Reggae Boyz favored in Rhythms Clash
|Caribbean Rhythms Clash By Aldwyn McGill|
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Reggae Boyz Favored in Rhythms Clash
Due to the performances of the teams in their recently concluded International friendly matches the Reggae Boyz would be favored over the Soca Warriors heading into the Caribbean Rhythms Clash on March 26 encounter at the National Stadium in Kinston, Jamaica
After watching the Jamaica Reggae Boyz and T&T Soca Warriors teams performed against Costa Rica and Guadeloupe respectively, I am of the belief that the play of the Rhythms teams were in different spectrum of the scale.
Jamaica was impressive in their play against Costa Rica and although the Reggae Boyz had to come from behind to tie the game 1-1 in stoppage time, they were the better team on the day and were deserving of the final result and a bit unlucky not to secure the win.
The fact that the National Stadium in Kingston was close to capacity with Jamaican supporters also speaks volume for the present state of soccer in Jamaica as the Reggae Boyz control the game against Costa Rica and stuck together as a team to equalized and give themselves a chance to win just moments later.
In contrast Trinidad and Tobago Soca Warriors performance against Guadeloupe was less than impressive with only fragments of a crowd in the stands and the Queens Park Oval team in a terrible condition from the carnival festivities.
However the two teams played the game on the Oval field and Guadeloupe was by far the better team having 65% possession of the ball. T&T players showed no confidence in each other and as a result the creation of space by the running off the ball was nonexistent. In defense of interim head coach Francisco Maturana, this was his fist official game in a matter of days with all the players and team chemistry is not an overnight success story.
For the local soccer fans Toronto FC defender Tyrone Marshall scored the equalizer on a header for Jamaica while his TFC team mate Collin Samuels was one of a few bright spots for the T&T Soca Warriors in their last game.
Jamaica Reggae Boyz vs T&T Soca Warriors
As old man winter with his unwelcome early presence, delivered lots of snow at our doorsteps, the Caribbean “snow birds” are thanking the Football Federations of Jamaica (JFF) and Trinidad and Tobago (TTFF) for their promise of heat, fun and excitement during the winter months.
Last Sunday the two football Federations has included a Reggae Boyz- Soca Warriors series to their football fun packages of International friendlies in preparation for their World Cup 2010 qualifying second round campaign. The first Trinidad and Tobago’s “Soca Warriors” – Jamaica’s “Reggae Boyz” game is scheduled for the National Stadium in Kingston on March 26.
According to TTFF President Oliver Camps “The game comes at an ideal time as both countries will be in the process of getting prepared for the start of their 2010 World Cup qualifying campaigns. We always have a good rivalry with Jamaica and I expect that we will have a team inclusive of our best players to put on a good showing on the day,” Camps told TTFF Media on Sunday. Jamaica’s Football Federation President Horace Burrell reinforced Camps sentiment and is anticipating that the game would serve well to assist his country’s build up program for the 2010 campaign.
The Football Federations pounced on the opportunity to fine tune their squad for their second round scheduled in June, 2008 after both T&T and Jamaica received a first round bye into the tournament. Both teams rosters are expected to have their overseas-based professionals and for this game it is a given that player motivation would not be a factor for the “Caribbean Rhythms Clash”.
However one should be aware that the stakes of this game is only bragging rights and the outright winner to the Jamaica–T&T series would have to continue to work hard to maintain their emotional lift. The date of the first Reggae Boyz–Soca Warriors game (March 26) is a FIFA date and as such the second leg of the first round of World Cup qualifiers will be playing on the same day.
The Jamaica-T&T rivalry is old hat for Jamaica new head coach Simoes. As coach of Jamaica he tied a friendly 0-0 against T&T during his campaign to France World Cup in 1998 with the Reggae Boyz’s. Simoes lost to Jamaica 2-1 when he was head coach of Trinidad and Tobago in the closing stages of the 2002 World Cup qualifiers. Both games were played at the Queen’s Park Oval. On the flipside T&T head coach Wim Rijsbergen can learn from this experience. Simoes will officially begin his duties with the JFF on January 5.
Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago 2010 campaign would end in the preliminary phase of the World Cup qualifiers, if T&T does not get past the winner of the Bermuda and Cayman Islands series and Jamaica does not get past the winner of the Bahamas/British Virgin Islands in June. The first round will be played on February 6 and March 26.
T&T and Jamaica second round home and away games are on June 14 and June 21. Once through to the third round (semi-final stage), T&T could conceivably play against the United States, Cuba and Guatemala. If the second round is favorable for Jamaica they could potentially be in the group of death with Canada, Honduras and Mexico providing there are no upsets.
Prior to the “Caribbean Rhythms Clash” between the Reggae Boyz and the Soca Warriors, Jamaica will be prancing on Ash Wednesday February 6 at Kingston National Stadium against Costa Rica while T&T will be having their Carnival last lap at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain against Guadeloupe on the same Ash Wednesday.