Title-holders, bmobile Joe Public, of the T&T Pro League, will begin its defence of the Toyota Classic against Super League outfit, Alcoa Carenage United, when the round-of-16 matches kick off on Monday.
In addition to 10 Pro League clubs - Clico San Juan Jabloteh, W Connection, Neal & Massy Caledonia, bmobile Joe Public, North East Stars, United Petrotrin, Defence Force, Tobago United, Ma Pau, and St Ann’s Rangers - the competition, which is being contested as a knockout, also involves six bmobile National Super Football League clubs.
The six Super League clubs are headed by league and knockout winner, the T&T Under-20’s, runner-up Joe Public, third placed WASA, Angostura 1976 Phoenix (fourth), Alcoa Carenage United (fifth) and Economy Strikers (sixth).
The 16 teams in the competition, valued at $150,000 in total sponsorship, were drawn into four groups, all named after Toyota branded vehicles, Terios (Group A), Sirion (Group B), Delta (Group C), and Daihatsu (Group D) and were seeded based on their positions in their respective leagues.
Last year, Joe Public defeated Clico San Juan Jabloteh 2-1 in the final at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, and the “Eastern Lions” will be confident of at least getting past Carenage in its Group C opener.
United Petrotrin and W Connection, the only other clubs to have won the Toyota Classic in 2006 and 2005 respectively, will face contrasting opponents in their openers.
W Connection, the top seed in Group A, faces Economy Strikers while United Petrotrin, seeded second in Group C behind Jabloteh, will meet Ma Pau.
Jabloteh, Toyota Classic runner-up, both in 2005 and 2007, will start competition in Group C versus Angostura 1976 Phoenix, Caledonia comes up against WASA in Group D, and in the other all-Pro League encounter, Defence Force tangles with Tobago United in D.
For the quarterfinal round of matches slated for December 5 (next Friday), the top two teams in group A will cross-over with D, while B and C will do likewise.
In the semifinals to be played on December 12, the winner of Group A will come up against Group D winners, while Group C and Group D square off for a place in the final one week later.
The tournament winner will receive $35,000 with the runner-up collecting $20,000, third $10,000 and fourth $5,000.
There are also individual prizes on offer for the players with $500 going to the “Most Valuable Player” of each match, $2,000 for the “MVP” of the Tournament and $1,000 for the “Top Scorer”.
All matches will be played over two 45 minutes halves, and in the process the match is drawn at the end of regulation time, penalty kicks shall determine the winner.