While he was being applauded lustily on the weekend for his triple awards at the USL awards ceremony, national team midfielder Kevin Molino remained focused on his love and commitment for country as he sent well wishes for this country’s national Under-20 team ahead of the opening set of matches in next year’s Fifa U-20 World Cup qualifying campaign.
Molino took away the awards for the USL scoring champion, golden boot and assist champion. He set a new league record for goals with 20 and points with 49. Molino’s nine assists also led the league, putting him ahead of Sacramento’s Rodrigo Lopez and Charlotte’s Drew Yates. The 2012 USL PRO “Most Valuable Player” led the Lions to their third regular season title, and will likely be a key figure in the next month as Orlando attempts to add a third USL PRO Championship to its trophy case.
But that aside, Molino, who played for T&T at the 2009 Fifa U-20 World Cup in Egypt, wants his younger compatriots to stay focused as they head into competition against Suriname from 7.15 pm tomorrow at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain.
“This is a very big and important competition for us. Last time we were into the final round before anyone else because we hosted and we went on to qualify. But this time Jamaica are hosting the finals and we must qualify to get there. It means we have to start well from the start,” Molino said on Tuesday.
“This is going to be a long journey but it should be enjoyable and the boys must take every game like a final. They will develop and hopefully the team can keep improving and the players can go on to do well for the country in the future.”
The ex-Mucurapo player will team up with Brazilian stars Kaka and Robinho at Orlando City in the MLS next season.
“It’s a big, big season for us next year. The team has won everything it needs to and I have done pretty well but I love new challenges and I’m looking forward to playing in the MLS.
“The national team also has Caribbean Cup football in a few weeks and I’d like to play my part in getting the team through the qualifiers and on to another Gold Cup next year.”
Yorke to Under 20s: Give it your best shot
He was the first ever captain to lead a T&T to both a youth and senior Fifa World Cup and now he’s getting behind the current National Under 20 Football team as they get set to begin their quest to qualify for the 2015 Fifa Under 20 World Cup in New Zealand.
Former Manchester United forward Dwight Yorke today sent well wishes to the current team which goes into action today against Suriname from 7.15 pm at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on the opening day of the Caribbean Football Union Under 20 Finals.
Yorke led T&T to the 1991 Fifa Youth World Cup in Portugal with a side that was coached by Bertille St Clair and included the likes of Anthony Sherwood, Clayton Ince, Angus Eve, Michael McComie, Shawn Boney and others.
“It’s a fantastic tournament to qualify for at such a young age and it would be great if the current Trinidad and Tobago Under 20 team can get off to the right start in their match against Suriname tomorrow,” Yorke told TTFA Media from London on Thursday.
“It’s one of those periods in your career where the world of football is there ahead of you and you want to do everything right not just for your country but for yourselves as players. I remember when it happened for us back in 1991. It is definitely one of the other proudest moments in my career as a player on the international stage I was 18 years at the time and leading the team in Portugal was a big occasion for all of us. We saw our football progress from there and then we’ve gone on to qualify for Germany and a couple of the other youth teams done well also.”
Yorke said it was a critical time for skipper Shannon Gomez and his troops.
“The opening game is always important but we’ve prepared well and the boys want to win every match. We will not go in there thinking it’s beyond us or that any team could be an easy opponent. We intend to get it right from the first match,” Gomez said.
The Caribbean teams are vying for one of four spots in the 2015 Concacaf Under-20 Finals will include a field of twelve teams: five from the Caribbean Football Union (CFU), four from the Central American Football Union (UNCAF), and three from North America.
In this evening’s opening game Cuba will test Curacao from 5pm. Admission is $40 and Kids under 12 are free.