News and Reviews by Aldwyn McGill

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Canada vs Jamaica

“First lead change in Hex after game 3”

With the upcoming matches of June set as the halfway point of the CONCACAF Hexagonal schedule, Panama has jumped atop the CONCACAF standings after its 2-0 win over Honduras at Rommel Fernandez Stadium in Panama City.

“CONCACAF 2014 WCQ Final (Hexagonal) Round

Final Round Group & Standings
Team GP W T L GF GA Pts
Panama 3 1 2 0 5 3 5
Costa Rica 3 1 1 1 4 3 4
USA 3 1 1 1 2 2 4
Honduras 3 1 1 1 4 5 4
Mexico 3 0 3 0 2 2 3
Jamaica 3 0 2 1 1 3 2

The 2014 Hex has the creme of the region’s crop competing for a chance to qualify and the competition is as keen as I expected. After three games only one win (3 points) separate Panama the group leaders from Jamaica at the bottom of the table.

To appreciate the closeness of the race is to recognize that five of the six teams have already drawn games with home field advantage and four have registered one win apiece. As the pre-tournament favorite Mexico is the biggest surprise to this point.

Coach Jose Manuel De La Torre and his Mexico team is yet to negotiate a way out of the basement after drawing its first three games while playing two at home at the Azteca Stadium. There is no reason to doubt that Coach De La Torre is under some heat with Mexico next two games on the road to Jamaica and Panama.

While words such as shocking and surprise are being used in headlines news in regards to Panama surging to the top of the Hexagonal standings from its 2-0 win over Honduras, my story is not of astonishment but if Panama could maintain their composure and form. There was never any doubt in my mind about their capabilities and talent.

As for previously unbeaten Honduras there is really no excuse for conceding a goal in the second minute of play while playing on the road. With upcoming games in Costa Rica and Mexico, Los Catrachos will be best advised to stay focus or quickly become a non factor for the three automatic spots out of CONCACAF for Brazil.

It is said that when the going gets tough, the tough usually gets going and after opening the Hex with a loss in Honduras, the Americans beat Costa Rica in a snowy conditions in Kansas City and neutralized Mexico in order to leave Azteca Stadium with a scoreless draw. It was only their second qualifying point ever in Mexico

Much has been said about the validity of the playing conditions during the Costa Rica-USA game but from my vantage point whether the game is replayed or not, the outcome will be the same if not more in favor of USA in. Of the six teams in the Hex, USA is the only team which has not faltered at home although they literally play some of their home games without the 12th man advantage.

That was not the case for Costa Rica which needed some warm to erase the memory of the chilling 1-0 loss to USA in snowy Kansas City. Before a capacity crowd at their National Stadium El Tocos defeated Jamaica 2-0 to jump back into the race.

The Reggae Boyz have only themselves to blame for not capitalizing on home field advantage after having Panama on the ropes in the first half at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica. The home field trend is well known and while the Costa Rica loss is a bit disheartening, it will be the upcoming games against USA and Mexico at the Office in Kingston where Jamacia Reggae Boyz has to deliver or face an uphill battle.

CONCACAF fourth round Hexagonal match day three

26 March 2013

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June 2013

7 June 2013

Jamaica open Hex with historic draw

Jamaica opened its CONCACAF 2014 World Cup qualifier in the Hexagonal (Hex) round with a scoreless draw against Mexico. It is an impressive result since the match was played at the Aztec Stadium in Mexico City where the Reggae Boyz usually comes up empty. Mexico for the most part has been invincible at home, not only against CONCACAF opponents but against the best football nations in the world.

It is ironic that Mexico and USA are favored to advance out of the three automatic CONCACAF spots to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, while Jamaica and Costa Rica were suppose to be the odd teams out. But after the first round of matches Jamaica and Costa Rica had impressive performances with both teams playing on the road. It has set up what will be a very interesting and unpredictable Hexagonal race from start to finish.

After game one, Mexico has one point and USA zero with both teams at the bottom of the group standings. Honduras jumped into first place after beating USA 2-1 at Olympic Stadium in San Pedro while Costa Rica sits in second place ahead of Panama after erasing a two goal deficit in Panama City for a 2-2 result.

Jamaica is in the best position in fourth place after leaving Mexico with one point. Mexico will have to turn things around which should make Jamaica feat in Mexico almost impossible for any other team in the Hexagonal round to accomplish for the rest of the schedule.

Jamaica host Panama at the Office in Kingston for its next match on March 22nd.

Jamaica WCQ Hex “A sense of Urgency”

Kick off to the CONCACAF Hexagonal (Hex) round is only weeks away and although Mexico and USA are favored to advance out of the three automatic spots to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Jamaica Reggae Boyz is very much in the mix as the last Caribbean Hope.

Jamaica opens the Hex round against Mexico in Mexico City on February 6th, and I consider it to be a game that will bring out the best in the Reggae Boyz since motivation is a factor. Players usually relish playing against the best and Mexico is undoubtedly the best team in the region at present.

Taking everything in context I feel like Jamaica has nothing to lose and all to gain in Mexico. The most important thing in that game is for the Reggae Boyz to give a good performance and keep the score close. While all games are important, Jamaica (next) game against Panama is huge in terms of importance.Jamaica not only has to get positive results at the Office against Panama on March 22nd but the Boyz has to show up for their point in Costa Rica four days later (March 26th).

The Hex is very competitive and there is not much difference in the teams. According to the Hex trend any of the six participating teams can lose away from home and style of play may only determine which team had the advantage in the run of play, but at times not on the scoreboard.

Player’s availability is the key since injury and suspensions can be hindrances. Mental and physical readiness has to be expected when technical and tactical maneuvers will create individual brilliance at opportune times for teams to score and win games.

Mexico USA, Panama and Honduras were picked by the pundits as the four teams to advance, but the last time I I looked at the matchups, Jamaica and Costa Rica chances seemed just as good as any of the other teams.

With only three automatic spots to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, the fourth spot is another way of getting to Brazil. It is what I call the scenic route, via a playoff series against the winner of the Oceania region.

The most successful trend has been to take care of home field advantage. It does not always hold true when the race tightens in the second half of the schedule but at the last (2010) Hexagonal round there were no undefeated teams at the end of the first half of the schedule based on the home field trend.

Trinidad and Tobago was the only team which had lost at home (Tobago) to Costa Rica in the first half of the 2010 schedule while home field was instrumental in El Salvador upsetting Mexico and Costa Rica defeating both USA and Honduras.

Hence, it is important for Jamaica fans to turn out in their large numbers to support the Reggae Boyz who has had an undefeated streak at the Office in Kingston in the semi-final round of the 2010 WCQ that included Mexico, Honduras and Canada and seems more capable this time around.

So let’s go Jamaica!!!!

CONCACAF 2014 WCQ Hexagonal Projection

By Aldwyn McGill
Soccer Analyst & Producer

Stars Soccer Review Magazine

Mexico

Will advance but it will not be as easy as the previous semi-final round when they clinched with two games in hand There are 10 games to play in the Hex and Mexico may find out that the last two might be their most important while their undefeated WCQ run could also be a thing of the past.

USA …

Is no a sure bet to qualify for an automatic spot in the first three with the way Panama and Honduras have played. USA performance in the last round was not that impressive but their soccer/football program is the best in the region. Since they literally play some of their home games without the 12th man advantage the United States will prove once again that preparation and tactical readiness are key factors in winning close games.

Panama…

Was the best performing (besides Mexico) and most consistent team in the semis but nothing is a given in the Hexagonal round. With their explosive style of play Panama will also have to concentrate on keeping their emotions in check. At the least, Panama should be in the first four finishers, but a means to their end will be in their early results at home. Panama plays 3 of their 4 first matches at home and failure to take advantage will put them a great disadvantage.

Honduras …

Made a late surge in the semi-final round to win its Group C. But the jury is out on how good the team really is. In a must win situation they defeated Canada 8-1 to advance, but Los Catrachos also lost at home against Panama to open the round. With none of the teams losing at home in the 2010 Hex’ and Honduras opening their 2014 Hex’ schedule at home against USA and Mexico respectively, it will set the stage for where their campaign is heading.

Costa Rica….

Advanced after playing one decisive game against El Salvador where they won 1-0. However, just like they did against El Salvador, El Ticos has the players and the style of play to get positive results against their Central American neighbours. Their schedule is a bit different to the other in that they play their first two games on the road against Panama and USA. So expect to make a late surge with a realistic chance to be the team to change the complexion of the CONCACAF final four race.

Jamaica …

Did what it had to do to advance to the Hex, but was the only team which needed help. The Reggae Boyz did not help the JFF cause to harness support for home field advantage. The Boyz failed to advance to the final four at the Caribbean Championships. Home field is what usually separates teams in the Hex and without it the Reggae Boyz will find the mission to 2014 Brazil near impossible. With home field advantage and a revamped offense the sky is the limit to what Jamaica can achieve….. Stay Tuned!! The schedule of play for the CONCACAF Hexagonal round of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers is as follows (home team is listed first)

CONCACAF 2014 WCQ semi final Projection

By Aldwyn McGill
Soccer Analyst
Producer: Stars Soccer Review Magazine

The big news in CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers thus far is Guyana and Antigua and Barbuda advancement into the third round after defeating Caribbean Powerhouses Trinidad and Tobago and Haiti respectively. The tremor occurred on Friday November 11 when Guyana defeated the Soca Warriors 2-1 at Georgetown’s Providence Stadium to win Group B. Ricky Shakes scored Guyana’s first goal in the 10th minute and Leon Cort provided the insurance goal in the 81st minute. Kenwyne Jones scored T&T consolation goal two minutes into stoppage time.

The topic of contentions in Trinidad was on fellow Trinidadian Jamaal Shabazz who lead Guyana Golden Jaguars to their historic win against Trinidad and Tobago as the coach. It was the first time that Guyana had beaten T&T and its first advancement into the third round of a World Cup qualifier..

Antigua and Barbuda created shockwaves at Warner Park Stadium in Antigua with a 1-0 win over Haiti. Kerry Skepple scored the lone goal in the 82nd minute to clinch the Group F title. Antigua will face the United States, Jamaica, and Guatemala, in the next (third) round. The other teams which advanced out of the second round were: Canada, (clinched a spot from a scoreless draw in an away game with St Kitts and Nevis to win Group D), El Salvador (won Group A after beating Suriname 3-1), and Guatemala, and Panama which had little resistance in winning their E and C Group respectively.

In anticipation of which of the six teams will advance from the highly competitive third round, it is important to look at the legitimacy of the top six seed which received byes into the third round.

Mexico still has to play but they are almost a shoe in to advance to the final (six) ‘hexagonal’ stage

USA’s main competition will be Jamaica and since to this point Jamaica has never beaten USA it is safe to pick USA to advance.

Jamaica has the talent and with the experience they should advance in spite of Guatemala’s improve play. Jamaica only real challenge is to beat USA at the Office in Kingston to gain momentum for the rest of the qualifiers.

Costa Rica and El Salvador have to fight for one spot in Group B because of Mexico’s dominance. However, El Salvador defeated Mexico in the 2010 WCQ and can split games with Costa Rica. The second spot should go to the team which can gain a point against Mexico and Costa Rica has the advantage in that regard.

Honduras is in the group (C) of death with Canada, Panama and Cuba. This group will be a reflection of the final round of six, where the top teams have to win at home, beat the weakest team in the group twice, and gain points on the road. Honduras has the edge to advance based on its international fan base advantage.

Cuba gained a bye into the third round but it is the weakest team in Group C. Canada is in a good position to advance out of this group, but the team has to hit the ground running and take the early points, by gaining 7 of its first available 9 points. Canada has two of its first three games at home and its opening game against Cuba in Cuba,

Panama is the most dangerous team in the 2014 CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers and can create the biggest story of the CONCACAF WCQ out of Group C (the Group of Death). But, discipline must be maintained

Seba Academy U-15 Boys of Jamaica wins Robbie Tournament

Seba United U-15 Boys of Jamaica won the 45th Annual Robbie Tournament in Scarborough, Ontario after losing their first match. The team came up on the short end of a 3-2 result against Cumberland Cobras in their first match.

After the disappointing start, Seba won their two remaining group games. They defeated Cumberland Cobras (3-0) and Olympic Flame Goliaths (5-1) to win the zone and advance to the semifinals.

The U-15 Boys Division comprised of 16 teams, which were further divided into four zones. Seba was in zone B and had a nervous start. This was understandable since Seba was playing in their first Robbie tournament and was the only International team in the group.

Seba boys improved with every match and were impressive in their big semi final test against Erin Mills. They also adjusted quickly to the travels to the games which were played at Major Abbas Ali (formerly McLevin Park) field 1 and 2 (located next to each other) except for the championship final which was played at Birchmount Stadium.

Tyshan Hill and Johann Weatherly scored to give Seba Academy a 2-0 win over Erin Mills and a spot in the championship final. Seba lifted the Cup after Tyshan Hill scored the lone goal in what turned out to be a very close contest.

Tyshan Hill was voted the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the competition for his four timely goals which enabled Seba Academy to leave Toronto with the 2011 Robbie International U-15 Boys Championship from their first attempt. It was the first time that a Caribbean team has ever won the Under-15 Boys Robbie championship.

In an interview with the Western Mirror on their arrival at Montego Bay team manager Karene Kelly commented on the team’s performance and trip.

We lost the first game by mere chance. I guess the ballers were a bit nervous, because we scored in the last 18 minute of the game and we got more opportunities, but we failed to capitalized” said team Manager, Karene Kelly, when the reporter welcomed them back home.

‘The boys were overjoyed after the match, for the experience and to know that they have the skills to continue to help rebuild Seba and western football to its former glory days. They were thrilled to add another championship to the club’s haul, especially with the success the senior team has been seeing this season”, Kelly expressed.

The tournament committee is hopeful that Seba Academy will return to defend their championship in 2012.

45th Annual Robbie International Soccer Tournament 2011

Under 15 Boys

Trendsetters Hawks Boys U-12 Robbie Tournament standings 2008

Game# Time Flight Home Away Location
1304 10:15 am B 7 Cumberland Cobras 3-2 8 Seba Academy Major Abbas Ali (McLevin Park1)
1311 3:15 pm B 8 Seba Academy 3-0 5 Olympic Flame Goliaths Major Abbas Ali (McLevin Park1)
Sat, July 2, 2011
1320 10:15 am B Nepean Hotspurs Spartans 1-5 8 Seba Spanish Football Academy Major Abbas Ali (McLevin Park2)
Semi final
1326 3:30 pm SF2 8 Seba Academy 2-0 15 Erin Mills Soaring Eagles 96B Major Abbas Ali (McLevin Park2)
Final
Sun, July 3, 2011
1327 10:00 am 2 East York Pythons 0-1 8 Seba Academy Birchmount Stadium

Flight B Boys U-15 Pts GP W L T GF GA GD
01. 8 Seba Spanish Football Academy (Jamaica) 6 3 2 1 0 10 4 6
02. 7 Cumberland Cobras (Canada) 6 3 2 1 0 6 2
03. 6 Nepean Hotspurs Spartans (Canada) 6 3 2 1 0 8 6 2
04. 5 Olympic Flame Goliaths (Canada) 0 3 0 3 0 2 12 -10

Stay Tuned!


T&T Trendsetters eliminated after opening with a win

After winning their first match Trendsetter Hawks U-12 Boys of Trinidad and Tobago was eliminated. In a reversal of form to the J Seba Academy U-15 Boys of Jamaica, Trendsetters lost all of their remaining games. Stay Tuned!!


July 2011

702 Fri Jul 1 9:00 am Trendsetter Hawks 2-1 Future Pro Wolves L’Amoreaux L’AM 3
713 Fri Jul 1 2:00 pm Aurora 98A 7-1 Trendsetter Hawks L’Amoreaux L’AM 2
726 Sat Jul 2 9:00 am Darlington Wanderers 2-0 Trendsetter Hawks L’Amoreaux L’AM 3
Flight A Boys U13 Pts GP W L T GF GA GD
01. 1 Aurora 98A (Canada) 9 3 3 0 0 14 1 13
02. 4 Future Pro Wolves (Canada) 3 3 1 2 0 3 4 -1
03. 2 Darlington Wanderers (Canada) 3 3 1 2 0 2 7 -5
04. 3 Trendsetter Hawks (Trinidad & Tobago) 3 3 1 2 0 3 10 -7

T&T Trendsetters U-12 Boys Robbie experience 2008

Unlike their U-18 Boys of 2006 the Trendsetters Hawks U-12 Boys can take their trip in 2009 as a learning experience. Trendsetters U-12 boys finished the 42nd Annual Robbie Tournament with three losses out of their three group games.

In their first game against Welland Wizards the T&T boys understandably started nervous and with the shaky start they fell behind 1-0 after giving up a penalty when their right wing back tackled a Welland striker from behind in the box.

Still trailing 1-0 Trendsetters settled down and took control of the game in the second half, and equalized on a neat header. But as the team pushed forward in search of the winner, Welland Wizards scored in the last minute of play after surviving a barrage of attacks from Trendsetters, that had their goalkeeper making big saves at point blank range to keep his team in the game.

Trendsetters did not adjust well to the three hour break in between games and facing a physically challenging and talented Ajax Thunder team after the disheartening 2-1 loss. Against Ajax, the Trendsetters boys could not come out of their own end as Ajax eventually over powered the noticeably smaller T&T Hawks 4-0 after registering two goals in each half.

Trendsetters was in a must win situation against North York Azzurri in their third match and started attacking early just like the first game. But they were kicking into a strong wind and would of had to hold out defensively to kick with the wind in the second half.

But that is easier said than done as Trendsetters was trailing 2-0 at the half and seemingly tired from the brunt of the day and the tough competition. Needless to say Azzurri went on to defeat the withering Trendsetters team 6-0, as both coaches cleared the benches when the win seemed beyond reach.



Stay tune for more of Trendsetters visit to Toronto!

Trendsetters Hawks Boys U-12 Robbie Tournament standings 2008
Flight A Pts GP W L T GF GA GD
Flight A 9 3 3 0 0 9 0 9
North York Hearts Azzurri (ON) 6 3 2 1 0 13 2 11
Welland Wizards (Canada) 3 3 1 2 0 2 11 -9
Trendsetter Hawks (Canada) 0 3 0 3 0 1 12 -11
Flight B

Trendsetters Hawks Robbie Tournament schedule 2008

Sat Jun 28 9:00 am Trendsetter Hawks 1vs2 Welland Wizards Ashtonbee Reservoir 8
Sat Jun 28 12:45 pm Ajax Thunder 4vs0 Trendsetter Hawks Ashtonbee Reservoir 7
Sun Jun 29 9:00 am North York Hearts Azzurri 6vs0 Trendsetter Hawks Ashtonbee Reservoir 8

Trendsetters return to 42nd Annual Robbie tournament

Trinidad and Tobago Trendsetters Hawks will be playing in the Annual Robbie Tournament on June 28 & 29 at Ashtonbee field in Scarborough.

The Boys U-12 team will also be showcased at the Caribbean Stars Family Day on Saturday July 12 at Birchmount Stadium and on the Sunday 13 at Scarborough College fields at Military trail and Old Kingston Road

T&T Trendsetters eliminated after opening win

After winning their first match Trendsetter Hawks U-12 Boys team was eliminated after losing their remaining games. Stay Tuned!!

Flight A Boys U13 Pts GP W L T GF GA GD
01. 1 Aurora 98A (Canada) 9 3 3 0 0 14 1 13
02. 4 Future Pro Wolves (Canada) 3 3 1 2 0 3 4 -1
03. 2 Darlington Wanderers (Canada) 3 3 1 2 0 2 7 -5
04. 3 Trendsetter Hawks (Trinidad & Tobago) 3 3 1 2 0 3 10 -7


Tribute to T&T Trendsetters Hawks Toronto Experience

The visiting Trendsetters Hawks U-12 Boys team from Trinidad and Tobago was the show piece of the Caribbean Stars Sports and Family over the weekend after participating in the 42nd Annual Robbie International Tournament in Toronto. The visitors played North Scarborough (NSSC) West End United and Wexford United teams in a host of friendly matches at the Family Day. Although the Family Day games are suppose to be of an exhibition nature one could not have tell that by the anxiety of the teams to play Trendsetters.

North Scarborough was up first to play Trendsetters and their coach had his NSSC team warming up before the start of the previous game. Trendsetters took their lead and warmed up also.

No sooner than the Academy teams shook hands at the end their game did North Scarborough under head coach Auzzie Smith and Trendsetters Hawks teams under coach Anthony Wickham entered the field to warm up for a second time. The tone was set for a exciting match.

Although the game was well played, NSSC proved to be a little to much for the Trendsetters team which were having a hard time with the size of the Birchmount Stadium field and the the surprise ability of NSSC.

As the game progressed North Scarborough tuned up the heat and eventually overpowered Trendsetters by a score of 3-0. The two teams got together for a group picture after the match and the fun for Trendsetters had just began.

Following the game the action turned to the track races and the boys 8-10 heats. This race brought the the crowd to its feet by the performance of 9 year old Trendsetter Hawks player Haile Beckles. He totally destroyed his opponents in the first heat and although the final race was a little more competitive Haile still manage to win by an impressive margin as he took control of the race from the midway point and extend his lead at the finish line. Haile Beckles can be seen receiving his Gold medal which he carried back to Trinidad.

Trendsetters Hawks versus West End United Trendsetters second game later in the afternoon was against West End United, and as West End was taking the field to play Wexford United, all eyes were on Trendsetters as the visitors left the field and went into the stands after their game.

But it did not take very long for the focused to be back to the field of play as Wexford and West End game got going. Both teams seemed to be trying hard for an early goal, and each team responded when the other gain some momentum. As a result the game was very close, and the 1-1 final score was a good indication of the competitiveness of the U-12 division. West End-Trendsetters game was another interesting match up for Trendsetters.

The match was arranged when West End saw Trendsetters play in the Robbie tournament a couple of weeks earlier and wanted a game with Trendsetters.

Because of the conflict in colours West End change to their alternate white jerseys while Trendsetters played in their red strips.

As the game began it seemed like the West End United players were confused with the colour change since some of their passes were going straight too the Trendsetters players.

West End settled down and had Trendsetters players chasing the ball all over the field resulting in a lot of fouls and a lot free kicks for West End United. The game ended 3-0 for West End United and after the game the action switched to the track races.

Trendsetters Maurice Ford (below right) won the boys U-12 heats while his teammate also qualify for the finals in the second heat, but were not successful in clinching a medal. Maurice finished second in the finals and took home his silver medal.

The rain stopped for a moment and the sun came out for the Wexford United-Trendsetters game which was the last of the youth soccer on the days program To show their appreciation for a fun full day the coaches of the two teams decided to play in their Family Day T-Shirts. Trendsetters in red and Wexford in white.This game was symbolic of the friendship which had developed amongst the teams and coaches throughout the Family Day event. Even mother nature found it necessary to give the youths a fitting end to their day of fun and games.

However the fun was not felt by the Icepicks and Soca veteran teams which were waiting to play the featured game which they though was an eternity. The stadium lights was now on for the Soca and Icepicks showdown.

The Family Day Saturday closed off with the veteran Icepicks (orange) International from New York and local team Soca FC. The veteran game did not start until the better part of 9pm since Trendsetters and Wexford boys were having their final run of fun.

T&T Trendsetters U-12 Boys Robbie experience 2008

Unlike their U-18 Boys of 2006 the Trendsetters Hawks U-12 Boys team can chalk this year 42nd Annual Robbie Tournament up as a learning experience. Trendsetters finished the Tournament with three losses in their three games.

The T&T boys was understandably nervous and shaky in the first half of the first game against Welland Wizards and did not help their cause when they fell behind 1-0 after their right wing back tackle a Wizards striker from behind in the box that resulted in a penalty.

Trendsetters played extremely well in the second half after getting over their jitters. They took control of the game after scoring the equalizer on a neat header.

However in their quest for the winner, the Welland Wizards scored a goal in the last minute of play on a counter attack after surviving a barrage of attacks by Trendsetters. Had it not been for the heroics of their goalkeeper Welland would have certainly lost the match. He made several big saves from point blank range to keep his team in the game and gave Trendsetters a disheartening 2-1 loss.

Trendsetters did not adjust well to the three hour break in between games and faced a physically challenging and talented Ajax Thunder team in the second game. Trendsetters was under constant attack and was having problems coming out of their end of the field. Ajax eventually got a grip on the game and over powered the noticeably smaller T&T Hawks team 4-0 after scoring two goals in each half.

Trendsetters head into their third game facing a must win situation against North York Azzurri. They started the third game positive but found it difficult kicking against a strong wind and had an uphill task to come from two goals down to start the second half.

Playing with the wind in the second half Trendsetterss seemed to have felt the brunt of the long day and with the win out of reach, coach Wickham emptied his team benches as Azzurri defeated Trendsetters 6-0.

Stay tune for Trendsetters visit to Toronto Zoo!

Flight B

Trendsetters Hawks Boys U-12 Robbie Tournament standings 2008
Flight A GP W T L L GF GA Pts
Ajax Thunder 9 3 3 0 0 9 0 9
North York Hearts Azzurri (ON) 6 3 2 1 0 13 2 11
Welland Wizards (Canada) 3 3 1 2 0 2 11 -9
Trendsetter Hawks (Canada) 0 3 0 3 0 1 12 -11

Trendsetters Hawks Robbie Tournament schedule 2008

Sat Jun 28 9:00 am Trendsetter Hawks Welland Hawks 1vs2 Welland Wizards Ashtonbee Reservoir 8
Sat Jun 28 12:45 pm Ajax Thunder Trendsetter Hawks 4vs0 Welland Wizards Ashtonbee Reservoir 7
Sun Jun 29 North York Hearts Azzurri Trendsetter Hawks 6vs0 Welland Wizards Ashtonbee Reservoir 8

Soccer Day light time for CONCACAF tournament teams

We can take solace to the fact that the end to winter is near in spite of the unpredictable February weather with its record snow falls and extremely cold temperatures . March Break will start the Soccer Daylight time which signals the start of the CONCACAF Men’s Olympics finals and the start of CONCACAF Champions Cup which equates to brighter days heading into the second round of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying at the end of the month.

The CONCACAF Olympics finals will be hosted in three US cities from March 11-23 with eight teams playing double headers within their two groups while the Champions’ Cup on the other hand will be playing on a home and away basis from March 11 to May 01 with the same compliment of teams under a head to head aggregate format.

Group A of the CONCACAF Men’s Olympics finals will be playing in Tampa, Florida and comprise of Cuba, Honduras, Panama, and USA while Group B is made up of Canada, Mexico, Haiti and Guatemala playing in Carson, California.

The Olympics teams will begin their schedule next Wednesday March 11, with Panama up against Honduras at 17:30 and USA faces Cuba in the last game at 20:00. On the following day Haiti will play against Guatemala while Canada will be in tough against Mexico in last game of the double header. The two teams in the CONCACAF Olympic final will automatically qualify for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

The CONCACAF Champions Cup first round quarter finals opens with Pachuca CF of Mexico against CD Motagua of Honduras in Series one on March 11 while Habour View of the Jamaica Pro league will be playing DC United of the MLS in Series two of one of the four series match ups of the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup. Harbour View first game is scheduled for March 12 at 19:00 in Kingston Jamaica, with their return game on March 18 at 19:30 in Washington, D.C.

In series three Atlante FC of Mexico will play Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica on March 13 while the Dwayne De Rosario lead Houston Dynamo of the MLS will play CSD Municipal of Guatemala in series four. The first game of this series will be played at the Ciudad de Guatemala on March 12, with the return game on March 19 in Houston, Texas.

When you add the qualifying teams of the Women’s Olympic of Mexico, Canada, USA, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago and the CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship qualifying teams of USA, Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago, to the Men’s Olympic teams mentioned above, and the country of origin of the CONCACAF champion Cup teams, it should be a clue to the legitimate contenders at the third round of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers.

However since upsets is also a part of sports I am lead to believe at this point that that El Salvador is the most dangerous team heading into the second round of the World Cup qualifiers but Panama their opponent is also a dangerous team to go all the way

A Reggae Boyz team comprising of home based players opened their seven game Brazil tour with a 1-0 win over 2nd Division Tigers of Brazil and a 2-2 tie in their second game against another second division team. The results of the game on the tour seemed to be exactly what Jamaica’s Technical director Brazilian Rene Simoes was seeking out of their three-week camp in Brazil as he intends to play tougher opponents towards the end of the tour. As he insist the objective of the exercise is to develop confidence and mental toughness in his players and he was reported as saying that the group of players has shown maturity and is more professional than the players he had when he arrived in Jamaica in 1994. Based on the performances of the Reggae Boyz of late there is no reason to doubt that Rene Simoes and the Reggae Boyz program may have turned the corner. Only time will tell

 

CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Update

The already winding road to the FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010 got a bit bumpy for some teams at the first stage of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers after the half time scores of most of the games turned out to be final result. This means that some coach’s tactical adjustments are working to perfection to gain their desired result.

The first final result of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers was between the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. The visiting Cayman Islands pulled off a 1-1 tie with Bermuda at the Hamilton’s National Sports Centre on February 2, after tying the game towards the end of regulation time. Tyrell Burgess opened the scoring at the 18th minute to give Bermuda the lead, but Cayman Islands Allean Grant scored the equalizer with only three minutes left to give Cayman Islands the much needed tie heading into the teams second leg game on March 26.

The action turned to the Centro Deportivo Guillermo Trinidad in Oranjestad where Antigua & Barbuda defeated host Aruba 3-0 with goals from George Dublin and Grayson Gregory at the 22nd and 27th minute respectively. Aruba close the door on themselves when they score an own goal at the 40th minute to seal the 3-0 win for Antigua and Barbuda. The team’s second-leg game is scheduled for the Antigua Recreation Ground in St. John’s on March 26.

Barbados and Dominica played to a 1-1 tie in yet another game where all the scoring was done in the first half. Barbados Jeffrey Williams tied the game at the 42nd minute mark after Dominica Richard Pacquette opened the scoring at the 20th minute. The teams will meet again at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados on 26 March in the second-leg.

El Salvador demolished Anguilla 12-0 at the Estadio Cuscatlan in San Salvador,In one of the less than competitive contest in the first leg of the CONCACAF W/C qualifiers. Rudis Corrales scored five times for his team goals while his teammate Ronald Cerritos added another to give El Salvador the lopsided win.

The record books opened as Turks & Caicos Islands outlasted St Lucia 2-1 at the Providenciales’ National Stadium after hosting their first ever CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying game. Gavin Clinton and David Lowery scored for Turks & Caicos Islands, while Gilbert Nyhime scored the lone goal for St. Lucia. The teams will meet again at George Odlum National Stadium in Vieux Fort, St. Lucia on 26 March in the second-leg match.

Belize also entered the record books when they registered their first victory in the history of CONCACAF World Cup Qualification with a 3-1 win over St. Kitts & Nevis at the Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

Belize opened the scoring at the seventh minute on a Deon McCalauy goal, but St. Kitts & Nevis Gerard Williams equalized six minutes later. Harrison Rochez scored what turned out to be the game winner at the 22nd minute while McCalauy provided the insurance goal four minutes before halftime. The team’s second leg game at Warner Park Stadium in Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis on 26 March.

In yet another game that was decided by a fist half score the Netherlands Antilles defeated the host Nicaragua 1-0 on a goal scored by Anton Jongsma at the 15th minute mark. The game was played at the Estadio Cacique Diriangen in Diriamba and the win was the first for the Netherlands Antilles since 2004 which gives them a distinct advantage for the second-leg at the Ergillo Hato Stadium in Willemstad on 26 March.

British Virgin Islands will also visit the Bahamas at the BFA National Centre in Nassau on 26 March for their late first leg encounter. The first-leg encounters single elimination game of the 2010 CONCACAF World Cup Qualification for Puerto Rico match up with the Dominican Republic, Grenada with US Virgin Islands, and Montserrat with Surinam will take place during the second-leg encounters of the stage 1 on 26 March.

 

Caribbean teams Last Lap before World Cup qualifiers

What is considered to be carnival Last Lap in Trinidad and Tobago will in fact coincided with the last lap for a number of teams in the Caribbean before they embark on their World Cup 2010 qualifying schedule. For those who are not familiar with the term, last lap it is a terminology used for the window of opportunity when one can celebrate and be festive before the official end of an event. For most of the Caribbean teams, this year T&T Carnival on February 4&5 marks the end of their football preparation and Ash Wednesday on February 6 will signal the start of their CONCACAF World Cup journey.

Trinidad and Tobago Soca Warriors will be playing against Guadeloupe in Port of Spain on Ash Wednesday and although the game is an international friendly, barring personnel problems Guadeloupe should present a good challenge to the Soca Warriors if they can play at their Gold Cup semi final form. Also prior to this game the T&T Soca Warriors will travel under recently appointed interim head Francisco Maturana to play Puerto Rico on January 26. Puerto Rico will be coming off a pair of friendly games against Bermuda in Hamilton Bermuda on January 16 and 18. The same can be said of the game between Jamaica and Costa Rica in Kingston on February 6 as Costa Rica will be determine to get their team on track to end their eight game winless streak after a 1-0 lost to Sweden.

Bermuda will be hosting the Cayman Islands at the National Sports Centre in Hamilton on 3 February 2008 to kick off the CONCACAF World Cup Qualification Bermuda and does not have the luxury of a last lap as the other Caribbean teams. The other six games of the first-leg of the CONCACAF W/C Qualification will continue on Ash Wednesday February 6 with Dominica at home against Barbados at the Windsor Park Stadium in Roseau, while Turks & Caicos Islands will be hosting their first ever CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying game against St. Lucia at the Providential’ National Stadium.

At the same time Aruba will face Antigua & Barbuda at the Centro Deportivo Guillermo Trinidad in Oranjestad, while Belize plays at home against St. Kitts & Nevis at the Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City.

Also on Ash Wednesday, El Salvador will be hosting Anguilla at San Salvador’s Estadio Cuscatlan while host Nicaragua plays Netherlands Antilles at Estadio Cacique Diriangen in Diriamba.

The CONCACAF World Cup Qualification first-leg Stage one will close off with the British Virgin Islands against the Bahamas at the BFA National Centre in Nassau on 26 March.

FIFA also announced that three originally scheduled Stage one elimination match-ups between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, Grenada versus US Virgin Islands, and Montserrat against Surinam will be scheduled during the second-leg encounters of stage one in late March and will no longer be played as a home-and-away series but as a single elimination game due to several National Associations not meeting the new FIFA Stadium standards and being unable to secure a home venue.

The remaining fixtures for the second-leg encounters for Stage one of CONCACAF World Cup Qualification scheduled for 26-30 March will be unveiled at a later date. The winners of Stage one will join the 13 remaining teams in Stage two of CONCACAF Qualification set for June.

The eventual top three teams from the CONCACAF Final Round in 2009 will automatically qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup while the fourth place finisher will play in a home-and-away playoff series with the fifth-place team of the CONMEBOL’s for one of the last berths to the FIFA World Cup South Africa.

CONCACAF World Cup Spots Wide Open

The year 2008 is upon us and my how quickly time has passed when you are having fun. Although the FIFA World Cup is played every four years, for some reason it seems like it was just yesterday when packages were offered to travel to World Cup Germany and the Soca Warriors was the talk of the town.

However with the arrival of 2008 it is anticipated that discussion for World Cup 2010 in South Africa will continue with the fans of the Caribbean teams pondering their decision to attend. Some Caribbean fans are rationalizing the South Africa trip as an opportunity to visit the mother-land, for what it is worth, while the majority of fans are undecided and anxious to see if their team secures one of the four CONCACAF spots before making their plans.

Whatever the fans decide there is no doubt that the 12 top seed in the second stage of the CONCACAF qualifying round is capable of securing one of the four CONCACAF spots into the final grouping for South Africa based on the showing of the teams at the 2007 tournaments within the CONCACAF region. The two tournaments are the Digicel Cup and the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

At the Digicel Cup for Caribbean supremacy, Haiti defeated host Trinidad and Tobago and won their first became the 2007 Caribbean Champions their first title since 1973. Jamaica Reggae Boyz the defending champion at the time was defeated by St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) to signal the start of the end for the Reggae Boyz in 2007. Failure to make the final four at the Digicel Cup automatically eliminated the Boyz from the Gold Cup USA 2007.

Although the Gold Cup tournament results were somewhat predictable as host USA successfully defended their title, Mexico the #1 ranked in CONCACAF was defeated not once but twice at the Gold Cup. Their first loss was at the hands of Honduras in Group C action and was ruled as the biggest upset in Gold Cup history. Mexico their second loss was to USA 2-1 after Mexico had a halftime lead. Most importantly was the fact that Mexico struggled with Cuba, Panama, and Costa Rica during the tournament.

It should be noted that Panama was the best playing team at the Gold Cup USA and Canada performance lead by Gold Cup MVP Julian De Guzman signaled that they were not far away from a World Cup berth. However the Canadian Soccer Association would have to remedy the lack of support shown at home at their last friendly game against Costa Rica at BMO Field in September. Canada was favored to replace Costa Rica for the third CONCACAF spot to South Africa but with the lack of support and their projected group of death with the likes of Mexico, Jamaica, and Honduras, it seem like the wheel is still turning and anything can happen.

Jamaica football is now on the upside, since their poor showing in the 2007 tournaments. The Jamaica Football Federation has turned their program completely around with whole scale changes through out their system and with a string of International victories at home, the Reggae Boyz may be the dark horse with their feared 12th man advantage.

Trinidad and Tobago football on the other hand seemed to be under constant pressure since their World Cup Germany and needs to see the light at the end of the tunnel. In moving forward I think that it will become important for the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation to sign an agreement with the players involved in the outstanding dispute, in the event that the arbitrator decision is favorable to the players. The agreement document should allow the affected T&T players to continue their participation for the duration of the 2010 World Cup qualifying rounds. The inclusion of Dwight York and/or Russell Latapy or both into an assistant coaching position would also jump start the T&T program and provide the continuity that is required to instill and reinforce the confidence in the Soca Warriors team.

El Salvador is in a position to create upsets in the CONCACAF beyond the first round and the last I saw of Cuba, their team was only a couple of players away from being a legitimate contender. Panama with Perez up front will be dangerous and I suspect at the end of it all a South American for the fourth spot would present defensive challenges for the fourth place CONCACAF team in the playoffs to South Africa.

USA CONCACAF Gold Cup Champions 2007

In a thrilling finish to CONCACAF Gold Cup 2007, USA defeated Mexico 2-1 before a pro Mexican crowd at Soldier Field in Chicago. The Americans reached the final after defeating Canada 2-1 in the semi final, from what turned out to be a very controversial offside call by the referee.

The offside call negated Canada’s second goal that would have tied the game in the dying seconds of injury time in regulation play.

With all things considered, USA was the team in the tournament that was more deserving to be the champion. They played consistently all the way through and finished the tournament with an unblemished 6-0-0 record

USA faced their stiffest challenge in the semis and final games against Canada and Mexico respectively. They were a bit lucky to be ahead of Canada 2-0 at the half, based on Canada having a good part of the run of play. Canada held its own and scored the only goal of the second half which had the Americans defending vigorously to protect their one goal lead.

In the final the Americans proved that they go both ways against a Mexico team that may have been overrated. USA defended when they had to, and maintained their dangerous offense when needed in a come from behind win over Mexico. USA was trailing 1-0 after one half of play as they held on for the half to regroup.

Mexico was the # team in the CONCACAF region heading into the Gold Cup tournament but they could not secure the lead against a well precision USA attack. As a result they gave up two goals in just over ten minutes to scramble at the end in an effort to score the equalizer which never came.

Gold Cup 2007 proved that the CONCACAF teams have improved their soccer programs to the level that shows that any team from the region can qualify for the future FIFA tournaments.

Canada performed well at Gold Cup 2007 and if their personnel and level of play can be maintained, Canada would have a very good chance of qualifying for World Cup South Africa 2010


Jamaica Reggae Boyz Tie with USA

vs

April 12, 2006

Jamaica Reggae Boyz breathes a sigh of relief after the final whistle of their international game with their CONCACAF rivals USA at the SAS Soccer Park, Cary, North Carolina. With upcoming games against England on June 3 and Canada on September 4 and October 4, the Reggae Boyz were hoping to start their campaign on a winning note and surprise the Americans with what would have been a historic moment having never beaten USA.

The Boyz must have felt that the day had come when at the fourth minute mark Teofore Bennett pick up a Jermaine Hue pass and outran the USA defense to beat goalkeeper Tony Meola with a neat placement to give Jamaica a 1-0 lead. The goal seem to wake up the favored USA team and they began to turn up the heat on Jamaica pressuring the Reggae Boyz defense who was playing well up to that point in the game.

USA continued to press forward running into spaces at will and scored in the 25th minute of the first half when Ben Olsen received a pass in the area and drove home a low shot under goalkeeper Ricketts to tie the game. The run of play balance off somewhat and the Reggae Boyz countered well down the right flank, putting over some dangerous crosses that created good scoring opportunities.

The USA team continued their attacking style of play in the second half and forced Jamaica goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts to make an acrobatic save to tip Chris Albright’s header over the cross bar.

The game was interesting until whole scale substitutions were made for the coaches to take a look at their player on the bench. Towards the latter part of the game USA took control and pressed forward for the winner but the Reggae Boyz defense maintained their composure and withstood the pressure to earn a hard fought 1-1 tie. The Reggae Boyz will have to wait for the next meeting of the two teams to change their 9-0-8 winless streak against USA.

TEAMS: Jamaica – Donovan Ricketts, Claude Davis (Demar Stewart 30th), Damion Stewart, Omar Daley, Garfield Reid, Khari Stephenson (Oneil Thompson 71st), Jermaine Hue, Jason Morrison, (Dane Richards 60th) Jamal Campbell-Ryce (Fabian Dawkins 61st), Ryan Johnson Jermaine Johnson 71st), Teofore Bennett (Newton Sterling 61st). Subs not used: S Sawyers
Booked: Daley (34th)

USA – Tony Meola, Frankie Hejduk, Chris Albright, Landon Donovan, Pat Noonan (John O’Brien 67th), Ben Olsen, Josh Wolff (Eddie Johnson 45th), Steve Ralston (Clint Demsey 55th), Taylor Twellman (Brian Ching 45th), Eddie Pope, Pablo Matsroeni.

Subs not used: M Reis, N Garcia, K Zavagnin,
Booked: Pope (20th)

 

New York Giants win Super Bowl XLII

New England Patriots attempt to make history as the NFL’s first unbeaten team since 1972 evaporated in 2:59 seconds as the New York Giants rallied to score a late touchdown with 35 seconds left to upset the Patriots 17-14. As a result the Patriots stocks spiraled down pass the Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers Championship teams of ‘84’ & ‘85’ respectively since those teams also posted 18-1 records but was deemed as more dominant and also won their last (Super Bowl) game. The New York Giants Super Bowl win also left the ‘72’ Miami Dolphins as the only undefeated team in NFL history.

The Giants deserve a lot of credit for their Super Bowl winning performance as New England was aware of fact that Steve Spagnuolo the Giants defensive coordinator, was going to bring heat on their quarterback Tom Brady but the Patriots still had no answer for the Giants relentless pass rush and disguised blitzes by Michael Strahan, Justin Tuck, and Osi Umenyiora.

The Giants defense was the X factor in the game as they kept their team within striking distance of the most potent offense in the history of the NFL. Giants coach Tom Coughlin could not have asked for a better script to his team Super Bowl win, as his defense had control of Brady and the New England offense while his offense showed that they can move the ball after their opening drive took over 9 minute off the clock and ended with a three point lead on a field goal.

New England responded well to the Giants opening drive and scored with a 1 yard touchdown run by Laurence Maroney to take a 7-3 lead into half time. At this point of the game New England undefeated run seemed ripe for the picking, and although Bill Belichick and his Patriots were very good at making adjustments during games, it was quite obvious that the Patriots were struggling and having major problems with the physical play of the Giants. However the big question was whether or not, Eli Manning and the Giants could capitalize on their advantage.

As the second half started the Giants defense adjusted further and shut down the run with their run blitzes which put the ball in Tom Brady’s hands as the Giants went for the jugular. After several change of possessions, Giants woke up offensively as Eli Manning threw a perfect 12 yard TD pass to David Tyree to take a 10-7 lead. Although the thought of an upset loomed large there was over 11 minutes left in the game and what was certain is that Tom Brady as he has done so many times in the past would try to bring the Patriots back. This he did as he drove his team down the field and connected with his All Pro receiver Randy Moss in the end zone for a 9 yard TD pass that gave the Patriots a 14-10 lead with under 3 minutes remaining in the game.

The last three minutes was the game in a nutshell as the New York Giants turned in one of the most memorable scoring drives in Super Bowl history. On the drive, the Giants barley converted on a 4th down and 1 with Ahmad Bradshaw on a running-play, and on a 3rd down and 11 yards, Manning hit Steve Smith to the sidelines for a first down and stop the clock in the process. For excitement you can also add Manning being caught twice from behind trying to scramble away from Patriots defenders.

Then came the big play of the game with the ball on their own 43 yard line the Giants was on a 3rd down and 5 yards play when Manning broke free of two Patriots defenders to deliver a 32 yard pass to David Tyree who made a circus type catch in mid air with a Patriot defender draped all over him and held on to the ball. The Tyree reception set up a 17 yard touchdown strike from Manning to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds left to give the Giants the 17-14 win.

Brady and the Patriots got the ball back with one last gasp with 33 ticks on the clock, the ball on their own 21 yard line, and with all three of their time outs left. That was to no avail as the Giants defense kept up the pressure and sacked Brady and forced New England to turn the ball over on downs with 1 second left. Eli Manning was voted as the Super Bowl MVP which marked the first time that brothers have won the Super Bowl MVP and also in consecutive NFL seasons.

T&T player excelled for Croatia in CSL

Toronto Croatia won the Canadian Soccer League (CSL) Championship 2007 after they defeated Serbian White Eagles 4-1 in the first game of the adapted two game weekend CSL Championship series, and held the Serbians to a scoreless tie in the second game. Both games were played at Ester Shiner Stadium.

With Toronto’s finest in attendance, the on-field behavior of the players was not what I considered to be of a professional nature. The players on both team (whether in the tackle or not), were appealing and wining to all four officials on every tackle in an effort to get a man advantage through ejection and that is not what is considered to sportsmanlike conduct.

To avoid a clash of fans the games were also played with each team having their supporters for only one of the games due to previous incidents between the two teams.

The CSL reported that the two-game two day championship game was decided due to concerns for safety after two regular season league games in 2006 between Toronto Croatia and Serbian White Eagles had a clashed of fans at Lamport Stadium in Toronto and Ivor Wynne Stadium in Hamilton where there was considerable damage to the facility.

The first game with Croatia fans only, started with the cheers out weighing the jeers as Croatia took an early lead on a header by Bustamante at 13 minute mark. The Serbians move down the field on the ensuing touch off and tied the game with a looping volley by defender Dragorad Milicevic from way outside. Croatia responded and struck again from a left footed bullet from 30 yards by forward Peter Curic put Toronto Croatia 2-1. In an effort to stay ahead Toronto Croatia scored their third by Bustamante to give Croatia a 3-1 lead at the interval.

The second half was a disaster in terms of the level of play as the game was played in gusting winds. The Serbians had the better of the exchanges but for the most part the play was ragged due to the conditions and no support for the underdog or losing team.

Things got worst for White Eagles as Trinidad and Tobago national player and Croatia stand out Hayden Fitzwilliams, scored a late goal to give Toronto Croatia a strong 4-1 hold on the series heading into the second game.

The Sunday game was played in cold but sunny 7 degree temperatures, before an almost sold out Ester Shiner stadium of Serbian supporters. The game started with Serbian White Eagles in search of at least a 3 goal margin victory to set up overtime and a chance at the championship. Their overwhelming number of supporters, high powered offense, and the fact that anything is possible in sport was the only thing the Serbians had to bank on because the law of averages says that a 3 goal margin in soccer is almost insurmountable.

Croatia came out with a defensive set and style of play that had the White Eagles scored early or took the lead before the half it would have made the game a very interesting match. However it was not to be and as much as the Serbs dominated the game Croatia flankers were up to the task defensively. The standout in this regards was Hayden Fitzwilliams who was the driving forced behind Toronto Croatia 2007 soccer season success.

It has been reported that Fitzwilliams could be on the move since there are several professional teams (at a higher level) that are interested in his services. Hayden Fitzwilliams played for Trinidad and Tobago against Northern Ireland in a friendly and against the Dominican Republic during the Soca Warriors 2005 World Cup qualifiers. He has also represented T&T against Antigua, Cuba and Guadeloupe in the 2003 Gold Cup. In Canada he has played for Toronto Olympians (01) and Metro Lions (02-04) before joining Toronto Croatia for the 2005 season.


USA CONCACAF Gold Cup Champions 2007

In a thrilling finish to CONCACAF Gold Cup 2007, USA defeated Mexico 2-1 before a pro Mexican crowd at Soldier Field in Chicago. The Americans reached the final after defeating Canada 2-1 in the semi final, in what turned out to be a very controversial offside call by the referee. The offside call negated Canada’s second goal that would have tied the game in the dying seconds of injury time in regulation play.

With all things considered, USA was the team in the tournament that was more deserving to be the champion. They played consistently all the way through and finished the tournament with an unblemished 6-0-0 record

USA faced their stiffest challenge in the semis and final games against Canada and Mexico respectively. They were a bit lucky to be ahead of Canada 2-0 at the half, based on Canada having a good part of the run of play. Canada held its own and scored the only goal of the second half which had the Americans defending vigorously to protect their one goal lead.

In the final the Americans proved that they go both ways against a Mexico team that may have been overrated. USA defended when they had to, and maintained their dangerous offense when needed in a come from behind win over Mexico. USA was trailing 1-0 after one half of play as they held on for the half to regroup.

Mexico was the # team in the CONCACAF region heading into the Gold Cup tournament but they could not secure the lead against a well precision USA attack. As a result they gave up two goals in just over ten minutes to scramble at the end in an effort to score the equalizer which never came.

Gold Cup 2007 proved that the CONCACAF teams have improved their soccer programs to the level that shows that any team from the region can qualify for the future FIFA tournaments.

Canada performed well at Gold Cup 2007 and if their personnel and level of play can be maintained, Canada would have a very good chance of qualifying for World Cup South Africa 2010


T&T Trendsetters at Family Day 2006

Trinidad and Tobago Trendsetters Hawks boys Under 18 soccer team end their visit to Toronto last Tuesday after creating quite an impact. The team closed off their 3 week visit after participating in the Caribbean Stars Sports and Family Day last weekend at Lamoreaux Soccer Centre in Scarborough.

The Family Day was a welcome change of paste for the Trendsetters team after competing in the 40th Annual Robbie Tournament and the Toronto Cup tournament on consecutive weekends. The team closed off their Toronto stay in fine style when they defeated North Scarborough S.C. 4-1 in their last game of the family day schedule clinching the “fair play award” after losing to Brampton East 1-0 earlier. North Scarborough also defeated Brampton East 2-1 in their other game.

This year the Family Day was used as a tribute to the Trinidad and Tobago Soca Warriors in recognition of the football team accomplishment as the smallest country to qualify at a World Cup as well as to highlight the presence of the visiting Trendsetters team.

The visitors popularity soared as word of their impressive play circulated and as a result the team attracted large crowds. The team advanced to the semi final in the two tournaments they participated, from their Group C in the Robbie and Group B in the Toronto Cup. As a result of the team performance a few of their players have been scouted and are making them selves available for potential scholarship offer in the United States.

The Trinidad and Tobago Consulate office in Toronto has committed their continued support and involvement to make a team return visit by Trendsetters possible.

40th Annual Robbie Soccer Tournament 2006

Semi Finalists

Group C
Pos Team GP W T L GF GA Pts
1 Trendsetter Hawks (T&T) 3 2 1 0 4 1 7
2 Erin Mills Eagles 3 1 1 1 4 5 4
3 Aurora Stingers 3 0 2 1 3 4 2
4 East York 3 0 2 1 1 2 2
Winner Grp A – Glen Shields 1 vs. Grp C Trendsetters Hawks 0

Toronto Cup Tournament 2006

Quarter Final

Group B
Pos Team GP W T L GF GA Pts
1 Oakville, ON 3 2 0 0 7 0 9
2 Trendsetter Hawks (T&T) 3 2 0 1 14 2 6
3 Orland Park, I 3 0 0 3 1 19 0
Group A 3rd – Newmarket 3 vs. Group C 2nd – Trendsetters T&T 6

Semi Final
Winner Grp A – East York 3 vs. Grp C 2nd- Trend Hawks (T&T)
0

The objective of the Family Day is to give the youths and families a day of fun and enjoyment in a comfortable atmosphere where the pressures of winning and losing is secondary to teamwork, forming friendships and meeting old acquaintances.

Trendsetters were up for this day and even got a surprise treat by the appearance of NBA All Star Jamaal Magloire who addressed the team and reinforced the importance of an education and the commitment to take their sport seriously

Trendsetters Hawks a tribute to Soca Warriors

Trinidad and Tobago Trendsetter Hawks football team gave an impressive display of soccer at the 40TH Annual International Robbie Soccer Tournament held in Scarborough, Toronto. In their first appearance in the tournament they managed to clinch their Group C Division with an undefeated record of 2 wins and one tie after defeating Erin Mills 2-0 and tying with East York 0-0 in their Saturday games and continued their fine form bright and early the following Sunday morning and defeated Aurora 2-1 to advance to the semi-final schedule for later in the afternoon.

Similar to the Soca Warriors in Germany the Trendsetters Hawks support base has increased with every game they played and because of that popularity the team has canvassed to play in the Toronto Cup Tournament this weekend in Markham. The International tournament comprise of teams from such places as USA, Mexico, and Nigeria. Trendsetters Hawks first two games are scheduled for Saturday against Orland Park and Aurora at 3:30pm and 8:00pm respectively while on Sunday they play Ajax at 12:30p. All three Division games are at Centennial Park in Markham, located just behind the Markville Mall.

Trendsetter has taken a giant step and would be remembered as one of the first Caribbean team to reach the semi finals in the Robbie Tournament. They lost 1-0 in the semi final game after controlling the run of play in the first half but had a lack of luck after giving up a penalty kick with only two minutes gone in the second half. They also came up empty on two break aways with only the Glen Shields goalkeeper to get pass.

Trendsetter’s team plays an aggressive exciting brand of football and if their style of play is maintained they will be increasing their support base even further before they return home.

The highlight play of the game was a solo run by their right wing back when he weaved through about 5 opposing players but slipped while attempting to go around the goalkeeper. This was within minutes of another breakaway that was played straight to the goalkeeper.

Trendsetters will close off their tour in Canada after participating at the Caribbean Stars Sports and Family Day on July 15 at the Lamoreaux Sports Complex at Birchmount and Silver Springs (just north of Finch) in Scarborough with a tribute to the Trinidad and Tobago Soca Warriors.

I think it is safe to say that the Robbie Tournament Committee is pleased with what the Trinidad and Tobago Trendsetters team has brought to the 2006 Under 18 Division.


GS United # 1 in Canada

GS United (Gursikh Sabha United) of Scarborough became the first team from Ontario in 16 years to win the Canadian Men’s National Soccer title. Since the tournament started in 1902, Ontario teams have only won the National 11 times. In addition to winning the Canadian National Soccer Championship in Calgary, the team has also won the Ontario Soccer League (OSL) title, Ontario Cup, and the prestigious Ted Cumbs Award for the most consistent team in the league over the last four years. In the OSL individual awards the team was well represented by Captain Emil Calixtero MVP, Courtney Campbell Best Goalkeeper, and John Williams Coach of the Year for his second in 3 years.

It is customary to find on GS United teams players who are on, or have received University Scholarships, while others have moved on to national status with the Olympic team such as Alim Karrim and Dwayne De Rosario with the National team.

GS United has also won Caribbean Stars Indoor tournament on four occasions and several Scarborough Soccer Association (SSA) Indoor titles in both the Men’s Open and O-35 Divisions. They have exemplified the true meaning of sportsmanship reflected by the number of Most Discipline awards they have won sometimes in mediocre season. GS has contributed positively to the Caribbean Community and society in general due to their perseverance and commitment to excellence. The club is made up 50 players with over 20 of them of different nationalities which is a true reflection of the Canadian Multicultural Society.

GS Manager Dave Sidhu was candid when asked about his team’s success compared to past seasons. He responded “We have always had skill in our teams, that was a given, but the addition of 5 to 6 players brought us more dedication and cultivated ultimate and utmost respect for each other”. When asked, what’s next for GS He replied, “In my mind we were not the best team out there consistently, and for next season we will be adding another 3 or so players that should put us in a good position to defend our titles successfully”

GS United was formed in 1990 and had success at the recreational level in Scarborough before joining the Toronto and District (T&D) League winning five different divisions in five years. The team was finally promoted to the Ontario Soccer League (OSL) in 2001 after improving their standing every year. They won some of the league’s major trophies in 2003 which included the League Champions, OSL Cup, MVP, and Coach of the Year, Best Goalkeeper, and Most Discipline Team award. In 2004 they under achieved by placing 3rd and winning the Most Discipline Team award for the second consecutive year. With all their success in the past they were never satisfied due to their disappointing play in the elusive Ontario Cup tournaments, a tournament they were focused on winning for quite some time. They finally achieved that goal and ultimately went on to win the National as a result. Well Done GS!

On behalf of GS United management Dave Sidhu would like to say a special thank you to Bill Singh and all the players and supporters who have associated with, and contributed to, GS United from its inception. By Aldwyn McGill

Caribbean Stars First Annual Memorial Outdoor Soccer Tournament is being held in memory of all deceased soccer players and soccer enthusiasts from the community. The Tournament is scheduled for Saturday October 1st 2005, at LAmoreaux 1 & 2 Fields in Scarborough.


1981 TCSL Champions Colts Int’L

GS United coaching staff won our Man of the Match award for their match ups and timely substitutions to win the 2005 Ontario Cup. From left to right John Williams (coach), Chris Handsor (assist coach), Lester Burno, and Wayne Morgan.

GS Accepts Ontario Cup

GS United Emil Calixterio (captain) and Dave Sidhu (manager) accepts the Ontario Cup after defeating Woodbridge Azzurri in sudden death overtime at the Soccer Centre.



GS United team

Family Day Sunday opened

Family Day Sunday opened with an important Ontario Cup game between G.S United shown above and Bramlea Celtic. G.S was very aggressive at the start of the game controlling the run of play with their ball possession. They had a commanding 2-0 lead until 3 minutes to halftime when a GS United defender got cute and chest trapped a cross ball in his penalty area. Needless to say he lost the ball to a Celtic forward and the play resulted in a goal for Bramlea Celtic to make the game a very interesting 2-1 score at halftime.

The second half began as if the teams changed uniforms. Celtic was now the aggressor and had the momentum and the control of play but missed several scoring opportunities. GS United defense finally adjusted to Celtics attacks up their left side and the game balanced off into a see-saw battle with both teams playing outstanding defense. The game ended with an obvious all out do or die attack from Celtic, by throwing everyone in attack in an effort to avoid elimination. But time was not on their side. G.S United won 2-1 in a game that was highly competitive and decided in the first half of play.

Scarborough Indoor Soccer exciting finals

Some stayed off Sudden Death while others fade away on penalty kicks. Dalton House, was the “Scarborough Indoor Soccer League” (SISL) 2005 O/35 league Champion and Play-Off Runners up while GS United was 2005 Over-35 League Runners up and Play-Off Champion. Dalton House beat GS United twice in regular league play but on this day GS United prevailed winning on penalty kicks after the 5 minutes sudden death.

In the second final Just Us team defeated GS United to win the SISL 2005 Men’s Open Play-Off Championship. They tied the game 2-2 with only 4 seconds left in regulation play and won the game with seconds left in sudden death overtime. GS United was playing short handed after two of their players were sent to the penalty box. Peter Firebrace scored all three goals including the winning goal to complete the hat trick. GS United was the SISL 2005 Men’s Open League Champion and Play-off Runner up and will be one of “Caribbean Stars” future featured organization. Stay tuned!

Carib Stars Affiliation with North Scarborough

Scarborough United Women’s Soccer Club is celebrating its 25th Anniversary and will like to invite all players and/or soccer enthusiasts to come and join in the fun for the upcoming 2007 season.

Scarborough United Women’s Club is ranked as the number one women’s club in Canada and fourth in (both male and female) club category. Scarborough United operates the only senior women Recreation Club in Scarborough and as such has built the club on fun and friendship.

Scarborough United Women’s Club was established in 1982 as a not for profit organization dedicated to the development and enjoyment of soccer for women of all ages. The Club is administered by a board of highly motivated and professional members according to its constitution. While the club has maintained an amateur status with its players, it is seen as one of the more professionally run clubs. The Club is dedicated to providing a positive environment with qualified coaches, facilities and equipment that will allow our program to continue to improve and grow with the players. Today the Club enjoys a membership of approximately 1000 players. The focus our activity is in the part of Toronto formerly called Scarborough.

Scarborough United is proud of the accomplishments of its members over the years. Through athletic competition, we strive to teach the highest degree of integrity, sportsmanship, fair play and mutual respect in preparation for good citizenship and leadership in society. We strive to have each player develop a positive attitude towards their teammates and coaches, the laws of the game, the officials who enforce these laws, and most important, toward herself as a valued member of a worthy team. Only positive constructive comments are encouraged between players, between players and coaches and between players and officials. Giving the proper respect to the laws of the game and the officials will pay dividends in the long run. If a team cannot win within the framework of the rules, then the victory is worthless.

The club is funded and supported by the registration fees paid by its members and from donations it receives from its treasured sponsors. Run by volunteers, the club welcomes participation from parents and friends to provide an excellent soccer program at a reasonable cost to its members.

 

T&T U-20 Boys defeat Jamaica

 

Trinidad and Tobago’s Under 20 footballers defeat Jamaica 1-0 in their second game on a wet and heavy Manny Ramjohn Stadium field in Marabella but though the young warriors fought valiantly they came up a goal short.

A 2-0 win would have put the game into overtime but Jamaica goalkeeper Dwayne Kerr had a lot to do with the low score after he produced big saves at critical times in the game. The young warriors opened the scoring in the 32 minute but could not capitalize on their scoring chances to extend the game by scoring the all important second goal.

The team did however secure the shutout and won and that was good enough for the fans.
T&T was prepared for this game and adapted a 3-4-3 formation as opposed to a 4-4-2 in the first leg. The team looked potent in their attack down the flanks but the Jamaica defense was not allowing penetration towards the center of the defensive zone.

T&T, the treat of scoring had to come from set plays and as a result their set play specialist defender Radanfah Abu Bakr saw excellent action. He came close to scoring on several of T&T set plays and on one of his attempts, (a corner) his header was cleared off the goal line with the Jamaica goalkeeper clearly beaten. Bakr also forced goalkeeper Kerr to make yet another brilliant save on a free kick which had the goalkeeper scrambling to push the trickling ball out from inside the left upright.

Jamaica U-20 deserves the opportunity to advance due to their solid and consistent play throughout the first round of the tournament. In this series they took care of business at home and did what they had to do away from home. That was the difference in this series. Jamaican striker Joel Grant of Watford was under wraps in this game after dominating the first game in Jamaica with two goals to give Jamaica the 2-0 victory. He is a good prospect and we should hear more of him in the future.

 

Soca Warriors a Handful for SVG

 

Soca Warriors put aside their disagreement with the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) to dispose of St Vincent and Grenadines (SVG) by a score of 5-0. and the TTFF over allegation that the TTFF did not fulfill their contractual obligations to the players from the World Cup monies that was promised. As a demonstration of their solidarity the Soca Warrior players have signed a petition to resign after their upcoming game on Wednesday against Panama. However in spite of the dispute the T&T Warriors played the game against SVG with the national pride reminiscent of their World Cup debut performance a few months ago in Germany. Granted the opposition was not at the level but one could not have tell in the first ten minutes until Carlos Edwards started dictating the pace which equates to bad news for SVG and their left full back, especially when SVG was having difficulties penetrating the T&T defense. As a result, the time of possession was totally in favor of the warriors and at the 13 minute mark Chris Birchall unleashed a controlled grounder of a volley shot from a rebound off a cross ball from the right flank. At the 24 minute Stern John pounced on another rebound from a ball punched out by SVG goalkeeper and shot the ball through a crowd of players into the goal to score. From that point onwards the game seemed like an uphill struggle for St Vincent and Grenadines and the lost of two of their players to red cards in the second half did not help their cause. The soca warriors were superior in all facets of the game and with the offensive pressure an SVG defender was forced to tackle Kenwyne Jones from behind on a potential breakaway at the edge of the penalty area which automatically drew the red card from the referee. This was after his teammate was shown a red minutes earlier for an accumulation of two yellow cards. Captain Dwight Yorke scored from the free kick spot with a neat placement, followed by Stern John second of the evening after he shook his defender with a nice turn and pulled the SVG goalkeeper and placed the ball neatly into the open net. The route was on and to add insult to injury substitute Kerry Baptiste closed off the scoring in the 79 minute of play from his first touch of the ball after entering the game.

T&T Line-up: Jan Michael Williams; 8.Cyd Gray, 2.Atiba Charles (Andre Toussaint 70th), 6.Dennis Lawrence, 13.Nigel Daniel; 11.Carlos Edwards (18.Kerry Baptiste 75th), 7.Christopher Birchall, 19.Dwight Yorke (capt), 12.Collin Samuel; 20.Jason Scotland (15.Kenwyne Jones 60th), 14.Stern John

 

Canada defeat Jamaica

 

Canada defeated Jamaica 1-0 at the Claude-Robillard Stadium in Montreal, on a goal scored by striker Rob Friend in the 41 minute of play. The large crowd (estimated at 6,500) was treated to a well played game as Canada controlled the first half while Jamaica controlled the second. The game was a typical meeting of the two countries whose results were dead even in their 11 encounters with each team with 5 wins and one tie.

In the early stages of the game Jamaica was on the defensive while Canada systematically moved the ball around to create scoring chances. Canada’s best scoring opportunity was from a volley shot by #10 Rob Friend at the 10 minute of the first half. He received a Julian De Guzman cross ball just behind the Jamaican defense but hurried his shot which cause the ball to raise high over the crossbar.

Friend persistence was rewarded just before the half when he capitalized on a blunder by Jamaican goalkeeper Shawn Sawyers when the keeper miss judged a cross ball to allow Friend to score a neat header that give Canada a 1-0 halftime lead.

The second half started with the teams more patient and deliberate in constructing and executing their plays. The Reggae Boyz seemed more determined to explore Canada weaknesses by using their elusiveness players in isolated situations. Reggae Boyz #7 Jamal Campbell seemed to be the target to be the designated destroyer with his crafty moves. As a result of Campbell success he created excitement for the crowd and attracted two Canadian defenders every time he had possession of the ball. This situation created extra space for his teammate # 5 O’Neil Thompson which allowed him to take controlled of the game. The last 15 minutes of the game was a good test for the Canadian team defensively, which was bailed out on several occasion by brilliant saves from their goalkeeper Greg Sutton to secure the 1-0 victory.

The game was the first for Canadian interim Head Coach Stephen Hart, a native of Trinidad and Tobago and the rematch is scheduled for October 8 in Kingston, Jamaica. Judging by the intensity of this game it is safe to say that the rematch in Kingston should produce more than one goal.


Soca Warriors lose Under New head Coach

Trinidad and Tobago Soca Warriors under new head Coach Jim Rijsbergen lost 2-0 to Japan in the Kirin Challenge Cup 2006 at the Tokyo National Stadium on Wednesday. Although the warriors was missing most of their World Cup players the same can be said for the Japan which was under similar circumstances with a new coach Ivica Osim and their world Cup player missing. In accessing the game scoring line, the two goals scored in the first half and the missing player personnel, it is safe to say that chemistry and inexperience was the major factor for the result. However for me the area of concern for coach Rijsbergen should be the Soca Warriors scoring drought and how he is going to approach this area. The Level of opposition will be the best place to start and the warriors next two schedule games is the turning point of the direction the coaching staff will approach this problem. In the early trial process the defensive part of the system may suffer based on the commitment to the offensive repairs but we all are aware that two goals in a first half is a easy fix defensively, especially with young player, but scoring goals needs creativity, resiliency and players with the coaches confidence and a very short memory for the opportunities missed.

Trinidad and Tobago short term objective of an offensive transformation should start with their commitment to a two striker system because the country does not have a striker as Thierry Henry and France still employed a second striker when their team hit a dry scoring spell. Offensive midfielders will have to be scouted and captain Dwight Yorke transformation as a defensive midfielder would have to be reviewed while 20 year old striker Kenwyne Jones should be worthy of more starts and longer playing time if the country is serious about building for the future. Densil Theobald, Evans Wise and Collin Samuel performances at the World Cup could have been attributed to inexperience at that level but the young players have to be given the opportunity to start games to gain the much needed confidence. The objective of football/soccer is to score goals and defending against goals scoring in return and in my opinion T&T football is half way there and on the move. What is important at this early stage is improvement in lacking areas while the team maintains the respectability of competitiveness.

The Soca Warriors upcoming games are against Mexico and Jamaica in Trinidad on September 2nd and 6th respectively and reports are that coach Rijsbergen will have the luxury of most of the players available for those games.

T&T Trendsetters Hawks a Toronto Attraction

Trinidad and Tobago Trendsetters Hawks boys Under 18 soccer team end their visit to Toronto last Tuesday after creating quite an impact. The team closed off their 3 week visit after participating in the Caribbean Stars Sports and Family Day last weekend at Lamoreaux Soccer Centre in Scarborough.

The Family Day was a welcome change of paste for the Trendsetters team after competing in the 40th Annual Robbie Tournament and the Toronto Cup tournament on consecutive weekends. The team closed off their Toronto stay in fine style when they defeated North Scarborough S.C. 4-1 in their last game of the family day schedule clinching the “fair play award” after losing to Brampton East 1-0 earlier. North Scarborough also defeated Brampton East 2-1 in their other game.

This year the Family Day was used as a tribute to the Trinidad and Tobago Soca Warriors in recognition of the football team accomplishment as the smallest country to qualify at a World Cup as well as to highlight the presence of the visiting Trendsetters team.

The visitors popularity soared as word of their impressive play circulated and as a result the team attracted large crowds. The team advanced to the semi final in the two tournaments they participated, from their Group C in the Robbie and Group B in the Toronto Cup. As a result of the team performance a few of their players have been scouted and are making them selves available for potential scholarship offer in the United States.

The Trinidad and Tobago Consulate office in Toronto has committed their continued support and involvement to make a team return visit by Trendsetters possible.

40th Annual Robbie Soccer Tournament 2006
Group C
Pos Team GP W T L GF GA Pts
1 Trendsetter Hawks (T&T) 3 2 1 0 4 1 7
2 Erin Mills Eagles 3 1 1 1 4 5 4
3 Aurora Stingers 3 0 2 1 3 4 2
4 East York 3 0 2 1 1 2 2
Semi Finalists
Winner Grp A – Glen Shields 1 vs. Grp C Trendsetters Hawks 0

Toronto Cup Tournament 2006
Group B
Pos Team GP W T L GF GA Pts
1 Oakville, ON 3 2 0 0 7 0 9
2 Trendsetter Hawks (T&T) 3 2 0 1 14 2 6
3 Orland Park, I 3 0 0 3 1 19 0
Quarter Final
Group A 3rd – Newmarket 3 vs. Group C 2nd – Trendsetters T&T 6

Semi Final
Winner Grp A – East York 3 vs. Grp C 2nd- Trend Hawks (T&T)
0

The objective of the Family Day is to give the youths and families a day of fun and enjoyment in a comfortable atmosphere where the pressures of winning and losing is secondary to teamwork, forming friendships and meeting old acquaintances.

Trendsetters were up for this day and even got a surprise treat by the appearance of NBA All Star Jamaal Magloire who addressed the team and reinforced the importance of an education and the commitment to take their sport seriously


Trinidad and Tobago last Chance Against Paraguay

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Trinidad and Tobago impressive start has placed the warriors in a position where their game against Paraguay could possibly put the country in a position to advance to the second round of World Cup 2006. After a heartbreaking lost against England at Nuremberg, conceding two goals in the last ten minutes of play, the warriors would now have to take care of business at the offensive end of the field and score a minimum of two goals against Paraguay and also hope that England defeat Sweden by also a two goal or more. The positive for T&T in regards to the England versus Sweden game is that either team could afford to lose if they will like to avoid a match up with Germany in the second round. The warriors match up against Paraguay favors Trinidad and Tobago due to the fact that the warriors are looking for that all important win while Paraguay conceivably could be less motivated with no chance to advance but just to finish their schedule on a positive note. Trinidad and Tobago will have to score goals in this game and that should be all the reason coach Beenhakker needs to resort to a 3-4-3 formation with Russell Latapy in the starting line up to showcase his magic and create scoring opportunities for the Soca Warriors to advance.

The warriors could ill afford to hold back and defend but to finally show
the World that the team has offensive power and talent such as Evans Wise, Collin Samuel, Russell Latapy, Carlos Edwards Dwight Yorke and a future in 20 year old Kenwyne Jones.

It is entirely up to coach Le Beenhakker and thus far he has delivered the best game plan but is it the time to gamble? Definitely this is now a Cup game with no more games to be play if the mission is not accomplished.


Caribbean Teams Challenge

Caribbean soccer fans would be tuning in this weekend to find out which of the Caribbean teams would have some success in their games this Saturday 3, June 2006. In one of the games Caribbean Selects is up against the Serbian White Eagles at Lamport Stadium in Toronto while the T&T Soca Warriors plays # 2 ranked Czech Republic in Prague and the rebuilding Jamaica Reggae Boyz rocks with England at Old Trafford.

The Selects is considered to be a big underdog against the Serbians although they have earn a tie in their last game, and the Soca warriors and the Reggae Boyz are also considered to be up a creek against superior opponents.

The Soca Warriors reality check after the 1-1 Peru tie did not seem to change the way coach Beenhakker is preparing the team for the big dance with only one week left. After coming from behind to tie Peru in Port of Spain, Trinidad they defeated Vienna 3-2 with a less than impressive performance after coach Beenhakker emptied his bench to start the second half. In their 2-1 lost to Wales in the next game the team performance improved, but could not get the ball into the net and went on to loose yet again to Slovenia 3-1. At this late stage of the warriors journey to the World Cup in Germany ties are good, wins are important but losses are damaging to the confidence of the players, organization and supporters.

The organization got further bad news when it was determine that utility player Silvio Spann had to be cut due to a nagging hamstring injury. He was replaced by left footer Evans Wise who plays out of the German league in the second division. The warrior’s upcoming game against the Czech Republic on Saturday June 3 will be a true indication of where the warrior’s level of play is at and what can be expected at the World Cup.

The Reggae Boyz football program experienced a minor setback after a good performance in their game with the USA in which their defense played strong to secure a 1-1 tie. The Reggae Boyz was given a reality check when they played Ghana on May 29, 2006 and their defense that performed so well against USA conceded goals to World Cup bound Ghana early and often in both half of the game to loose 4-1. The Reggae Boyz next game will be on Saturday June 3 against England at Old Trafford, Manchester and the England selectors are confident that the game will familiarize their team with the Caribbean brand of football that will be important for their World Cup game against the Soca Warriors on June 15 at Nuremberg Stadium.

The Caribbean Selects will be in a tough game with the Serbians after their exciting 0-0 tie with North York Astros in their first competitive game of their inaugural 2006 soccer season. The Serbians who are also new to the CSL boost several international players and are off to a good start winning their first two games against quality opposition and has the largest following in the league.

The Selects have one of the youngest rosters in the league and as such the team may take some time to find the cohesiveness and chemistry needed to be an instant success in the CSL league. Their back four defenders is strong and performed well as a unit in the first game, but the midfield seem a little disjointed at times. The Selects game against division leaders Serbian White Eagles is on Saturday June 3rd at Lamport Stadium, Toronto at 7pm.

Caribbean Selects team shown above is from left to right: Back row- Coach Corcel Blair, Osman Samura, Fuad Mude, Simon Mais, Kamal Mude, and Ajani Stapleton: Middle row- Paul Okumu, Craig Steven, John Lewis, Kevon Chambers, Mensah Kojo, and Maxime Donaval:
Front row- Welch, Quincy Cooper, Dixon Modeste, Douglas Sereti, Mohamed Kanu, and Dustin Chung


Warriors Goalkeeping Issues Answered

Shaka Hislop

Trinidad and Tobago football supporters got a boost in the goal keeping department from the news that Shaka Hislop made it to the FA Cup final against Liverpool. Prior to the final selection of the World Cup squad Warriors had four goalkeepers in Clayton Ince Anthony Warner, Shaka Hislop and Kevin Jack competing for the three open spots. Warner did not make the squad because Kevin Jack and Clayton Ince have proven that they are more than capable goalkeepers and in the eyes of the selectors they play an integral part to the team chemistry. The inclusion of Shaka Hislop as one of the three goalkeepers was expected due to his end of season form with his club.

However according to the experts, Trinidad and Tobago is the underdog in their Group B with Sweden, Paraguay and England due to the fact that the Soca Warriors are vulnerable and could allow more goal than they are capable of scoring.

The latest news of Soca warrior goalkeeper Shaka Hislop of West Ham helping his team reach the English FA Cup final by shutting out Middlesbrough 1-0 was more pleasant than him missing the T&T farewell game against Peru on May 13. It is a bitter sweet situation but Trinidad and Tobago could not have asked for better news because most of the warrior supporters felt that Shaka would have been given the call by coach Beenhakker to start against England. His present achievement could have cemented his status as the starting goalkeeper at the World Cup.

Coach Leo Beenhakker may also have to consider starting him for a half in the exhibition games heading into the World Cup to maintain his sharpness because he is the only warrior that would have competed at the highest level of intensity the FA final during the season. This would also be good for captain Dwight Yorke who could now concentrate more on the offense and allow Shaka to organize the back four players who may have to play every game better than their last for the team to be successful. The midfielders can also assist the defense if they stick to the game plan and be prepared to also stick to their man in defensive coverage falling behind the ball on all lost of possession as in the Bahrain II game.

With Shaka out of the warriors farewell game next Wednesday May 10 against Peru due to his FA final commitment it is likely that Clayton Ince would receive the starting duties to give him the opportunity needed to compete for the starting job.

The key to becoming a contender is good team defense and in soccer/football the goalkeepers are the last line of defense which seems to improve the warrior’s chances to advance to the second round of the final 16 teams. Should Trinidad and Tobago starting goalkeeper get hot in the first round it is very likely that they could advance out of their Group B especially with the projected recovery time for the England offensive players such as Michael Owens and Wayne Rooney who are out of action with ankle injury.


Caribbean Selects Enter CPSL”S International Division by CPSL :

When Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz attracted world-wide attention by reaching the World Cup finals in 1998, it signaled the beginning of an era that the West Indies, and even the wider Caribbean, was in the business of soccer.

The excitement was followed by a wave of players entering top club soccer throughout Europe and the enthusiasm was felt in Toronto.

It’s not surprising, therefore, that a newly-formed Caribbean Selects is one of the first clubs to join the CPSL’s International Division which kicks off the 2006 season next month.

Aldwyn McGill, an attacking midfielder turned striker in the ’70s when Trinidad & Tobago was making its mark in world soccer, who found his way to Canada to be one of the more prominent members of the Toronto soccer community, is one of the principals behind the launch. So is Neil Palmer of the Brampton Kickers Soccer Club to the northwest of Toronto who also helped to launch the professional Brampton Stallions in 2005.

McGill, who coached Metro Lions of the CPSL (now Oakville Blue Devils’ and has the soccer skills to go with a reputation of being a top soccer administrator and writer for the Carribean Camera newspaper, expects the Selects to be the product of a gradual building process over time.

“While we will be making every effort to win our games from the word go, it’s going to take a little time to build a team to win this new division,” said McGill.

Caribbean Selects are still conducting tryouts every Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 12 noon at Downsview Park on Keele Street just north of Wilson Avenue in Toronto. For more information, call (416) 286-6292.

Caribbean Selects is one of five teams in the new International Division to play an interlocking schedule with seven community teams in the National Division, to kickoff the CPSL’s ninth season on May 19. Other International Division teams are Italia Shooters, Portuguese Toronto Supra, Serbian White Eagles and Toronto Croatia. Additional teams are being interviewed for entry in 2007 when the total number in the new division is expected to reach eight.


GS Run Around to Win


Scarborough GS United Soccer Club entered three teams in the Scarborough Indoor Soccer League (SISL) and all three teams have performed well in their respective division. Entering into last weekend schedule their men Over-35 and Division-I teams clinched their League title a couple of weeks earlier while the Division-I team is still working on an undefeated season with a 20-0-0- record.

However their Premier team was not as comfortable entering their game against a tough FK OHRID team last Sunday with both team tied with 52 points for the league title. Weeks earlier OHRID beat GS 5-2 and seemed very confident before the game.

The game started very fast and neither team was giving an inch. With the fast pace of the game it was obvious that something had to give and it was just who was going to give some thing away. FK had the first chance when GS defensive gave up a break away but shot wide of the outer edge of the post with GS goalkeeper beaten. That muffed opportunity was not a good sign for OHRID because with less than 12 minute left in the first half their frustration took over and they were given a 2 minute penalty. GS United capitalized and scored with still over a minute left with the man advantage. On the ensuing play after the goal OHRID goalkeeper was injured and had to leave the game favoring his wrist and/or fingers. He was replaced in net with striker Gus Kousmanis which hurt FK offense significantly. By that time GS gain momentum and seized the opportunity to pile it on attacking at will to score two more goals to go into the half leading 3-0.

The second half started much like the first and just like the first GS United scored the opening goal which demoralized OHRID and to add insult to injury GS was given a 2 minute penalty for roughing when they caught OHRID pushing to far forward and countered attacked on a rebound to score on a two on one to take a 5-0 lead with over ten minutes left in the game. At that point OHRID could have thrown in the towel but they fought back and had some momentum when they scored two unanswered goal to trim the score to 6-3. GS responded and broke the momentum by scoring against the run of play to secure victory by a final score of 7-3 and their third SISL 2006 league title.

Scarborough GS United Soccer Club enjoyed a bitter sweet week at the Scarborough Indoor Soccer League on Clairlea after two of their teams won while their premier team suffered a rare lost. After a close 3-1 win last week GS Over-35 team won convincingly over third place Vanier A FC 5-2. With three games left in the schedule GS O-35 team is ahead of last year’s champion Duncan House by 5 points. GS will play Duncan House in two weeks but they are in a good position to win the league title with two of the three remaining games against the two bottom place teams.

In other action GS United men’s premier division team lost 4-2 to their second place rivals FK Ohrid which had the talented Kouzmanis brothers in their line up. Three points separated the teams heading into the clash and with the win Ohrid is now tied with GS on points. With five weeks left in the season, the league title could be decided when the two teams play each other in their last game of the regular season. So It does not get any better than that for the respective fans.

However, until they meet in the last match these two teams should be prepared to play one game at a time because they could suffer a disappointing blow against the third place Guess team. For what I have seen Guess can upset either team if all their players show up for the game. The Guess team comprise of some of the players from the last years Cup Champion “Just Us” team. Needless to say, it seems like leadership and commitment of players is Guess’s problem.

GS United third team in the Scarborough Indoor Soccer League (Division One) is having an unbelievable season, sporting an impressive 14-0-0-0 record and enjoying the luxury of a 12 point cushion heading into the last six games of the season. There is no doubt that they will win the league but they will be under pressure to finish the season (undefeated) with 20-0-0-0 record.

Scarborough GS United is making a strong case as being one of the best if not the best senior amateur soccer team in Canada.

GS United teams in tough Competition

Scarborough GS United Soccer Club has endured some tough competition at the Scarborough Indoor Soccer League at Clairlea in Scarborough. With two weeks to go in league they have raised the bar as their three teams are enjoying great success. Their Over-35 team can clinch the League title with a tie or a win going into Wednesday game against third place West Rouge. GS leads second place Duncan House by 2 points.


In other action GS United men’s premier division team is in a dogfight with second place rivals FK Ohrid who has the talented Kouzmanis brothers in their line up. Heading into last two games the teams tied with 45 points and three games left. In their three remaining they both play each other in the last game of the season and more than likely the league title will be decided by the outcome of that game. This is every events coordinator’s dream to have a competition down to the last play or schedule of their competition and it doesn’t get much better than that for the teams and fans either.

However until they meet these teams should be prepared to play one game at a time because they could suffer a disappointing blow if they underestimate their opposition or take the other teams too lightly especially third place Guess and Hearts Azzurri,

GS United third team in the Scarborough Indoor Soccer League is their men’s Division One team who is having an unbelievable season. They clinched the league title last Sunday with a 7-4 win over East York United and are sporting an impressive 17-0-0-0 record. Their only test left is the pressure of completing the Indoor season undefeated.

With three men’s team competing with a chance of clinching three league titles and more Scarborough GS United is making a strong case as one of the best if not the best senior amateur soccer team in Canada.

GS Run Around to Win

Scarborough GS United Soccer Club entered three teams in the Scarborough Indoor Soccer League (SISL) and all three teams have performed well in their respective division. Entering into last weekend schedule their men Over-35 and Division-I teams clinched their League title a couple of weeks earlier while the Division-I team is still working on an undefeated season with a 20-0-0- record.

However their Premier team was not as comfortable entering their game against a tough FK OHRID team last Sunday with both team tied with 52 points for the league title. Weeks earlier OHRID beat GS 5-2 and seemed very confident before the game.

The game started very fast and neither team was giving an inch. With the fast pace of the game it was obvious that something had to give and it was just who was going to give some thing away. FK had the first chance when GS defensive gave up a break away but shot wide of the outer edge of the post with GS goalkeeper beaten. That muffed opportunity was not a good sign for OHRID because with less than 12 minute left in the first half their frustration took over and they were given a 2 minute penalty. GS United capitalized and scored with still over a minute left with the man advantage. On the ensuing play after the goal OHRID goalkeeper was injured and had to leave the game favoring his wrist and/or fingers. He was replaced in net with striker Gus Kousmanis which hurt FK offense significantly. By that time GS gain momentum and seized the opportunity to pile it on attacking at will to score two more goals to go into the half leading 3-0.

The second half started much like the first and just like the first GS United scored the opening goal which demoralized OHRID and to add insult to injury GS was given a 2 minute penalty for roughing when they caught OHRID pushing to far forward and countered attacked on a rebound to score on a two on one to take a 5-0 lead with over ten minutes left in the game. At that point OHRID could have thrown in the towel but they fought back and had some momentum when they scored two unanswered goal to trim the score to 6-3. GS responded and broke the momentum by scoring against the run of play to secure victory by a final score of 7-3 and their third SISL 2006 league title.


2006 Premier Division League Champs

2006 Division One League Champs


Jamaica Reggae Boyz Tie with USA

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Jamaica Reggae Boyz breathes a sigh of relief after the final whistle of their international game with their CONCACAF rivals USA at the SAS Soccer Park, Cary, North Carolina. With upcoming games against England on June 3 and Canada on September 4 and October 4, the Reggae Boyz were hoping to start their campaign on a winning note and surprise the Americans with what would have been a historic moment having never beaten USA.

The Boyz must have felt that the day had come when at the fourth minute mark Teofore Bennett pick up a Jermaine Hue pass and outran the USA defense to beat goalkeeper Tony Meola with a neat placement to give Jamaica a 1-0 lead. The goal seem to wake up the favored USA team and they began to turn up the heat on Jamaica pressuring the Reggae Boyz defense who was playing well up to that point in the game.

USA continued to press forward running into spaces at will and scored in the 25th minute of the first half when Ben Olsen received a pass in the area and drove home a low shot under goalkeeper Ricketts to tie the game. The run of play balance off somewhat and the Reggae Boyz countered well down the right flank, putting over some dangerous crosses that created good scoring opportunities.

The USA team continued their attacking style of play in the second half and forced Jamaica goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts to make an acrobatic save to tip Chris Albright’s header over the cross bar.

The game was interesting until whole scale substitutions were made for the coaches to take a look at their player on the bench. Towards the latter part of the game USA took control and pressed forward for the winner but the Reggae Boyz defense maintained their composure and withstood the pressure to earn a hard fought 1-1 tie. The Reggae Boyz will have to wait for the next meeting of the two teams to change their 9-0-8 winless streak against USA.

TEAMS: Jamaica – Donovan Ricketts, Claude Davis (Demar Stewart 30th), Damion Stewart, Omar Daley, Garfield Reid, Khari Stephenson (Oneil Thompson 71st), Jermaine Hue, Jason Morrison, (Dane Richards 60th) Jamal Campbell-Ryce (Fabian Dawkins 61st), Ryan Johnson Jermaine Johnson 71st), Teofore Bennett (Newton Sterling 61st). Subs not used: S Sawyers

USA – Tony Meola, Frankie Hejduk, Chris Albright, Landon Donovan, Pat Noonan (John O’Brien 67th), Ben Olsen, Josh Wolff (Eddie Johnson 45th), Steve Ralston (Clint Demsey 55th), Taylor Twellman (Brian Ching 45th), Eddie Pope, Pablo Matsroeni.

Subs not used: M Reis, N Garcia, K Zavagnin,
Booked: Pope (20th)


Warrior Nation Launched in Toronto

Hardball Sports Bar in Scarborough Toronto was the place to be the last Sunday March 26 for the launching of the Soca Warriors Supporters Club aka “the Warrior Nation”.

Regional Head Officer for Canada East, Gino McKoy seen above was present to address the die hard Warrior fans that attended the event. As part of the entertainment the last game the Warriors played against Iceland was shown as part of the evening activities. Music was supplied by Toronto’s top DJ Soca Sweetness and De Farmers Rhythm Section during the course of the evening.

The Warrior Nation Club was inaugurated on December 12, 2005 to lend passionate support to Trinidad and Tobago’s National Football Team “Soca Warriors” and to recruit and be a source of information and inspiration to enthusiastic, fun loving Trinis, foreign nationals, and any supporter that appreciates and enjoys the Soca Warriors brand of football.

The Soca Warriors team next stop is the International Farewell game against Peru on May 10, at Hasley Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain Trinidad. This game will be a pressure cooker for the Soca Warriors who will have to perform well and win in front of a projected sold out Stadium.

According to Regional East officer Dino McKoy “We are seeking individuals who are willing to travel and support the Soca Warriors and our Warrior Nation programs”. For more information on the warrior nation club log on to www.thewarriornation.com

Magic 2006 Indoor Champion “Square Root”

Magic Athletic Soccer Club held its 13th Annual Indoor Soccer Tournament last Saturday at Centennial College Progress campus with a compliment of 8 teams participating in two divisions. In Division One the teams were Magic A.C. Boca Junior, Square Root, and Toronto Mas while Division II teams comprised of Santos, Young Guns, United Strikers, and Westway.

The tournament opened with Magic AC defeating Boca Juniors 2-1 and they continued their winning streak to clinch the division by disposing of Square Root and Toronto Mas by 1-0 decisions. Square Root wins finished second the division with two wins. Competition in Division II was a lot closer with Santos winning the division on goal difference over Westway after finishing with six points after both having two wins.

With the customary crossover of divisional heading into the playoffs Magic A.C. was match up against Westway and Santos had to get past Square Root in the other semi-final. In the first semi-final played between Magic and Westway the game was close with tight marking and loose balls treated as a potential scoring opportunity. The level of play suffered a bit because of the anxiety level but this was understandable as it was the play-offs with the “knocked out” mentality. Although Magic positional game was noticeably superior, Westway seemed younger and fitter and was compensating for their miscues. The game went down to the wire 0-0 which may the last minutes very nerve racking for the fans of the both teams and exciting to everyone else. The game ended goalless and Magic advanced to the final after scoring their first penalty shot while Westway kicked their penalty wide.

The second semi-final game between Square Root and Santos was the better of the semi-final in terms of the skill and overall talent of the teams. This was a nail biter and with less than three minutes of a scoreless game Square Root scored and held on to win 1-0 to set up a revenge meeting against Magic the only team they lost to in divisional play.

The final was a well played game and you would have to say the best team Square won. They conceding a goal with under two minutes left in the first half but returned the favor by scoring with under two minutes left to tie the game and invoke penalty kicks to determine the Tournament Champions. FIFA rule was in effect for the penalties which meant that each team had a compliment of five penalties to win or sudden penalties will apply. Magic missed their second on their five penalties while Square Root scored all of their attempts to clinch the 13th Annual Magic Club Linton Clark Indoor Tournament.

Magic Athletic S C 13th Annual Indoor Tournament


last Saturday at Centennial College Progress campus with a compliment of 8 teams participating in two divisions. In Division One the teams were Magic A.C. Boca Junior, Square Root, and Toronto Mas while Division II teams comprised of Santos, Young Guns, United Strikers, and Westway.

The tournament opened with Magic AC defeating Boca Juniors 2-1 and they continued their winning streak to clinch the division by disposing of Square Root and Toronto Mas by 1-0 decisions. Square Root wins finished second the division with two wins. Competition in Division II was a lot closer with Santos winning the division on goal difference over Westway after finishing with six points after both having two wins.

With the customary crossover of divisional heading into the playoffs Magic A.C. was match up against Westway and Santos had to get past Square Root in the other semi-final. In the first semi-final played between Magic and Westway the game was close with tight marking and loose balls treated as a potential scoring opportunity. The level of play suffered a bit because of the anxiety level but this was understandable as it was the play-offs with the “knocked out” mentality. Although Magic positional game was noticeably superior, Westway seemed younger and fitter and was compensating for their miscues. The game went down to the wire 0-0 which may the last minutes very nerve racking for the fans of the both teams and exciting to everyone else. The game ended goalless and Magic advanced to the final after scoring their first penalty shot while Westway kicked their penalty wide.

The second semi-final game between Square Root and Santos was the better of the semi-final in terms of the skill and overall talent of the teams. This was a nail biter and with less than three minutes of a scoreless game Square Root scored and held on to win 1-0 to set up a revenge meeting against Magic the only team they lost to in divisional play.

The final was a well played game and you would have to say the best team Square won. They conceding a goal with under two minutes left in the first half but returned the favor by scoring with under two minutes left to tie the game and invoke penalty kicks to determine the Tournament Champions. FIFA rule was in effect for the penalties which meant that each team had a compliment of five penalties to win or sudden penalties will apply. Magic missed their second on their five penalties while Square Root scored all of their attempts to clinch the 13th Annual Magic Club Linton Clark Indoor Tournament.

Canada women lose Heartbreaker to USA

Canada’s women soccer team suffered a heartbreaking loss to USA on a penalty kick called in the dying seconds of the second half of overtime. The game was played at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California and the infraction occurred when Canada’s #18- Robyn Gayle, attempt to screen out a USA player. Canada entered the game having secured a spot at the women World Cup 2007 in China after defeating Jamaica 4-0 in the semi final days earlier.

Unlike the Jamaica game Canada fell behind early. USA took a 1-0 lead against the run of play on a goal scored by Leslie Osborne from a rebound. Canada showed character and returned the favor in the 40th minute after midfielder Randee Hermus pounced on a rebound and unleashed a left foot half volley into the roof of the USA net.

The second half saw USA in total command but not exactly in control. As a result time expired in regulation play with the score still tied to send the game into overtime.

Overtime usually spells p-r-e-s-s-u-r-e for the favorite team and in this game it looked no different. The pressure was clearly on USA to get a score before the introduction of the dreaded penalty kicks. The arrival of penalty kicks means that the ego of favored team can be broken and in that light, the underdog’s chances are better.

USA, desperate to end the game was moving forward with everything in attack which opened up their defensive coverage somewhat, and Canada’s striker Christine Sinclair shot wide from a golden opportunity to score. On the other end of the field Canada’s goalkeeper Erin McLeod was kept busy and responded well with some brilliant saves that kept Canada in the game.

With no ticks left on the clock USA made a long throw into the Canadian 6 yard box that created the untimely penalty that was scored by USA striker Christine Lilly. As a result USA defeated Canada 2-1 to win the Gold Cup 2006.

Canada and USA women team advance to the World Cup 2007 in China while third place Mexico will play Japan in a home and away series to advance. The Mexicans clinched third spot by eliminating Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago by the same score of 3-0.

Canada women Advance to W/C

Canada women’s soccer team lead by captain Christine Sinclair two goals, secured a spot at the women World Cup 2007 in China. They defeated Jamaica 4-0 in the first semi final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup played at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California and will meet the winner of the Mexico versus USA on Sunday. Jamaica will have to wait to play the loser of the next semi final for the third spot to face Japan (from the Asian Football Confederation) in a home-and-away playoff for the final berth in the FIFA tournament.

Christine Sinclair led the Canadian attack with two goals in the 40th and 70th minute while Rhian Wilkinson and Melanie Booth both scored in the 51st and 88th minute respectively. Although Canada had defeated Jamaica four times previously (with a goal differential of 31:0), this game was anticipated to be a close encounter by the recent showing of the Jamaica defense.

The Jamaica women started well but as the game progressed Canada shut down their early advances and systematically took control of the midfield. Canada missed several good scoring opportunities and one was beginning to wonder if those missed chances was going to be their downfall. However the talented Sinclair made no mistake in the 40th minute when she chest trap a cross from the right side at the far post and buried a left foot volley into the net to open scoring just before the half.

The second half started with Canada piling on the pressure but for the most part the play was a little shabby. Rhian Wilkinson scored the second goal with a neat placement from a backward cross along the ground from Sinclair after Sinclair ran out of real estate after eluding the Jamaica defense. Sinclair closed out her play after pouncing on a rebound off the cross bar and showed the calm of a veteran when she hammered home the ball pass the stranded Jamaica goalkeeper to give Canada a comfortable 3-0 lead.

Although Canada had their way in terms of the run of play, the Jamaicans deserve a lot of credit for keeping their composure and doing a decent job of ball possession in the second half of the game in spite of the score. In future Canada would have to concentrate on more ball possession in games where they have a sizable lead. This tactic can be very effective in preventing injuries.

All in all it was a good display of aggressive soccer by Canada and Jamaica would have to regroup for their next game for third place against most likely Mexico.

Canada – 22-McLeod, Erin; 2-Kiss, Kristina (18-Gayle, Robyn, 77); 3-Booth, Melanie; 8-Matheson, Diana; 9-Chapman, Candace; 10-Franko, Martina; 11-Hermus, Randee; 12-Sinclair, Christine (C) (7-Morneau, Isabelle, 75); 13-Walsh, Amy; 16-Wilkinson, Rhian; 17-Timko, Brittany (5-Neil, Andrea, 83)

Head coach: Even Pellerud
Subs not used: 1-Alcia, Leisha; 4-Andrews, Sasha; 6-Schmidt, Sophie; 14-Tancredi, Melissa; 15-Robinson, Jodi-Ann; 19-Vermeulen, Amy

Jamaica – 13–Paula Jackson; 4–Alicia Wilson; 6–Audia Sullivan; 9–Natalya Manyan; 11–Kimmia Parker; 12–Peta-Gaye Soman; 15–Nicola Bell; 16–Yolanda Hamilton; 17–Diane Hue; 18–Stacy-Ann Johnson (10-Hishamar Falconer ,72); 19–Rochelle Bryan (10– Omolyn Davis, 60)

“Toronto FC” new MLS Franchise

Toronto soccer fans could look forward to a treat with the arrival of its first Major League Soccer franchise the Toronto FC, which is scheduled to play its first game at the new 20,000 seat BMO Stadium at Exhibition Place next spring. Toronto FC is the first MLS expansion outside of the United States.

In an effort to boost attendance the Toronto FC is in search of talented local soccer players who are willing to take their playing career to the next level. The team will be conducting tryouts at the Ontario Soccer Centre in the City of Vaughan and registration can be done online at www.torontofc.ca. The try-outs are open to persons 14 years and older and registration deadline is November 27, 2006. The registration will be limited to the first 1,000 people who register on line.

On the national scene the Canadian women senior team is in serious training for the upcoming Gold Cup in California, USA in November. The Canadian women will be playing the winner of the Panama versus Jamaica game in the semi final on November 22. Reigning Women’s Gold Cup Champions, USA will meet the winner of the Mexico vs. Trinidad & Tobago game in the next semi final.

The Champion team and the runner-up will automatically qualify to the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China. The third-place finisher in the CONCACAF event will face Japan (from the Asian Football Confederation) in a home-and-away playoff for the final berth in the FIFA tournament.

The Canadian senior men team is also in preparation for the CONCACAF Gold Cup as they join Mexico and host USA in the North Zone that waits the advancing teams from the Caribbean Digicel Cup tournament and Central American zone. Four out of the twelve teams from the Caribbean Digicel Cup will advance to the twelve-team Gold Cup.

Final Round will be held in Trinidad & Tobago with five teams from the Central American Qualification zone (2007 UNCAF Nations Cup hosted by El Salvador) and three automatic qualifiers from the North Zone (Canada, Mexico and USA), and four teams from the Caribbean zone. The 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup is scheduled from June 6-24 in cities across the USA with venues to be announced in November.

Haiti and St Kitts/Nevis Advance in Youth World Cup


Haiti and St. Kitts/Nevis won Group G and Group H respectively in the Caribbean zone to qualify for the CONCACAF/FIFA World Youth Cup to be played in Mexico and Panama in January and February. The big surprise of the first round was the fact that Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago did not win their groups and as such will have to play each other for the third spot in the Caribbean Zone. The winner will advance to complete in the final eight of the CONCACAF U-20 Group. Four out of the eight teams will advance to the FIFA under-20 World Youth Cup, in Canada next summer.

St Kitts/Nevis won Group F with a 2-1-0 record with wins against T&T (1-0) and the Dominican Republic (3-1). T&T clinched second place (on goal difference) after opening with a 1-1 tie with the Dominican Republic and an important 3 goal margin win over St Vincent and the Grenadines 3-0. Haiti secured first place in group G after a 0-0 tie with Jamaica in Haiti.

Not so long it was customary Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago to be playing for first place or the final of a prestigious cup. Presently the Jamaica football program seemed to be under construction while their top brass is under fire although the Jamaica U-20 team has been consistent in the tournament.

On the flip side Trinidad and Tobago World Cup success seemed to have created problems for the T&T Football Federation and an unfair distraction for their U-20 team. Nevertheless the T&T youth team improved their play and final standings after a spirited performance against SVG. This was complimented with a better job by T&T head coach Brian Williams.

It is clear that the other Caribbean countries have improved their level of play to be capable of defeating Jamaica and T&T. Based on just completed first round of play in the tournament it is safe to say that the CONCACAF teams will have to raise their level of play before the finals in Canada.

The amazing results of the evenly matched T&T Group F division are as follows: St Vincent and the Grenadines opened the Group F schedule with a 3-1 win over the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic in turn, went on to defeated St Kitts/Nevis 1-0 in their next game. St Kitts/Nevis rebound to defeat T&T by a score of 1-0 after T&T tied 1-1 with the Dominican Republic. The group winners were decided on the last day of play when St Kitts defeated Dominican Republic 2-1 to secure first place and T&T overcoming SVG 3-0 to clinch second spot.

The Jamaica versus Trinidad and Tobago series will create a lot of hype but these two teams still have a lot of work to do to advance pass the next round.


Italia Shooters upset Serbian White Eagles

Trinidad and Tobago-born 18 year old Anthony Adur, the youngest player on the field scored the lone goal at the 62 minute mark to help Italia Shooter upset Serbian White Eagles to win the Canadian Soccer League championship. The game was played at Ester Shiner Stadium on Sunday before a close to sell out crowd that comprised of predominantly Serbian supporters.

The game was a see saw battle with lots of action and the early surprise was that Italia Shooters was holding their own against the powerful Serbians attack. The fact that the Shooters had the better scoring opportunities after a 0-0 first half was good for the game. This was the Shooters fourth attempt at the league championship in as many years and to sum up their thinking they were of the opinion that “something had to give” this season.

They defeated arguably the #2 teams in the Toronto Croatia to get to the final and by their tenacity in this game it also appeared that they were well prepared. Tactically Italia made adjustments to their team that seem questionable but did work. One of these moves was moving their offensive player and 2005 League MVP (T&T born) Desmond Humphrey to the central defense position where he constructed their offensive plays by spraying long precise passes to both flankers in the first half. This strategy seemed to confuse the Serbians coaching staff and caught their defense by surprise on a number of occasions in the first half.

The second half was similar to the first with Serbians turning up the offense a notch and Italia using the counter attack more frequently. It was from one of those counter attacks that Anthony Adur broke free and unleash a volley from close up to give Italia the lead they never relinquished. In the dying moments of the game one could tell it was not the Serbians night when one of their headers from within the six yard box rebound off the upright with the Shooters goalkeeper beaten. However these chances were not as frequent as the Serbian White Eagles would have liked due to the defensive efforts of the Italia Shooters that proved to be the difference in the game.

Kwesi Loney another Positive for the Community

Kwesi Loney of Scarborough has followed in the footsteps of his father by being in the winners circle for a third consecutive time. Kwesi was very instrumental in securing three major championships for his Ottawa St Anthony’s Italia team over the past month, and in doing so helped his club create history.

Winning three of the major trophies is a first. St Anthony’s dethroned GS United of Scarborough in the Ontario Cup final and went on and prove they were worthy Ontario Cup champions by advancing to win the National Championship in Vancouver.

Kwesi is the son of Anthony Loney who was one of the foundation players of the (defunct) Iere Sports Club over the years and a winner of numerous goal scoring titles in his long illustrious career. Similar to his father Kwesi is a crafty player but unlike his dad, his left foot is his bread and butter. He can play all positions but has been a reliable defensive player at the high levels of competition. He does move forward with confidence and has developed a tremendous long throw-in that was one of the offensive trade marks of the now defunct dominant Ottawa Wizards team. Kwesi was a member of the Wizards when they won the CSL (formerly called the Canadian Professional Soccer League back to back in 2002-03.

He was also a representative of an All Canadian University team that traveled to Seoul Korea for the the World University games. After going full circle from Amateur to professional and back with success, maybe the Canadian national selector will make that all important phone call to Kwesi to add some punch to the team.

Kwesi mother is Mrs. Tressa Hislop Loney, cousin of Shaka Hislop and given the gene pool he’s dipped in on both sides of the family it is comes as no surprise that Kwesi has evolved into a terrific soccer player and a well rounded young man.

Kwesi , a past pupil of Mother Teresa High School in the Malvern area, is a graduate of Carlton University, Ottawa with a B.A. in Political Science. He is willing to take things in stride and ladies he can be reached at 416-Ohshucks or 613-AH Forget.

There is an abundance amount of talent in the community just waiting to be discovered or to be given that important break.


CARIBBEAN SELECTS ENTER CPSL’S INTERNATIONAL DIVISION

Sunday – April 23, 2006 When Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz attracted world-wide attention by reaching the World Cup finals in 1998, it signaled the beginning of an era that the West Indies, and even the wider Caribbean, was in the business of soccer.

The excitement was followed by a wave of players entering top club soccer throughout Europe and the enthusiasm was felt in Toronto.

It’s not surprising, therefore, that a newly-formed Caribbean Selects is one of the first clubs to join the CPSL’s International Division which kicks off the 2006 season next month.

Aldwyn McGill, an attacking midfielder turned striker in the ’70s when Trinidad & Tobago was making its mark in world soccer, who found his way to Canada to be one of the more prominent members of the Toronto soccer community, is one of the principals behind the launch. So is Neil Palmer of the Brampton Kickers Soccer Club to the northwest of Toronto who also helped to launch the professional Brampton Stallions in 2005.

McGill, who coached Metro Lions of the CPSL (now Oakville Blue Devils) and has the soccer skills to go with a reputation of being a top soccer administrator and writer for the Carribean Camera newspaper, expects the Selects to be the product of a gradual building process over time.

“While we will be making every effort to win our games from the word go, it’s going to take a little time to build a team to win this new division,” said McGill.

Caribbean Selects are still conducting tryouts every Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 12 noon at Downsview Park on Keele Street just north of Wilson Avenue in Toronto. For more information, call (416) 286-6292.

Caribbean Selects is one of five teams in the new International Division to play an interlocking schedule with seven community teams in the National Division, to kickoff the CPSL’s ninth season on May 19. Other International Division teams are Italia Shooters, Portuguese Toronto Supra, Serbian White Eagles and Toronto Croatia. Additional teams are being interviewed for entry in 2007 when the total number in the new division is expected to reach eight.


Caribbean Selects Try out Weekend


The Caribbean Selects tryouts at Lamport Stadium were well attended with 26 players on Saturday and 23 on Sunday. On Saturday the players were taken through several drills and skill test and ended the day with a 30 minute game between Reds and Yellows. On Sunday the players were selected to play an exhibition game against Magic Athletic Club and were divided into two teams Blues and Reds.

The game was played in thirds with the Blue team starting the game while the Red team played the second third. The Caribbean Selects try out players were mixed and matched to play in the final third which ended goalless.

Magic scored the only goal of the contest in the second third and had the better team play and time of possession. At the end of the day both organizations felt that the venture was well worth the effort and this early time of the outdoor season and has indicated that there is a good possibility of the clubs having a rematch?

Caribbean Selects will be having their official try outs at Allan Lamport Stadium 1151 King Street (I block east of Dufferin St) on Easter Weekend Saturday April 15, and Sunday 16, 2006 from 1pm to 4 pm on both days. All players are asked to dress appropriately for weather conditions and bring along black shorts and a white and dark jersey with comfortable turf shoes.

Our team practices are held on Saturdays and Sundays 10am to 12am at Downsview Park (2 lights north of Wilson) on Keele Street on the east side.

Metro Lions FC 2002

Founded in 2002, Metro Lions played in the Canadian Soccer league (formerly Canadian Professional Soccer League). The club Head Office was at 3881 Chesswood Drive in North York, and played at Birchmount Stadium in Scarborough.

Arnold Milan was the owner and Anthony Ayo the President. Ayo’s vision for success was to bring in players from his native country Ghana.

Bill Dixon was the club’s General Secretary and Treasurer and the pendulum by which the business evolved. Francois Glasman was part of the Administration in some capacity at the time and although his involvement ran under the radar based on run ins with the soccer establishments he proved to be a valuable asset to Mr Milan in the long run.. ….