Trinidad and Tobago will face off with Honduras, Panama and Mexico in Group B of the CONCACAF Final Round of Olympic qualification in Carson, California from March 22, 2012.
This was determined at the draw for the tournament held at CONCACAF Head Offices, New York. Host United States is in Group A with Cuba, Canada and El Salvador. The fixtures will be released later in the week.
T&T head coach Angus Eve, in an immediate reaction to the draw, indicated that he was not overawed by T&T’s group opponents but would have liked to face a North American opponent in Canada or USA.
“It’s not a bad group by any means and we know that you’ve got to be ready play everyone if you intend to win a tournament or qualify,” Eve told TTFF Media.
“Panama had beaten Costa Rica which had a good team and Mexico is always a powerhouse and of course Honduras is coming in as the defending champions. But we’ve faced these teams at the previous levels before and done pretty well and we coped with the Mexican players at the Pan American Games recently.
I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t get one of the North American teams like Canada or USA in the first round but I know we could possibly face one of those teams once we progress to the semi-finals,” Eve added.
Eve will resume training with his squad on December 27 in preparation for a friendly with Finland in January.
“A lot of players in the squad are coming off a hectic year and they are still involved with their clubs in the Pro League. The fatigue level was evident in St Kitts and we thought it was fair to allow them to train and play with their clubs away from the national team and then we will resume later in the month,” said the ex-Defence Force player.
He is also keeping tabs on some of the other players available to be part of his final roster for the qualifiers next year.
“We are always trying to improve the squad and we will continue to monitor some of the other players who are eligible to play for us. Daneil Cyrus is fit again from injury but he is not match ready and so we will be trying to work with him and see that he gets some match practice.
Robert Primus is also expected to be back from injury in February and Leston Paul will also be looked at. We also haven’t had Khaleem Hyland in this team but having spoken to him, tentatively it looks good and he could be available for this round,” Eve mentioned.
“We could also do with another forward. A lot of the responsibility has fallen on Jamal Gay. We have decent forwards but not natural goalscorers in the current squad.”
Group A play will take place at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee, while T&T’s Group B will be played at the Home Depot Center in the Carson, California.
The semifinals and final will be played at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas.The Semifinal winners will qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London July 27-August 12.
United States, Canada, Cuba and El Salvador.
(Home Depot Center)
Panama, Trinidad & Tobago, Mexico and Honduras.
Livestrong Sporting Park.
Livestrong Sporting Park.