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2
Football / Re: Stephen Hart Thread
« on: Yesterday at 08:16:04 PM »
HFX Wanderers FC extend contract with Head Coach and General Manager Stephen Hart
By Marty Thompson (canpl.ca)


The Heart of Halifax Wanderers is staying put.

Halifax Wanderers are pleased to announce that coach Stephen Hart has agreed to a three-year contract extension.

“Stephen was the right person to lead our club on the pitch three years ago and he remains the right person to lead our club into the future,” stated club President and Founder Derek Martin. “Building a club from scratch is an arduous and exciting journey that requires a talented team committed to working together in the pursuit of something bigger than oneself.  Our greatest asset as a club is our people and as the face of our club, Stephen personifies our ethos ideally.”

Hart, 60, is entering his third Canadian Premier League season with the Wanderers since becoming the club’s inaugural coach in 2018. He was named the CPL Coach of the Year in 2020, after helping a reshaped HFX squad that struggled in 2019, make the CPL Finals at last summer’s Island Games in PEI.

“This club is a project I believe in,” Hart said about his re-signing. “Any successful sporting environment has a few things; solid backroom staff, really good administration, and ownership that have a vision. Derek has built a foundation here at the club that allows us to take our time, we all know there are going to be a lot of bumps in the road, but anything worth doing is going to have that.”

A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Hart first arrived in Halifax in 1981, going on to have a successful run with club team King of Donair as a player and coach, as well as serving as Technical Director of Soccer Nova Scotia.

He later joined the Canadian national team as a coach at under-17, under-20, and under-23 levels before taking charge of the senior side on a full-time basis in 2009. He registered more than 20 international wins with Les Rouges and guided Canada to the semifinals of the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup when he was serving as the team’s interim coach. Hart also led Trinidad and Tobago’s men’s team as manager between 2013 to 2016.

Looking back at his time in the CPL in a special interview with the Wanderers, Hart singled out two particularly special moments thus far: the club’s inaugural game at Wanderers Grounds on May 4, 2019, and a 1-1 draw with York9 FC (now York United) at The Island Games.

“I remember the opening game in the stadium, hearing the national anthem, seeing the sell-out crowd,” Hart said of the club’s historic 2-1 win over Forge FC . “As soon as that first game was over and all the smoke went off in the stadium… it smelled like football, it had that atmosphere that was like, ‘whoa, this is even beyond what I thought could actually happen.’

“Against York was the first time I got the deep emotional feeling that the players believed in what we were trying to achieve as a club. We were playing with 10 men for a huge part of the game. The way they buckled down… I think any coach being in a situation like that would always remember that.”

The journey to building a championship for the city of Halifax and the Wanderers community continues for Hart, who is busy assembling the club’s 2021 roster, which currently features 18 signed players (13 are returnees from the 2020 CPL Finals squad).

“Sports has always been an avenue of escape and we’re fortunate to be involved in it,” Hart said. “We’re lucky that there are a lot of people that depend on the sport to give them that moment away – go somewhere with friends, have a meal and some drinks. Escape is important in society and I hope the Wanderers continue to provide that in Halifax for years to come.”

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/p76zrzpusF8" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/p76zrzpusF8</a>

3
Football / Re: Levi Garcia Thread
« on: March 02, 2021, 09:08:54 PM »
Levi Garcia's fantastic free kick against Aris Thessaloniki has been voted Super League Greece's best goal of Matchday 8. This is Levi's second such honor for the season.



<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/xeJ7_EWVGBY?start=226" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/xeJ7_EWVGBY?start=226</a>

4
Football / Re: Thread for T&T vs Guyana Game (25-Mar-2021)
« on: March 01, 2021, 06:41:11 PM »
i can't agree enough. trinis seem to get off on bad news and gossip much more than progress.

What is the good news?

5
Football / Re: Levi Garcia Thread
« on: March 01, 2021, 06:40:03 PM »
Based on the date, he celebrated his 20th birthday last November. Primetime could be 2026, based on when many players merge mastery of their craft with the demands of the profession.

Like you tripping or wha? De man is 23.

6
Football / Re: Levi Garcia Thread
« on: March 01, 2021, 06:15:11 PM »
Levi Garcia turns 18 today, and is now eligible to begin his professional career with AZ Alkmaar.



Who is next?!

Seems like yesterday he was playing for Shiva

No, it wasn't yesterday. LOL.

7
Football / Re: Justin Araujo-Wilson
« on: March 01, 2021, 01:49:59 PM »
How is progress?

Still not much playing time with the first team, but it doesn't mean that there isn't any progress. Hard to tell.

8
Gols Galore Trinbago Style / Re: Levi Garcia
« on: February 28, 2021, 09:38:28 PM »
Panathinaikos vs AEK Athens (February 28, 2021)

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/rUaB3E1Ur_o?start=75" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/rUaB3E1Ur_o?start=75</a>

9
Football / Re: Levi Garcia Thread
« on: February 28, 2021, 09:37:10 PM »
WATCH: Levi Garcia's goal earns AEK Athens a 1-1 draw with Panathinaikos.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/rUaB3E1Ur_o?start=75" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/rUaB3E1Ur_o?start=75</a>

Garcia earns AEK Athens draw
T&T Guardian Reports.


T&T senior football team winger Levi Garcia scored late on to earn AEK Athens a 1-1 draw with Panathinaikos in the Greece Super League at the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium, Athens on Sunday.

After a goalless first-half, the visiting Panathinaikos took the lead in the 58th minute through Spaniard Fran Velez, his first league goal of the campaign.

But that lead only lasted 15 minutes as the 23-year-old Garcia who signed from Israel’s Beitar Jerusalem late last season netted his fifth goal for the club, the team’s third highest so far on the season, to earn a share of the points.

With the drawn result, AEK remained fourth on the table with 45 points from 24 matches, three ahead of Panathinaikos while POAK is in third spot with 46 points, one behind second placed Aris.

Powerhouse Olympiacos heads the 14-club table with 58 points.

Garcia and AEK return to action on Thursday when they meet Volos NFC, who are seventh in the Super League in the second-leg quarterfinals of the Greece Cup before a Super League encounter with Apollon Smyrnis on Monday, March 8.

AEK Athens will take a 4-2 first-leg win into the quarter final second-leg with Volos NFC.


10
Football / Re: John-Paul Rochford Thread
« on: February 24, 2021, 07:37:39 PM »
21-year old midfielder John-Paul Rochford has signed a 2-year contract with Guatemalan club, Antigua GFC. The club campaigns in the Liga Nacional de Fútbol de Guatemala, which is the highest division of football in the country.


11
Football / Re: The In Memory Of Thread
« on: February 23, 2021, 09:06:45 PM »
WATCH: Field of Dreams Episode 194: Tribute to Larry Joseph

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/T9HtBh4xRRA" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/T9HtBh4xRRA</a>

12
Football / Re: Jomal Williams Thread.
« on: February 23, 2021, 09:55:45 AM »
Sonsonate appear to be in the wrong division. Woeful, slumbering quality. Looking like a 3a.division team.

De keeper jokey eh?

13
Football / Re: Dwight Yorke Official Thread
« on: February 21, 2021, 09:03:54 PM »
'I'd lost him, it was an insult, and it hurt' - How Dwight Yorke tarnished his Aston Villa legacy with Manchester United move
By Ashley Preece (Birmingham Mail)


It hurt me. This was our club, my club. I felt insulted. It really got to me and he wanted to make it hurt. I just had to get him away.

The pain can still be heard in John Gregory's voice on the other end of the phone more than 22 years on from THAT historic and heartbreaking transfer saga involving Dwight Yorke's £12.6 million move from Aston Villa to Manchester United.

"Doug's eyes lit up at £8 million," Gregory, now 66, said, detailing chairman Doug Ellis' keenness to cash-in. "Villa got him for 20 grand don't forget and Doug would have sold him there and then for United's first offer of eight bloody million."

Gregory, of course, only had 11 Premier League games managing Yorke - plus two Uefa Cup quarter-final legs against Atletico Madrid - after he arrived to replace his former mentor Brian Little in February 1998. Villa were 15th and just six points above the drop-zone when Little resigned after a 2-1 defeat at Wimbledon.

Gregory was soon appointed and beat Liverpool in his first game in charge at Villa Park thanks to a vintage Stan Collymore double. Gregory would win nine of the remaining 11 matches to catapult Villa to a seventh-placed finish and European qualification once again while it was Yorke who stole the show with seven goals in his last seven games.

"I only had him for 11 league games at the end of the 97/98 season," Gregory said. "He played a huge part. He was my big star and I had Sir Alex pestering me not long after I had taken the job. I was set on what I was going to do; there was no way I was going to sell him. No way. United weren't having him. We were building an exciting side.

"We just kept rejecting bids throughout the summer. United kept upping them but they were nowhere near what we wanted which was £16 million. Kevin Davies went from Southampton to Blackburn for £7.8 million and United wanted Yorke for £10 million. Yorkie's on another level.

"The start of the 98/99 season soon came around anyway and I played Yorkie upfront with JJ (Julian Joachim) and we drew 0-0 up at Everton. Honestly, he didn't try a leg. Dwight didn't move a muscle and was really playing up. He was just a shadow of himself and it was clear from that moment on that he didn't want to play for us again.

"It was the following morning when he came into my office and told me exactly that. It was an insult; the way he turned around and just said, 'I don't want to play for Aston Villa anymore'. I was hurt and I ushered him away.

"He was miserable around the place in the weeks leading up to that and I knew something was up because Yorkie's always smiling and was the life and soul of the dressing room. I'd lost him way back. Maybe Bozzy had something to do with it because Yorke and Bozzy were big mates. He was probably chewing in his ear.

"After our chat I just thought I can't have a s*** Dwight Yorke for 37 more matches, a player who doesn't want to be a part of what we're trying to achieve. He'd have made the dressing room rotten. After our chat he really got to me as well. I just had to get him away."

Gregory still has United's £10 million faxed offer for Yorke at his home today. "I had gone on record as saying that Dwight would not be available unless £16 million were offered," Gregory penned in his autobiography, The Boss.

"I meant it. That's what Newcastle had paid for Alan Shearer and Dwight was younger and in the same class. But the resistance was weakening around me."

Gregory, meanwhile, rubber-stamped Villa's deal to sell star asset Yorke during a bite to eat and a chance meeting at TGI Friday's in Sutton Coldfield on August 19, 1998 - the day before Yorke sealed his transfer to Old Trafford. Gregory - who had asked about the availability of both Andy Cole and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in part-exchange - was at TGIs with long-time friend Gordon Smith when the penny finally dropped.

Reminiscing, Gregory detailed: "Two guys were in the booth next to us and one of them leaned over and said, 'It's not bad news is it?'

"'And what would you consider to be bad news?' I asked tentatively, still unsure about the feedback that would come from supporters. 'Well, Yorke staying of course,' he said.

"That was it. I took that little exchange as a highly symbolic moment. It was like this guy, picked at random, was telling me what the Villa fans wanted. I don't know his name and I doubt he ever realised the role he played in that night's events. But sod it, I thought; let's stop messing about and let the bugger go. Who are you trying to kid? He's finished with us anyway. Let's do the deal."

The deal was done. Villa agreed their club-record £12.6 million fee and Yorke was a United player. "We had a supporters AGM that night Yorke was sold," Gregory laughed.

"It was in the Holte Suite which only holds 800. I think 1400 were packed in there and Doug was getting pelters left, right and centre about selling Yorke. I stood up and defended Doug because, credit to him, he left the final decision down to me and I wanted to get Yorkie out."

It was quite ironic then that after 18 games of the new season it was Villa who were top of the Premier League table at Christmas and five points ahead of third-placed United.

"I remember playing Riccy Scimeca up front in the game after Yorke left," Gregory said. "We beat Boro 3-1. We won eight and drew four games and I remember grabbing a photographer after we beat Southampton 4-1 away telling him to take a photo of us all. I wanted it as a keep-sake because we'd just broken a club record for being 12 unbeaten.

"I think that record still stands. The bloody snapper sold the photo to the newspapers and I came in for a bit of stick. But, with Yorke, we had all moved on. I signed Dion Dublin, Paul Merson and built a really strong team."

As for Yorke, he'd win the treble in his first season at United and scored an incredible 29 goals from 51 games. Yorke, who turns 50 this year, recently spoke about how his move to United came about during an hour-long discussion with The Villa Talks Podcast.

"It was just prompted from my performances, really," he said, knowing he had scored 61 goals in 131 appearances in the run-up to his move to United. "I was performing for Villa on a consistent basis. I was their top man, the top scorer, scoring frequently and creating goals and, when you do that, you draw interest from the so-called bigger clubs. What I've done is prompt the likes of Manchester United and others to say, 'Oh, there might be a possibility of this guy joining'.

"Once the rumours started and, as a player, you've got agents. People are starting to ask the questions, the rumours are starting to fly around. My time at Aston Villa, nobody could take away. I gave nearly 10 years to that football club and every moment I loved. I loved the fans, my connection with the fans. I loved playing for the football club and enjoyed that.

"But it came to a point in my time where I could have stayed at Villa and be the main man and win a competition occasionally and be treated like royalty like I had been; or, realise as a player at 26 years of age you've only got a certain amount of time to cash in if you're going to be remembered as a top striker.

"The Villa fans out there who said I left the football club (in a bad place). I didn't leave the football club in any bad feeling. I just wanted to extend myself as a player to play against the best in Europe. Although, the late chairman Doug Ellis offered me far more money than what Manchester United offered me to stay at the club. It wasn't about the club, the players; it was just that I needed to challenge myself in an individual point of view.

"When United came in and Sir Alex says, 'Come and play for us'... They are the best club in the country; they're winning Premier Leagues; competing in the Champions League. As a player that's the level you want to get at. Unfortunately, in my 10 years at Villa that never really happened. I had a very difficult decision to either stay at Villa and get a bigger pay packet or...

"But it wasn't about the money. It was about the challenge of testing yourself against the best across Europe. When Man United came in it was kind of a no-brainer in many respects and, obviously, everyone seen what happened when I joined the club."

On his relationship with Gregory, claims of him not trying at Everton before his move and Gregory's infamous 'if I had a gun I'd have shot him' comments, Yorke added: "Listen, I was in a good place. I was very comfortable because football and Villa was all I knew coming into England. Villa's always been there; I've never abandoned Villa or refused or been in trouble with Aston Villa. I just wanted to play football.

"For 10 years, the rapport I had with the fans and what was expected of me as a player... I think every time I put on the shirt I gave it everything for the Villa fans. To be signalled out after the Everton game, I mean, OK things were on my mind but it doesn't mean I didn't try. We just didn't play well on the day and, because I was at the centre of attention, it seems like it was pointed towards me.

"I mean, John Gregory and I had a very good relationship. Before John Gregory became the manager after Brian Little left, I had an unbelievable relationship with John Gregory. He was the one I used to take with a bag of balls and say, 'Come, let's go' and do these extras. He'd fizz balls into me to test my touch. We had a good rapport. We were close. Gregors and I were close. Leaving I can understand him being upset because he was losing arguably his best player at the time. I get that.

"The gun thing was just a no-nonsense kind of thing. I don't think he ever meant that. The media played that up and it span out of proportion. I never took offence to that and I understood his disappointment in me. But, from my point of view, I felt that I was making the right move at the right time. It just felt right.

"It was a big decision because, for 10 years, Villa were by my side and gave me the platform. I knew nothing outside of Aston Villa. When people say I turned my back on Aston Villa I never did. I gave 10 years of my playing career for a club that gave me the platform to play. I had a good rapport with the fans, I was idolised by them and I hope I gave them something back and, even to this day, I still speak to them and they praise me for my time at Aston Villa and what I did.

"I hope that's the case. You just look at the amount of players that come and go at that football club now but, certainly, when I was playing I was an entertainer. I see myself as an entertainer and, hopefully, I did that for the Villa fans."

Gregory, meanwhile, says there's no hard feelings more than two decades on and bumped into his former striker out in India.

"I actually met Dwight when I was managing at Chennai a couple of years ago," he said.

"He was with Wes Brown. The pair of them were Manchester United ambassadors and it was really good to see him again. A lot of water's passed under the bridge. I loved him when I had him but it was Brian (Little) who should get all of the praise. Yorke blossomed under Brian. He took him under his wing. I just wanted to build my team around him which, unfortunately, I wasn't able to do."

14
Gols Galore Trinbago Style / Re: Jomal Williams
« on: February 21, 2021, 05:30:22 PM »
Sonsonate FC vs AD Isidro Metapán (February 20, 2021)

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/jQZXuEtp920?start=40" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/jQZXuEtp920?start=40</a>

15
Football / Re: Jomal Williams Thread.
« on: February 21, 2021, 05:29:23 PM »
WATCH: Jomal Williams scores for the second consecutive match in AD Isidro Metapán 3-0 win over Sonsonate FC

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/jQZXuEtp920?start=40" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/jQZXuEtp920?start=40</a>

16
Gols Galore Trinbago Style / Re: Judah Garcia
« on: February 20, 2021, 10:11:07 AM »
Sudeva Delhi FC vs Neroca FC (February 19, 2021)

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/4KFIz8pLCgM?start=312" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/4KFIz8pLCgM?start=312</a>

17
Football / Re: Judah Garcia Thread.
« on: February 20, 2021, 10:10:12 AM »
WATCH: Judah Garcia powers in a header to score Neroca FC's first goal in their 2-0 win over Sudeva Delhi FC.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/4KFIz8pLCgM?start=312" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/4KFIz8pLCgM?start=312</a>

18
Football / Re: The In Memory Of Thread
« on: February 18, 2021, 10:17:34 AM »
very sad news indeed about Larry..... shock !!! very mild manner guy indeed. Had the opportunity of giving him is only overseas stint at a USL club in the mid 90's. RIP my friend       

What club was that?

19
Gols Galore Trinbago Style / Re: Jomal Williams
« on: February 16, 2021, 07:10:57 PM »
AD Isidro Metapán vs CD FAS (February 13, 2021)

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/Q15FZAHjvCs?start=58" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/Q15FZAHjvCs?start=58</a>

20
Football / Re: Jomal Williams Thread.
« on: February 16, 2021, 07:09:26 PM »
WATCH: Jomal Williams nets the game-winning goal in AD Isidro Metapán's 2-1 win over CD FAS.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/Q15FZAHjvCs?start=58" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/Q15FZAHjvCs?start=58</a>

21
Football / Re: Kevin Molino Thread.
« on: February 16, 2021, 06:52:48 PM »
Molino on signing with the Crew: ‘The ambition there is to shoot for the stars and I want to be part of that’
By Nick Hudak (massivereport.com)


There was a bevy of Cinderella stories that played out throughout the course of an unusual 2020 Major League Soccer season. One of the more eye-opening was the run of fourth-seeded Minnesota United making a postseason sprint to the Western Conference Final. While United eventually lost MLS Cup runners-up Seattle Sounders in a thrilling 3-2 match, it was just an accomplishment to reach the conference final in the club’s first season.

While he didn’t score or get an assist in the West Final, Loon’s star playmaker Kevin Molino managed four MLS Cup playoff goals in 2020, the first four of his career. That conference final game, as it turned out, was his final with the club after four seasons.

After the Columbus Crew sealed the signature of free agent forward Bradley Wright-Phillips in January, the league’s sixth-highest goal scorer all-time, the defending MLS Cup champions, who beat Seattle 3-0 to win their second league title in early December, soon added yet another attacking option in Molino, a winger and creative midfielder, to a group that will be arguably the best in the entirety of MLS this season.

“The quality, you can go on and on,” Molino said of Crew’s attacking options in a recent interview with Black & Gol analyst Jordan Angeli. “Me and Nagbe have a good relationship we talk and message. ‘Anything you need let me know,’ he told me. He was part of it, (Nagbe’s) one of the best midfielders in the league. (Lucas) Zelarayan, too.”

While Molino may not be as flashy as the LA Galaxy’s Javier Hernandez and as big of a box office hit as LAFC’s Carlos Vela, his talent is undeniable. In 22 appearances throughout 2020, the 30 year old finished as Minnesota’s leading scorer with 13 goals and was pivotal in their runs to both the West Final and the MLS is Back Tournament semifinal.

What Columbus achieved didn’t go unnoticed by Molino. The squad that the Black & Gold built, including the aforementioned Nagbe and Zelarayan who were acquired last offseason and key cogs in the championship wheel, was enticing to play with but the intrigued of coming to play under a proven head coach in Caleb Porter, despite never working together, was a major pull for Molino as well.

“I’ve been a fan of Porter since Portland. I watched that team play,” Molino added in talking about what he enjoys about the prospect of playing for the Crew. “The good relationships he has had with Nagbe, (Gyasi) Zardes and the other players (I enjoy), I’m looking forward to being in Columbus and training with them.”

Since debuting with Orlando City SC in MLS in 2015, Molino has appeared in 104 league games while scoring 32 goals and contributing 27 assists. He averages a goal or an assist every 131 minutes of play throughout his career and Molino’s only gotten better with age.

In Minnesota, the midfielder made 67 regular season appearances (58 starts), notching 21 goals and 18 assists, which made him one of the most sought-after free agents available this offseason.

“Throughout his time in this League, Kevin Molino has been one of the most talented and explosive wingers in Major League Soccer, and he proved that not only throughout the 2020 regular season, but most recently when it mattered most, in the playoffs, on a team that was minutes away from an MLS Cup final,” Crew president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko in a statement after the signing was made official. “Kevin will bring individual game-changing ability, with his smart and technical play, which will aid in our team chemistry with our other top quality attackers.”

Molino joins an attacking group loaded with talent, which includes Wright-Phillips, Zardes, Pedro Santos, Zelarayan, Luis Diaz and Derrick Etienne Jr. With a new downtown stadium on the horizon in 2021 and the club’s inclusion in the CONCACAF Champions League, the decision to come to Columbus wasn’t a hard one for Molino.

Looking for a club that had ambition was really all it came down to for the club’s newest Trinidad international.

“The new stadium, signing one of the best strikers in the history of the league, Bradley, and they just signed (Perry) Kitchen,” said Molino. “The ambition there is to shoot for the stars and I want to be part of that. I want to be the best and I try to think that I am the best. That’s how you have to play and not to be second-best. It fit my mentality and personality.”

22
Football / Re: Levi Garcia Thread
« on: February 14, 2021, 07:44:06 PM »
WATCH: Levi Garcia - Goals, Skills, Assists ● 2020/21 | AEK FC

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/1tfIVAPGxGU" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/1tfIVAPGxGU</a>

23
Raised on cricket, Wanderers captain Rampersad has become soccer standout
By Glenn MacDonald (The Chronicle Herald)


It is said that cricket as a passion is distinctly contagious.

But even the gentleman’s sport couldn’t eclipse the lure of the beautiful game for Andre Rampersad.

“When I was going to school, I was more into cricket and it was cricket that I really liked,” the HFX Wanderers captain and midfielder from Trinidad and Tobago said in a recent interview.

“I thought it was exciting at the time. But then I found soccer and it took me away. I was probably 12 years old and heading to secondary school. The excitement of football was what caught me and I fell in love with it. I was so good at the time, I figured I better switch and just stick to one. So, I chose soccer.

“I still enjoy cricket. Sometimes when I’m home, I’ll play it in the streets.”

Before long, Rampersad’s rapid accession brought him to the National Super League, a semi-professional association of football clubs in Trinidad. He joined his first pro team – FC Santa Rosa – when he was 18 years old.

“It became serious after that,” said Rampersad, who turned 26 on Feb. 2.

His manager during his final season (2018) with Santa Rosa was Derek King, who assisted Stephen Hart on the Trinidad and Tobago national team and would eventually join Hart’s coaching staff for the Wanderers’ inaugural season.

King invited Hart to a camp in the Caribbean island nation to scout some potential players for the Canadian Premier League club’s first-year roster. From that camp, Hart found his captain (Rampersad) leading scorer (Akeem Garcia) and veteran goalkeeper turned coach (Jan-Michael Williams).

“He came down for a bit to see what we could bring to the Wanderers,” Rampersad recalled. “I guess he thought we could work with his system and the way he wants us to play. He gave us a shot and brought us over and now here we are.”

Hart – the reigning CPL coach of the year after steering his club from a last-place finish in its inaugural season to one victory short of capturing the championship banner in 2020 – has been influential on the Trinidadian trio.

Rampersad said Hart, who hails from the Trinidadian city of San Fernando on the Gulf of Paria, “has definitely changed my life around.”

“Stephen has showed me how to be a professional soccer player,” Rampersad said. “As a coach he always wants you to get better and do better. He’ll say, ‘yeah, you did good today, but can you be better tomorrow?’

“You can always go to him if there are things that are bothering you. Any day, you can go to him and he’s there to give you advice, what to do, how to get better, what to work on. He’s always a positive guy with the team and with the players. He’ll tell us to go out and express yourself, the football belongs to us. When you have that kind of coaching behind you, you’re just free to do what you do best.”

Training and playing alongside his fellow countrymen have also made the transition to a new league in a foreign land a little easier.

“I’ve learned a lot from Akeem and Jan. They have pushed me and really helped me express who I am and what I can do on the football pitch,” Rampersad said.

“It has been easier when you have guys you know around you. We have that chemistry. Even if you have a bad day of training or a bad game, they are around to keep you up and keep pushing you as well.”

After the team struggled through a mediocre first season, only a handful players were welcomed back in 2020. One of them, of course, was Rampersad who Hart rewarded with the captaincy for the leadership he had shown both on the pitch and off.

He was an instrumental force in the Wanderers’ success at the Island Games last summer, when they reached the CPL Final championship.

“Everyone has their own way of being a leader, off the pitch, on the pitch, wherever it may be,” Rampersad said. “For me, playing and keeping the guys intact, motivating them and helping them with their confidence, it all comes naturally to me without even thinking about it.”

His importance to the club was noted in the fall when the Wanderers signed him to a two-year contract with a club option in 2023. Rampersad is among a slew of players who have been inked to new deals.

“We did really well in the league last summer, making the final. But so close, yet so far,” Rampersad said.

“They chose to bring me back because they want to keep together what we have right now. For me, it was an easy decision. This is a team that has accepted me for who I am. I love playing for them and I love playing at the Wanderers Grounds.

“We were all chatting in the off-season saying we need to work harder and be ready for next season because teams are going to be coming after us and we have to be ready for it and not be surprised. Those key players who’ve been brought back will only help with our success.”

Rampersad admits coming from the tropical backdrop of the southern Caribbean Sea to the cooler temperate climes of Nova Scotia was an adjustment.

But it didn’t take long for him to appreciate his new home.

In fact, he has remained in Halifax during this off-season. Rampersad can be found training and working out with teammate and Halifax resident Christian Oxner on a daily basis.

“They have welcomed me here in Halifax. I feel safe, I feel loved,” Rampersad said.

“It goes back to the first year when we had fans at the stadium. I know everyone says it but they are true fans. They are one of the main things that attracted me and made me want to stay here. The people here are really nice. It’s not just the fans but the people in general. It’s nice to live in a city like this.

“Yeah, the snow is a little crazy. But it’s fun ... for a while,” he added with a laugh.

24
Football / Re: Sheldon Bateau Thread
« on: February 14, 2021, 11:13:20 AM »
Defender Sheldon Bateau has made his 100th appearance for Belgian club, KV Mechelen. Bateau achieved the milestone in a 2-1 win over K Beerschot VA. He played the full 90 minutes.


25
Football / Re: Thread for T&T vs Guyana Game (25-Mar-2021)
« on: February 12, 2021, 06:19:45 PM »
When last we beat Guyana? because I am sure we did not beat them last time we met at the Gold Cup

Haven't played them much recently, but de last time we beat dem was in 2011 after dey had already knock we out of World Cup qualifying.

26

But ent Gally had a semi-pro team in 1989 and came within one point of qualifying for a WC compared to all the other teams at the time?

How about the team from 1973 in Haiti, were they pros at the time?

I guess it all boils down to the investment from the TTFA in grassroot football and the heart and desire of our players.

 ;D

Building a local team could be a step in the right direction.


That is 32 and 48 years ago respectively. Times have changed and continue to change, but we standing still and in some cases going backwards. Right in the Caribbean, look at what Curacao is doing, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and so one. If we don't get our shit together, all we will be doing is reminiscing about de good old days. We are so far behind, it ent funny.

28
Football / Re: Carlos Edwards Thread
« on: February 10, 2021, 08:19:03 AM »
WATCH: Carlos Edwards discusses his early days in football and his time at Sunderland.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/vOYUEWPaf2A" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/vOYUEWPaf2A</a>

29
Yet we have what we have, and Yes, we must support, regardless of the result.

The problem I have is our willingness to just accept that and not do any inquiry to find out why we are in such a mess. It is not just the 7-0 licks. We getting all kinda licks at de youth level too. Our players not lighting up de US colleges. Hell, we hardly going to any recognizable schools. We have 20 and 21 year olds still playing Intercol, and is not like we have. John D and Tech like long time. Wha kinda madness is that? Is jackassness across de board. We have basically taken a page out of the Windies book.

30
Kevin Molino's ‘easy move’ to Crew driven by new challenge and championship
By Jacob Myers (The Columbus Dispatch)


Last month's signing of free agent forward Kevin Molino on a multiyear deal requiring targeted allocation money was a clear flex of strength by the Crew.

It signaled to the rest of Major League Soccer that the MLS Cup champions are gunning for another title in 2021.

The Crew already had one of the best front fours in the league in Gyasi Zardes, Lucas Zelarayan, Pedro Santos and either Luis Diaz or Derrick Etienne Jr.

But when looking at Columbus, the 30-year-old Molino, one of the top targets in MLS free agency, saw opportunity rather than competition for playing time.

“With the history of the club and (they) just won the championship, they're still looking to make moves to stay atop the league and to win again,” Molino told The Dispatch recently. “It was an easy move for me to make.”

Since entering MLS with Orlando City in 2015, Molino has been one of the most productive wing midfielders in the league. His first season was shortened by a torn knee ligament, but he rebounded to score 11 goals with eight assists in 2016 before moving to another expansion club, Minnesota United.

He tore a ligament in his other knee in his second year with Minnesota, then had the most productive season of his MLS career in 2020. With nine goals and four assists in 1,264 minutes, Molino finished second among all midfielders and in the top 10 of all players with an average of a goal or assist in every 97.23 minutes.

Molino added four goals in three games in the 2020 playoffs.

“We've added one of the best wingers in the league,” Crew coach Caleb Porter said of Molino last month. “What made him so desirable is just how multifaceted he is and how complete he is. When you're looking at wingers and what we need, he really brings it all."

Molino spent 10 seasons with the same coach, Adrian Heath, in Orlando — beginning in the United Soccer League in 2011 — and Minnesota. He said he felt it was time to look for new challenges. Molino also is not shy in saying that he believes he’s joining a more talented team.

The native of Trinidad and Tobago told Caribbean network Sportsmax.tv that the Crew has “more quality players,” which irked some Minnesota fans. He stood by his comments but clarified that it wasn’t a dig at Minnesota.

"When you look at the players like (Darlington) Nagbe, Zardes — these are the top players in the league,” Molino said. "This is why they won the championship, let's be honest.”

He has long admired the way teams play under Porter, saying he had interest in playing for his Portland teams in the past. Molino also has strong relationships with Nagbe and Zardes, formed from matches between the U.S. men’s national team and Trinidad. Molino said Nagbe texted him shortly after Molino signed, telling him to reach out if he needed anything.

But the pitch to join the Crew was as important to his decision over other clubs as his personal connections to players on the roster. Molino said the conversation wasn’t about soccer at all, and more focused on him as a person.

“It was a different conversation,” Molino said. “A conversation that you would want to hear as a player coming into a new environment, and make me feel more excited than anything to come."

Molino has been a part of two expansion teams, and helped open Minnesota’s new stadium in 2019. His challenge then was to be part of the building of a franchise with no history — quite different than joining the league’s first franchise.

Molino also is aware that he’s following the path of Stern John, one of his favorite Trinidadian players and the Crew’s fourth all-time leading scorer. The expectation is Molino will be a starter and a consistent scoring threat. But he’s not entering Columbus like he’ll be handed the role.

“I can't wait to fit in, but first I put in my work to be on the team,” he said. “It's not going to be a walk in the park. I'm going to have to work harder than I normally work to always stay on top of my game to fit in with this group.”

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