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Jamaica, Trinidad, U.S. advance

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Host Jamaica advanced to the quarter-finals of the CONCACAF Under-17 tournament when it defeated Guatemala, 1-0, on Saturday, the last day of the preliminary round, in Montego Bay. The win meant that Jamaica finished atop Group C, with Caribbean rival Trinidad and Tobago finishing second to complete the pair that advanced from the three-team group. Guatemala was the Group C team that was eliminated.

The U.S. captured Group B and Panama was second, which meant that Cuba went home from this group; in Group A, Costa Rica finished on top, El Salvador was second and Haiti was eliminated; Canada topped Group D, Honduras finished second and Barbados went home.

Jamaica got its goal from forward Jason Wright, who scored off a left-side cross from Alvas Powell just before halftime. The win gave Jamaica a tie with Trinidad and Tobago atop their group with four points each after a 2-2 draw in their encounter; both Caribbean teams had defeated Guatemala, 1-0. It took a casting of lots before Jamaica got the lucky pick and was declared the group winner. Jamaican goalkeeper Odean Clarke reportedly was outstanding in goal.

The USA marched through to the quarter-finals with a 3-1 win over Cuba and a 1-0 defeat of Panama; the Panamanians played to a goalless draw with Cuba, but surrendered only one goal against the U.S. to advance ahead of Cuba on goal difference. Canada won its group despite a goalless draw against Honduras. The Canadians dominated the first half, outshooting Honduras, 10-2, as it high-pressured Honduras into turnovers. Canada’s 8-0 defeat of Barbados gave it the goal advantage.

The quarter-finals are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb, 22-23. In Tuesday’s games, Costa Rica was scheduled to play Panama, while USA took on El Salvador. On Wednesday, it’s Canada versus Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica going against Honduras. The semifinals are scheduled for Friday, Feb. 25 and the championship game and third-place on Sunday, Feb. 27.

Davies With DC

U.S. international forward Charlie Davies, who missed last summer’s World Cup because of a near-fatal car accident, signed Wednesday with D.C. United on loan from his French club Sochaux, for the MLS season. Davies spent the past two weeks training with the MLS club to determine his fitness after just over a year of the accident, in which a passenger died. The forward suffered multiple external and internal injuries from the crash. United general manager Dave Kasper said that “a full battery of physical and medical testing” was completed on the player. Davies, 24, played 17 times for the U.S. and is expected to help as United is coming off its worst season in franchise history: it won just six of 30 games and scored only 21 goals in 2010. United opens the season on March 19 against Columbus.

Trinidad Coach

Trinidad and Tobago are still looking for a coach for its senior national men’s team. Several Dutch coaches are being interviewed since Portuguese Carlos Queiroz dropped out. Erwin Koeman, younger brother of Dutch international Ronald Koeman, Johan Neeskens, Otto Pfister and Ruud Krol are the foreign coaches under consideration.

Neeskens was a very good, physical defensive midfielder, who was a member of the much-heralded ‘Clockwork Orange’ Dutch teams of the late 1970s and early ‘80s; he also played for the New York cosmos in the NASL of the 1980s. Ruud Krol was also a part of this successful Dutch team led by John Cryuff and famous manager Rinus Michels.

Updated 4:56 pm, July 9, 2018
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