United States veteran midfielder Claudio Reyna says his team will be coming to dampen spirits in Trinidad and Tobago following Carnival celebrations with a victory over the Soca Warriors in the opening game of the 2006 World Cup final qualifying round on February 9.
"Whether the campaign starts home or away, we want a good start and we believe we can win in Trinidad," said Reyna. If we win the first game, it gives us a lot more confidence and freedom to play in Mexico, and it means we could be happy with a point. Obviously, that is the most difficult of the 10 games. I think the goal is to not only qualify for the World Cup, but to win the group.
US Football Federation officials have been trying to sort out their accommodation for the busy period here leading up to the game and their words so far have led to the thinking that they are expecting anything but a close contest on Ash Wednesday.
T&T captain Angus Eve thought otherwise, saying that Port of Spain should be a surprise battle zone that will force even the mighty Americans with all their ammunition to take quick guard.
Its good though that they feel they can come here and easily get a result, Eve told TTFF Media on Thursday. It means they are well confident but could be in for a surprise. Between now and Ash Wednesday, we will be a different team capable of posing a threat. The last game against St Vincent certainly opened our eyes and I can assure you we will be a different force come the opening game of the next round, Eve said.
We know the Americans style. They play a disciplined game which is not easy to break down. We (Jabloteh) were able to counter that and beat their champion club down there. I see no reason why our skill and pace cannot counter their efficiency, Eve added. We just need to ensure that we are a cohesive unit and that we play organized football with increased intensity. We must make it as hard as possible for them on the day. We need the fans to come out in full and Port of Spain must be like no where else on match day. Looking at the rest of the group, teams like Guatemala and Panama arent special and we can certainly get points from the others. The key will be picking up full points at home and getting something on the road.
The former Chester City midfielder also responded to comments this week by Dwight Yorke about him never having to depend on FIFA Vice President Jack Warner nor the TTFF for earnings while representing the country.
I dont think he (Yorke) should have made such a comment at this time. Its been the same for a lot of us who didnt and currently dont need Mr Warner or the TTFFs monies for living but we are still putting on the national shirt and trying to get the country to the World Cup. At the end of the day we are still committed to the cause.
Eve added though that he held nothing against Yorke for his stance.
I respect Dwight for what he stands for and in any situation I would respect an individual for saying what he thinks rather than keeping it inside. If he has a problem with Mr Warner and he chose to deal with it in this way, then so be it.
I think myself and a lot of the other guys see the national team as a family and Mr Warner as being the father. Dwight has obviously done a lot for the countrys football in terms of giving it recognition worldwide with his exploits for Manchester United and other clubs but at the same time Mr Warner has done a lot also, and even more because hes still doing and trying to make things happen for the better, stated Eve who recently ran a 12-team Richard Theodore Memorial Tournament in Carenage with up to $15,000 given in cash. The knockout stage ends later this month.
The National team meantime continues training at the Hasely Crawford Stadium ahead of the December 12 Digicel Cup second round clash away to British Virgin Islands.