Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Under 17 team head coach Shawn Cooper on Tuesday announced his final 20-man squad that will head to Montego Bay to contest the Final round of Concacaf qualification for the2011 FIFA Under 17 World Cup.
Following months of preparation, Cooper and his staff came down to the final squad which will travel to Montego Bay on February 13 ahead of their opening match against Jamaica two days later. T&T then faces Guatemala on February 17 to close off the opening group phase.
The squad is captained by 1st Santa Rosa FC midfielder Duane Muckette. Cooper said he was optimistic over the team’s ability going into the qualifiers.
“This group of players have demonstrated a degree of readiness and they possess the kind of quality and experience that I strongly believe will allow us to give solid representation in Jamaica and give us a fair chance of progressing in the tournament and through to World Cup in Mexico,” Cooper told TTFF Media on Tuesday prior to a training session at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
“I kept back the announcement of the squad for s bit because I really wanted to give every player the best chance possible to stake a claim and it was not an easy job to decide on the final list.
This is the best balanced team that the technical staff came up with. I believe that we have good cover for every area on the field and a squad of players that is capable of carrying us through in the tournament,” Cooper continued.
Meantime, Cooper’s opposite number, Wendell Downswell believes his Jamaican squad can consider themselves as one of the favourites to qualify for the World Cup, particularly as they are playing at home.
“I am pretty confident that this bunch of players will qualify for the World Cup based on what I have seen in Brazil... and I think these youngsters can play a crucial role in revolutionising Jamaica's football," said Downswell who has stepped aside from his duties as coach of the Jamaican U-20 team in order to concentrate on the UI-17s.
“If these youngsters qualify, it means that I will have to be away from them for another five weeks or so going to Brazil and Guatemala with the Under-20s, I think that will be too long a time from them," he added.
Haiti will face Costa Rica and Cuba will play the United States on the opening day of the CONCACAF Finals on February 14 in Trelawny, Jamaica.
Groups A & B will play reverse quarterfinals between the winners and runners-up on February 22 while Groups C & D will follow the next day. All quarterfinals will be played at Montego Bay's Catherine Hall Stadium.
The semifinals will be played February 25 with the third-place and championship match two days later. The top four teams from the tournament will advance to the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico from June 18-July 10, 2011.
Player - Pos - School - Club
Quesi Weston - GK - Shiva Boys Hindu College
Kevin Dodds - GK - San Juan North Secondary - San Juan Jabloteh
Dario Holmes - D - Scarborough Secondary
Damani Richards - D - Trinity College - Joe Public
Anthony Charles - D - Presentation College, Sando - W Connection
Rondell Phillip - D - Vessigny Secondary - W Connection
Tarik Nicholls - D - Queen's Royal College - Joe Public
Nicholas Marcano - D - North Eastern College - Joe Public
Tevonne Morris - M - Presentation College, Chag - W Connection
Kiel Pierre - D - St. Anthony's College - Ma Pau
Adan Noel - M - Naparima College - W Connection
Neil Benjamin - M - Naparima College - W Connection
Glen Sutton - M - Presentation College, Sando - W Connection
Duane Muckette - M - Queen's Royal College - 1st FC Santa Rosa
Jomal Williams - M - East Mucurapo Secondary - Caledonia AIA
Garvin Samaroo - F - St. Anthony's College - San Juan Jabloteh
Shackiel Henry - F - St. Benedict's College - W Connection
Dwight Quintero - F - El Dorado East Secondary - Joe Public
Akeem Garcia - F - St. Augustine Comprehensive - San Juan Jabloteh
Isaiah Noreiga - F - Humble Kingwood Park - Houston Dynamo