and Tobago Premier Football League (TTPFL), announced a vice-president candidates list that includes Colonel Keston Charles, Renee John-Williams and Huey Cadette. 

After submitting his slate, Edwards promised a "paradigm shift" in the governance of football in the twin island republic, with a focus on transparency and good governance.

Both Southern Football Association (SFA) president Denis Latiff and Veterans Football Foundation of T&T (VFFTT) president Selby Browne pulled out of the presidential race after expressing a strong desire to steer local football forward in the past few weeks.

As such, the April 13 elections, will see Edwards aiming to ascend to the post of TTFA president with his Team Progressive slate, which is completed by Alicia Austin, Andrew Boodhoo, Allan Logan, Ryan Nunes and Shelton Williams, as ordinary members.

With over 200 years of "football acumen" under their belt according to Edwards' release, Team Progressive promises to provide the "perfect mix of people who have the skill, the background, the experience and the years of dedicated service to others in the football fraternity, that will see our football experience a resurgence in excellence."

The release continued, "Team Progressive is committed to implementing sound financial practices. We will work diligently to ensure responsible budgeting, financial transparency, and strategic allocation of resources to support the sustainable development of football at all levels."

TTFA's general secretariat is expected to circulate the official list of candidates to all TTFA members on April 3.

Trinidad and Tobago's Head coach Angus Eve has included two new overseas-based players in a 26-member squad to face Jamaica in a two-match friendly series this weekend.

The two games to be held Friday and Sunday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo, and the Larry Gomes Stadium in Malabar, are being used to help Eve finalise his Soca Warriors squad for the Copa America playoff against Canada, on March 23, while the Jamaicans are also in preparation mode of their Concacaf Nations League semi-final clash with United States, scheduled for March 21.

Kick off for the friendly encounters are scheduled for 3:00pm and 4:00pm Trinidad and Tobago time.

Canadian League One midfielder Kai Garvey (Simcoe County Rovers FC) and English League Two forward Justin Obikwu (Coventry City), are the overseas-based players called up by Eve, with Jamaica-based forward Nathaniel James, midfielder Kaile Auvray (both of Mount Pleasant) and defender Josiah Trimmingham (Montego Bay Utd), also included.

Also breaking into the senior team is in-form Under-20 forward Michael Chaves (QPCC), who just concluded their Concacaf Championship campaign on Tuesday.

Uncapped players such as Shervohnez Hamilton (Club Sando), Rhondel Gibson (Eagles FC), Liam Burns (AC Port of Spain) and Kai Moos (Club Sando) were also selected.

The remaining players all hail from the Trinidad and Tobago Premier Football League (TTPFL) tier one and includes regulars such as Duane Muckette, John-Paul Rochford, Nathaniel Garcia, Michel Poon Angeron, Denzil Smith and Christopher Bigette among others.

Eve is expecting players to give of their best, especially with spots on the line for the Copa America playoff.

“We had a mini camp over the Carnival period where we saw some new players and we wanted to see them in a real match environment, and now this is an opportunity for them to get proper match practice so we could see them play. We have some new players. Unfortunately, some of them got injured in the last couple games in the TTPFL matches so they’re not here right now," Eve shared.

The Soca Warriors play Canada on March 23, at the Toyota Stadium in Texas, with the winner to progress to Copa America Group A, alongside FIFA World Cup champions Argentina, two-time champions Peru and Chile.

Eve expressed pleasure with the continued expansion of his talent pool continues to grow. He also expressed gratitude to former national coaches Dennis Lawrence and Stephen Hart for their role in getting Obikwu and Garvey on board.

“When these types of coaches recommend people, you must take a look at them. We’ve seen tapes of them, and this is our opportunity to see them live,” said Eve.

Meanwhile, Friday’s game will be closed to fans due to a setup being done at the venue for Carifta trials this weekend. However, spectators can view Sunday’s match at Larry Gomes Stadium at a cost of $50.

Both Games can be seen on SportsMax and SportsMax 2.

Trinidad and Tobago Squad -Denzil Smith (Club Sando), Adrian Foncette (Police FC), Christopher Biggette (Defence Force), Alvin Jones (Police FC), Jamal Jack (Club Sando), Justin Garcia (Defence Force), Robert Primus (Police FC), Josiah Trimmingham (Montego Bay FC), Shervohnez Hamilton (Club Sando), Ross Russell Jr (La Horquetta Rangers), Duane Muckette (AC PoS), John-Paul Rochford (ACPoS), Justin Sadoo (Defence Force), Kaile Auvrau (Mount Pleasant), Kai Moos (Club Sando), Kevon Goddard (Defence Force), Liam Burns (AC PoS), Nathaniel Garcia (Defence Force), Michel Poon Angeron (AC PoS), Kai Garvey (Simcoe County Rovers), Rhondel Gibson (Club Sando), Kaihim Thomas (Defence Force), Nathaniel James (Mount Pleasant), Jem Gordon (1976 Phoenix FC), Justin Obikwu (Coventry City), Michael Chaves (QPCC)

Jamaica’s local-based players and United States-born goalkeeper Jayden Hibbert will have the opportunity to impress Head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson and possibly break into the final squad for the upcoming Concacaf Nations League (CNL) semi-final assignment against United States on March 21.

This, as the 22 Jamaica Premier League (JPL) players and Hibbert, who was recently signed by Atlanta United 2, makes up Hallgrimsson’s 23-player squad down to contest a two-match friendly series against Caribbean neighbours Trinidad and Tobago on Friday and Sunday, in the twin island republic.

The games which are scheduled to be played at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella, and the Larry Gomes Stadium in Arima, are both set to be contested at 3:00pm Jamaica time.

Hibbert, 19, who was signed through the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro season, will become an Atlanta United First Team player effective next year, but until then, he will be hoping to secure a place in Hallgrimsson’s side for not only the CNL game, but also for the Copa America and World Cup qualifiers later this year.

The number 19 overall pick in the 2024 MLS SuperDraft played two years at the University of Connecticut, where he started in all 14 games for the Huskies in 2023. The sophomore made 41 saves and picked up three clean sheets. He collected a season-high fives saves in three matches last season while earning Big East Goalkeeper of the Week honours twice. Prior to joining UConn, Hibbert won a state and national title at St. Benedict’s Prep.

Meanwhile, along with assisting Hallgrimsson decide on which local-based players to include in the final Reggae Boyz squad for the CNL semi-final engagement, both games will also assist Angus Eve and his Soca Warriors in gauging their readiness for the upcoming Copa America qualifying encounter against Canada, scheduled for March 23.

This two-match friendly series is basically a return leg of sorts following Trinidad and Tobago’s visit to Jamaica for two games last year. The Soca Warriors won the second friendly in Montego Bay 1-0, after the first match ended goalless.

The two teams later met at the Concacaf Gold Cup in June where Jamaica came away comfortable 4-1 winners in the Gold Cup group stage meeting.

Squad: Kemar Foster (Waterhouse FC), Shaquan Davis (Mount Pleasant Academy), Jayden Hibbert (Atlanta United), Kyle Ming (Cavalier FC), Richard King (Cavalier FC), Garth Stewart (Harbour View FC), Ricardo Thomas (Dunbeholden FC), Sue-Lae McCalla (Mount Pleasant Academy), Stephen Young (Portmore United), Joel Cunningham (Arnett Gardens FC), Emelio Rousseau (Portmore United), Alex Marshall (Portmore United), Shamour Smith (Montego Bay United), Jahshaun Anglin (Harbour View FC), Romeo Guthrie (Mount Pleasant Academy), Jamone Shepherd (Arnett Gardens FC), Kaheim Dixon (Arnett Gardens FC), Fabian Reid (Arnett Gardens FC), Shaniel Thomas (Cavalier FC), Jason Wright (Moylnes United), Justin Dunn (Tivoli Gardens FC), Andre Fletcher (Waterhouse FC), Devante Campbell (Mount Pleasant Academy)

Trinidad and Tobago missed out on a spot in the Concacaf Men's Under-20 Championship round, after they were beaten 3-0 by Canada in their final Group D qualifying contest at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Tuesday.

Myles Morgan (10th), Santiago Lopez (54th) and Kevaughn Tavernier (79th) got the goals for Canada, who secured the coveted top spot with nine points, as Trinidad and Tobago had to settle for second on six points. St Vincent and the Grenadines ended their campaign on a high with a dramatic 3-2 win over Dominica, to finish third in the group on six points.

Frankroy Cain (10th), Kirtney Franklyn (44th) and Steven Pierre (90+2) found the back of the net for St Vincent and the Grenadines, while Dominica got goals from Ajani Richards (40th) and Keeyan Thomas (90+5).

By virtue of topping the group, Canada along with Group E winners, Haiti, progressed to the Concacaf Championships round where the top six teams –United States, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica and Dominican Republic -awaits.

 The final round will be staged in Mexico in July, where four spots to the 2025 FIFA Under-20 World Cup will be up for grabs.

After securing two wins early on, Haiti did just enough to secure the point needed for group honours in a 1-1 stalemate with Puerto Rico. That top-of-the-table clash in St Kitts and Nevis, saw Fabian Menendez (39th) putting Puerto Rico in front, before Joseph Belmar (71st) secured the precious equailiser for the French-speaking Caribbean nation.

Group host Saint Kitts and Nevis gave locals something to celebrate as they topped Cayman Islands 3-0 in a game of academic interest.  De Quan Hamilton (16th, 45+1, 81st) got all three goals for the young Sugar Boyz.

Meanwhile, Jamaica's young Reggae Boyz will be aiming to join Canada and Haiti in the next round, as they only require a point against Bermuda in Wednesday's Group F decider.

Jamaica, on six points are three ahead of Bermuda, on three and, as such, only needs to avoid defeat in the feature contest in St Kitts and Nevis, to confirm their spot in the next round.

Martinique, who also have three points, could make things interesting provided they defeat Grenada by a wide margin in the curtain-raiser, and Jamaica lose by a single goal to Bermuda. 

Elsewhere on Tuesday: 

Group A

British Virgin Islands topped Belize 4-3 in a seven-goal thriller at the Estadio Nacional in Managua, Nicaragua.

BVI got their goals from Azarni Callwood (38th, 45+2), Curtis Lane (40th) and Johari Lacey (70th), while the Belize goals were produced by Jaheim Mena (16th), Isaac Taegar (54th) aFelix Martinez (58th).

Host Nicaragua, moved to the summit of the group on nine points, following their 5-0 hammering of Anguilla. Oliver Bello (19th), Francis Castillo (37th), Juban Uriarte (53rd), Andres Martinez (60th) and Kenler Cayasso (69th) got the job done for Nicaragua.

Group B

Antigua and Barbuda and Suriname continue to chart the course in the battle for group honours, as both registered wins at the ABFA Technical Centre.

Suriname topped Guyana 4-1 courtesy of goals from Robinio Pinas (7th), Jermaine Rijssel (35th), Djaier Prijor (85th) and Donagay Misidjang (89th). Matrim Martin (76th) got Guyana's consolation.

Antigua and Barbuda emerged 2-1 victors over Turks and Caicos Islands in the second game. Javaughn Jarvis (54th) and Christopher Douglas (82nd) scored for Antigua and Barbuda, before Christopher Louisy (90+4) pulled one back for Turks and Caicos Islands.

Both Suriname and Antigua and Barbuda are on six points, but the former has a game in hand.

Group C

Group C also remains evenly poised between Curacao and host nation Guatemala. This, as Curacao clipped Barbados 1-0 to move to the summit of the group, while Aruba blanked St Martin 4-0 at the Estadio Doroteo Guamuch Flores in Guatemala City.

Luigi Iniesa (31st) got the all-important strike for Curacao that moved them to the top on seven points, one ahead of Guatemala, who has a game in hand.

Joachim Kruydenhof (19th, 39th) and Connor Van Kilsdonk (41st, 45th) both bagged a brace in Aruba's win.

 

 

 

Trinidad and Tobago's senior Soca Warriors will up the ante on preparations for their upcoming Copa America qualifying assignment, when they tackle Jamaica's Reggae Boyz in a two-match friendly series on Friday and Sunday.

The games which are scheduled to be played at the Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella, and the Larry Gomes Stadium in Arima, are both set to be contested at 4:00pm Trinidad and Tobago time. Both games will assist Angus Eve and his Soca Warriors in gauging their readiness for the upcoming Copa America qualifying encounter against Canada, scheduled for March 23.

They will also assist Heimir Hallgrimsson, and his Reggae Boyz, who are also in preparation mode for their Concacaf Nations League (CNL) semi-final engagement with United States set for March 21.

Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica met three times last year, twice in friendly matches in Montego Bay, and those were followed by their Concacaf Gold Cup clash in June. The Soca Warriors won the second friendly 1-0, after the first match ended goalless.

However, Jamaica came away comfortable 4-1 winners in the Gold Cup group stage meeting.

Jamaica were also responsible for sending Canada into the Copa America playoff match, by virtue of the away goal rule, after they rallied to secure a 4-4 aggregate scoreline in the Concacaf Nations League quarterfinal in November.

Like Canada, Eve's Soca Warriors also missed out on an automatic place at the 2024 Copa America, as they lost 2-4 on aggregate to United States, despite winning the second leg 2-1 in Port of Spain.

Since then, Eve has backed his team to remain competitive and, by extension, build on that momentum from the win against United States.

“Like the US team, the Canada team is built up the same, (with) a lot of European-based players. Some of the players (are) playing in the MLS (Major League Soccer), some playing back home, but most of the players are playing in Europe and they are playing with good teams,” Eve assessed in a recent interview.

“But we think we can go in there; we think we can compete with anyone right now and we want to show that. We want to show that confidence that we could go out on the park and compete with anyone,” he added.

Eve believes that with the right application, the team will compete strongly against Canada, as well as in the Concacaf World Cup qualifiers, which promises to be both demanding and exciting.

“We just have to be tactically aware. A coach can only give instructions. When the players go out there, they have to have the mindset to play the position, to play the role that the coaches give them to the best of their ability because, a coach could never tell a player what to do for every second of every minute of a game,” he reasoned.

"We will use those games (against Jamaica) as the final two warm-up games going into the CONMEBOL playoff match and when that happens, then we will pick that final squad,” Eve declared.

The winner of the playoff between Trinidad and Tobago and Canada, will join Jamaica, United States, Mexico, Panama and either Costa Rica or Honduras, as the Concacaf representatives at the prestigious Copa America, which will be hosted in the United States from June 20 to July 14.

It has been a challenging couple of years for Samantha Wallace, after a serious injury threatened her career to the point where she was left questioning her future in the sport.

The Trinidad and Tobago native, who represents New South Wales Swifts in the Suncorp Super Netball League, was delivered news that any athlete dreads, especially during the high point of their career.  

“The surgeon said, 'I don't think you'll be returning to netball,'” Wallace revealed.

That news from the surgeon was as a result of a knee injury Wallace picked up in Round one of the 2022 season, when she damaged her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), medial collateral ligament (MCL) and meniscus. At that point, Wallace was the Swifts' leading goal scorer with a tally of 585 goals at 93 per cent accuracy for the 2021 season in which they were crowned champions.