Trinidad and Tobago’s US-based defender Noah Powder holds a strong yearning to play at the highest level for Trinidad and Tobago.
He’s already captained the National Under 17 Team at the CONCACAF Final round of World Cup qualification and now he intends to lead by example again as he suits up for the T&T Under 20 Team in their upcoming Caribbean Football Union Under 20 First round of qualification which kicks off next Wednesday at the Ato Boldon Stadium with a double header. T&T faces Guadeloupe from 7:30pm and Turks and Caicos meets St Lucia in the earlier match from 5pm.
Powder had his first session with the Brian Williams-coached team at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Wednesday evening and he fitted right into the program, of course knowing some of the players from his previous stint with the National Under 17 team under Shawn Cooper.
“It’s been a good experience representing Trinidad and Tobago so far. It’s been fun. I captained the Under 17s and I was the leading goalscorer so I felt that I did well as a leader although we didn’t come out of the tournament by qualifying for the World Cup,” Powder told TTFA Media.
“I enjoy the culture here a lot. When I was younger I used to come to Tobago and sweat with grown men and I loved the style of the football. I got my first call when I was fifteen to come and try out with the U-17s.
“I like the preparations so far under coach Brian Williams. I’ve only been here a day now but I like that he’s working closely with the defenders.
“I don’t know much about the other teams but I do know that we need to come away with nine points and top our group so that we can have a good rhythm going into the next stage. I think the key to our success will be our running, our passing and our movement of the ball as well as our goalscoring,” Powder added.
Eligible to play for T&T through his father who was born in Tobago, Powder is ambitious and has already set his sights on catching the eye of Senior Team head coach Stephen Hart.
“Within a year I would love to break into the full men’s squad under coach Hart. That’s my goal. I have been getting a lot of criticism from some people (over there) as to why I don’t play for the US because I have obviously been showing what I can do. I told them that the US called me maybe a year ago and I said I wanted to play for Trinidad. I turned down the US because I figured I could play more for Trinidad and Tobago and be able to express myself more. I have no regrets about my decision and I’m very thankful to play for Trinidad and Tobago,” Powder added.
The 17-year-old who lives in New Jersey, began his career with the New York Red Bulls Academy and trained with the Red Bulls first team in 201.5. He made his debut for the Reds Bull II against Toronto FC II in the United Soccer League on March 26th, playing the full match which ended 2-2.
The T&T team will play Defence Force’s Super League outfit at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium on Friday evening before entering a live-in camp at Metro Hotel in Couva for the duration of the tournament.
Tickets for each matchday will be sold at the Ato Boldon Stadium and are priced at $20 (covered) and $10 for uncovered.
About the Qualifiers
The CFU First round will see action in four groups with the group winners, plus the best runner, second and third best runner up joining hosts Curacao for the CFU Final Round in October. The top five teams from there will advance to the CONCACAF Final round in Costa Rica in February, 2017 from which four teams will qualify for the 2017 FIFA Under 20 World Cup in South Korea.