Trinidad and Tobago missed out on a spot in the Concacaf Men's Under-20 Championship round, after they were beaten 3-0 by Canada in their final Group D qualifying contest at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Tuesday.

Myles Morgan (10th), Santiago Lopez (54th) and Kevaughn Tavernier (79th) got the goals for Canada, who secured the coveted top spot with nine points, as Trinidad and Tobago had to settle for second on six points. St Vincent and the Grenadines ended their campaign on a high with a dramatic 3-2 win over Dominica, to finish third in the group on six points.

Frankroy Cain (10th), Kirtney Franklyn (44th) and Steven Pierre (90+2) found the back of the net for St Vincent and the Grenadines, while Dominica got goals from Ajani Richards (40th) and Keeyan Thomas (90+5).

By virtue of topping the group, Canada along with Group E winners, Haiti, progressed to the Concacaf Championships round where the top six teams –United States, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica and Dominican Republic -awaits.

 The final round will be staged in Mexico in July, where four spots to the 2025 FIFA Under-20 World Cup will be up for grabs.

After securing two wins early on, Haiti did just enough to secure the point needed for group honours in a 1-1 stalemate with Puerto Rico. That top-of-the-table clash in St Kitts and Nevis, saw Fabian Menendez (39th) putting Puerto Rico in front, before Joseph Belmar (71st) secured the precious equailiser for the French-speaking Caribbean nation.

Group host Saint Kitts and Nevis gave locals something to celebrate as they topped Cayman Islands 3-0 in a game of academic interest.  De Quan Hamilton (16th, 45+1, 81st) got all three goals for the young Sugar Boyz.

Meanwhile, Jamaica's young Reggae Boyz will be aiming to join Canada and Haiti in the next round, as they only require a point against Bermuda in Wednesday's Group F decider.

Jamaica, on six points are three ahead of Bermuda, on three and, as such, only needs to avoid defeat in the feature contest in St Kitts and Nevis, to confirm their spot in the next round.

Martinique, who also have three points, could make things interesting provided they defeat Grenada by a wide margin in the curtain-raiser, and Jamaica lose by a single goal to Bermuda. 

Elsewhere on Tuesday: 

Group A

British Virgin Islands topped Belize 4-3 in a seven-goal thriller at the Estadio Nacional in Managua, Nicaragua.

BVI got their goals from Azarni Callwood (38th, 45+2), Curtis Lane (40th) and Johari Lacey (70th), while the Belize goals were produced by Jaheim Mena (16th), Isaac Taegar (54th) aFelix Martinez (58th).

Host Nicaragua, moved to the summit of the group on nine points, following their 5-0 hammering of Anguilla. Oliver Bello (19th), Francis Castillo (37th), Juban Uriarte (53rd), Andres Martinez (60th) and Kenler Cayasso (69th) got the job done for Nicaragua.

Group B

Antigua and Barbuda and Suriname continue to chart the course in the battle for group honours, as both registered wins at the ABFA Technical Centre.

Suriname topped Guyana 4-1 courtesy of goals from Robinio Pinas (7th), Jermaine Rijssel (35th), Djaier Prijor (85th) and Donagay Misidjang (89th). Matrim Martin (76th) got Guyana's consolation.

Antigua and Barbuda emerged 2-1 victors over Turks and Caicos Islands in the second game. Javaughn Jarvis (54th) and Christopher Douglas (82nd) scored for Antigua and Barbuda, before Christopher Louisy (90+4) pulled one back for Turks and Caicos Islands.

Both Suriname and Antigua and Barbuda are on six points, but the former has a game in hand.

Group C

Group C also remains evenly poised between Curacao and host nation Guatemala. This, as Curacao clipped Barbados 1-0 to move to the summit of the group, while Aruba blanked St Martin 4-0 at the Estadio Doroteo Guamuch Flores in Guatemala City.

Luigi Iniesa (31st) got the all-important strike for Curacao that moved them to the top on seven points, one ahead of Guatemala, who has a game in hand.

Joachim Kruydenhof (19th, 39th) and Connor Van Kilsdonk (41st, 45th) both bagged a brace in Aruba's win.

 

 

 

Jamaica's young Reggae Boyz remain in the driver's seat to secure the coveted Group F top spot, following their 2-0 win over Grenada in their second encounter at the Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship qualifiers in St Kitts and Nevis on Monday.

The Jamaicans, who clipped Martinique 1-0 in their opening contest on Saturday, made it two-in-two, courtesy of goals from Nicholas Simmonds (30th) and Ronaldo Barrett (82nd). It was the first goal for both players at this level and the first time Jamaica have secured consecutive wins at the tournament since 2022. It was also the country's first consecutive clean sheet at the tournament since 2018, and first win against Grenada at this level since that 2018 outing.

Simmonds, who represents Richmond Kickers in the United States, was delighted by his first start and, by extension, his first national goal.

"It felt good so thanks to coach for giving me the start and it was also great to get a goal in. I am just happy to wear the national colours and I am looking forward to a good game against Bermuda, the team chemistry is really good, so we should again do well in that game," Simmonds said in a post-game interview.

With the win, the John Wall-coached young Reggae Boyz remain in pole position on six points, and only require a draw against second-placed Bermuda (three points) on Wednesday to confirm their spot in the Concacaf Championships round where the top six teams –United States, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica and Dominican Republic -awaits.

The final round will be staged in Mexico in July, where four spots to the 2025 FIFA Under-20 World Cup will be up for grabs.

Elsewhere in Group F, Martinique rebounded from their loss to Jamaica to edge Bermuda 2-1.

Hervinsonn Gervais (33rd) and Awon Guillaume (63rd) scored for Martinique, while Riley Robinson (82nd) pulled one back for Bermuda.

Meanwhile, Trinidad and Tobago will be among those in action on Tuesday, as they lock horns with Canada in a much-anticipated Group D top-of-the-table clash with Canada, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

The two will meet in the 6:00pm feature contest, after Dominica and St Vincent and the Grenadines square off in a 3:00pm contest of academic interest.

This will be the 10th all-time meeting between Trinidad and Tobago and Canada at this level, with the North American boasting seven wins, one loss and one draw from their previous encounters. Both teams are currently locked on six points, with Canada ahead on goal difference. The winner progress to this summer’s Championship.

 

Trinidad and Tobago's young Soca Warriors were among those that opened their Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship qualifying campaign on a winning note, as they downed St Vincent and the Grenadines 3-2 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, on Friday.

With the twin island republic playing host to Group D, the anticipation was high that the Brian Haynes-coached young Soca Warriors would put on a show for spectators, but they didn't have things entirely their way, and had to come from two goals down to edge St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Goals from Cody Cooper (36th), Larry Noel (64th) and a last-gasp goal from Michael Chaves (90+5), was enough to give the host victory, after Kirtney Franklyn (3rd) and Steven Pierre (28th) gave Vincy Heat a 2-0 lead.

The other Group D contest was a stroll for group favourites Canada, who hammered Dominica 8-0.

A hat-trick from Myles Morgan (8th, 36th, 47th), as well as braces from Santiago Lopez (26th, 65th) and Sergei Kozlovskiy (86th, 90+4) and one from Kevaughn Tavernier (27th), gave the North Americans the expected start, which propelled them to the top of the standings on goal difference ahead of Trinidad and Tobago.

Meanwhile in other group games:

Group A

Cuba started off Group A with a 13-0 beating of Anguilla at the Estadio Nacional in Managua, Nicaragua,

Marcos Campos (3rd, 25th, 30th) and David Perez (40th, 47th, 71st) each had hat tricks, Maikol Vega (77th, 90+6) bagged a brace, while Leandro Mena (13th), Michael Camejo (15th), Karel Perez (27th), Cristian Mendoza (41st) and Samuel Rodriguez (62nd) also had goals.

Host Nicaragua also thrilled home fans with an 8-0 victory against British Virgin Islands.

Joab Gutierrez (6th), Francis Castillo (12th, 39th), Kenler Cayasso (25th), Andres Martinez (47th, 61st), Fredy Ortiz (56th) and Izamuel Martinez (81st), got the job done.

Group B

El Salvador got things going in Group B with a 7-0 win over Turks and Caicos Islands at the ABFA Technical Centre in Piggots, Antigua and Barbuda.

Christopher Argueta (26th), Daniel Espana (37th), Walter Menjivar (41st), Wilber Diaz (67th, 80th), Darwin Lopez (90+1) and Nelson Diaz (90+3), got the job done for El Salvador.

Meanwhile, hosts Antigua and Barbuda blanked Guyana 4-0 in the feature contest.

The goals came from Javauhn Parker (2nd), Aiden Jarvis (16th), Christopher Douglas (18th) and Javaughn Jarvis (84th).

Group C

An all-important strike from Daminthly Bernardina (90+3), gifted Curacao a 1-0 win over St Martin at the Estadio Doroteo Guamuch Flores in Guatemala.

Guatemala also started positively with a 3-1 win over Barbados in the nightcap.

Hector Prillwitz (17th), Olger Escobar (32nd) and Justin Racancoj (80th) scored for the Chapines, while Rovaldo Massiah (28th), pulled one back for Barbados.

Group E

In Group E, Haiti secured a 4-1 win over Cayman Islands at the SKNFA Technical Center in Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis.

A hat trick from Bryan Destin (56th, 80th, 90+5) and a goal from Schneilorens Lebrun (12th) was enough for Haiti to see off Cayman Islands, who got their goal from Joshwa Campbell (61st).

The action in the group wrapped up with Puerto Rico blanking St Kitts and Nevis 5-0.

Adrian Biaggi (5th), Sebastian Otero (24th), Daniel Cruz (85th), Luis Medina (88th) and a 47th-minute own goal, saw Puerto Rico to victory.

Group F

Action in Group F gets under way on Saturday, with Bermuda facing Grenada in just their second ever meeting in this tournament, while Jamaica, who were quarterfinalists in Honduras two years ago, will square off against Martinique, both at the SKNFA Technical Center in Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis.

 

Trinidad and Tobago Head coach Brian Haynes is exuding confidence that his young Soca Warriors should open their Concacaf under-20 Championship qualifiers account with victory over St Vincent and the Grenadines at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo on Friday.

The young Soca Warriors, which recently wrapped up their preparation phase, now has the much-anticipated opportunity to impress both their coach and fans on home soil. They lock horns with St Vincent and the Grenadines in the Group D feature game at 6:00pm, after group favourites Canada meet Dominica in the 3:00pm curtain-raiser.

With only the group winner to progress to the Championship round where they will join the confederation's top-six ranked teams, United States, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica and Dominican Republic, Haynes is well aware that his team has no room for mistakes throughout the campaign.

"We are preparing for the first game. That is it. Nothing means anything unless we play that first game and do what we have to do to win that game," Haynes told T&T Football Association (TTFA) media.

"No disrespect to St Vincent or whoever we are going to play, but that is our focus – winning that first game," he added.

After their opening game against St Vincent and the Grenadines, the young Soca Warriors play Dominica on Sunday, before ending the group assignment against Canada on February 27. All games will be played at the Mucurapo venue.

Haynes, who included seven overseas-based players in his 21-member squad, admitted to knowing little about their opponents.

"(We have not been able to get much information on other teams), which is fine. It is really quiet out there. It made me more determined to prepare my team the way we have to play, the tactician shared.

With 11 of the players being those that represented the twin island republic at last year's Concacaf under-17 championship, there is some cohesion and intensity in Haynes's side, which he believes the overseas-based players have strengthened. The overseas-based players are goalkeeper Ailan Panton, striker Larry Noel, attacking midfielder Derrel Garcia and English-born flanker Rio Cardines, a Crystal Palace youth player.

"The level of professionalism is one thing, and the level of play is another thing. The body of work these guys bring to the group is awesome," Haynes said.

"They are not here to be casual. They are here working hard and giving their best. What it has done is lift the level of all the players," he noted.

Haynes promised possession-oriented football with a purpose, as he underlined the significance of keeping clean sheets in the qualifiers, especially given the quality of his defensive group.

"(The fans) are going to meet a bunch of players who are very hard-working. Second of all, they are going to meet a bunch of players who play for each other. Thirdly and most importantly, (the fans will see) a team that wants to win and entertain T&T," Haynes ended.

Amy Williams tamed Canada’s notorious Whistler track on this day in 2010 to claim skeleton gold and become Britain’s first individual Winter Olympic gold medallist in 30 years.

On a course where Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili tragically died the previous week, Williams steered four near-perfect runs to claim victory by over half a second.

Kerstin Szymkowiak took silver a full 0.56 seconds behind Williams, while her Germany team-mate Anja Huber earned the remaining podium place with bronze.

Williams set a track record of 53.83 on her first run and shattered it by going 53.68 on her first of two final runs, she then led from start to finish to follow figure skater Robin Cousins in the British Winter Games hall of fame.

Speaking about the course, situated to the north of Vancouver, Williams said: “I love this track. Once you get over the fear factor you learn to love it and the speed is your friend.

“You’ve got to work with it and relax and if you do that it’s a great track to slide.”

Her record-breaking run helped her set a 0.3 second lead overnight and despite fears that nerves could play a part when she returned to the track, the 27-year-old insisted she had never let her position play on her mind.

“I surprised myself because I wasn’t really nervous,” added Williams, who won Team GB’s only gold medal at the Vancouver Games on what was her Olympic debut.

“I slept absolutely perfectly and I was quite excited. It doesn’t feel like an Olympic Games – it just feels like a normal World Cup race except with more people shouting for me.

“I’m not very good at statistics so I didn’t realise I’m the first gold medallist for a long time. But I think it shows that if you have the determination any country can be good at any sport and you just have to concentrate and do your best.”

Footballers who are the victims of discrimination could have the opportunity to meet with the alleged perpetrator as part of a “first of its kind” restorative policy being launched by Major League Soccer and its players.

There are more eyes on football in the United States and Canada than ever before, thanks in no small part to Lionel Messi’s blockbuster move to Inter Miami last summer.

Ever-evolving MLS and the Major League Soccer Players Association have now launched a new jointly aligned anti-discrimination policy ahead of next week’s 2024 season kick-off.

The league says the policy “is the first of its kind in professional sports in that it is centred on restorative practices, prioritising education, prevention, training, and cultural awareness”.

Sola Winley, MLS’ chief engagement and inclusion officer, said: “To bring something like this to bear is no small task.

“It takes not just a lot of smart minds, but a lot of big hearts to think outside of the box, to build a culture that’s rooted in dignity and respect.

“And to build a culture that can be a leader not just in the soccer and football landscape around the world, but in the sports landscape and beyond.”

Eric Harrington, MLSPA general counsel, said: “By embracing culturally inclusive training to prevent discrimination and restorative practices to remedy it when it occurs, we can prevent discrimination and support players who are harmed by it while providing a pathway of healing for everyone.”

MLS, the MLSPA and non-profit Black Players for Change worked together on the development of the policy and a new intercultural awareness training programme, which is required for all players and staff.

New England Revolution goalkeeper and Black Players for Change president Earl Edwards Jr said: “All players deserve to play this game free of discrimination and to have our cultures welcomed, included and respected.

“This innovative policy is a significant step in building a more inclusive game for all of us and for setting an example for all of sports.”

Under the new policy, restorative plans include the option for an alleged offender to make amends with those harmed by their conduct.

 

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Furthermore, those that accept responsibility and partake in a restorative plan will face less severe discipline from the league than if they deny committing the act and are subsequently found to be untruthful or misleading.

“The players have an option to participate if they want to,” Winley added. “We’re not forcing that.

“Our hope is that there’s pathways to the players coming together, to apologise, for the players to hear the work that others have went through. We create that space and that environment for that to happen.”

‘Playing As One’ workshops ran during pre-season, with MLS greats involved in helping to, among other things, explain banned terms and develop cultural awareness in a league with 80-plus nationalities.

“What we’ve decided is that the best way for us to do that is to build bridges of understanding, have conversations that are based on curiosity,” Winley said.

“To give grace to people when they make mistakes but, to be clear, we are moving from a position of strength and not from a position of weakness. And to be compassionate doesn’t mean that you’re weak.

“It’s easy just to suspend people. The hard work is in the rehabilitation and reintegrating, and we have made a commitment to do the hard work.

“That might not always be preferred in a court of public opinion, but if we’re true to our values and if we’re true to the goals that we have, then we feel good about the process and feel very good about what the outcome of this will be.”

Despite missing out on qualification to the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup, Caribbean side Haiti had something to celebrate from their failed Concacaf Women’s Under-17 Championship campaign, as striker Lourdjina Etienne was named Player of the Tournament, in Mexico.

Etienne, was instrumental in Haiti getting to the semi-finals, as she accounted for eight of the French-speaking Caribbean nation’s nine goals in the tournament, the last of which came in a 1-4 defeat to Canada in the third-place playoff.

The sensational Etienne, first scored both goals in a 2-1 win over Costa Rica, followed by a four-timer in their 5-3 triumph over El Salvador. She then scored both goals for Haiti in the knockout stage, as they lost 1-7 to eventually champions United States in the semi-finals and surrendered the lead in their third-place playoff loss to Canada.

United States, who clinched their sixth hold –fourth-consecutively – on the Concacaf Under-17 Women’s title, headlined the standout performances over the two weeks at, both the individual and collectively. Along with their overall honours, they also copped the tournament’s Fair Play award, while striker Kennedy Fuller took the Top Scorer award.

Fuller was as prolific as a young player can be, as she started the tournament with a five-goal performance in a 13-0 group stage win over Panama. She then followed that up with a goal in the 5-0 win over Canada in their group stage top-of-the-table clash. Fuller was just as effective in the knockout round, where she secured a brace in the 7-1 semi-final win over Haiti to give to end with eight goals for the tournament.