Cupid: Champions Cup win crucial for T&T.
By: Shaun Fuentes.
W Connection defender Kern Cupid believes that W Connection and Caledonia AIA’s passage to tonight’s Caribbean Football Union Club (CFU) championship final is an indication of this country’s potential to return as one of the dominant forces in regional football.
That might be an ambitious feeling but Cupid felt the hurt of T&T’s disappointing exit at the 2010 Digicel Caribbean Cup which saw the “Soca Warriors” lose to Cuba and Grenada, failing to advance to the Concacaf Gold Cup.
So it was definitely satisfying to play all 90 minutes in such a convincing win over Puerto Rico Islanders, one of the more recognised teams involved in the US Pro League circuit.
“I think we made a statement for T&T football with the two wins on Tuesday to make it two clubs from our country advancing to the final,” Cupid said.
“It’s been disappointing being knocked out in the last Digicel Cup and then being out of the World Cup qualifiers but we showed that at least at club level things are looking better and a fair amount of talent from T&T is on display. We dominated and we won convincingly.
“A showing of strong character and team spirit was a key for both teams and I think the final on Thursday (today) is going to be a real thriller because both sets of players are very eager to make a good impression and represent the country and the Caribbean well in the Concacaf Champions League,” Cupid added.
Midfielder Clyde Leon, another member of the 2010 senior national team, felt that some pride is being restored. “The national team is always the big picture but if slowly we can make some positive impact then we will get it right at the top level also.
I think the wins by both teams is a good sign for us. The players are showing some level of improvement and the desire is there to dominate and do well. It’s also good for our players to get the opportunity to come up against the other players in Concacaf. The exposure will be important for us,” Leon said.
Several T&T internationals were in the mix including goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams, Radanfah Abu Bakr, Joevin Jones, Jamal Gay, Trevin Caesar and Devorn Jorsling among others which is a good bit of news ahead of the commencement of training of a provisional T&T senior squad for the upcoming Caribbean Cup preliminaries.
Connection returns to the Champions League for the first time in three years while Caledonia is there for the first time. The winner will join Group 4 with the Seattle Sounders and Marathon of Honduras, while the runner-up will be placed in Group 8 with Xelaju of Guatemala and Mexico’s Chivas de Guadalajara.