Posted in Announcements/Official Stuff, Miscellaneous, Soca Warriors

Changes for TT’s men and women football teams

TRINIDAD AND Tobago national men’s and women’s football teams had new senior head coaches appointed at a press conference held by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association in Port of Spain on Wednesday.

Belgium’s Tom Saintfiet, who replaced the recently fired Stephen Hart, was handed a two-year contract to lead the men national team while Carolina Morace of Italy took charge of the women’s team.

With T&T currently engaged in the CONCACAF final round World Cup qualifying tournament and yet to pick up a point after two matches, Saintfiet’s tenure as head coach may hinge on the team’s performance in their next two outings against Panama on March 24 and Mexico on March 28.

TTFA president David John Williams said: “If he doesn’t get the results we need in those two matches then he could find himself out of a job since we can kiss our World Cup bid goodbye if we don’t get those results.”

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Saintfiet, 43, played football for Belgian outfit FC Boom from 1983 to 1997 before going into management at 24, making him the youngest manager in Belgian football. He has a number of coaching stints under his belt, having worked in Germany, Finland, Jordan, Qatar, Belgium and the Netherlands in addition to serving as head coach of Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Namibia, and more recently Togo and Bangladesh.

He said his immediate focus is to take T&T to the World Cup and its a job he will not try to do alone.

Morace comes with a decorated career, both as a former player and a coach.

The 52-year-old Italian is a former national striker who also represented a number of clubs in the women’s Serie A. She was the top scorer in their domestic competition in the 1984–85 season, before going on to hold that distinction for 11 consecutive seasons (1987–88 to 1997–98).

After calling time on her playing career she took up a management portfolio at Lazio before going on to manage the Italian women’s national team from 2000 to 2005, and the Canadian national women’s team from 2009 to 2011.

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During her stint in charge of the Italian women’s team she took them to two European Championships, while Canada’s women team won the 2010 CONCACAF title as well as the Cyprus Cup in 2011 and 2011, and the 2010 Four Nations Tournament with her at the helm. She was also the first woman to be inducted into the Italian Football Hall of Fame, a distinction she picked up in 2014.

Morace holds a UEFA PRO License and is best known for being the first woman to coach a professional men’s football team when she took the reins of Viterbese, an Italian Serie C1 outfit in 1999.

She was awarded a two-and-a-half-year contract, which runs until 2019, by the TTFA and in addition to her role as senior women’s coach she will oversee educational development in the women’s football programme.

SOURCE: Trinidad Express

Posted in Miscellaneous, World Cup 2018

WCQ: Just call Edinson Cavani the history maker

Edinson Cavani continues to make his critics take seats and I am LOVING it!

El Matador is on a roll for both country and club. Last night, he was instrumental in Uruguay’s 3-0 victory against Venezuela, scoring a brace although Venezuela was the livelier side. Nicolas Lodeiro struck first. Cavani scored seconds after the break and again in the 79th minute to make it 3-0. 

Uruguay remains on top of the CONMEBOL group while Venezuela remains at the bottom (and winless) after 9 matches.

Cavani is now tied with Diego Forlán (36 goals) as Uruguay’s top scorer. Only Luis Suárez has more: 46

Cavani is the current leading scorer in:

Europe’s top 5 leagues – 8 goals

CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying – 7 goals

Champions League – 3 goals

Keep doing you, boy! ❤

Posted in Champions League, Miscellaneous

CL: Atletico Madrid beats Bayern Munich 1-0

Bayern Munich was handed their first defeat of the season

Last season, Atletico Madrid ended Bayern Munich’s Champions League dreams in the semi-final stage. Last evening, Atletico claimed a vital 1-0 victory over the German champions courtesy Yannick Carrasco. Had Antoine Griezmann not missed the penalty, then it would’ve been 2-0 for the Spanish side. 

Posted in Miscellaneous

WCQ: YASSS EDINSON CAVANI!!

Edinson Cavani was thrilled with Uruguay's conclusive response to their defeat by Argentina

Unlike Les Bleus, Uruguay had no difficulty in dismantling Paraguay.

Edinson Cavani scored twice and Suarez scored a penalty to making sure that Uruguay secure a vital victory after their 1-0 defeat against Argentina (thanks to Lionel Messi!). Suarez also provided two assists to Cavani.

Suarez has now equalled Marcello Salas as the 2nd top scorer in South American World Cup Qualifiers.

“But like I said the other day, we are all friends, we are family, and we are united in adversity.”

– Cavani

I love watching Luis and Edi play alongside each other because they have THAT chemistry that many seem to lack. Had Cavani had this kind of chemistry with a particular teammate at PSG, he would’ve been relaxed, less tense, and he would’ve been banging in those goals often. 

Carry on Uruguay. Arriba Cavani!

Uruguay's players embody the collective spirit Cavani says was key to their victory on Tuesday

Posted in Announcements/Official Stuff, Miscellaneous

Spurs bits: N’Koudou, Sissoko, and Lopez

Tottenham does #DeadlineDay shopping.

Spurs signed France U-21 winger Georges-Kévin N’Koudou on a five-year contract. This child has such a heartwarming smile, that one cannot help but simply like him. I hope he lights up the PL with that bright infectious smile of his.He’ll wear #14.

Frenchman Moussa Sissoko snubs Everton and signs a 5-year contract with Spurs on deadline day. He spoke with the injured Hugo Lloris and was convinced to join. He’ll wear #17.

Twenty-one-year-old Pau Lopez joins Spurs on a season-long loan from Espanyol. The  6-foot-2 goalie is known for his sometimes bad temper in Spain. He is also known for his passion against local rivals. Yes, his rivals are Barcelona and he is quite vocal about his dislike for the team. I expect Mr. Lopez to be ranting about Arsenal. He’ll wear #30.

Meanwhile, Ryan Mason will be a Hull City player. 😦

Welcome all, and all the best Mason. You’ll be missed.

*** Photos via Tottenham Hotspur & the PL official Twitter handles.

Posted in Miscellaneous

2016/17 Champions League group stage draw

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The Champions League draw was kind of disappointing. PSG and Arsenal in the same group is kind of boring now and so is Barcelona with Celtic and Manchester City. Tottenham and Monaco seem like they’re still in the Europa League. Real Madrid getting Dortmund is probably overrated, but they won’t have to worry because they have one of the easiest group. Juventus, Sevilla, and Lyon in one group? This oughta rock my socks.

Posted in Euro 2016 France, Miscellaneous

Ice, ice, baby! Iceland sinks the English dreams

Italy v Spain 2-0

England v Iceland 1-2

I love it! I love the fact that Iceland came, played, and conquered. Was I the only one who believed that the Icelanders could’ve taken it this far?

Iceland Can Spring A Surprise

While many people wanted to be Irish because they were awed by the friendly merry Irish lads, I simply wanted to be an adopted Icelander. I cheered for this team during group stage and they haven’t proved me wrong at all. Even when a certain Cristiano Ronaldo called them a team with a small mentality and accused them of not going to do anything during the tournament, I dismissed it.

Congrats to the boys in blue, but my support for you stops here as the other boys in blue owns my heart. Yes, Iceland faces France next. The last time they faced us, they give us a hard time. I remember that friendly in 2012 when we had to come from behind to beat them 3-2.

Italy proved too much for the Spanish champions who were eliminated earlier today. Italy will definitely give Germany something to work for in the quarter-finals. Wonderful matches today. I look forward to the quarters with equal excitement and a bunch of nerves.