United States-based forward Cordell Cato is enjoying the best stint of his career and at age 23 he still has a whole deal to look forward to.
The San Jose Earthquakes player was a first team starter for T&T at the Concacaf Gold Cup in July, scoring against Guatemala and he was also involved in T&T’s 3-3 draw with Mexico in Utah last Friday.
Cato said the belief in him from head coach Stephen Hart has helped pave a way for his international career.
“I mean it’s been fun coming into the national team and being able to start after watching on for a while under the different coaches like (Jamal) Shabazz and they. Hart really believes in young players and it definitely helps us. The international stage is a lot higher than the club level. The level of everything intensity, quality of play, you always take that back to the club and it’s been working so far I’ve been getting a bit more goals in recent games. Everything has just been working out lately for me,” Cato said.
Cato, who did not play a season in the T&T Pro League before making the jump to Seattle Sounders, was previously a member of San Juan Jabloteh and Defence Force. He was also part of the T&T Under-20 team during the 2011 Concacaf U-20 World Cup qualifying campaign.
His advice to upcoming players is to be in tune with the game and to keep themselves ready for when opportunity comes knocking.
“It’s a little bit difficult at first but the most important thing is being prepared for that one opportunity when it comes,” said Cato.
“Everybody is so into school football which is good but again you have to see yourself playing in the European Leagues and all the other leagues and prepare yourself for that so you’re ready when you go out there.
“So much of our countrymen go out and they come back. You just have to go out and show the team what they exactly want. And as long as you figure out that then trials become easier. As a striker, you go on a trial you have to go and score goals and as a defender you have to do the opposite.
“As Trinidadians you know we’re laid out well like myself, I am laid back, You jut have to do the extra work, not just training with the team, but do the extra work, either on the beach or whatever it takes to make it out and then everything can fall into place because then you have things going for you whether it be the coaches or the right facilities to build you game which has proven well in my case.
“My game has jumped a lot in the couple years . I will say to any player trying to go on my path it’s not a problem not playing in the T&T League, you can skip past it but you just have to be ready.”