Trinidad and Tobago’s Under 20 Men team will kick off their CONCACAF Final round quest for World Cup qualification against Bermuda at the Ricardo Saprissa Stadium Costa Rica 1pm TT time (11am Costa Rican) on Sunday.
The Team, under head coach Brian Williams will be looking to qualify this country to a third Under 20 World Cup following appearances in 1991 and 2009. T&T progressed to the CONCACAF final phase but failed to advance out of the competition in Kingston, Jamaica.
This time around the dream is alive and the squad is ready to conquer their opponents.
“I think right now we are fired up and ready to take on our opponents from the opening whistle.” team captain Jabari Mitchell told TTFA Media. “We have a strong desire to represent the country to our best ability and the players understand what it means doing well in a tournament like this and going on to qualify for a World Cup. The main thing is for us to apply ourselves well and go out there and get the job done,” added the W Connection midfielder.
Williams is optimistic of a good start but also mindful of the opponents as T&T lost 2-1 to the Bermudans at the CFU qualifiers last year.
“We have a good understanding of the Bermudan team. We know what happened the last time these two countries met at the CFU level and I think the players will remember that going into the game. We are focused on the task at hand and we know a good performance and winning start will be a huge boost to our chances of advancing to the World Cup,” Williams said.
“We maintain our objective and we remain humble. We did a a lot of mental preparations. We worked on team building during the Colombia training camp.
“We had a very good session yesterday. All our players are fit and available for selection on Sunday. I am pleased with the way things are at this point in time.
“We have our first striker Nicholas Dillon back from Belgium and he is looking very fit and sharp in the sessions and that is a boost for us. He missed the last game against Bermuda and I am expecting us to have a better game than last time around,” Williams said.
Dillon joined the team in Costa Rica after completing a successful trial in Belgium where he signed Second Division club, K.Patro Maasmechelen.
One of Bermuda’s key players is forward Osagi Bascome who recently signed an extension to his contract with English Championship Division club Bristol City.
The Championship opened on Friday with Honduras defeating Canada 1-0 and Mexico overcoming Antigua/Barbuda 3-0.
T&T faces hosts Costa Rica in their second game at the National Stadium on February 22nd and El Salvador at the same venue on February 25th.
The National Stadium and Estadio Ricardo Saprissa will both be used for the tournament, to be played in a new format consisting of a group stage, a classification phase, and the grand final.
Under the new format, designed to increase the number of meaningful, competitive matches, the top two teams from Groups A, B, and C will advance to the Classification Stage, where the Confederation’s four tickets to the World Cup at this level will be determined in round robin play among two groups of three teams each.
The top two teams of each of the two Classification Stage groups will qualify as CONCACAF representatives to the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017.
Highlight Video of Men's Under 20s Training in Costa Rica
Head Coach Williams looks ahead to U-20 opener vs Bermuda on Sunday
T&T 20-man Roster
Montel Joseph (Boreham Wood F.C./ENG), Denzil Smith (Shiva Boys College/TRI).
Simeon Bailey (Barataria South Secondary School/TRI), Kori Cupid (W Connection/TRI), Isaiah Garcia (W Connection FC/TRI), Taryk Sampson (Ma Pau Stars/TRI), Shane Sandy (Ma Pau Stars/TRI).
Morgan Bruce-de-Rouche (Queens Park Rangers F.C./ENG), Micah Lansiquot (St. Ann’s Rangers/TRI), Stephon Marcano (Fatima College/TRI), Kierron Mason (Marabella Crisis Centre/TRI), Jabari Mitchell (W Connection/TRI), Noah Powder (New York Red Bulls/USA), Joshua Sitney (Alcons/TRI).
Nicholas Dillon (K.Patro Maasmechelen—Belgium), Joshua Leach (Police FC/TRI), Taofik Lucas-Walker (DC United Academy/USA), Rushawn Murphy (St. Ann’s Rangers/TRI), Kathon St Hillare (St. Ann’s Rangers/TRI), Josh Toussaint (St. Ann’s Rangers/TRI).