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Gols Galore Trinbago Style / Judah Garcia
« on: January 31, 2021, 09:54:16 AM »
Indian Arrows vs Neroca FC (January 20, 2021). Two goals, at 2:47 and 8:09.

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Football / Michael DeShields Thread
« on: January 21, 2021, 01:57:59 PM »

Football / Thread for USA vs T&T Game (31-Jan-2021)
« on: January 19, 2021, 04:15:59 PM »
U.S. Men's National Team to open 2021 against Trinidad and Tobago on Jan 31st in Orlando, FL

The U.S. Men’s National Team will open its 2021 schedule with a friendly against Trinidad & Tobago on Jan. 31 at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Fla. Coverage of the USA’s first match of the campaign begins at 7 p.m. ET on FS1, UniMas and TUDN. Fans will be able to follow the match via Twitter @USMNT, Instagram @USMNT, Facebook and The Official U.S. Soccer App.

The match will serve as an important preparation opportunity for the rest of the year as players look to stake their claim to represent the USMNT in June’s Concacaf Nations League Final Four, the Gold Cup in July and the start of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying, which kicks off in September.
“It’s nice after an intensive training camp to get to compete,” Berhalter said. “The guys have been working hard and we welcome the opportunity to play against a regional rival like Trinidad and Tobago.”

The staging of the camp and the match fall under the comprehensive U.S. Soccer Return to Play Protocols. Due to the evolving conditions related to the global pandemic, capacity for the event will be limited to 4,500 fans.

Football / Federico Peña Thread
« on: December 07, 2020, 12:44:15 PM »
Valour FC re-signs versatile Canadian Federico Peña Staff

Valour FC announced on Monday that 21-year-old midfielder/fullback Federico Peña will be returning in 2021 for a third season with the Winnipeg-based club.

Peña appeared in six of Valour’s seven games at The Island Games in 2020, filling in at various different roles due to a number of injuries to his teammates. He played as a fullback on both sides of the pitch, and also stepped in at right midfield in the club’s final game of the year against Forge FC.

Peña also made eight appearances for Valour in the 2019 CPL season, bringing his total number of minutes placed for the side up to 641.

“They actually told me they were going to pick up my option before the Forge game,” Pena told “It was just after I had been red-carded – which was later rescinded – but I guess they wanted to give me some good news at a low-point in my career.”

Born in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Peña moved with his family in 2009 to Winnipeg, where he played much of his youth soccer. He made a brief trip overseas in 2017 to pursue a career in Europe, spending a year each in the academies of Belgian clubs KAA Gent and Standard Liège, before signing for Valour in April 2019.

“I saw him maturing and growing as a person and as a player this past season,” Valour coach Rob Gale said.

“We always knew he has the technical ability – he’s like Raph Ohin in that he can juggle and do all kinds of tricks – and it’s amazing to see now that he’s slowed himself down how he is growing tactically. He has all of the qualities.”

As it stands, Valour has 10 players from the previous season’s roster signed for 2021, with the futures of nine players still unconfirmed. Peña joins five other domestic players — Masta Kacher, Stefan Cebara, Raphael Ohin, Brett Levis, and Austin Ricci — on the squad for next season.

Football / FIFA suspends the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association
« on: September 24, 2020, 02:44:06 PM »
FIFA suspends the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association

The Bureau of the FIFA Council today suspended the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) with immediate effect due to grave violations of the FIFA Statutes.

The suspension was prompted by the former leadership of the TTFA lodging a claim before a local court in Trinidad and Tobago in order to contest the decision of the FIFA Council to appoint a normalisation committee for the TTFA. This course of action was in direct breach of article 59 of the FIFA Statutes, which expressly prohibits recourse to ordinary courts unless specifically provided for in the FIFA regulations.

A normalisation committee was installed by the FIFA Council after it was established that the former leadership of the TTFA had engaged in various acts of serious mismanagement. The decision of the former leadership to go to a local court to contest the appointment of the normalisation committee jeopardizes not only the future of football in Trinidad and Tobago but also endangers the overall global football governance structure, which relies on the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) as the exclusive forum for resolving disputes of this nature. 

The relevant parties were initially given until 16 September to withdraw the case but failed to do so. This deadline was then extended until 23 September, which was not respected either.   

In the circumstances, the Bureau of the FIFA Council has decided to suspend the TTFA.

This suspension will only be lifted when the TTFA fully complies with its obligations as a member of FIFA, including recognising the legitimacy of the appointed normalisation committee and bringing its own statutes into line with the FIFA Statutes.

Football / Ajani Fortune Thread
« on: September 13, 2020, 09:31:07 AM »
WATCH: 17-year old Ajani Fortunes scores his first professional goal in style with this curler from 18 yards during Atlanta United 2's 2-1 loss to Miami FC

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Gols Galore Trinbago Style / Ajani Fortune
« on: September 13, 2020, 09:29:51 AM »
Atlanta United 2 vs Miami FC (September 12, 2020)

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Gols Galore Trinbago Style / Kathon St. Hillaire
« on: September 12, 2020, 05:56:26 PM »
FK Poprad vs MFK Dubnica (September 5, 2020)

Football / Islands Open Cup Thread
« on: August 26, 2020, 06:57:32 AM »
Gally excited to team up alongside Carlos Edwards for Islands Open Cup in 2021
By Islands Cup Media

Iconic former Trinidad and Tobago head coach and player Everald “Gally” Cummings says he is excited about his appointment as head coach of the TnT Soca Rivals, the Trinidad and Tobago franchise club for the inaugural Islands Open Cup (ISCO) tournament carded to take place in the Caribbean in the summer of 2021.

Cummings has been named the head coach with former T&T World Cup midfielder Carlos Edwards carded to take up a coach/player role alongside Ron La Forest as Assistant Coach.

The slated summer feature will see a professional tournament inclusive of recently retired legend Marquee players from across the globe, as well young Pan-Caribbean/Latin American talent, all participating in the ten (10) franchises as follows: Brazil Samba Warriors FC, Barbados Challengers FC, SC Colombia Tapirs, FC Combined Islands, AS Espanola Manics, AS Guyana Oilers, Jamaica Ruffnecks FC, Suriname Gladiators FC, TnT Soca Rivals FC and the French Connection FC.

“This is a very good position for me which requires a lot of football experience, knowledge and the capabilities to succeed and someone of good character,” Cumming said.

“I would like to commend the organizers for taking this initiative to stage such a tournament and additionally, when other people seem to pass you by,  they went back and looked at what we were able to achieve in the 1989 campaign and saw the development of the national team in 1987 before the Strike Squad took off. In two years time we were able to sell out all venues and bring people back to the game again,” he added.

“I think this tournament will revamp the interest in football in the region again because we have a lot of players and coaches coming from outside to mingle with our guys here and enhance the quality of the teams and the football in the tournament. We will be unearthing talent also during this tournament which is important for our region,” Cummings continued.

“I am not surprised at the fact  that in CONCACAF, Mexico, Costa Rica, USA and other countries have dominated and from what I am seeing they will continue to do so because they all have good youth programmes with continuity from one level to the next. This is why we see so many youth players representing their countries senior teams and teams at all levels. This tournament will allow more youngsters the opportunity to display their talent and skill,” he said.

Sol Campbell, Carlos Valderamma and Marco Simone are among some of the names that have endorsed the tournament and are expected to be involved.

“This made me very happy because with all these popular names of persons who have contributed at a high level internationally coming to the region especially at this time. I feel elated to be part of it and I know the other coaches and players from other parts of the world will be keen to come to the Caribbean to be part of this event,” Cummings stated.

“To have Carlos Edwards as part of the staff for the TnT Soca Rivals will be a blessing because Carlos will be helping with playing and coaching of the Trinidad and Tobago franchise. Also we will have people like Ron La Forest who will be an assistant coach and my son Gabre Cummings who will be the manager of the team.

“The timing is good because we have to also look at the Coronavirus Pandemic  right now and hopefully by the time next year comes around all will be in place for the staging of this tournament,” Cummings concluded.

The Islands Cup Open Tournament has been conceived as a 12-weeks summer tournament and will comprise games to be played in three (3) different cities in Brazil, and in the Pan-Caribbean. Jamaica and Antigua & Barbuda will be utilized as our main hubs, with a caravan schedule in selected countries, playing both mid-week and weekend games. This football tournament will infuse players from across the globe.

Legendary Players who have most recently turned head coaches, such as: Colombia’s own Carlos Valderrama, Italy’s Marco Simone, France’s Vincent Candela, USA’s Brad Friedel and Trinidad & Tobago’s all time renowned Everald “Gally” Cummings, are some of the headliner coaches who will be assigned to selected franchises in this $3M Euro “Winner take all” annual cash prize Championship.

Game days will be an experience that has never before been showcased in a single tournament, featuring a rich, spectacular vibe – a melding of culture, food, football and live Music genres such as: Samba, Reggae, Soca, Salsa, Afro-beat, Reggaeton, Hip-Hop, EDM and Bollywood will all contribute to the extravaganza experience. ISCO is slated to be the Biggest Football Fete Fest ever that will bring the party right alongside the game!

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Football / Forged from the Love
« on: August 21, 2020, 07:24:58 PM »
The true story of Trinidad and Tobago's thrilling journey to the 2006 World Cup. After decades of close calls, the Trinidad and Tobago men's national football team qualified to the World Cup. The journey was not without its fair share of drama and was a long time coming. The story is chronicled from over a decade before the qualification, and covers the team's rise as well as their setbacks. It is all told from the perspective of a fan who had dreamed of the achievement his entire life. The story is told beautifully, and sheds some light on what it is like to be a devoted fan. The entire journey is told in great detail and summons memories of the not so distant past. Any fan of the underdog can relate to this remarkable story.

You can purchase the book on Amazon by CLICKING HERE.

Gols Galore Trinbago Style / Kennya Cordner
« on: July 05, 2020, 07:42:14 AM »
All of Kennya Cordner's 17 goals from the 2019 Norwegian Toppserien season when she won the Golden Boot Award

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Football / 2020 T&T Pro League Thread
« on: June 14, 2020, 10:11:41 AM »
Football leagues aim at return in August
By Ian Prescott (T&T Express)

DEPENDENT on Government’s release of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, local football should resume in August when both the TT Pro League and the Trinidad and Tobago Super League plan to independently launch their 2020 competitions.

Both Pro League acting-chairman Brent Sancho and Super League president Keith Look Loy announced a planned August start of their competitions. However, neither could say whether the long-touted integrated league between the two top divisions of local football will become a reality this season.

“We’re already having a conversation at the board level and with the clubs, and we are hoping that we could start by the middle of August,” said Look Loy, head of the tier two semi-professional Super League.

President of former champions FC Santa Rosa, Look Loy anticipates such time would give clubs five to six weeks’ pre-season training before football actually begins.

“If they open up the country by the 22nd and team sport becomes possible and all of that, which is basically the end of June, then we hoping to start by the middle of August,” Look Loy said.

Sancho said the tier one TT Pro League was also anticipating competition kicking off in August subject, he said, to “all protocols observed as it relates to the Covid-19 restrictions.”

The Central FC owner explained: “Although the end of August is the start date, we are just going on the mere fact that the end of June is when we are allowed to go back out in groups and play.

“We are just like any other national in the country, where we have to play it by ear when it comes to the situation (Covid-19). The clubs are well aware and well mindful of the dates we would have set,” Sancho said.

Look Loy said he did not know if there were still plans for an integrated league between the two tiers, as once discussed.

“We don’t know the answer to that. So we are preparing to run our competitions by ourselves. We don’t know where that proposal is and we can’t sit down and wait,” he said.

“Last year we sat and we waited for the new league, the T-League or whatever you want to call it, and it didn’t come off. It was a good thing we also had our own plans so we were able to start up our operation quickly and play a one-round league.”

Meanwhile, former Sport Minister Sancho is still optimistic of a merger between the two, if only in the future.

“I don’t think it should be off. I stand by what the Board of the TT Pro League says — that a national approach is the best-fit for football in this country. We all now have to, of course, come together for the best of the sport in the country.”

Sancho added: “I think that if that is the evolution of where we are going, the national approach, that will have to be a collective conversation.

“We are sounding the clarion horn and looking for all stakeholders to come together, putting all political affiliations aside, and work for the best interest in Trinidad and Tobago.”

Football / T&T Coaches Abroad Thread.
« on: May 13, 2020, 03:50:27 PM »
Garvin Quamina: An in-depth conversation with one of the top coaches in America
By Jon J. (The Peach Review)

It seems like a millennia ago when I last heard that soothing UEFA Champions League anthem. It’s still hard to grasp that the world of football has come to a standstill. While most leagues have been simply postponed, others have decided to cancel their seasons altogether. With the beautiful game standing idle because of the pandemic, now’s the time to take a closer look at soccer here in The States. For philosophical ruminations about football and its presence in America, there’s no better person to ask than Coach Garvin “The Guru” Quamina.

What if I told you there was a coach/trainer with a decade-plus long track record of churning out top-level collegiate and professional athletes but has never been sought out for top-level leadership? What if I told you the patience and professionalism maintained by this man goes as far as staying silent while other coaches publicly claimed to have developed his players? His massive success in coaching and training is only outmatched by his level of humility and football acumen. So today, we’re going to take a deep dive into the sport from the local level all the way to the top. The good, the bad, and the extremely ugly.

Coach Garvin Quamina, affectionately referred to as “Coach G” by those that know him, hails from Trinidad & Tobago. Having played U-12 and U-14 football, his love for the game took shape in Miami. Growing up in South Florida, Garvin was immersed in the culture in some form or fashion every day; be it playing or otherwise. As a loving husband and father of five, his coaching hat was put on after one of his sons took interest in the game. These early years are where our unsung hero would gain the confidence to change the landscape in the region for years to come. “I met these amazing Trini guys: Ivan Sampson, Steve Shan, and Anthony James. They were all linked in some form or the other and they gave me that confidence. They were like, ‘Hey, you’re good at this!’ And these guys were doing this way before me. Ivan told me ‘Your style and the way you do stuff… Go for it!'” He and Anthony James would travel all over the country coaching camps and using those opportunities to learn as much as possible while applying personal elements to their game. In essence, taking their game to the next level. When Garvin did his national youth license the final report from the director read, “Candidate can teach this course within a year.”

If that wasn’t enough positive reinforcement, his services would soon be sought for the development of Shaquille Moore. In football, it’s not unheard of to pack your bags and relocate to be closer to your trainer, coach, or desired club. In this case, Shaq moved to Georgia to continue to develop with Coach G. It was a passing of the torch in a way. Shaq’s father was coached by Trinidad & Tobago legend Bertille St Clair. He had established a good rapport with St Clair and saw the same relationship developing between Shaq and Garvin. It was then he started to recognize, “Wow this thing is real.”

Quamina has been quietly imprinting his coaching tactics for 19 years. Behind the scenes for nine-teen-years (and it’ll be 20 later this year). “Again, Anthony James and guys like that, I worked with a lot. They taught me so much without even teaching me.” He’d spend countless hours on the phone with guys like Andre Fortune just picking their brains and exchanging tactics. Conversations like these are where the real nuggets of wisdom are dropped. The type of experience that can’t be replicated by a course.

It was clear he had a knack for youth coaching so it was only natural that U.S. Soccer courses would be taken. He took one for the National Y license and the basic ones to follow, along with getting his English FA badge under Jack Warner in Trinidad. “When I got that I was like eh… No need to rush through these. I’m still looking to do the one in Wales. In order to coach the academy level in England, you need an FA “B” (license) and that’s what I had.” He had everything he needed to take things to the next level abroad.

But his focus was on long-term youth development right here at home. “I’m going to get into camps, develop young talent, and ship them out to different parts of the world.” When he said this, I leaned forward with an inquisitors’ eyebrow that screamed, “Do you have somewhere in mind?!” He read me perfectly and laughed stating, “I have a nice relationship with a big club in France…” A few clubs came to mind, but as I was about to let out my first guess, his smile fed me a gentle ‘no way’ which was supplemented with a, “Maybe I’ll reveal them this year.” That’s a really big deal. I continuously mention the fact that Georgia is a treasure trove of football talent and not just for players. Garvin is an excellent example of how top-tier coaching goes undiscovered or overlooked, which leads me to our next topic: coaching.

After watching from the sideline all these years, I decided it was time to take a dive into a subject that needed dire addressing. At the youth, collegiate, and professional level, you’ll see black players here and there. But one thing you don’t see? Black coaches. The U.S. is good at implementing “systems” to address their needs and often times specific groups get overlooked or simply excluded. So I wanted the skinny on the coaching system in our country to see if it was more of the same. In my mind, there was no better person to ask than “The Guru” himself. What talking heads and officials make out to be so complex was broken down so easily by Coach G that I was almost upset. Upset at the fact that these simple discrepancies could’ve been rectified years ago (that is, if anyone actually cared). But the culprit in the halt for change in footy is no different than any other sector in this country.

“It’s about economics. The whole entire system is focused on its revenue stream.” He said frankly. For example, if I’m a coach who wants to get an A, B, or C license, and that license costs “x” amount of dollars… But I don’t have “x” amount of dollars, it’s like a glass ceiling is put in place. So how is a coach supposed to acquire higher coaching credentials if they can’t afford it? “AAU is the highest level of youth basketball in the country. There’s a guy out there who has a hoop in his yard, has a love for the game, and pushes his knowledge on a bunch of kids. He gets them to understand what he wants, colleges go to the AAU programs, selects the players, and move on. Now compare paying around $90 for an online course you can complete in a day to coach AAU to thousands of dollars for courses that could take months to coach football .”

The message here is simple: If you can get through to 25 young athletes, that can understand your methods, and you can get them to the next level, you should be qualified to coach.

As a coach and a trainer, Quamina comes in contact with talented youth pretty much every day. On the training side, he’s brought up some of the more notable young names at Atlanta United. He started with Andrew Carleton roughly 10 years ago and eventually worked with Chris Goslin, Patrick Okonkwo, and Lagos Kunga.

On the coaching side, Coach G leads two girls teams, 02’/01′ and 04′, at Concorde Fire. Those two teams comprise his ECNL teams, his personal teams. When looking at a coach, you should look at the entire package. Does he know his kids? Can he coach? Can they implement his tactics on the pitch? And of course, you have to have the numbers to back it up. “My 18’s are top of the league and their GD (goal differential) is +66,” he explains with a smile. “The younger team is pretty close too at +61. The 04’s last year got to 101 goals in the regular season.” The man’s productivity cannot be questioned. A goal differential of “+66” is simply maddening.

His efficiency and methodology are part and parcel of the “guru” moniker. He connects with his players on a deeper, almost spiritual level, and it shows in their performance. “We’re not just beating these other teams because we’re big and athletic, we’re doing it by playing the game the right way. With flair, style, and pure enjoyment. They can sit down and make 30 to 40 passes against an opponent with their eyes closed. They’re learning, watching, studying, texting me, and just totally consuming it.” His 18-year-olds, the group of 02’s, are the ones heading to college. He has 20 girls on that squad. Of the 20, 18 are committed to NCAA Div. I schools. “We have schools like Stanford picking up Astrid Wheeler and we have arguably the best 02′ in the land in Lucy Mitchell heading to Notre Dame,” he said. Tennessee, Clemson, Vanderbilt, and Georgia also appeared on his extremely long list of schools pursuing his players.

This is what the game is missing here in America: passion. You can feel it in this man’s voice when he talks about his kids, the game, coaching, and anything surrounding the sport. It’s clear that his techniques are working with his audience and said audience is applying those principles on and off the pitch. On the pitch, he often mentioned that his kids play the game ‘the right way.’ But what exactly is the right way?

1. “First of all, it’s getting them to understand that they’ll never play this age group again. So every year that you play in your age group, enjoy it. If you’re playing U-16, enjoy it because next year you won’t be playing in it.”
2. The next step is to make sure they’re enjoying what they’re doing. “Not just keeping the ball but having a blast doing it. Slicing and dicing opponents, fighting back for it when its lost, and working harder than the other team.”
3. Then comes the final step: the why? “Yeah you cross, but you need to understand why we cross. ‘Why’ is the most important. Arrival time… Why? If you go too early, you’re offsides. If you go too late, you won’t get the ball. I’m big on the why. The right way is understanding why we’re doing what we’re doing on the pitch, how to play, why and how we warm-up, and why we spend so much time on technical work. Once you understand that, everything else becomes easy.”

Take his Stanford product Astrid Wheeler who we mentioned earlier. She grew up with Quamina’s high school boys. She knows the game and the culture, but there was an opportunity to bridge a gap. She grew up playing against young Hispanic and African men. A 13-year-old girl was running with 18-year-old boys who were playing the ball to her with pace. And now? The gap has been bridged. You can throw the ball in the air between her and them and she’s fine. Her speed, passing, awareness, and first touch are out of this world. Part of her development came from playing with these young men at Campbell High School. When you’re 13-years-old playing with 18-year-old boys who eat, sleep, and drink the game, you have no choice but to rise to the occasion. You have to be good.

Speaking of development, I wanted to clear the air on a matter that I had mentioned earlier in Quamina’s introduction. Atlanta United Academy Director Tony Annan claimed that he developed Atlanta United Homegrown Andrew Carleton which is clearly not true.

“Yeah, I heard the interview with them talking about Carleton… But I understand that’s a part of the game and I didn’t say anything. Anyone who has any clue about Andrew knows what’s up. I saw the kid at 10 or 11 years old and asked his mom if I could coach him. I coached him from then, all the way up to now. All those years when we had no DA, we were working. Four days a week, every week. Mornings, nights, whenever. We’d have tournaments in his backyard. You learn so much by just playing, playing, playing.”

Had time allotted, our conversation could’ve went into the dying embers of the night. But before I wrapped things up, I had to bring up the obvious. The ugly truth that resides in every aspect of American culture. I’ve seen white guys as young as 26-years-old, fresh out of grad-school, get offered full-time coaching jobs at colleges and universities. Coaches with some experience, coaches with no experience, even coaches with losing records, are continuously thrown opportunities. Meanwhile, a coach with a winning record and winning attitude, who’s well-liked and admired by his players, who thinks outside the box, and most importantly wins, is not getting contacted. 90% of his girls received NCAA D-I scholarships while others are playing professionally and for national teams and not a single organization has reached out to him? You connect the dots.

When major clubs and even national teams contact you regularly to secure your players but have no interest in securing you? It’s easy to put two-and-two together. The Director of State Men’s Football was quoted as saying, “Candidate can teach this course within a year” regarding Quamina. So a coach who’s good enough to teach a licensing course on coaching… isn’t good enough to coach?

I have a final message from Coach G. A rally cry. A call to arms. If we as a country are going to matriculate into the footballing powerhouse that we could be, we need change, focus, and cohesion. Here he is in his own words:

“The same time and effort that parents put into selecting a school/teacher for their child should be done for youth soccer. The same way you’re willing to go to that school, investigate, and find out what they’re about before you pass your child over there because you want the best education for them. You should want that for your child for the sport (the best soccer education). I’m a chef by trade. You always have the best ingredients to make the best dish. I want the best ingredients always. You can’t make chicken salad with chicken s***. I want the best! Go over there, handpick the best, and give them the best experience. Iron sharpens iron. Get this group right here and inspire them to get there (forward). Inspire them, develop them, figure out what it takes to get them here (points far away). Work. Grind. Sweat. Don’t just take the people’s money, turn your back, and drop the kids off. Don’t know their names but, have all the loving words till the check clears, then forget again in July. Go ask them (coaches) some questions. Hold them to task like you hold teachers to task. I love the sport, love the game, I’ll never get caught up in their politics “pretending” to develop players. I’ll continue to develop players. To develop talent. I’ll be very honest. WE GOTTA BE HONEST WITH THESE KIDS! We can’t fake development. We’re either gonna do it or we’re not. Either we’re gonna do it and do it the right way, or leave these people’s kids alone. Move on. Don’t rob them or cheat them. Be honest. A coach told me a long time ago, ‘No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.’ I live by that.”

Football / Jaheim Faustin Thread
« on: May 04, 2020, 12:38:11 PM »
Meet Jaheim Faustin
By Calisa Joseph (Total SporTT)

The 3rd Form Trinity College East student is also part of the exclusive group of 15 yr olds to debut in the T&T Pro League.

How did you get involved in football?
Well my dad was a Strike squad player & I guess ever since I could walk or even see a ball I fell in-love with that sport called football.

(Strike squad, was the name given to our NT in 1989, who were one win shy of qualifying for the 1990 World Cup)

Miss about playing in SSFL?
One thing I miss was the feelings of playing in an East Zone final alongside a lot of high quality senior players like Kerdell Sween.

Feel debuting in Pro League at a young age?
I was very thankful for the opportunity to represent Jabloteh in the league. To the people that pushed me from the start & stuck with me through the rough times, I am grateful & appreciate everyone. Also for the opportunity I was given to show my talent to the audiences. I'm also thankful for my coaches & players for trusting and believing in me & allowing me to show them what I have to offer to T&T Pro League.

Who stuck with you throughout your career so far?
My Dad stuck with me through thick & thin & he will always support me no matter what. He is not only my dad he is like my big brother, he is with me almost 24/7 any & anywhere and I love & appreciate him for that. #thanksdadforeverythingyoudidforme

How did you end up playing for Jabloteh?
After I was like 12 years old I started to play with a team called Blast in Arima and after a year with them I joined up with Jabloteh so that I could play youth pro league and ever since I was with them.

Nicknames on the team?
They call me young Marvin, Faustin or Young Faustin.

Player you model your game after?
I don’t like to model one person on how I play, but I look up to Neymar for his overall performance. People say i play like him in the middle and attacking 3rd of the field. Then people say I cross and take the ball like my dad, who is always my role model and people also say I defend like N. Semedo.

Thanks Jaheim for sharing! With diligence & an already strong support system - you can make it!

Football / Molik Khan Thread
« on: April 15, 2020, 02:22:35 PM »
Meet Molik Khan
Total SporTT Media

Molik made his T&T Pro League debut at just 15 years of age for W Connection, and still is one of the youngest on the team.

Where did you learn to play football?
I grew up playing football in a Savannah called the "horseshoe" located in my hometown Pleasantville.

Interests beside football?
I don't really do much beside football, just rock back and play a lil game with my brothers and them.

Advice given to you by senior players when making pro-league debut at 15?
Some of the senior players told me, just go out there and do my thing, be calm, do what I'm accustomed doing and just have fun.

How did it feel making your debut at such a young age?
It was a very good feeling. A very exciting moment to showcase my talent, but at a higher level.

Dream club to play at?
FC Barcelona. Ever since I was small I used to watch this team mainly because of Messi, and as the years went by I started to develop a love for the team.

Nicknames on the team?
I have two nicknames on the team, some call me "J-man", and others call me "Young Williams" which is an inside joke amongst ourselves.

Friends on the team?
Some of my friends include: Denzil Smith, Ronald Charles and Isaiah Garcia

Which player do you model your game after?
On the attacking side, I try as much to follow Ronaldinho. Some of the skills he did in the past attracted my interest and, I just try to follow him to give the defenders some trouble.

Where do you see yourself at aged 20?
I see myself outside playing for a professional club making my friends, family, everybody who looked for me and most importantly myself proud.

FIFA appoints normalisation committee for Trinidad and Tobago football

The Bureau of the FIFA Council has today decided to appoint a normalisation committee for the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) in accordance with art. 8 par. 2 of the FIFA Statutes.

The decision follows the recent FIFA/Concacaf fact-finding mission to Trinidad and Tobago to assess, together with an independent auditor, the financial situation of TTFA. The mission found that extremely low overall financial management methods, combined with a massive debt, have resulted in the TTFA facing a very real risk of insolvency and illiquidity. Such a situation is putting at risk the organisation and development of football in the country and corrective measures need to be applied urgently.

Therefore, the mandate of the normalisation committee will include the following:
  • to run the TTFA'S daily affairs;
  • to establish a debt repayment plan that is implementable by the TTFA;
  • to review and amend the TTFA Statutes (and other regulations where necessary) and to ensure their compliance with the FIFA Statutes and requirements before duly submitting them for approval to the TTFA Congress;
  • to organise and to conduct elections of a new TTFA Executive Committee for a four-year mandate.

The normalisation committee will be composed of an adequate number of members to be identified by the FIFA administration, in consultation with Concacaf. In line with the FIFA Governance Regulations, all members of the normalisation committee will be subject to an eligibility check.

The normalisation committee will act as an electoral committee, and none of its members will be eligible for any of the open positions in the TTFA elections under any circumstances. The specified period of time during which the normalisation committee will perform its functions will expire as soon as it has fulfilled all of its assigned tasks, but no later than 24 months after its members have been officially appointed by FIFA.


FIFA Normalisation committee takes over T&TFA.
By Walter Alibey (Guardian).

A Normalisation Committee is set to take over the administration of football in T&T for a period of maximum two years. This new development which was widely expected, took place yesterday, mere weeks after a visit by a FIFA/CONCACAF team, on a fact-finding mission to the T&T Football Association, found an extremely low overall financial situation that placed the William Wallace-led TTFA on the periphery of insolvency.

On Tuesday, a release from the world governing body for football- FIFA on its website stated that: “The Bureau of the FIFA Council has today (Tuesday) decided to appoint a normalisation committee for the T&T Football Association in accordance with articles 8, par 2 of the FIFA Statutes.

Article 8.2 of the FIFA Statutes reads: "Executive bodies of member associations may under exceptional circumstances be removed from office by the Council in consultation with the relevant confederation and replaced by a normalisation committee for a specific period."

The decision follows the recent FIFA/CONCACAF fact-finding mission to T&T to assess, together with an independent auditor, the financial situation of the TTFA. The mission found that extremely low financial management methods, combined with massive debt, have resulted in the TTFA facing a very real risk of insolvency and illiquidity.”

It added: “Such a situation is putting at risk the organization and the development of football in the country, and corrective measures need to be applied urgently.” Ironically, the committee comes at a time when the Wallace-led football executive had won over the public's trust from the David John-Williams led administration based on transparency and accountability, and the ability to raise funding to treat with the association's burdening debt, which it is understood, to be in the region of $50 million, Wallace said recently at a press conference at the Queen's Park Oval in Port-of-Spain on March 4.

Only last week Ramesh Ramdhan, the T&T football association's general secretary told Guardian Media Sports that the FIFA/CONCACAF team had expressed satisfaction with the plans and structures his association had put in place, as well as their plans to treat with the financial affairs, and they (FIFA) was willing to pump money to assist the embattled football association.

The normalisation committee is expected to: Run the TTFA's daily affairs: To establish a debt repayment plan that is implemented by the TTFA: To review and amend the TTFA Statutes and other regulations where necessary and to ensure their compliance with the FIFA Statutes and requirements before duly submitting them for approval to the TTFA Congress: To organize and to conduct elections of a new TTFA Executive Committee for a four-year mandate.

This is the first time the FIFA normalisation committee has had to take over the governance of T&T football which is 112 years old, and a FIFA member for the last 76 years, and it comes amidst rising concerns of questionable contracts, promises of many local and international sponsors that are still to materialize, and promises of transparency and accountability being compromised by members of the Board of Directors complaining of being left out of the decision-making process since the new executive took over just over three months ago.

According to the release: “The normalisation committee will be composed of an adequate number of members to be identified by the FIFA administration, in consultation with CONCACAF. In line with the FIFA Governance Regulations, all members of the normalisation committee will be subject to an eligibility check. The normalisation committee will act as an electoral committee, and none of its members will be eligible for any of the open positions in the TTFA elections under any circumstances. The specified period during which the normalisation committee will perform its function will expire as soon it has fulfilled all its assigned tasks, but no later than 24 months after its members have been officially appointed by FIFA.”

Contacted by Guardian Media Sports on Tuesday Wallace, who was elected to the local organisation top post on November 24 last year, said he was surprised with the position taken by the FIFA and particularly for the reasons given. The local football boss said they have been working on some stuff and will contact the FIFA for official confirmation since he only saw it on the FIFA website, noting that he or his general secretary had not been contacted or informed about it.

“After the FIFA team visited and said it was satisfied. We gave the FIFA a total breakdown of the TTFA financial debt with all the court matters and rulings etc. We also gave them a structural plan of how we were moving forward. And at the end of the audit, a statement was made that they were satisfied, and we were told to get the freeze on the account removed before the FIFA can start sending money again, so I am shocked now at the steps taken,” Wallace explained.

Former president John-Williams told Guardian Media Sports that he had no comment on the matter on Tuesday.

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T&T Lineup:
22. Ross Russell, 13. Ansil Elcock, 6. Marvin Faustin, 4. Dexter Francis (capt.), 16. Richard Theodore, 14. Alvin Thomas, 8. Angus Eve, 3. Sherwyn Julien (11. Reynold Carrington), 5. Dean Pacheco, 10. Terry St. Louis, 15. Dexter Cyrus (17. Alvin Boisson)

Coach: Kenny Joseph

Gols Galore Trinbago Style / Morgan Bruce De Rouche
« on: February 19, 2020, 07:48:03 PM »
Atlético Monachil vs CD Almuñecar City (January 19, 2020)

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Football / Thread for Canada vs T&T (27-Mar-2020 and 31-Mar-2020)
« on: February 14, 2020, 01:57:50 PM »
As usual, any updates/scores, shout-outs, reports, predictions, views, etc, on the T&T vs Canada game on the 27th of March 2020 will be posted here, this way, we can maintain the message board and not make it look too scrappy with un-necessary or related headlines and postings on game day.

For the internet users, you can follow the game at:

To be updated.

Possible Online Streams.

To be updated.

Possible TV Station.

To be updated.

Trinidad & Tobago Squad





Coach - Terry Fenwick (TRI).

Canada Squad






Updates to follow as we get more info, so keep checking back.

Football / Josiah Trimmingham Thread
« on: February 13, 2020, 03:02:11 PM »
Forward Madison signs Trinidad and Tobago International Josiah Trimmingham
By Jason Klein (

Forward Madison FC has signed Trinidad and Tobago international Josiah Trimmingham, the club announced Thursday. Trimmingham, a 23-year-old center back, played with the Flamingos last year as a guest player in the team’s exhibition against Minnesota United FC.

This season, with several international spots open on Forward’s 2020 roster, Head Coach and Technical Director Daryl Shore said it was a no-brainer to bring Trimmingham on board.

“With our roster taking shape as it is, we felt like adding center backs was one of our needs,” Shore said. “Watching the Minnesota game last year, you can see that Josiah was able to match up with their forwards and brought a tremendous physical presence. He’s a player who we think could have a really good season for us.”

Trimmingham, who is from San Juan, Trinidad, started his career in his home country’s TT Pro League with San Juan Jabloteh in 2014. Trimmingham’s progression earned him call-ups to the Trinidad and Tobago National Team, including an appearance on the bench during the Soca Warriors’ infamous 2017 win that eliminated the United States from World Cup qualification. Trimmingham made his Trinidad and Tobago debut a month later, starting in a friendly against Guyana.

Trimmingham, who moved on to USL League Two’s FC Miami City in 2019, said his cameo for Forward Madison helped convince him to sign on a full-time basis.

“I was able to really appreciate the Forward Madison fans even before signing my contract,” Trimmingham said. “The atmosphere was great. I’m really excited to be with the team and to be playing for the city, playing for the fans.”

According to Shore, Trimmingham will have a chance to shine in USL League One.

“Josiah is a physical presence in the back, he’s very good in the air and he’s a good one-on-one defender who will bring tenacity to our group,” Shore said. “We’re excited to bring Josiah in and we’re looking forward to what he has to bring.”

Football / Kierron Mason Thread
« on: February 12, 2020, 03:49:56 PM »
Back in Black and Yellow: Kierron Mason
Charleston Battery Staff

Mason didn't see much action during the USL Championship regular season making just one start in three total appearances. Like teammate Jay Bolt, Mason's season was cut short due to an injury that sidelined him for the second half of the season. Mason did make an impact in the U.S. Open Cup, starting all three of Charleston's cup matches.

Mason put in a solid performance against Greenville Triumph SC in the Second Round. He started alongside Tah Brian Anunga in midfield and played ninety minutes, setting the tone defensively for Charleston. He was involved in eighteen duels throughout the match, a team-high, winning possession in ten of those battles. Mason added two tackles, two clearances, and two interceptions while winning possession for Charleston six times.

The first year Trinidad and Tobago international also started against Nashville SC in the Third Round. This time he pushed past the ninety-minute mark, playing the first eight minutes of extra time before being replaced. Mason improved upon his numbers against Greenville winning possession for Charleston thirteen times and nearly doubling his number of tackles, clearances, and interceptions.

Ten minutes into Charleston's Fourth Round battle against Atlanta United, Mason picked up an injury and was replaced by Angelo Kelly. The injury would keep Mason from being able to establish any momentum in his first season with the club. Anunga's transfer to Nashville SC will provide an opening Mason could fill heading into 2020.

Football / Immortelle Youth League Thread
« on: February 04, 2020, 11:46:24 AM »
From a school project to the latest development football league, this is the story of how a grassroots tournament has gripped the country. It's called the Immortelle Youth League and as you'll see in this story, this newly sanctioned TTFA tournament aims to kick T&T football into the future.

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Football / Scouting for Talent Thread
« on: January 14, 2020, 04:29:16 PM »
TTFA announces scouts for North American Talent Identification programme
TTFA Media

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association is pleased to announce the appointment of several scouts to the TTFA’s North America Talent Identification and Player Pool Programme (TIPP) which was launched earlier this month. The directors of TIPP are Sean Powder and Justin Reid.

The individuals appointed as scouts are as follows:

Prince Borde, Stephen Chase, Ashton Baptiste, Errol McFarlane, Leslie Fitzpatrick, Myron Garnes, Kevon Isa, Anthony Lambert, Daniel McKell, Nigel Myers,Kenrick Ramirez, Wendell Regis, Ivan Sampson, Marc Anthony-William,Lumumba Shabazz and Kernell Borneo.

All appointments are for one year from January 1st to December 31st 2020.

TIPP scouting responsibilities include:

● Evaluating players of Trinbagonian descent in schools across North America and submitting prospects to Coordinator in the region
● Monitoring news sources, attend games, and speak with coaches to locate prospective players.
● Watch game footage of players and study statistics to determine the player’s potential.
● Meet with players and their families to discuss the TIPP program and benefits of the TTFA youth national teams.
● Collecting player and coaching information of Trinbagonians in North America and submitting it to Director.

All TIPP scouts must comply with the following requirements:

● Must have in-depth knowledge of football in Trinidad & Tobago at the national team level and must be active in coaching soccer in the United States
● Must have a keen eye for detail when observing prospects
● Must be actively pursuing a coaching license
● Must have coached in a club or clubs across the U.S.
● Must be a Trinbagonian or of Trinbagonian descent
● Must have strong interpersonal skills to connect with prospects
● Ability to make numerous decisions when recruiting

Gols Galore Trinbago Style / Gavin Hoyte
« on: December 31, 2019, 01:22:22 PM »
Maidstone United vs Dulwich Hamlet (December 28, 2019)

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Football / U-19 Community Invitational Tournament
« on: December 13, 2019, 05:38:38 AM »
U-19 Community Invitational Tournament kicks off on December 21st
Next Level Consulting Limited

There will be a new and exciting youth football tournament on the calendar for sports fans across Trinidad and Tobago this month. For many years, the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) has been duly considered the breeding ground of the nation’s young football stars of the future. The Next Level Consulting Limited U19 Community Invitational Tournament kicks off on 21 December and seeks to build upon that youth football landscape by providing another platform for our nation’s youths to play, to develop and to be scouted and/or recruited for the next stage of their football careers.

Starting 21 December, communities island-wide will be keenly represented by their talented young footballers in the TTFA sanctioned NLCL U19 tournament. Academies, youth Pro League, SSFL and community teams will be vying for the highly coveted 2019-20 Next Level Consulting, Limited Under 19 Community Challenge trophy. A total of 11 teams from Port of Spain to Guayaguayare and Sangre Grande to Point Fortin will battle in a home and away format in this new league tournament.

The tournament, which will feature late evening and afternoon games, will have two groups: a North/East group and a South/Central group. Teams will play two games each week. The North/East group will comprise Trendsetter Hawks, Fatima College, MaGauya United (Mayaro), SP Boyz FC (Manzanilla/Sangre Grande) and Hearts of Maloney. The South/Central group will showcase Mascall Coaching School (Moruga), Point Fortin Civic, D.C.S./Dass Trace (La Brea and Enterprise combination), Gasparillo Youths, Princes Town Achievers and All Blacks F.C. (Fyzabad).

The brainchild of tournament chair Brian Jordan, owner of security company Next Level Consulting Limited, the tournament is ably supported by an organising committee comprised of co-owner and public relations officer Mrs Germaine Jordan and team liaison Ms Sandra Pompey of Gasparillo Youths. The organisers are also thankful for valued sponsors Ramlogan & Sons Sports (Couva and Marabella), Ramsingh Sports and the Maritime Financial Group.

Mr Jordan stated: “Football fans will be super excited to see their sons, grandsons, brothers, nephews, cousins, and neighbours run out and represent their communities in this tournament. Many well-known SSFL stars will be coming up against other players of very high quality, and many of whom they would not have faced during their school season in this tournament.”

He added: “We will work our tails off to ensure Tobago is represented similarly in the tournament next year.”

The NLCL U19 community tournament expects supporters to come out in their numbers to root for their respective teams. Additionally, many seasonal visitors and residents coming for the holidays and for Carnival will find the tournament another enjoyable option for spending their time as they take in a game or two.

Tournament organisers have invited and expect scouts from various universities and professional teams, locally and abroad, to attend tournament games to recruit from the available talent. They have also partnered with the very popular Talk Yuh Mind social media video content providers to cover feature games throughout the season.

Next Level Consulting Limited feels very strongly that this tournament can help to develop our young footballers and keep our youth off the streets, gainfully engaged in a sport they love and away from the criminal element.

For more information, or to support the Next Level Consulting Limited U19 community invitational tournament, call or WhatsApp (868) 389-0516 or (868) 495-8302.

Football / 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup Thread
« on: December 11, 2019, 08:04:47 PM »
Trinidad and Tobago to face either Barbados or Guyana in 2021 Gold Cup playoff
TTFA Media

Trinidad and Tobago’s Senior Men’s Team will face the winner of Barbados/Guyana first round tie in their final CONCACAF Gold Cup 2021 qualifying playoff in June, 2020.

This was determined at the draw for the playoffs held by CONCACAF on Wednesday.

T&T found themselves in this final hurdle having finished bottom of the three-team table in CONCACAF Nations League A qualifying earlier this year behind Honduras and Martinique who automatically booked their places in Gold Cup 2021.

The upcoming 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup Qualifiers will determine the final four teams to qualify for the 2021 Gold Cup.

T&T are one of the four third-placed teams from the 2019–20 CONCACAF Nations League A which will enter the second round along with Bermuda, Haiti and Cuba.  The group Winners of Nations League B and C made up the schedule for the first round of the Gold Cup qualifiers.

At the draw, Barbados and Guyana were pitted against each other with the winner to meet T&T in a home and away playoff. The winner  of that playoff in June will advance to Gold Cup 2021.

Gols Galore Trinbago Style / Robert Primus
« on: December 11, 2019, 12:43:14 PM »
Mohun Bagan vs Churchill Brothers FC Goa (December 8, 2019)

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Gols Galore Trinbago Style / Taryk Sampson
« on: December 06, 2019, 06:42:00 AM »
Gokulam Kerala FC vs Neroca FC (November 30, 2019)

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Football / Andre Ettienne Thread
« on: November 28, 2019, 07:36:01 AM »
Andre Ettienne: ‘Malabar is my second home’

Within a year of reaching the Malabar coast, Trinidad and Tobago defender Andre Ettienne has made the place his second home.

For the defender, the Arabian Sea evokes memories back home and he is in company of his childhood friends Nathaniel Garcia and Marcus Joseph.

“I will call this place as my second home. And these boys who train with me are my family. We live together, train together and joke together. We three are quite comfortable here. The players here have helped us a lot to jell with the place and team,” says Andre Ettienne.

The defender believes that a lot has changed from the previous season, in which he was roped in midway. “I feel better this season. Last season I was there for only five matches. This season I was able to take part in the Durand Cup. I have put in a lot of work for the team and you can see the changes,” he said.

Andre is awed by the standard of the league and the kind of players in the tournament. “There is a good mixture of foreign players and local standard. The league has evolved to have a high standard. It is very competitive. If you watch the matches, you will understand this,” he explains.

Malabarians have come with a stellar performance so far by winning the Durand Cup and reaching the semifinal of Sheikh Kamal International Cup. The expectations of the fans are very high and the bulky defender believes the team is on course of winning the league.

“The chemistry in the team is very good. The players are very friendly and we have a family atmosphere in the team. We have already put in a good display and I believe we stand a good chance to lift the championship,” he said.

The defensive record of the team has also been excellent after the coach deploying a three-man backline. “For me the system offers lot of opportunity to command the game. The coach has been showing certain areas we have to work on. It has given result. I have played along with Irshad and Jestin and the communication between us have been excellent,” he added.

“I believe the people here will come and make the atmosphere the best. We are looking forward to make everyone happy,” said Andre.

Football / Where to now? A plan for the next four years of the TTFA
« on: November 26, 2019, 05:09:41 PM »
Where to now? A plan for the next four years of the TTFA
By Justin Reid (

Now that David John-Williams is out as President of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association, it is finally time to begin thinking about how the TTFA can get its house in order as a collective. As a Trinidad & Tobago citizen based in the United States and also involved in the business of soccer, I have followed the association over the years. Under Jack Warner, there wasn’t much transparency and social media didn’t have as much as an impact as it does today, so I didn’t follow the association as much. Under Raymond Tim Kee, I followed the association a bit, but I didn’t really get involved with the everyday goings and comings of the Association until John-Williams became President and I co-founded the Black Soccer Membership Association in Washington, DC.

I had met John-Williams at a Soccerex event in Barbados about six years ago prior to him running for the Presidency. I thought that he was a confident man, and many people in my tiny Trinidad & Tobago circle raved about how professionally he ran W Connection. When I met him that day, he was on a panel at a global event called Soccerex with Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber. He was very busy with other meetings, so he introduced me to his daughter Renee,  who I think very highly of and one day we may see her as the first female TTFA president. She was a very active listener when we met that day, and has been thereafter as we corresponded by email. So before I move onto what I think the TTFA should do next to get its house in order, I would like to wish the John-Williams family the best and as an outsider looking in, thank David for developing the Home of Football. As a business owner myself it is extremely important to invest in assets for your company, and the HOF is definitely one. Thank you!

Now onto the next four years. In order for the TTFA to get its house in order it must become extremely organized and transparent. No more secret balloting, no more closed Annual General Meetings, it should be open to the public and streamed online, and no more of anything that they have been doing since and before the Warner days. Remember, the TTFA is funded by the Ministry of Sport, who is funded by the Government, who is funded by the Taxpayers. So the people need to know where their money is going.

The next four years of President William Wallace and the United TTFA’s focus must be on building a foundation that will make the TTFA sustainable for the next 111 years. If he does this, then this will be his legacy. No brand new facilities, no new leagues, just get the Association fully operational.   

After reviewing and completing an audit of the TTFA, President Wallace mentioned doing this at his press conference after winning the election, here is where my team and I would begin:

First, we would complete a total re-organization of the Association. Here in the US, we call this a reorg. Restructure the business model and re-format the association to ensure that three divisions are interdependent, but not coinciding. For too many years the President of the TTFA has not only operated as an island, but he has also been involved with the day to day operations of the technical staff and that can’t continue for success.

The three divisions of operations that the TTFA must focus on are Financial, Administration, and Technical. By financially restructuring the association, you ensure that the staff, players, contractors, advisers, and all of those associated with the TTFA are paid on time. The financial accounts are audited daily to ensure that there is no corruption, and you hire a third party organization to oversee the finances and trusts of the TTFA. Trinidad & Tobago has some of the best accounting firms in the region, so it isn’t difficult to find one who would independently oversee each and every dollar that comes in and goes out of the organization. 

A separate administrative division ensures that operations are completed in a timely fashion and on budget. Currently, the TTFA has its President, three Vice-Presidents, General Secretary, and a Financial Manager. This current format is not the proper way to run the day-to-day operations of an association. What we would do is hire C-suite executives, a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to oversee the day to day, a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to oversee the financials, a Chief Marketing Officer to oversee the marketing and promoting of the national teams, and most importantly a Chief Stakeholders Officer (CSO). The CSO would work hand in hand with the CEO to ensure that all stakeholders, sponsors, and donors are appreciated and get a return on their investment in the association. This is important, and a role that we have taken from US Soccer. Of the US$168 million budget that US Soccer has to operate, US$100 million of it is from stakeholders, sponsors, and donors, the financial engine of the Federation.

Trinidad & Tobago has a culture of doing things laissez-faire, but this culture can no longer matriculate to the TTFA because you aren’t just competing against the Caribbean, but you are also competing against the rest of the world. There is a reason why US Soccer has a large annual budget and there is a reason why Germany and Spain federation budgets are US$500-$600 million annually. They are all extremely organized and financially stable.

On the Technical side, the TTFA has to drain the swamp. The old days of technical staffing with last names such as Corneal and Phillips must go. Both the Phillips and Corneals have done a good job of serving football in the country in their roles, but now they must take on a different role off the field in promoting Trinidad & Tobago football. The TTFA needs fresh, young, innovative minds to grow and develop the technical side of football in the country.

Our next step to developing the technical side would be to make qualified hires to include roles such as a Director of Football, a Men’s national team coach with a fully operational staff, a Women’s national team coach with a fully operational  staff, youth national team coaches and staff, physio, strength and conditioning coaches, Goalkeeper coaches, a full slate of technical staffing. We would not hire European coaches because they aren’t coming to Trinidad & Tobago to develop the technical division best suited for the TTFA and its long term health, instead they are coming to collect a paycheck and take a vacation. Aside from Leo Beenhakker, who was 64 years old when he took the Soca Warriors to their first and only World Cup, no European coach has had any success in the TTFA, not even the coach who was there for 35 days. I can’t even remember his name.

After qualifying for the 2006 World Cup, the technical side of the TTFA had one thing to do and that was to focus on how to consistently qualify for the upcoming World Cups. The men have failed at this for the last three World Cup qualifiers, and in 2015, under Randy Waldrum, the women failed to qualify for the World Cup despite attempting three times, only to watch Jamaica four years later become the first women’s team to qualify for a World Cup from the Caribbean in 2019. How did Jamaica do it? They did the simplest and most knowledgeable thing, get US born players of Jamaican parentage. If the US women’s national soccer team is the best in the world and if you have Trinbagonian descendants at your disposal from the US, then you need to tap your North American resources to be competitive.

Next, we would educate and build our own coaches and develop a network with North American based coaches either from Trinidad & Tobago or from Trinidad & Tobago descendants because there are hundreds in the United States and Canada. It seems to me that Trinidad & Tobago coaches are either intimidated by North American football coaches, or maybe they just think that they know enough to do their jobs without any assistance. But, we all need assistance and a network, and it is time that the TTFA and its coaches utilize their North American resources to build a proper international scouting network for players.

There are currently supposed TTFA approved football clinics operating in and around the United States as the women’s national team coaches search for 17-20 year olds to expand their pool, but each time I see an advertisement, it never dons the TTFA logo. Recently, one of the clinics were held in Houston and only fifteen players attended. The most recent clinic in Los Angeles had a grand total of zero players in attendance. What these coaches didn’t know is that Jamaica has a large Caribbean population in Los Angeles, not Trinidad & Tobago. So, we would eliminate this version of international scouting clinics and start fresh by first reaching out and generating an international network of every male and female either from Trinidad and Tobago or of descendants involved in football in North America and Europe. Then leveraging this network, we would map out the best cities in the country with a large Trinidad and Tobago population who could help us to reach our goal of expanding the player talent pool to 300 players each for the men and women. Hosting these player pool clinics in cities such as New York, Toronto, Atlanta, would help us to reach our goal.

On the men’s side, we’d start with the United States due to its college soccer structure, and reach out to every Junior College (JUCO) school with a soccer program and connect with coaches to notify them that we want to identify players of Trinidad and Tobago descent. On the women’s side, we would target the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1, 2, and 3 schools. Of the 23 women from the US women’s national team who have won four World Cups and most recently he 2019 France World Cup, all 23 players played for NCAA Division 1 schools. It will take a lot of time and energy, but most head coaches in the nearly 1800 NCAA Division 1, 2, and 3 schools in the United States are accessible. 

So why would we place such an emphasis on the women’s game? Because this is where FIFA is increasing its spending, interest, and visibility. It is the best route to get the country back on the world stage by the 2023 World Cup in Japan. The TTFA must be ahead of the curve and in the game. On the women’s side, the country doesn’t have the population or enough talent to compete internationally, so it must find talent outside of the country. By FIFA investing financially in the women’s game, there is a golden opportunity for the country to emerge from the Concacaf region and qualify for the World Cup consistently for the next five cycles, but this will only happen with a true international scouting network. Most of the Caribbean, all of Central America, and Mexico do not have strong women’s football programs due to cultural differences in what the woman’s role should be in the family, so the TTFA has an opportunity to solidify itself consistently as the third Concacaf team behind the United States and Canada to qualify for the Women’s World Cup.

Having a pool filled with North American base players will prevent losses from nations like St. Kitts and Nevis, a country with a population one-fifteenth the size of Trinidad & Tobago or tying a match versus a country like the Dominican Republic who has zero interest in football aside from fielding a team to not get fined by Concacaf. There are far too many talented US born female players in colleges across the United States of Trinidad and Tobago descent for the women’s team to not qualify for the top eight of the Olympic qualifiers. 

Domestically, we would develop the professional leagues and mandate that there is one league or the men and one league for the women. In recent years, I have watched US Soccer approval what seems like hundreds of leagues without promotion-relegation leading to MLS. To sum it up, it has become a mess. We wouldn’t want to see Trinidad & Tobago take this route, therefore one league per gender with promotion relegation.

Now to develop the domestic players, we would have the best 50 players from the leagues train once a week during their season. These players will be the core of the national teams for both male and female, and they will raise the level of competition on the island. If we are truly united and one Trinidad & Tobago, then we can’t follow what other countries do and meet for a camp less than a month before international matches. The TTFA doesn’t have access to the resources or player talent pool like the top tier countries around the world, so we would do the best with what we have domestically by bringing the best together more than a day or two prior to an international match.

The final approach to the technical side that we would invest in is the youth national team structure. Many TTFA fans want Dennis Lawrence out, but you can’t blame him for the national team’s failures if there isn’t an operational youth national team program in place. It has been 10 years since a TTFA youth national team has qualified for a World Cup. The last team was the 2009 U-20 team who qualified for the World Cup in Egypt. I recently watched the U-17 World Cup in Brazil earlier in November, and the TTFA youth national team players are light years behind. The players from France, Netherlands, Brazil, and Mexico who all played in the final four, looked like they could get a first team call up from their club and senior national teams at any minute. They looked like grown men. We would structure the youth national team from U-13 to U-20 and have the players compete frequently. The way that Concacaf has re-structured its qualifying stage for the World Cup now allows all 34 Concacaf nations to compete in Florida every two years at the U-15, U-17, and U-20 levels with the chance to advance. This format has opened up the door to Haiti’s youth national teams to qualify for several World Cups in the last few years.

With TT$30 million in place through sponsors, the TTFA can get its house in order overnight. So far what I have heard from President Wallace is encouraging. In fact, I sent him a Whatsapp message earlier today to congratulate him on his victory. Despite his success as President of the Secondary School Football League, Wallace and his team will have a large mountain to climb, but I ask that supporters of the TTFA remain patient and support him and his team, but also hold them accountable for their campaign promises. We believe that all of United TTFA’s campaign promises should met by the next election cycle in 2023, if not, then they should be voted out.

Technical division is what will propel the TTFA to the top of the mountain, but they will need the right people involved to do so and they can’t be afraid to think outside of the box to revamp the TTFA.

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