The Trinidad and Tobago men’s under-20 team won the first leg of a home-and-away CONCACAF qualifying series when it defeated hosts Suriname, 2-1, last Friday.
The second leg will be played on Monday, Dec. 20 at the Marvin Lee Stadium in Trinidad and Tobago. The winner will advance to the final round in Guatemala, in April, 2011. The Young Soca Warriors defeated St. Vincent and the Grenadines in a previous home-and-away series.
The Junior Soca Warriors rallied from behind on a goal from Sheldon Bateau in the 59th minute to secure the win. Surinam made good use of the home fans support and were all over the Young Warriors from the start. Suriname jolted the visitors with an early goal in the 11th minute, but the Young Warriors manage to keep the locals in check until they found the equalizer through midfielder Marcus Joseph.
The game got difficult for the Trinidadians in the last 10 minutes when Ryan Fredericks was red carded, but defenders Joevin Jones and Akeem Adams, both debutant to the tournament, and goalkeeper John Thomas met the challenge and helped Trinidad and Tobago to complete the win.
Trinidad coach Zoran Vranes was pleased with his charges “Suriname were very different to St. Vincent and I’m pleased with the way we played to the end because this kind of match is important for my players if we are to go to the next stage in CONCACAF because the competition there will be much tougher and tonight I saw my players hold on nicely for a victory.”
Vranes continued, “We made it hard for ourselves in the closing minutes because of being a man short but this is how football is sometimes…You must be ready to play under any circumstance and I saw us finish well enough to get the victory and that was most important for us here in Suriname. Now we have to prepare for the next match in Trinidad and hopefully we will have a full squad available to prepare for it because I think it’s going to be another hard contest for us.”
The pairings for the 12-team CONCACAF Under-17 Championship will be held on December 15, in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The 12 teams will form four groups of three for the preliminary round. Hosts Jamaica, Canada, Costa Rica and the U. S. will be in one pot and in another will be El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama.
A third pot will have Trinidad and Tobago and Cuba, along with two additional Caribbean teams to be determined after this week’s group play in the Dominican Republic. One team will be pulled from each pot to form the four groups. Teams in the same pot will not play each other in the first round. The tournament will be staged from Feb. 14-27 at the Trewlany Multi-Purpose Stadium, a 25,000-capacity venue, and the 7,000-seat Catherine Hall Stadium in Montego Bay. Four teams and tournament hosts Mexico will represent CONCACAF in the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, June 18-July 10, 2011.
Red Bulls Decline Angel
The New York Red Bulls did not exercise their option to retain their scoring leader Juan Pablo Angel. It means then that the team’s career leading scorer, who notched 58 goals the past four years, mostly likely has ended his career with the team.
The Harrison (NJ)-based team also did not opt for midfielder Luke Sassano and defender Carey Talley; the players will now be a part of the league’s re-entry draft process. Sassano played in three matches this season before being sidelined by surgery on his right ankle. Talley was acquired from D.C. United late in the season and appeared in one game.
American referee Brian Hall was appointed CONCACAF director of referee administration. He will work with the CONCACAF Referee Committee and the FIFA Referee Assistance Program on the appointment, scheduling and assessment of referees. He previously was responsible for training and assessment of U.S. Soccer Federation referees for two-and-half years.
“We are thrilled to have Brian join CONCACAF,” General Secretary Chuck Blazer said. “He is a trusted member of the refereeing community and brings a wealth of unique experience that will help us further improve our refereeing program throughout the region.”
The 49-year-old Hall was a FIFA international referee for 15 years, during which time he worked 60 international matches including 2002 World Cup, CONCACAF Gold Cup and the CONCACAF Champions Cup. Hall is a four-time winner of the MLS Referee of the Year award.
In the English Premier League last Saturday, Aston Villa topped West Bromwich Albion, 2-1, Everton and Wigan played to a goalless draw, Fulham and Sunderland tied, 1-1, Blackpool beat Stoke City, 1-0, Manchester City knocked off West Ham, 3-1, and Newcastle set back Liverpool, 3-1. On Sunday, Bolton beat Blackburn, 2-1, Wolves topped Birmingham, 1-0 and Tottenham and Chelsea drew, 1-1.