The new CONCACAF Gold Cup trophy was displayed at a press conference last Tuesday in Mexico City, home of the current Gold Cup champion Mexican National Team. The Cup will be contested this summer during the months of June and July throughout stadiums across the U.S. by 12 national teams – Mexico, USA, Trinidad and Tobago, El Salvador, Cuba, Honduras, Haiti, Canada, Martinique, Guatemala, Belize and Costa Rica – and the winner will carry home the new CONCACAF Cup after the final game, July 28 at Soldier Field in Chicago.
Among the new messages that represent this new trophy, according to CONCACAF general secretary Enrique Sanz, is the value of transparency and a renewal of the new CONCACAF.
Sanz continued: “…On one hand, the history of the Gold Cup is referenced through the inscribing of the names of past champions on the base, while on the other hand we are reminded of the spirit of transformation and development of all the member associations of our Confederation, which every two years strive to raise this trophy.”
Mexican national team Coach Manuel de la Torre commented of the team’s defense of the CONCACAF title, “I want to reiterate that our priority is to be the best team in CONCACAF, and confirm as much in each tournament in which we participate. That commitment brings with it the responsibility to represent Mexico and all of CONCACAF in the same way at the international level, always.”
CARIBBEAN NATIONALS IN FA CUP
Barbados World Cup captain Emmerson Boyce, also the captain of Wigan Athletic FC, last Saturday, led Wigan to a 1-0 upset of Manchester City to capture the prestigious English FA Cup at Wembley Stadium in London.
Boyce has the record for most appearances in the Barclays Premier League; he surpassed the old record when he played his 146th game for Wigan against Aston Villa in February 2012. Ben Watson scored on a 90th minute give Wigan its first FA Cup title in the club’s 81 years of existence.
Trinidad’s Dennis Lawrence, an assistant coach at Wigan, became the first coach to win an FA Cup title. Lawrence, who played for Trinidad and Tobago Defense Force before toiling for English teams Swansea City and Wrexham, scored the winning goal in Bahrain to help Trinidad and Tobago to qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Trinidad and Tobago Soccer Federation President Raymond Tim Kee commented on Lawrence’s achievement: “I know Dennis has worked hard to successfully transition to the next phase of his football career and am extremely happy for his most recent accomplishment as FA Cup Champion. This along with the acquisition of his UEFA ‘A’ Badge is a model for our players to aspire,” Phillips told TTFF Media.
“It’s a fantastic achievement for Dennis and for Trinidad and Tobago. He continues to do everything with his country in mind also,” said his agent Mike Berry. “He’s very proud to be able to carry his country’s name and he continues to strive for betterment. He did it as a player and the same continues now for him as a coach.”