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King name's final squad for U-20 qualifiers.
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Trinidad and Tobago’s final squad for the CONCACAF Final Round of World Cup Qualification was finalized by head coach Derek King and the technical staff on Friday as the team prepares to head off to Miami for a training camp on New Year’s Day.

The 20-man squad will be captained by Shannon Gomez and includes several of the regulars from the Caribbean Championship which T&T captured earlier this year. But there is some additional experience coming into the fray with previous Under 20 team captain Duane Muckette returning to the line up and former Under 17 members Lelan Archer and Brendon Creed also making the cut.

US-based forward Ricardo John is also on the roster following an impressive season for Virginia Tech.

“We’ve kept the majority of the squad from the Caribbean tournament because not only have they proven their worth but they’ve also earned their places in the preparations for the final tournament,” King told TTFA Media.  

“All in all the squad is a balanced one and we’ll continue to work on our game and fine tune what we need to over the next few days during the camp before we head into the tournament,”King added.

The Miami training camp is fully funded by TSTT while the Ministry of Sport and SPORTT have maintained their support for national teams and are covering expenses for the CONCACAF tournament.

T&T’s first training match will be against the Kendall Soccer Coalition team of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy at the St Thomas University Ground on January 3 at 3pm. T&T’s second game will be played against the Weston Soccer Club at Weston at 7pm on January 5th. T&T may get a third warm up against the Canada National Under 20 Team before jetting off to Kingston on January 7th.

T&T will open the CONCACAF Final Round of Qualification against hosts Jamaica in Kingston on January 9th. The Junior “Soca Warriors” are in Group A along with  Jamaica, Aruba, Panama, the United States and Guatemala. Group B includes Haiti, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Honduras and El Salvador, in order of position drawn. 

The tournament will crown the Confederation champion at this age level, and qualify four teams to the FIFA Under-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. 

The top team from each group after round-robin play advances to the World Cup, and the second and third place nations from each group advance to the final day knockout phase, with the chance to dispute one of a pair of play-in matches which will determine CONCACAF's other two World Cup spots, as stated by CONCACAF.

Trinidad & Tobago Under-20 Team

Goalkeepers 

1.Johan Welch (Houston Dynamo Juniors/USA), 2.Javon Sample (Central FC).

Defenders

6.Shannon Gomez (capt) - (W Connection), 3.Martieon Watson (W Connection), 7.Maurice Ford (W Connection), 4.Brendon Creed (Temple University/USA), 8.Leland Archer (College of Charleston/USA), 5.Jesus Perez (North East Stars), 15.Neveal Hackshaw (North East Stars).

Midfielders

13.Kevon Goddard (Central FC), 17.Akeem Humphrey (Club Sando), 18.Matthew Woo Ling (St Anthony’s College), 9.Aikim Andrews (W Connection), 10.Akeem Garcia (W Connection), 12.Jabari Mitchell (W Connection), 16.Duane Muckette (University of South Florida/USA), 11.Levi Garcia (Shiva Boys HC), 14.Kishun Seecharan (Club Sando).

Fowards

19.Kadeem Corbin (St Ann’s Rangers), 20.Ricardo John (Virginia Tech/USA).

Technical Staff 

Derek King (head coach), Hutson Charles (assistant coach), Michael Maurice (goalkeeper coach), Stephen Hart (technical advisor), Douglas Archer (manager), Wayne Cunningham (assistant manager), Terrence Babwah (doctor), Michael Taylor (physio), Sharon Joseph (trainer), Michael Williams (equipment manager), Shaun Fuentes (media officer).

Groups

Group A: T&T, Panama, Jamaica, Aruba, United States and Guatemala.
Group B: Mexico, Cuba, Canada, El Salvador, Honduras and Haiti.

Fixtures

January 9 (Jamaica National Stadium).

Aruba vs Panama, 3pm 
USA vs Guatemala, 5.30pm 
Jamaica vs T&T, 8pm 

January 10 (Montego Bay)

Mexico vs Cuba, 3pm 
Honduras vs El Salvador, 5.30pm
Haiti vs Canada, 8pm

January 11

T&T vs Aruba, 3pm
Panama vs USA, 5.30pm
Jamaica vs Guatemala, 8pm

January 12

Canada vs Mexico, 3pm 
Cuba vs Honduras, 5.30pm
El Salvador vs Haiti, 8pm

January 14

Guatemala vs T&T, 3pm 
Aruba vs USA, 5.30pm
Jamaica vs Panama, 8pm

January 15

El Salvador vs Canada, 3pm
Mexico vs Honduras, 5.30pm 
Haiti vs Cuba, 8pm

January 18

Panama vs T&T, 3pm
Guatemala vs Aruba, 5.30pm
Jamaica vs USA, 8pm

January 19

Cuba vs Canada, 3pm
El Salvador vs Mexico, 5.30pm
Haiti vs Honduras, 8pm

January 21

Panama vs Guatemala, 3pm 
USA vs T&T, 5.30pm 
Jamaica vs Aruba, 8pm 

January 22

Cuba vs El Salvador, 3pm
Honduras vs Canada, 5.30pm
Haiti vs Mexico, 8pm

January 24

Second Play in Seed vs Third Play in Seed, 2pm
1st Play in Seed vs Fourth Play-in Seed, 5pm
1A vs 1B, 8pm

RELATED NEWS

King selects US-based quintet in T&T U-20 squad; Warriors await visa appointments
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868)


There were four new inclusions but no major surprises today when Trinidad and Tobago national under-20 head coach Derek King named his 20-man to contest next month’s CONCACAF Championship in Jamaica.

The top four teams at CONCACAF level will advance to the New Zealand 2015 FIFA Under-20 World Cup.

The young “Soca Warriors” lifted the Caribbean crown in September—albeit in a competition that did not include regional rival, Jamaica—and King believes his team is even stronger now.

Caribbean Cup MVP and gifted frontman Kadeem Corbin, attacking midfielders Levi Garcia and Kishun Seecharan, holding midfielder Neveal Hackshaw and versatile defender Jesus Perez all had trials in Europe since while defender Maurice Ford and winger Akeem Garcia played regularly in the local Pro League for defending champion DIRECTV W Connection. The 17-year-old Garcia (L), who is a Form Five student at Shiva Boys Hindu College, is believed to be close to a European move.

These players will be joined in Jamaica by a United States-based quartet of university students in: Brendon Creed (Temple University), Leland Archer (College of Charleston), Duane Muckette (University of South Florida) and Ricardo John (Virginia Tech).

Houston Dynamo Juniors custodian Johan Welch, who was first choice for the young Warriors during the Caribbean qualifying stage, completes King’s tally of five US-based players.

“These player such as Muckette, Creed and John will definitely add some quality to what we already have,” said King, “with the likes of Corbin, Levi Garcia and the other boys who did exceptionally well for us in the Caribbean Championship.”

Creed, Archer and Welch have all graduated from the national under-17 team while Muckette, who was installed as vice-captain of the current squad, was a starter on the national under-20 squad in 2012, which crashed out in the first qualifying phase.

The rest of King’s under-20 squad includes: captain Shannon Gomez, Martieon Watson, Jabari Mitchell, Aikim Andrews (all W Connection), Javon Sample, Kevon Goddard (both Central FC),  Akeem Humphrey (Club Sando) and Matthew Woo Ling (St Anthony’s College).

North East Stars’ holding midfielder Keon Joseph and Naparima College striker Nicholas Dillon failed to keep their spots from the Caribbean qualifiers while others like Defence Force winger Akeem Roach, who missed several sessions due to illness, did not do enough to force their way in.

Roach was among the scorers on Saturday when the young Warriors whipped Caledonia AIA 5-1 in a practice match. Corbin, who is a Pro League player with St Ann’s Rangers, scored twice against Caledonia while Woo Ling got one goal from the penalty spot.

Last week, King told Wired868 he would try to stuff his team with utility players for the gruelling tournament that comprises of five group matches in 12 days, which is contrary to the FIFA bylaw for the welfare of players.

“We need players who can play in more than one position,” said King. “The 20 we select will more or less be players who can play in more than one position so it gives us an opportunity to rotate.”

The national under-20 team has not played a single international practice game since they got together as they made do with match-ups against local Pro League and Super League clubs. In contrast, the United States and Canada both had European tours with games against the likes of England and Russia while teams like Jamaica and Panama recently finished invitational international tournaments.

The young Warriors were forced to cancel a trip to Mexico due to financial issues while they also delayed their proposed Fort Lauderdale tour, which was initially supposed to begin on Saturday.

At present, the national under-20 team does not have US visas.

“We are waiting for an Embassy appointment for either Monday evening or Tuesday morning,” said King.

It would have cost an estimated TT$17,000 for visas for the squad and the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA), by its own record, banked TT$1.6 million from the senior women team’s FIFA Play Off contest against Ecuador on December 2.

However, TTFA official William Wallace said he delayed the acquisition of visas due to uncertainty over the funding of the trip to Fort Lauderdale.

“I put a hold on the visa (applications) when I heard the funding was a trouble because that is about $17,000,” said Wallace. “There was a definite ‘no’ from the PS on Monday that there were no funds. So we were then hoping to train here and travel to Jamaica directly and we wouldn’t need visas for that.

“So I put a hold on it until I was sure about the funding. Not knowing put a spoke in our planning.”

Unfortunately it meant that, when the SPORTT Company did agree to fund the young Warriors last Tuesday evening, the players did not have the necessary travel documents to immediately proceed to their pre-CONCACAF camp.

At present, the under-20 squad is due to depart for Florida on Thursday January 1. The Warriors will then play matches against undisclosed teams on January 3 and 5 before heading for Jamaica on January 7. King hopes that at least one of those matches will be against the Canada under-20 team.

The team’s camp in Fort Lauderdale is fully funded by TSTT.

Trinidad and Tobago is grouped with hosts Jamaica, Aruba, Panama, Guatemala and the United States at CONCACAF level. The group winner will qualify automatically for the Under-20 World Cup while the second and third placed teams will enter a play off.

(Trinidad and Tobago national under-20 team)

Goalkeepers: Johan Welch (Houston Dynamo Juniors), Javon Sample (Central FC);

Defenders: Shannon Gomez, Martieon Watson, Maurice Ford (all W Connection), Brendon Creed (Temple University), Leland Archer (College of Charleston), Jesus Perez (North East Stars);

Holding midfielders: Neveal Hackshaw (North East Stars), Kevon Goddard (Central FC), Akeem Humphrey (Club Sando), Matthew Woo Ling (St Anthony’s College);

Attacking Midfielders: Aikim Andrews, Akeem Garcia, Jabari Mitchell (all W Connection), Duane Muckette (University of South Florida), Levi Garcia (Shiva Boys HC), Kishun Seecharan (Club Sando);

Forwards: Kadeem Corbin (St Ann’s Rangers), Ricardo John (Virginia Tech).

(Technical Staff)

Derek King (head coach), Hutson Charles (assistant coach), Michael Maurice (goalkeeper coach), Stephen Hart (technical advisor), Douglas Archer (manager), Wayne Cunningham (assistant manager), Terrence Babwah (doctor), Michael Taylor (physio), Sharon Joseph (trainer), Michael Williams (equipment manager), Shaun Fuentes (media officer).