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The movie of the decade:  frank and seemingly ordinary at times, yet powerful and stunning. This film has certainly changed the landscape for historical dramas of that period and maybe for other periods.

Following are two reviews. One from my local paper (the San Jose, California  Mercury news) and the other a commentary from the Washington post.

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Review: Is '12 Years a Slave' the best film of 2013?
By Randy Myers San Jose Mercury News contributor San Jose Mercury News
Posted: MercuryNews.com

Everything you've heard about "12 Years a Slave" is true. 

That it's so horrific at points you'll need to turn away from the screen. That it will make you sob uncontrollably and render you emotionally spent. That it's an unflinching look at the cruel and nauseating reality of slavery, a bloody stain on American history.

But this, the best film of 2013 so far, is not intended to needlessly subjugate and brutalize its audience.  British-born director Steve McQueen's uncompromising adaptation of Solomon Northrup's 1853 account  of a free black man who's sold into slavery is not only damningly powerful, it's damn well important both
historically and cinematically. The film takes an ugly topic that's too often been packaged in neatly sanitized snippets or told through the filtered perspective of a noble white bystander and gives it the voice,  integrity and intensity it demands.

From the Oscar-caliber performances -- Chiwetel Ejiofor in the lead and Lupita Nyong'o and Michael Fassbender in supporting roles -- to the devastating images created by McQueen, "12 Years a Slave" is a modern cinematic masterpiece. Each role on-screen and off makes it stronger: Joe Walker's precise
editing, Hans Zimmer's haunting soundtrack, the transformative production design by Adam Stockhausen and costume design by Patricia Norris.

We meet Solomon when he's living as a freed family man in New York during the pre-Civil War days. His nightmarish ordeal begins when he's kidnapped and sent to Louisiana, where he's turned into human livestock for 12 long years. Nothing is sugarcoated here -- the lashings, the beatings, the pokings, the
proddings, the sheer ugliness of a white man at his worst. What does offer an ember of hope is how it shows the resilient spirit of a black man stuck in a freak show of moral decay.

Yes, "Slave" is demanding. Still, it's never gratuitous or sensationalized. 
The sequence that hit me hardest is a long scene in which Solomon is seen strung up to a tree, gasping for air as his feet graze the ground just enough to keep him breathing. As this hideous torture show plays
itself out, children romp nearby, enjoying the lovely day. Without a doubt, these contrasting images create one of most deeply disturbing scenes I've ever witnessed in a film. 

McQueen is a bold director, allowing his camera to linger long enough to create an unsettling mood. He's also a provocateur, a man who latches onto grim topics -- from a starving British IRA activist ("Hunger") to a sex addict with sister issues ("Shame"). Both works were excellent but almost clinical in their emotional
distance. "12 Years a Slave" puts you, me, all of us right into the shoes and the soul of Solomon.

That happens not only because of McQueen's direction, but Ejiofor's impassioned, vulnerable performance. Ejiofor ("Kinky Boots") has long been an actor on the cusp, and here he gets his breakout
role. His Solomon is a smart guy, a violinist and proud family man who is sold to William Ford (Benedict Cumberbatch), a minister who fancies himself a benevolent master even as he callously separates one of
his purchases (Adepero Oduye) from her children. Solomon works hard for William, but he lands in trouble  when he gets into a fight with a creepy carpenter (Paul Dano).

 He has been given the name Platt and eventually winds up on a plantation owned by Edwin Epps  (Fassbender, in his most complex role yet), a sociopath who's married to a pseudo-pious woman (a frightening Sarah Paulson). Caught in the middle of this highly dysfunctional relationship is Patsey
(Nyong'o, in a career-making performance), who is raped by Epps and traumatized endlessly by his wife.  This awful couple subject Solomon and Patsey to unfathomable injustices, forcing Nyong'o and Ejiofor to
go to dark places. 

The one flaw with "Slave" comes in the form of Brad Pitt's character, Samuel Bass, and you sense  screenwriter John Ridley struggling to further the story along with Pitt's abolitionist from Canada. While Pitt is fine, his dialogue is stiff, intended to be the bridge for the next development. Fortunately, it doesn't diminish the film's overall effect.

The greatest challenge McQueen's masterwork likely will encounter is a reluctance by the public to see such a disturbing film. But just as "Saving Private Ryan" revealed what life in the D-Day trenches was like,  "Schindler's List" put us inside a Nazi concentration camp, and the 1977 miniseries "Roots" finally gave voice to the black experience in America, "12 Years a Slave" presents us with an unvarnished, uncensored and much-needed view of history.

This is not medicine for America to swallow; it's filmmaking of the highest caliber.
* * * *
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What Art Says About the Past

By Richard Cohen, Published: November 4
I sometimes think I have spent years unlearning what I learned earlier in my life. For
instance, it was not George A. Custer who was attacked at the Little Bighorn. It was
Custer — in a bad career move — who attacked the Indians. Much more important,
slavery was not a benign institution in which mostly benevolent whites owned
innocent and grateful blacks. Slavery was a lifetime’s condemnation to an often
violent hell in which people were deprived of life, liberty and, too often, their own
children. Happiness could not be pursued after that.

Steve McQueen’s stunning movie “12 Years a Slave” is one of those unlearning experiences. I had to wonder why I could not recall another time when I was so shockingly confronted by the sheer barbarity of American slavery. Instead, beginning with school, I got a gauzy version. I learned that slavery was wrong, yes, that it was evil, no doubt, but really, that many blacks were
sort of content. Slave owners were mostly nice people — fellow Americans, after all — and the sadistic Simon Legree was the concoction of that demented propagandist, Harriet Beecher Stowe. Her “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” was a lie and she never — and this I
remember clearly being told — had ventured south to see slavery for herself. I felt some relief at that because it meant that Tom had not been flogged to death.

But in the novel, he had. And of course, slavery was not only incomprehensibly cruel — it had to have had consequences. You can see those consequences in this marvelous, harrowing and concussively powerful movie. Families are broken up — not just like that, with a casual statement of fact, but with a rending of garments and an awful pain and a tearing of the soul. A mother
cries for her children and the wife of the slave owner tells her, in effect, to get over it: Time heals all wounds. Not so. Generations later, the hurt lingers.

There is nothing of “12 Years a Slave” in “Gone with the Wind.” It is not the fetching and lovely Scarlett who whips her slaves and sells off their children so she can buy a ball gown in nearby Atlanta. It is not her father who goes to the slave market and leeringly examines naked women. It is no one in that lying picture who insists that the slaves remain illiterate — learning being, as we all know, a dangerous thing. “12 Years a Slave” has finally rendered “Gone with the Wind” irrevocably silly and utterly tasteless, a cinematic bodice-ripper. McQueen’s movie has more than a little unlearning in it.

It has been decades since the gauze was removed to show the horror of American slavery. I know more than I once did, maybe more than most and maybe more than I like. Still, McQueen does something daring. He doesn’t focus on an institution or, as in  Quentin Tarantino’s somewhat cartoonish “Django Unchained,” on cruel whites but on the effect of slavery on a single black man. In “12 Years a Slave” that man is Solomon Northup, the author of the best-selling book upon which this movie is based.

Northup was a musician living in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. He was a free man until, in 1841, he was lured to Washington, D.C., and — with the Capitol looming in the background — sold into slavery. The heightened poignancy of his tale comes from the fact that he was not a slave yearning for something he never had but a man deprived of what was once his — his home, his wife, his children and, pertinently, his freedom. He goes from being a human being to a blotted entry on a ledger. We can all connect to
that. At the same time, we connect less with the slaves he left behind when he was freed. He is restored to the life he once had. They remain with the life they have always had.
“12 Years a Slave” is art at its highest, not just on account of mastery or talent but because of what it makes yesterday say about today. We obscured, we covered up — we made the past conform to the present and insisted that hurt or pain had no right to
persist, as if family tales told at the kitchen table dissipate when the silverware is put away. As a nation, we like to look pretty, but sometimes we weren’t. The grave obligation of art is to show us what we look like. McQueen has held up a mirror. God, we look
ugly.
Read more from Richard Cohen’s archive.

2
Other Sports / Masters Tournament 2013
« on: April 13, 2013, 02:03:15 AM »

The obvious: Tiger has been playing well this season. At the recent Arnold Palmer invitation, and in the previous tournament that he played, it seems as though a new version of the old tiger is back. In addition it seems as though he is a little more settled in his personal life.  Is this his time?

A few players ahead of Tiger today (Friday),  and  McIlroy who is a serious contender is close behind.  Should be an exciting weekend!


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Any live video stream for the patrons in foreign lands?

This years’ lineup is perhaps the most exciting in the last few years.

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Football / beIN Sports channel
« on: September 08, 2012, 06:15:27 PM »
BEIN sports channel is fantastic.  I recently noticed that on dish network it is Channel 408.  It seems as though most of  the Concacaf WC qualifiers (excepts of course for those on the major networks) will be on bein. Right now Guatemala vs Antigua-Barbuda is on.

Bein could become bigger that fox soccer.


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Other Sports / Tiger Woods Watch in 2008
« on: March 22, 2008, 12:08:41 AM »
This year could turn out to be his best year ever, and if he does top his achievements from the year 2000,  then there would be  no doubt that  Tiger is the greatest sportsman in the history of all sports.

Last week at A. Palmer’s tournament, Tiger again showed his greatness.  On the 18th hole, and under pressure, the guy again hit 2 very high quality shots.  Then we  thought that it was not really possible to make the put, but still expecting the impossible, Tiger again thrilled us.    All the superlatives to describe this guy were exhausted a long time ago.  All we can do is sit back and watch in complete amazement.


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Football / Sunderland vs Chelsea 15-March-08.
« on: March 15, 2008, 12:12:58 AM »
Sunderland vs Chelsea 15-March-08.

Any predictions?

Match on Setanta 10:15am (PST, SDC) …. .

This game could be a blowout.  Chelsea must feel that they are in the grove after the drubbing of Derby, win in CL, and favorable CL draw.  Moreover nearly all of their players are fit.  Nonetheless, against all the odds I am hoping for an upset.

If Edwards plus either Yorke or Etuhu starts then at least Sunderland’s  play will be much better than in their last 3 games.  Keane also must abandon that 4-5-1 formation; 4-5-1 can work when the midfielders can at least pass the ball. So far they haven’t been able to pass  the ball ---along the ground --- to Jones.  Jones had half a chance to score in the last game and none in the previous two games.

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Football / Setanta Sports will be on Dishnetwork.
« on: August 02, 2007, 12:11:32 AM »

The arrival of Setanta on dishnetwork is the best news on sports-coverage that I have heard in the last month!  I know that that news only affects a small number of us, nonetheless it is very good news.   The channel is currently available in a free preview mode on Ch 284, and 406.   The preview ends on 1 September, after which it will be on ch406 next to GolTV. 


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Football / Mexico vs Honduras.
« on: June 10, 2007, 02:28:45 PM »
Honduras beat power-house Mexico.
By: Brian Trusdell (AP Writer).


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Carlos Costly scored two second-half goals -- including the winner in injury time -- to lift Honduras over four-time champion Mexico 2-1 Sunday and revive its hopes of advancing to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Both of Costly's goals came after Mexico was reduced to 10 men in the 49th minute when Cuauhtemoc Blanco was expelled for elbowing defender Samuel Caballero in front of the Honduran goal as the two jostled for position awaiting a Mexican corner kick. Caballero nudged Blanco, who reacted with an elbow to the Honduran's midsection.
Caballero immediately fell and Costa Rican referee Walter Quezada consulted with his linesman before retrieving his red card from his back pocket.
Costly equalized in the 60th, running onto a through ball from Amado Guevara that almost reached the byline and hitting a left-footed shot into the far-side netting. He headed the winner 16 seconds into injury time off a cross from Emilio Izaguirre, leaving Mexican goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez flat-footed.
"Honduras can't dream yet about winning the Gold Cup," Costly said. "This is historic. I'm elated about the victory, but we have to keep our feet on the ground."
The loss was the third in eight games -- and first in a competitive match -- for Mexican manager Hugo Sanchez, who complained bitterly about the natural grass field at Giants Stadium after Friday night's 2-1 victory over Cuba.
"The key was Blanco's expulsion," Sanchez said. "They were provoking him the whole game. On the corner, they spat on him. They were intelligent and he fell into the trap."
The victory left Honduras, Mexico and Panama tied atop Group C with three points pending a match later Sunday between Panama and Cuba.
It was Honduras manager Reinaldo Rueda's second victory over Mexico in the Gold Cup. He was in charge of Colombia in 2005 when it defeated El Tri 2-1 in the quarterfinals.
"It was a beautiful result, but now it's history and we have to start thinking about Cuba," Rueda said.
Group C play moves to Houston on Wednesday when Mexico faces Panama and Honduras takes on Cuba.
Two teams from each of the three groups advance along with the two best third-place teams.
While hardly dominant, Mexico controlled the match until Blanco's expulsion. But the goal by Costly, who also scored in injury time in Friday's loss, invigorated the Hondurans and the Giants Stadium crowd of 68,123 -- evenly split between Mexican and Honduran fans.
Mexico had most of the possession and momentum until the 13th minute, when Carlos Pavon was brought down by goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez. The Mexican keeper appeared to get a finger to a through ball, but also tripped the Honduran captain.
Honduras failed to capitalize, however, when Guevara sent the ensuing penalty off the left post.
Mexico regained control and earned a penalty of its own in the 29th minute when left back Izaguirre kicked the ankles of Alberto Medina, bringing down the midfielder at the corner of the penalty area.
Blanco converted the penalty and Mexico appeared headed for a second victory in three days.
Sanchez used only three starters from Friday night's victory, while Honduras returned nine of the 11 players from the Panama loss.

Line-ups:

HONDURAS:
Orlin Vallecillo; Emilio Izaguirre, Maynor Figueroa, Samuel Caballero, Oscar Bonieck Garcia; Emil Martinez (Jairo Martinez, 75), Amado Guevara (Carlos Oliva, 84), Jorge Aaron Claros, Jorge Edgar Alvarez; Carlos Costly, Carlos Pavon.

MEXICO: Oswaldo Sanchez; Ricardo Osorio, Jose Jonny Magallon, Roman Morales (Franciso Rodriguez, 63); Pavel Pardo, Alberto Medina, Gerardo Torado, Jose Andres Guardado (Fernando Arce, 72); Omar Bravo, Cuauhtemoc Blanco.

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Other Sports / Golf: The Masters at Augusta
« on: April 05, 2007, 01:50:25 PM »

Any predictions on who will win?
Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Stephen Ames

10

The games were played in November of 2006 and the 12 teams divided into
 Groups G, H and I.

http://www.ecaribbeansports.com/


11

Here are some highlights from the first round of the Digicel Carib Cup:

http://www.ecaribbeansports.com/


12
Football / What a heartbreak! How are you coping?
« on: June 20, 2006, 08:41:44 PM »

It hurts.  Even as I think about the enormity of our accomplishment, right now the loss still hurts.  Hopefully in a few days we will all be able to shake it off and not be vengeful or bitter. Ah know that in a few weeks the only thing that most of the people (whom I know or will encounter)  will remember is that T&T made it to the world cup; and for me too when I look back, my bright smile will return.

In the meantime what are people doing to cope with this brief grieving period.  What are folks listening to these days? Is it helpful to back an underdog team?


13
Football / Two classic TnT Football matches
« on: May 20, 2006, 11:20:23 AM »

Match A:   WCQ 13 May 1989,  L.A California

http://www.ecaribbeansports.com/
The strike squad really looked good in that game. The individual skills of  Dexter Williams, L. Lewis and others are clearly evident.


Match B:     Nov 1989, PoS  T&T

The game has been digitized, and transcoded, etc  and hopefully will soon be available from our teammates via a torrent.


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that was inflicted on a child?

I believe that this online fraternity needs to do something. One possible immediate action could be a period of mourning where we express solidarity with the family and affected communities.  The specific action could be a 12 hour period of no posting, where only a  white screen with a simple message (for example,  urging action to protect innocent children)  is displayed.  Short term and longer term responses or actions or solutions
of course depends on the larger communities, in which we can play some role.

If this message is moved,  I will still respect the moderators and not take it as a sign of indifference because ``how to respond’’ is also a difficult issue.


15

Here is a part of the A-League final tournament trophy presentation with an emphasis on Yorke’s speech.
http://www.ecaribbeansports.com/DwightYorkeSydneyFC.html

16
Football / Studio time for the socawarriors
« on: January 30, 2006, 07:07:53 PM »


I think that a promotional CD that consists of remakes of some of the classic soca tunes as sung by the team would be a massive hit with fans and the media covering the World Cup in Germany and perhaps worldwide. Of course there should be a music video to go along with the CD.    On some of the songs the original artist could accompany the team, or the artist sings with the team doing backup.  The team could do 3 or 4 songs and about 4 songs performed by others (one steelband, one soca-chutney,etc) with a preference given to established hits.

Here is a partial list of tunes to choose from: 

Preacher  ---  Jump and Wave
Super Blue  ---  Bacchanal Time
Arrow    ---  Hot Hot Hot    (or another back in time)
Shadow    --- Dingolay 
 Brother Marvin   ---   Jahaji Bhai
Bob Marley     --- Turn Your Lights Down Low   (or another Marley song)
David Rudder   ---   Dus’ in Dey Face 
                     --- Ra-ti-Ray

18
Football / Where can I get this TnT Flag Jersey?
« on: January 17, 2006, 12:05:03 AM »
Anyone knows where in T&T or New York one can purchase the   T&T flag jersey that is shown below.  I would like to get a few and customize for a football crew.




21
Football / Bahrain Vs Japan match
« on: October 28, 2005, 06:16:22 PM »

The second half of the Bahrain Vs Japan match is now available.
Thanks again to Peong who is now back online.

http://www.ecaribbeansports.com/BahrainVsJapan.html

Big welcome back to all the Florida warriors.

That hurricane really mash-up parts of Florida.  Yesterday  I saw some photos in the local paper (San Jose Mercury News) of long lines of men waiting for water and ice, and some waiting for hotdog sandwiches. And that is four day after the hurricane.  Let us hope that many other warriors  did not suffer any significant losses. 


22
Football / Video of the second goal
« on: October 12, 2005, 08:41:32 PM »
Stern John’s goal in the 61st minute.

http://s21.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=0T9DKSEEYXJ3I08CY95B3T6BKS

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Football / Video of the TnT vs Mex 12Oct Match
« on: October 11, 2005, 08:32:10 PM »

requests .

There have been a few  scattered posts about someone taping and someone might be able to upload etc.  Given that a few now seem to have the capability it would be nice to know who can and will contribute to the effort.

Request for taping should also be made here so that cappers can get a sense of if it is worth it or not.   The latter is especially true given that T&T is covered as is the major metro areas of the US.


24
Football / Who has qualified so for the World Cup?
« on: October 09, 2005, 12:16:30 AM »


http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/4208308.stm

OR

Who has qualified for the World Cup?
The race to reach the 2006 World Cup is reaching its climax.
With 32 teams able to make it to the finals in Germany, 24 have booked their places at football's biggest tournament which starts on 9 June.

Qualified teams: Germany, Argentina, Japan, Iran, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, USA, Brazil, Mexico, Angola, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Holland, Poland, England, Croatia, Italy, Tunisia, Portugal, Ecuador, Paraguay.

EUROPE


Germany

Ukraine

Holland

Poland

England

Croatia

Italy

Portugal
Six others - including three play-off winners - still to book places.

 

Having beaten Austria in their penultimate game, England qualified as one of the best two runners-up after Holland beat the Czech Republic.

Holland's win booked their place as winners of Group One and England's Group Six rivals Poland also qualified thanks to the Dutch victory.


 

Norway's 1-0 win over bottom-of-the-table Moldova eliminated Scotland , after Walter Smith's side had lost 1-0 to Belarus earlier in the day.

The Republic of Ireland beat Cyprus 1-0 and France's draw with Switzerland means Brian Kerr's men will definitely finish in the top two of Group Four if they beat the Swiss on Wednesday.

Croatia and Italy also made sure of their places with wins over Sweden and Slovenia and Portugal joined them after they defeated Liechenstein.

Northern Ireland and Wales cannot qualify.

The European zone play-off draw will take place on 14 October, with the two-legged ties played on 12 and 16 November.

SOUTH AMERICA


Argentina

Brazil

Ecuador

Paraguay The fifth-placed team goes into a play-off with Australia, who beat the Solomon Islands in the Oceania qualifying final.
Ecuador and Paraguay secured the final two automatic places. Paraguay beat Venezuela 1-0 and Ecuador drew 0-0 with Uruguay.

The play-off games between the fifth-placed team and Oceania group winners Australia take place on 12 and 16 November.

ASIA


Japan

Iran

South Korea

Saudi Arabia
One other team to enter play-off against Central American country.
Bahrain and Uzbekistan are level at 1-1 after the first leg of their play-off. The second leg is on 12 October in Bahrain. The winner will then play the fourth-placed team from the Concacaf region in another play-off to decide who reaches Germany.

CONCACAF (North and Central America and Caribbean)


USA

Mexico

Costa Rica
The fourth-placed team will face either Bahrain or Uzbekistan in a two-legged play-off.
Costa Rica sealed the last automatic place after beating USA, while Guatemala and Trinidad and Tobago both have the chance to take fourth place.

AFRICA


Angola

Ghana

Ivory Coast

Togo

Tunisia
Winners of each of the five qualifying groups go through.

 

Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Togo have qualified for the World Cup for the first time in their history, and are joined by Tunisia .

Nigeria, Senegal, Morocco and Cameroon have all missed out as a result.

OCEANIA
Australia beat the Solomon Islands 9-1 on aggregate in their two-legged play-off. They will play the fifth-placed South American country in a play-off on 12 and 16 November.


NB all matches in the last round of any qualifying zone that could possibly determine qualification will kick off at the same time.

Story from BBC SPORT:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/sport1/hi/football/internationals/4208308.stm

25
The rules seem to suggest that the playoff is a separate tournament from the Concacaf qualifying round, and hence the yellow cards do not carry over. Am  I wrong?


26
Football / Remembering the victory against Honduras in Oct2001
« on: October 06, 2005, 10:26:15 PM »

Some analysts here have stated that Panama has nothing to play for and so they will not necessarily fight.  On the other hand a  few fellaz  raised the point that a team that doesn’t have much to play for can still do a lot of damage, and they correctly point to the 2002 campaign when T&T beat Honduras  1-0 on 7Oct2001.

 The  haunting memory of that  match has not faded as much as it should given the  time that has passed.  I was rooting for Honduras; T&T was already eliminated, and Hon had beaten the USA in Washington, and were well on their way to eliminating Mexico.   During that week Mickey Trotman tragically passed away in an accident.  Stern scored. And he said that it  was one of his best goals ever, especially since he was playing with a heavy heart, and the team was playing for Mickey.  It was a beautiful goal, but it was painful,  pain all around.

When some of us from the Caribbean step outside and meet our brother and sisters from Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama etc, it induces a different view, a different feel. The  related consciousness of the other becomes evident 
 http://www.satglobal.com/afro_carib.htm

If T&T beats Panama on Oct 8, some may argue that among the factors one should include cultural  and social orientation. Or more simply it has a little to do with Marcus Garvey. If we lose  I know that many Panamanians will be experiencing our pain.

27
Football / Video of the T&T vs Guatemala 3Sept05 Match
« on: September 28, 2005, 04:44:27 PM »

Forumites,

Today I uploaded some highlights of the T&T vs Guatemala match.
http://www.ecaribbeansports.com/TnTvsGua3Sep05WCQ.html


Later

28
Football / Where is Jayerson
« on: September 12, 2005, 08:22:38 PM »
He is one of the most  analytical of posters on this board.  Have not seen his analysis of the Guat game,  or the Costa Rica game.

29
Monty supplied the clip,
  http://www.ecaribbeansports.com/
, and  in his words  ``A lil riddim section that might make big men shed some tears. ''

30
Football / Guatemala Vs JA Match called off
« on: August 26, 2005, 12:15:02 PM »

Passport delay blows whistle on Reggae Boyz friendly

SEAN A WILLIAMS, Observer staff reporter
Friday, August 26, 2005


A proposed friendly international between the Reggae Boyz and World Cup aspirants Guatemala tomorrow has been called off.

The game, which was scheduled for a 7:00 pm kick-off at Jarrett Park in Montego Bay, was cancelled due to a delay in the Guatemalans receiving their passports from the British Embassy back home in time to travel to Jamaica for the game.

According to Rafael Rinoco, a spokesman for the interim Guatemala Football Association, the passports were with the British Embassy in Guatemala City being processed for visas for the team to travel to the Caribbean for their CONCACAF World Cup qualifier against Trinidad and Tobago on August 3.

"... We were told by the embassy that the passports won't be ready until Friday (today) afternoon and that would be too late to make the trip to Jamaica for the game," Rinoco told the Observer by telephone from Guatemala yesterday.

The passports, it was reported, were originally scheduled to be returned to the team on Wednesday.

"We are very sorry that we won't be able to honour the fixture in Montego Bay, but we are still willing to play Jamaica at another time in the near future," he added.

He said the forced cancellation of the match has put a dent in the team's preparation for its encounter with Trinidad. "We were really looking forward to playing Jamaica as it will be a tough game against Trinidad and the Jamaica match would provide us with the necessary preparation," Pinoco said.

Guatemala, who are third on seven points in the six-team CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers, have been defeated twice by Jamaica this year - 1-0 in a friendly in Atlanta, Georgia, and 4-3 in the CONCACAF Gold Cup - viewed a game against Jamaica at this time as the perfect test.

Meanwhile, Jamaica's head coach Wendell Downswell said he was disappointed that the game will not be played at this time.

"We are disappointed that the game is off as we were really looking forward to it although it was at short notice. What it would have provided us with is the opportunity to look at another set of players and those players now I am sure must be disappointed that they will not have the chance at this time to show their talent at the international level," he said.

The squad selected for the match was made up off all home-based players, many of whom are just lying on the fringe of breaking into the first team.


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