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.”

Image result for tom saintfiet

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 Soca Warriors

Soca Warriors draw Americans 0-0

T&T starting XI

I attended the World Cup qualifier last night between Trinidad & Tobago and USA and I must commend the sea of red supporters. They were out in their numbers to support the Soca Warriors.

The first half belonged to T&T, but they couldn’t capitalize on their shots. By halftime, T&T should’ve been up 3-0, had those meaningful shots been converted to goals. The second half lacked energy from both teams and I found myself nodding off at one point. I was drained because I was not well on Monday and then I left work to support the team.

0-0 at final whistle and the players from both teams received a rapturous applause from the Hasley Crawford stadium.

Watch the highlights here:

My 2 Cents!

Although I am delighted that everything turned out fine in the wake of the Paris terrors, I think the match was badly organized. We were liked packed sardines outside the gate slowly chipping to get inside. By the time we got in, all the best seats were taken, so we had to settle for second best which wasn’t bad at all.

Yet, I still see the need to upgrade and improve our national stadium.

I wanted to take some pictures for the blog, but I was too into the game to bother. I did manage to capture a sea of red:

And I want to give it up to these beautiful lively people from my section:

They made the match exciting for those who were sitting near or with them. I’ll try to take better photos next time. 😛

Posted in Soca Warriors, Tournaments/Other Football

Gold Cup watch: Trinidad and Tobago off to a good start

Trinidad and Tobago were fantastic in the first half of their Group C Gold Cup opener against Guatemala.

T&T went to work in the 11th minute when Khaleem Hyland sent in a corner kick. Sheldon Bateau pounced on the ball, found space and made no mistake with his shooting boot. Four minutes later, T&T’s lead was doubled through Cordell Cato. Joevin Jones buried the first half with the third goal in the 26th minute.

Carlos Ruiz got one back for Guatemala in the 62nd minute and although they had several chances in the game’s dying moments the damage was already done. 3-1 the final score in T&T’s favor and we couldn’t have asked for a much better opener.

Hart’s men face Cuba next on Sunday.

Posted in Soca Warriors, Tournaments/Other Football

Gold Cup Draw: T&T to play Guatemala in opener

Canada and United States of America will share hosting duties of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. It will be the 13th edition of this tournament.

The Draw:

Group A: USA, Panama, Haiti, Honduras/French Guiana

Group B: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Canada, Jamaica

Group C: Mexico, Guatemala, Trinidad & Tobago, Cuba

T&T will play Guatemala in opener in Chicago on July 09th. Let’s do this men!

Posted in Soca Warriors

The Messi Experience by Khaleem Hyland

Hyland told TTFA Media:

“It definitely was a dream come true to play against my second best player I love to see play the game today,”

“What I thought about him as a player just observing him in matches was experienced in real time in this match and I picked up quite a few more things,”

Hyland noted that Messi spoke very few times on the field. He hardly ever called for the ball yet he was always found by his teammates and was able to control so much of Argentina’s game. He’s what you call a silent assassin on the battle field.

“He’s always calm and focused on the pitch and makes things happen from nothing. He has a change of pace when running with the ball like no one else I had played against or seen,” Hyland noted.

Another observation was that Messi walked at a brisk pace for large periods of the game particularly when Argentina were not attacking T&T’s goal. But when the ball came to his feet, the script changed

“He looks like if he’s not interested in having the ball but then suddenly he comes to life as he gets it and then his game changes instantly. He does not communicate on the pitch with the other players and he does not react at all if he receives a kick or a tackle.”

For more, go here:

Posted in Soca Warriors, World Cup 2014

An eye on the WC: Ataullah Guerra does not regret the way he greeted Messi

Ataullah Guerra grabbed all the headlines last night by greeting Messi during the pre-match handshakes prior to the game, Argentina v Trinidad & Tobago. I thought it was a mark of respect and I was okay with that because he did not get on his hands and knees to kiss Leo’s boots.

Today, Guerra said he has no regrets over his action while talking to TTFF media:

“He is a football God. This was an amazing experience for all of us. Just to be on the same field with him was great. To see the way he controlled the ball and his team was something we will never forget. I think we all learned a lot from this game today. I thought my greeting to him was a mark of respect also and he seemed to appreciate it. There was no problem with that.” 

Guerra, doh hot up yuh head with dem baccanalists. Yuh greet d man how some of us would have greeted him.

Read about the game here:

Photo: Messi: T&T were not bad opponents

Issued by Shaun Fuentes, TTFA Media Officer, June 5th, 2014

Argentina superstar Lionel Messi played the full 90 minutes and later expressed his appreciation to the Trinidad and Tobago team for its challenge in Wednesday night’s Friendly International at the Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires.

Messi, captain of the Argentina team, spoke to live television cameras immediately following the final whistle after his team defeated the “Soca Warriors” 3-0.

“We finished strongly, Trinidad and Tobago were opponents who closed up at the back like some teams in the group will do (in Brazil),” Messi said.

“I think the match was a good one for us. We scored the first goal late in the opening half but we were strong and the team looked good in many parts of the match. Trinidad y Tobago were not a bad team. They had a good set of players who were strong and also fast,” Messi added.

As Messi spoke to reporters as he exited the field, some of the T&T players who did not take the field during the 90 minutes had the opportunity to get up close to the player who will now lead his team into another friendly against Slovenia.

T&T midfielder Ataullah Guerra, who grabbed headlines for the way he greeted The Barcelona star during the meeting of the teams, said he had no regrets over his action.

“He is a football God. This was an amazing experience for all of us. Just to be on the same field with him was great. To see the way he controlled the ball and his team was something we will never forget. I think we all learned a lot from this game today. I thought my greeting to him was a mark of respect also and he seemed to appreciate it. There was no problem with that,” the Central FC and former Finnish-based professional told TTFA Media.

Photo by Allan Crane for TTFA Media.

Posted in Soca Warriors, World Cup 2014

Argentina on target as they beat Trinidad & Tobago 3-0

Superstar: Lionel Messi's team recorded a 3-0 win against their Caribbean opponents

He who bowed to Messi prior to the match

Last evening, Argentina might have been on target to beat T&T 3-0, but they were not on song.

Goals were scored by Rodrigo Palacio, Javier Mascherano – with an easy tap-in after a Messi free kick came back from off the post – and Maxi Rodriguez.

Some fans underestimated T&T before the match saying that they were going to get destroyed 10-0 and such. Yes, T&T is nowhere near Argentina’s standard, but they played a good game and gave all they had. The football here needs major developing in so many ways. And yes, Sabella could have fielded reserves leaving Messi on the bench, but the man has a WC to prepare for. Kenwyne Jones had a glorious chance to score, but he fluffed it. He refused to keep going when he should. I think Jones need to sit down. He does what he wants when he wants and it’s about time he is taught a lesson. Most local fans who accepted the 3-0 scoreline only did so simply because Messi did not score.

That is stupid and childish play. So what if Messi didn’t score? Silly comments like ‘Messi 0 T&T 0 that is all I concern with’ is not going to say anything on paper. It shows how little minded one is about football. They should focus their thoughts on asking the government to provide better sporting outlets in T&T. They treat football here as a farce and I am fed up of it.

As for Argentina, I favor this team to take this year’s World Cup, but they seem a little rusty. Their defense can be problematic and they were EXTREMELY wasteful – yes, Messi and Lavezzi, I saw you. I hope Sabella gets his team sorted before the 12th. This is a quality team we’re looking at, but there is still room for improvement and if the coach don’t fix what is missing, Argentina can kiss the WC good bye.

All in all, a good experience for T&T.

He who bowed to Messi

A T&T player bowed to Messi during the pre-match handshakes and he was hotly criticized by some for doing so, while others thought it was respectful. At least he did not get on his knees and kissed Messi’s boots! That would have been a total different story. That player in question is Mr. Ataullah Guerra. He was stoked to meet his idol I guess.

Not worth: Trinidad player Daniel Guerra bowed to Messi when the players were shaking hands

You can see the clip here:

Video of the goals:

Some shots from the match:

Happy Leo 🙂

Con un mix entre titulares y suplentes, los de Pachorra recibieron a Trinidad y Tobago, un débil conjunto centroamericano que no consiguió su plaza a Brasil

La ausencia de Pablo Zabaleta, Ezequiel Garay, Sergio Agüero y Gonzalo Higuaín llevó al entrenador argentino a cambiar de intérpretes, pero mantener el dibujo táctico

La mínima diferencia seguía siendo injusta en un partido que tuvo a un solo equipo como protagonista

Frog facing >.<

El complemento comenzó con mayor emoción gracias al tanto de Javier Mascherano. Tras un tiro libre de Messi, que rebotó contra el palo, el volante del Barcelona marcó el 2 a 0 ante un arco vacío

Argentina's Messi controls the ball in front of Trinindad and Tobago's Marshall during their friendly soccer match in Buenos Aires

Argentina's Lionel Messi dribbles past Trinidad and Tobago's Khaleem Hyland during their friendly soccer match ahead of the 2014 World Cup in ...

Argentina's Marcos Rojo challenges Lester Peltier of Trinidad and Tobago during their international friendly soccer match in preparation for the...

Argentina's Gago and Trinidad and Tobago's Hyland fight for the ball during their friendly soccer match in Buenos Aires

Trinindad and Tobago's Marshall heads the ball against Argentina during their friendly soccer match in Buenos Aires

Argentina's goalkeeper Romero looks on during a friendly soccer match against Trinidad and Tobago in Buenos Aires

Argentina's Palacio controls the ball in front of Trinidad and Tobago's Marshall during a friendly soccer match in Buenos Aires

Argentina's Campagnaro controls the ball during a friendly soccer match against Trinidad and Tobago in Buenos Aires

These via TTFF:

Messi looks on as Jones who went down after heading Messi’s FK away

Those tights … ah hem! Sorry, those shorts on Jones.