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Offline Flex

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Re: Remembering Our Strike Squad
« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2014, 05:00:42 PM »
25th anniversary of the Strike Squad - November 19 2014.
With Gally Cummings.


Walk for peace, love and unity on Saturday, 22nd of November 2014.

Twenty five years ago the entire country joined the Strike Squad on the Road to Italy in its quest to achieve World Cup glory with a brand of soccer inspired by the coach coined Kaisosoca which captured the spirit and the rhythm of the people and its indigenous music, Tassa, pan and calypso.

From toddler to senior citizen joined the emotional journey which begun a mere  two years before the final match against the USA in November. 19. 1989. We got a good thing going was the phrase coined by Lancelot Layne and the country believed we did. Many expressed that it was the first time since we achieved independence in 1962 that they felt proud and patriotic as a nation. The entire country was united in support of the team.

The Strike Squad was an inspirational movement about self confidence in our ability to compete with the best in the world with our own style and was a source of inspiration beyond football and within the region. Brian Lara (a regular member of the camp) 18 at the time went on to achieve world recognition in Cricket and Jamaica made World Cup history a few years after Inspired by our efforts. Our Soca Warriors also led by the inspirational Dwight Yorke captain and Russell Latapy two of the key players of the Strike Squad finally led Trinidad and Tobago to World Cup glory in 2006.

The strike Squad in addition to being disciplined and motivated also was a well knit group of committed individuals and patriots who gave their all to Trinidad and Tobago and had a deep sense of commitment to team, community and country. They were honored by the country with a Chaconia Medal and received the Express Individual Award in 1990. $600,000 promised to the team, whatever the outcome of the game then  is yet to be honored.

On the 25th anniversary we propose to have a walk around the savannah @ 9am as a symbol of what was represented then. We would like the country to unite and to bring peace and stability among our youth who has the potential to achieve greatness. We need to have more of our young people appreciate the blessings and to have confidence in their abilities and to experience joy happiness and togetherness in building our nation.

November 19 is also International Men's day also inspired by the Strike Squad and its founder Jerome Teelucksingh. So it is also a day to celebrate our men and young boys.

Two Patriotic citizens Frank and Diana Clarke would like to award trophies to the players. And we have accepted their gracious offer. We are hoping that these awards will be presented to all Strike Squad members at the end of the walk opposite President house. We invite other patriotic citizens to wear white and to join us on Saturday 22nd November at the entrance to Grand Stand, Queens Park Savannah (exact venue) @ 9am.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Trinitozbone

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Re: Remembering Our Strike Squad
« Reply #31 on: November 14, 2014, 09:00:18 AM »
I will definitely be there! I remember that feeling like it was yesterday. We are inspired by the efforts of our young women too!

Offline Sando

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Re: Remembering Our Strike Squad
« Reply #32 on: November 14, 2014, 10:12:35 AM »
I am going to be here.


Offline fishs

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Re: Remembering Our Strike Squad
« Reply #33 on: November 14, 2014, 10:40:22 AM »

 The strike squad represents the Trinidad and Tobago culture.
 Applauding failure.

The 2006 SOCAWARRIORS represent what can be. Acheiving goals.
 
 The strike squad was worse than the 74' Haiti squad that was robbed and worse that the SOCAWARRIORS that acheived.

We should not forget our past but really that squad did not deserve to qualify !!!
Ah want de woman on de bass

Offline Bakes

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Re: Remembering Our Strike Squad
« Reply #34 on: November 14, 2014, 10:53:07 AM »

 The strike squad represents the Trinidad and Tobago culture.
 Applauding failure.

The 2006 SOCAWARRIORS represent what can be. Acheiving goals.
 
 The strike squad was worse than the 74' Haiti squad that was robbed and worse that the SOCAWARRIORS that acheived.

We should not forget our past but really that squad did not deserve to qualify !!!

Harsh.  More than sporting achievement, I think it's about the spirit of unity, the way everybody came together, even here in the US to root the team on.

Offline Trinitozbone

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Re: Remembering Our Strike Squad
« Reply #35 on: November 14, 2014, 10:59:53 AM »
Fishs statement represent Trinidad and Tobago culture un gratefulness.! The strike squad inspired Jamaica's qualification and Jamaicans themselves said so and laid the foundation for the Soca Warriors! A house is not built without a foundation. Take a page from the book of Jamaica and the USA ! That is why they achieve so much and are a proud people! Shame on you Fishs!!

Offline de_redman

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Re: Remembering Our Strike Squad
« Reply #36 on: November 14, 2014, 11:18:23 AM »

 The strike squad represents the Trinidad and Tobago culture.
 Applauding failure.

The 2006 SOCAWARRIORS represent what can be. Acheiving goals.
 
 The strike squad was worse than the 74' Haiti squad that was robbed and worse that the SOCAWARRIORS that acheived.

We should not forget our past but really that squad did not deserve to qualify !!!
You should be ashamed to type this  :bs:

Offline de_redman

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Re: Remembering Our Strike Squad
« Reply #37 on: November 14, 2014, 11:19:39 AM »
First time I've ever heard about this $600,000. Who promised it?

Offline Flex

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Re: Remembering Our Strike Squad
« Reply #38 on: November 14, 2014, 01:37:58 PM »
The Strike Squad made me love football.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline AZZURRI

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Re: Remembering Our Strike Squad
« Reply #39 on: November 14, 2014, 01:43:16 PM »
1. Earl Carter
2. Clayton Morris
3. Brian Williams
4. Dexter Francis
5. Floyd Lawrence
6. Marvin Faustin
7. Kelvin Jones
8. Huston Charles -
9. Marlon Morris
10. Russell Latapy
11. Leonson Lewis
12. Paul Elliot Allen
13. Rickie Nelson
14. Philbert Jones
15. Maurice Alibey
16. Dwight Yorke
17. Kerry Jamerson
18. Colvin Hutchinson
19. Dexter Lee
20. Leroy Spann
21. Errol Lovell
22. Michael Maurice
Legendary....


Where are they all now??
know hutson coaching with the senior n one of the youth teams...
maurice is a GK coach in the natonal setup
we know bout yorke and latas and marlon morris n williams (all coaching)

any idea on the rest?


Offline fishs

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Re: Remembering Our Strike Squad
« Reply #40 on: November 14, 2014, 09:04:50 PM »

 The strike squad represents the Trinidad and Tobago culture.
 Applauding failure.

The 2006 SOCAWARRIORS represent what can be. Acheiving goals.
 
 The strike squad was worse than the 74' Haiti squad that was robbed and worse that the SOCAWARRIORS that acheived.

We should not forget our past but really that squad did not deserve to qualify !!!
You should be ashamed to type this  :bs:

I hope you took your BP pills. Wind up
Ah want de woman on de bass

Offline diamondtrim

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Re: Remembering Our Strike Squad
« Reply #41 on: November 15, 2014, 05:28:23 AM »

 The strike squad represents the Trinidad and Tobago culture.
 Applauding failure.

The 2006 SOCAWARRIORS represent what can be. Acheiving goals.
 
 The strike squad was worse than the 74' Haiti squad that was robbed and worse that the SOCAWARRIORS that acheived.

We should not forget our past but really that squad did not deserve to qualify !!!

Harsh.  More than sporting achievement, I think it's about the spirit of unity, the way everybody came together, even here in the US to root the team on.


I don't agree with the 'Remembering the Strike Squad' title....but I get that they probably mean remembering what the strike squad did for the country in terms of unity and national pride

Offline Majestic

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Re: Remembering Our Strike Squad
« Reply #42 on: November 17, 2014, 11:19:36 AM »
1. Earl Carter
2. Clayton Morris
3. Brian Williams
4. Dexter Francis
5. Floyd Lawrence
6. Marvin Faustin
7. Kelvin Jones
8. Huston Charles -
9. Marlon Morris
10. Russell Latapy
11. Leonson Lewis
12. Paul Elliot Allen
13. Rickie Nelson
14. Philbert Jones
15. Maurice Alibey
16. Dwight Yorke
17. Kerry Jamerson
18. Colvin Hutchinson
19. Dexter Lee
20. Leroy Spann
21. Errol Lovell
22. Michael Maurice
Legendary....


Where are they all now??
know hutson coaching with the senior n one of the youth teams...
maurice is a GK coach in the natonal setup
we know bout yorke and latas and marlon morris n williams (all coaching)

any idea on the rest?


not too sure to be honest...but I recently found a very interesting and revealing video, see here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGz2-spZqPw
He Is Highly

Offline Socapro

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Re: Remembering Our Strike Squad
« Reply #43 on: November 17, 2014, 11:25:23 AM »
1. Earl Carter
2. Clayton Morris
3. Brian Williams
4. Dexter Francis
5. Floyd Lawrence
6. Marvin Faustin
7. Kelvin Jones
8. Huston Charles -
9. Marlon Morris
10. Russell Latapy
11. Leonson Lewis
12. Paul Elliot Allen
13. Rickie Nelson
14. Philbert Jones
15. Maurice Alibey
16. Dwight Yorke
17. Kerry Jamerson
18. Colvin Hutchinson
19. Dexter Lee
20. Leroy Spann
21. Errol Lovell
22. Michael Maurice
Legendary....


Where are they all now??
know hutson coaching with the senior n one of the youth teams...
maurice is a GK coach in the natonal setup
we know bout yorke and latas and marlon morris n williams (all coaching)

any idea on the rest?


not too sure to be honest...but I recently found a very interesting and revealing video, see here

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/DGz2-spZqPw" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/DGz2-spZqPw</a>

De higher a monkey climbs is de less his ass is on de line, if he works for FIFA that is! ;-)

Offline Flex

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Re: Remembering Our Strike Squad
« Reply #44 on: November 19, 2014, 02:55:00 AM »
Americans remember Nov 19
T&T Express Reports.


Paul Caligiuri changed the direction of American soccer 25 years ago.

The US had failed to qualify for nine straight World Cups since 1950. The North American Soccer League had folded after the 1984 season, and the US Soccer Federation left its longtime office in the Empire State Building in New York the following year to save money, moving first to a hotel near John F Kennedy International Airport and then to Colorado Springs.

When the US team travelled to Tri­nidad from Miami, Florida, via Barbados on a commercial flight two days before the Americans’ final qualifier for the 1990 World Cup, the mostly amateur players were met at the airport, just past midnight, by fans packed eight deep and chanting, “Go Home! Go Home!” as the team walked the 200 feet from the plane to the terminal.

Trinidad and Tobago’s prime minister already had declared the day following the game a national holiday.
And then, on November 19, 1989, Caligiuri lofted a 28-yard left-footed shot into the net at Port of Spain’s National Stadium in the 30th minute. That goal gave the United States a 1-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago and put the Americans back among football’s elite for the first time in generations.

“To me, it was the most important goal in US history,” midfielder John Harkes, who was on the field that afternoon and later became the American captain, said this week as today’s anniversary approached.

Then 25 and best known for captaining UCLA to the NCAA title four years earlier, Caligiuri chested a centreing pass from Tab Ramos after a throw-in by Brian Bliss, took a right-footed touch past a defender and beat goalkeeper Michael Maurice, who may have had trouble seeing the ball in the sun.

“Every time I see it again, it gives me chills,” Caligiuri said the following year. “It’s a moment I’ll always remember the rest of my life. I think it gave me international recognition as a player but, more importantly, I think it gave us new hope and recognition around the world.”

And it created opportunities for Ame­rican players to land jobs in Europe.

“Every time I see Paul Caligiuri, I thank him,” said Alexi Lalas, who was then a 19-year-old at Rutgers and went on to become a star defender for the national team and a television analyst.

“It was the start of everything. It set in motion a series of events that, to be quite honest, continues to domino. If there ever was a match that lit the candle, that was it. I’m not sure he knew at the moment that was happening, but I think you can definitely trace it back to that moment, the modern-day American soccer story. That was page one, once upon a time.”

The Sunday afternoon game wasn’t even on live television in the US. ESPN broadcast it two hours after kick-off, following its live coverage of NASCAR’s season-ending Winston Cup race in Atlanta, Georgia. (ESPN2 did not launch until October 1993.)

The Americans’ chances were boosted because Mexico had been dis­qualified from the North and Central American and Caribbean (CONCACAF) qualifying competition for using at least four overage players in qualifying for the 1989 World Youth Championship, a tournament for players under 20. FIFA gave all Mexican national teams a two-year ban on June 30, 1988—four days before announ­cing the US would host the 1994 World Cup.

Costa Rica clinched one of CONCACAF’s two berths on October 8, and the US entered its final game of qualifying tied with T&T on eight points (3-1-3,) and needing a win because of a poorer goal difference. The Americans were coming off 0-0 ties in qualifiers the previous month at Guatemala and against El Salvador in Fenton, Missouri.

The 33,250 tickets for the game were sold in two hours. FIFA designa­ted it a high-risk match and ordered five per cent of the tickets not be sold, but it appeared thousands more people had tickets than there were seats.

Ramos, now the coach of the US Under-20 team, remembered seeing “a sea of red”—T&T’s jersey colour—when the US bus pulled up after the short ride from the hotel.

“People were climbing every fence and trying to get into the game any way they could,” Ramos recalled this week. “The game was way oversold.”

Caligiuri had missed the first three qualifiers of the year when Meppen, his club in the West German second division, refused to release him. He played the second half of the fourth, then missed the next three with a leg injury.

US coach Bob Gansler started Cali­giuri over John Stollmeyer on November 14 in a hastily scheduled closed-door exhibition against Bermuda in Florida and stayed with Caligiuri in Trinidad.

“One thing that Paul Caligiuri never had was a lack of confidence in his own ability,” Gansler said. “Paul would do audacious things.”

T&T were ready for a party. Fans in the stadium sang calypso and chan­ted to the sound of steel drums for five and a half hours before the match. But Caligiuri silenced the crowd.

“When the ball went into the net, it was almost as if you had poured a bucket of water on fireworks,” Ramos said. “It was dead quiet. We almost heard the ball bounce in the goal.”

Caligiuri went on to score the first US World Cup goal in four decades in the 5-1 defeat to Czechoslovakia at Florence, Italy. From 2002-08, he coached the football teams at Cal Poly.

He didn’t respond to phone messa­ges for this story.

The Americans are now World Cup regulars—they’ve played in the last seven, a feat matched only by Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Italy, South Korea and Spain.

“The win in Trinidad—against all odds—was extremely important for much of what followed in US soccer,” said Sunil Gulati, then the USSF’s international games committee chairman and its president since 2006.

“Qualifying for 1990 gave us hope that we could try to re-enter the international arena and develop the game more broadly in the US.”

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Tallman

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Re: Remembering Our Strike Squad
« Reply #45 on: November 19, 2014, 07:32:16 AM »
Strike Squad 25
T&T Express


We Goin Italy! We Goin Italy! Were the words on everyone's lips!

Flashback twenty-five years ago to this day the Trinidad and Tobago National Football team was probably getting a few final words of encouragement as the frenzy across the nation spread from north to south.

We were about to qualify for our first Football World Cup final in 1990. But it was not to be.

Let's reminisce with the Strike Squad.

http://www.trinidadexpress.com/videos/-STRIKE-SQUAD-25-283148241.html
The Conquering Lion of Judah shall break every chain.

Offline Tallman

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Re: Remembering Our Strike Squad
« Reply #46 on: November 19, 2014, 10:26:08 AM »
FULL MATCH: T&T vs USA  (November 19, 1989)

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/lznrT10ZkII" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/lznrT10ZkII</a>
The Conquering Lion of Judah shall break every chain.

Offline Tallman

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Re: Remembering Our Strike Squad
« Reply #47 on: November 19, 2014, 11:50:54 AM »
The Strike Squad at 25. #strikesquad25 #wearsomethingred
https://soundcloud.com/caribbeaninsight/strikesquad25
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Offline Tallman

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Strike Squad marks 25th anniversary of November 19
« Reply #48 on: November 19, 2014, 01:04:44 PM »
Strike Squad marks 25th anniversary of November 19
By Garth Wattley (T&T Express)


Twenty-five years later, and Clayton Morris is still recovering from November 19, 1989.

“We still healing after 25 years,” he told the Express yesterday on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the then Strike Squad’s 1-0 defeat against the United States that sent the Americans and not Trinidad and Tobago to the 1990 World Cup in Italy.

“Every day we live that day November 19. When this day comes it brings back everything. Once this time come around, every time we come together and we talk, you get consolation,” said Morris, the captain of that team.

Needing one point to secure an historic first-ever World Cup appearance, the side coached by former national star Everald “Gally” Cummings could not find an equaliser for Paul Caligiuri’s 30th minute goal. The country, including those in an over-crowded National Stadium and the players themselves were left to consider what might have been.

Asked whether he thinks about what it would have been like had T&T not lost, Morris replied this way:
“We did psychology with Ms (Shirley Rudd) OIttley...(In those sessions) you see yourself after the game. But to be honest...I could not see after (beyond) that game. I just leave it as God’s doing.”

But he is clear that this particular anniversary is extra special.

“This one feeling more emotional,” he said. “Water running out my eye.”

And referring to Dwight Yorke’s Soca Warriors and their victory over Bahrain on November 16, 2005 which made them the country’s first World Cup qualifiers, Morris made this observation: “Nobody remembers November 16. Why does November 19, 1989 stand out? Are we taking the positivity out of that?”

For Morris, that failed campaign continues to strike a chord with the public because the experience transcended the game itself.

“You go back through everything—you see the joy on the people’s face, that consoles your heart,” he said. “The good thing is to see how the country bonded together.”

He added for emphasis: “It’s not just football. Even as we (ex-players) coach now, when we teach the game is for life, not just for winning a football game. We coach for life. We have talent now, but they lacking what we had in us; administrators lacking it. It didn’t have anything about individuals.”

That comment prompted another about the reported threat by the current team not to play last night’s Caribbean Cup final against Jamaica in protest over monies owed to them.

“I wouldn’t blame the players only. Administrators have to realise that this is their job. Somebody not holding to the agreement.”

But skipper “JB” also could not help but add of his group of locally-based players at the time that, “we weren’t paid. Them players now want to stop because they not getting paid. In those days we just get time off from our job and we play. Sometimes we broken, but we put the country first...The Strike Squad was a team of unity, those three words—peace, love and unity.”

That theme of unity will be emphasised again today when the available members of the squad and non-playing staff assemble at President’s House at 1.30 p.m. at the request of President Anthony Carmona in recognition of the anniversary.

Among those expected to attend are Morris, Brian Williams, Leonson Lewis, Dexter Francis, Floyd Lawrence, Dexter Lee, Kelvin Jones, Kerry Jamerson, “Marvelous” Marvin Faustin, Errol Lovell, coach Cummings and supporting staff Lester Osouna and Ikin Williams. Among those who will be missing will be ex-striker Philbert Jones because of recent knee surgery. But captain “JB” is appealing to all other members of the squad and staff who are available to attend.

On Saturday the “Strike Squad” will gather again for a Peace Love and Unity walk around the Queen’s Park Savannah.

“We have to bond together to bring our country back to what it used to be,” Morris said, confident that 25 years on, his “Squad” has left a legacy the rest of T&T can embrace.
The Conquering Lion of Judah shall break every chain.

Offline Spursy

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Strike Squad commemorates Silver Jubilee
« Reply #49 on: November 19, 2014, 03:38:29 PM »
Strike Squad commemorates Silver Jubilee
By STEPHON NICHOLAS (Newsday).


The 1989 Strike Squad will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the end of their dream of qualifying for the Italy World Cup in 1990 today with a courtesy call to the President Anthony Carmona as well as a series of promotional events.

The Strike Squad will also host a Walk for Peace, Love and Unity on Saturday starting at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port- of-Spain at 9am and are inviting the public to come out and support.

Speaking with Newsday yesterday, ex-national defender Brian Williams expressed great pride to be part of local football history.

“It’s a great achievement. After November 19 (1990) we want to give back our knowledge. Everyone who played that day (vs USA) is alive and most of us are coaching or involved in the sport we love. We set a foundation and we want to extend our appreciation to the public for all the love they’ve showed us,” he said.

The dreadlocked former defender said he is proud to see the national women’s team on the cusp of creating history by qualifying for the 2015 World Cup in Canada and also seeing how well the Soca Warriors have been doing at the Caribbean Cup.

“We feel great being part of the foundation and keeping the dream alive - the dream of football in general,” he said.

Asked whether he feels regret or disappointment 25 years later for missing out on the World Cup in Italy, Williams admitted that he still gets emotional thinking about it but says he has no regrets.

“I won’t say regret. Not playing in the World Cup was a disappointment because players always want to play at the highest level and the World Cup is the highest level. Our victory though is when the present men and women’s team win,” he said.

The ex-defender turn coach said the Soca Warriors 2006 qualification was a source of great pride to him and being the smallest country in the world to ever achieve that feat still makes him proud.

The 1989 Strike Squad: Clayton “JB” Morris (captain), Philbert Jones, Hutson “Baba” Charles, Marlon Morris, Dwight Yorke, Marvin Faustin, Russell Latapy, Colvin Hutchinson, Paul Elliott Allen, Leroy Spann, Leonson Lewis, Kerry Jamerson, Kelvin Jones, Earl “Spiderman” Carter, Dexter Francis, Floyd “Ninja” Lawrence, Michael “Brow” Maurice, Brian Williams, Maurice Alibey, Ricky Nelson, Errol “Yankee” Lovell, Everald “Gally” Cummings (Coach), Neville Chance (Assistant Coach), Oliver Camps (Manager), Dr Rawle Sylvester (Team Doctor), Ken Henry (Trainer) and Lester Osuna (Physio).


« Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 05:34:42 PM by Flex »

Offline Spursy

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Re: Remembering Our Strike Squad
« Reply #50 on: November 19, 2014, 04:16:15 PM »
Sticky this for today only. Respect to our beloved Strike Squad.

Offline socalion

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Re: Remembering Our Strike Squad
« Reply #51 on: November 19, 2014, 06:00:01 PM »
Quote 'lt was not the sun '   very interesting and inciteful read by michael maurice on that fateful day  25yrs ago  .It sure sheds  some light please read....  Article from  Today's express newspaper

Offline Tallman

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It wasn't the sun...says Michael Maurice on 1-0 World Cup loss to USA
« Reply #52 on: November 19, 2014, 09:27:23 PM »
It wasn't the sun...says Michael Maurice on 1-0 World Cup loss to USA
By Donstan Bonn (T&T Express)


“Nobody ever asked me what caused the goal to score.”

That was the startling revelation made by former Strike Squad goalkeeper Michael Maurice during an interview with Express Online on the 25th anniversary of Trinidad and Tobago’s (T&T) ill-fated world cup qualifier against the United States of America (USA) on November 19, 1989, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.

Requiring just a draw to make what would have been a historic appearance at the 1990 World Cup in Italy, T&T suffered a bitter 1-0 loss after US central defender, Paul Caligiuri, scored with a long-range effort in the 30th minute of the match.

“Nobody ever asked me what happened and no reporter ever interviewed me seeking to find out the facts, at least until now,” he said, adding that a particular reporter wrote an article which stated ‘it appeared that the sun was in Maurice’s eyes’ and everybody just ran with that, but the sun being in my eyes was not the reason why the goal scored.

He said he never made any statement or claimed that the sun was in his eyes and it was only in casual conversations with a few close friends that the question, “Maurice what really happened with that goal boy”, would be raised.

“The reason the goal scored, taking into consideration where the shot was taken from, was because we were trained in a massive zonal structure where whenever our opponents had possession of the ball everyone would filter over to cut off the passing zones, which I see current coach Stephen Hart doing as well.

“As a result, my view was obstructed by my defenders and their movements to structure the zones so I did not see when Caligiuri kicked the ball.”

Maurice said had he seen when the shot was taken, even though it passed through the sun a bit, he would have known if he needed to move a few steps to the left or to the right to effect the save, however, he stood in one spot and as it turned out, only saw the ball when he dived in an attempt to keep it out.

“So the sun is not the reason why the goal scored, it scored because I did not see when the shot was taken as my view was obstructed by my men.”

READ MORE...
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Offline Tallman

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Relive Trinidad and Tobago 0-1 USA, Nov. 19, 1989
« Reply #53 on: November 19, 2014, 09:35:26 PM »
Relive Trinidad and Tobago 0-1 USA, Nov. 19, 1989
By Bill Reno (pastemagazine.com)


Today marks 25 years since the US Men’s National Team beat Trinidad and Tobago 1-0 in Port of Spain to qualify for the 1990 World Cup. That’s 25 years since Paul Caligiuri’s famous Shot Heard ‘Round the World., 25 years since the beginning of the modern era of American soccer. Before that famous game on Nov. 19, 1989, the US hadn’t been to a World Cup since 1950. Now the US expects to be there, every time.

Browsing the Internet today, you’ll see video of Caliguiris’ famous strike from distance and quotes from the men involved. But historic soccer moments often lose a little something when stripped of their context. That’s why Paste Soccer contributor Bill Reno has gone one step beyond, reinserting that context—including an interview with Trinidad and Tobago’s keeper that day, Michael Maurice— so you can relive maybe the most momentous day in the history of American soccer.

So flip your calendars all the way back to 1989, and prepare to relive Trinidad and Tobago vs. the U.S. Men’s National team, complete with pre-match notes, video of the entire game as experienced on television in 1989 (including 15 in-game) commercials, and post-match quotes.

Pre-match drama—8 things you need to know for today’s big game

1. Winner takes all

Two teams from the CONCACAF region are heading to the World Cup. One of those teams was going to be Costa Rica, who were top of the CONCACAF Championship table. Whoever won the game between Trinidad and Tobago and the USA advanced to the World Cup. Loser would spend the summer of 1990 doing something else.

Both teams were sitting at nine points with a +2 goal differential. Trinidad and Tobago had seven goals for, one more than USA, so a tie would not be good enough for USA. The US had to win.

Lastly, America had not qualified for a World Cup since 1950. America didn’t advance to the second round in the 1986 qualification and were several games away from making the 1986 World Cup. A $1.4 million payout awaited the winner of the game, and that was $1.4 million the U.S. Soccer federation could certainly use.

2. Mexico was banned from qualifying
Mexico had been banned from the 1990 World Cup for playing four overage players in attempt to qualify for the Saudi Arabia 1989 U20 World Cup. Apparently word got out when a Mexican journalist simply looked at a yearbook (published by the Mexican Football Federation) and noticed that some players were too old to play and wrote an article about. Had Mexico not shot themselves in the foot, this game could have been meaningless.

3. American soccer’s reputation and the 1994 World Cup
USA had been awarded the 1994 World Cup on July 4th, 1988 with a narrow 10-7 vote over Brazil. (Morocco also received two votes.) Mexico had won the bid for the 1986 World Cup the same year the NASL had collapsed. While it was not unheard of a host team not previously qualifying for a World Cup (most recently Mexico was awarded the 1986 World Cup after failing to qualify in ‘82) but some thought it would have been an “insult and an embarrassment of deep proportions for the US to fail to qualify,” especially for a nation that deeply wanted to be respected on the international scene.

4. Dropped games
The US had tied Trinidad and Tobago five months earlier, a 1-1 game California. It was very nearly a 1-0 win, but the US gave up an 88th-minute goal off a defensive collapse. Goalkeeper David Vanole was so upset by the goal that after he dove for the ball, he pounced back up, threw his hands over his face, then fell back to the Earth again when he saw it roll into the net.

Perhaps the team was hampered by the fact that Murdock Stadium had been vandalized was vandalized when someone drove their car around the field the night before the game.

US also tied El Salvador two weeks earlier in St. Louis 0-0, a result which worried the press. The US dominated the game and were frantically sending ball after ball into the box but couldn’t connect for a goal. Both these games were on home soil and games where they should have come away with a win.

5. No professional American league
Of the starters, the only professional players were Paul Caliguri and Peter Vermes—the rest were college/semi-pro players. The year 1989 was after the collapse of the NASL but seven years before the start of MLS. The average age of the US’s starters was 23.5.

6. Trinidad and Tobago were actually a very good team
This was one of the best Trinidad and Tobago teams they had ever fielded and even though America was 6-1-0 (w-t-l) against them all time, the national government had already declared the following day to be a national holiday because they expected their team to win. Three and a half hours before the game, officials had to stop letting people in because the stadium was already at full capacity. The entire nation was painted red in support for their team and shots of the crowd simply featured a giant red block.

The country was also beginning to emerge from an economic depression and everybody had rallied around the team as a kind of a symptom of recovery so there was emotion packed into these expectations. Phil Hersh took note of the federation’s unstableness at the time.

7. The Americans had not been good travelers
The US hadn’t won an away qualifier in over 21 years and hadn’t scored a goal in the last two games coming into Nov. 19.

8. Trinidad and Tobago management
Coach Gally Cummings claimed to have found a microphone taped under their bench during the teams’ last encounter. He also laughed off the notion that Trinidadian officials bribed other CONCACAF opponents to play harder against the US. “Can you imagine the nonsense, to bribe a team to do what they’re supposed to do anyway?”

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Offline Tallman

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Gally: We were ready
« Reply #54 on: November 21, 2014, 06:43:50 AM »
Gally: We were ready
By Donstan Bonn (T&T Express)


Trinidad and Tobago’s Strike Squad entered the final phase of the 1990 World Cup qualifying campaign with an away match to the United States of America on May 13, 1989 and took a valuable point with a 1-1 draw. This was followed by another 1-1 draw on May 28, this time at home to Costa Rica and a 0-1 loss in the return leg on June 11.

With the team starting to find its best stride, the Strike Squad would whip El Salvador 2-0 at home (July 30) and then snare another valuable point on the road on August 13 when they held the Salvadorians to a goalless draw. And the dream really came alive when they eked out a narrow but all-important 1-0 away win against Guatemala (Aug 20) before going on to triumph by a 2-1 margin in the return leg on home soil on September 3.

With two points being awarded for a win, the Strike Squad had amassed nine points from a three-three-one, win-draw-loss record, having scored seven goals while conceding four. It left them with just the home leg in the tie against the US remaining and one point away from making a historic debut at the FIFA World Cup.

And after a frenzied build-up to the November 19 encounter, that had some elements of mass hysteria, USA’s central defender Paul Caligiuri shattered T&T’s dream with a goal against the run of play in the 30th minute at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.

Twenty-five years later, Strike Squad coach Everald “Gally” Cummings told Express that although time heals all wounds the memory of that day remains fresh in his mind.

“At that time I needed family, I needed friends and I had friends.

“The players were lying on the field crying and I had to go out there and literally pick them up and had them wave to the crowd as I always believe in the saying ‘enter the game as a gentleman and leave the same way.’ After going to the dressing room the people called us back out for a standing ovation and I saw on the billboard, “Strike Squad we still love you.”

Cummings said that despite the loss it was one of their better games and he has always felt the game had divine intervention.

“Coming out of the 1990 commission of enquiry into the match it was revealed that the stadium was built to accommodate 25,000 people and anything more than that could have resulted in structural damage to the facility.

“We had almost doubled that amount so had we scored a goal the resulting mass celebration could have led to the stadium crumbling under pressure leaving many patrons injured if not dead.

“I had my wife and children in the stadium so I was not thinking about the money certain individuals would have made knowing the result was a done deal, I was more concerned about innocent Trinidadians and Tobagonians who were there giving their honest and godly support to the team.

He said he firmly believed his unit was ready for the 1990 World Cup.

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Offline weary1969

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Re: Remembering Our Strike Squad
« Reply #55 on: November 21, 2014, 10:15:07 PM »
Them fellas in d FA really clueless. Anybody thought bout re releasing the best kit ever.
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Re: Remembering Our Strike Squad
« Reply #56 on: November 23, 2014, 02:08:40 AM »
T&T Strike Squad Coach, Everald "Gally" Cummings, Captain, Clayton "JB" Morris and Team Member, Leonson Lewis, reminisce on the journey to the final match against USA on November 19, 1989.

Strike Squad Pt. 1 - 25 Years After The World Cup Journey
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/CgMTUl5maks" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/CgMTUl5maks</a>

Wear white and come out and support the Strike Squad as they celebrate their 25th Anniversary.

Strike Squad Pt. 2 - Celebrating 25 Years, "The Walk for Peace, Love & Unity"
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/cqbGqICb2oM" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/cqbGqICb2oM</a>
De higher a monkey climbs is de less his ass is on de line, if he works for FIFA that is! ;-)

Offline davyjenny1

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Re: Remembering Our Strike Squad
« Reply #57 on: November 23, 2014, 04:07:31 AM »
               Memories.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/w2AoGa9SQYo" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/w2AoGa9SQYo</a>
« Last Edit: November 23, 2014, 09:27:24 AM by davyjenny1 »
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Offline Spursy

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Re: Remembering Our Strike Squad
« Reply #58 on: November 24, 2014, 06:33:17 PM »
Why celebrate that Strike Squad failure?
Story Created: Nov 23, 2014 at 11:55 PM ECT
Story Updated: Nov 23, 2014 at 11:55 PM ECT
Overshadowed by the events of last week which included the tragic flooding of south west Trinidad and the ongoing controversy of the President’s housing allowance, was the reported celebration of the Strike Squad’s legacy of November 19, 1989. What legacy?
How could the office of the President be suckered into this event?
Nations celebrate the anniversaries of positive events like independence anniversaries, man’s landing on the moon or the fall of the Berlin Wall. Other events like the 9/11 and the multiple shootings of students in the US are remembered in solemnity with memorials. The Strike Squad’s failure to qualify for the 1990 World Cup falls into the latter category.
How can we forget the tortuous four-hour journey on the day of the game from the training camp in Forest Reserve to the stadium inclusive of a one hour stop at a church to pray for success (after all, God is a Trini) and the half hour scramble to get into the stadium, while the US team was resting at the Hilton Trinidad.
How can we forget the eerie silence of an oversold stadium of 33,000 fans when the US team scored the only goal of the game?
How can we forget the loud silence of the big music trucks after the game? How can we forget the government declared a public holiday before the game was played?
Why celebrate the 25th anniversary of this monumental failure? After all, by qualifying for the 2006 World Cup, the Soca Warriors had surely put to rest the ghost of the Strike Squad.
So why try to revive it? Come the 50th anniversary let us all quietly light a candle as a memorial including one at President’s House. Surely by then the President will have had “suitable” accommodation.
Perhaps the remnants of the Strike Squad, mindful of an election year, were hoping that our ATM Prime Minister would have shown up bearing cheques.
Annette Singh

Source: TrinidadExpress
http://www.trinidadexpress.com/letters/Why-celebrate-that-Strike-Squad-failure-283658581.html

Offline coache

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Re: Remembering Our Strike Squad
« Reply #59 on: November 24, 2014, 07:29:23 PM »
Lancelot was make dat jingle fuh Target but they rejected it so he turned it into a Strike Squad fight song but some how he couldn't rid of Target!..Target!