Having watched his team rise against the odds to secure famous victory over United States in last year’s Nations League quarterfinals, Trinidad and Tobago senior men’s Head coach Angus Eve believes there is no task too difficult for the Soca Warriors to handle.

So, while he gears up for another challenging and demanding campaign, Eve is confident in the depth of his player pool, which he expects to showcase their competitiveness and possibly rewrite the history books.

Much like it was against United States, when the Soca Warriors came away 2-1 winners, Eve knows their CONMEBOL Copa America playoff contest against Canada will be tough, but he remains optimistic about his team's ability to overcome the stiff competition on March 23, and qualify for the prestigious Copa America tournament.

“Like the US team, the Canada team is built up the same, (with) a lot of European-based players. Some of the players (are) playing in the MLS (Major League Soccer), some playing back home, but most of the players are playing in Europe and they are playing with good teams,” Eve assessed.

“But we think we can go in there; we think we can compete with anyone right now and we want to show that. We want to show that confidence that we could go out on the park and compete with anyone,” he added.

Eve incorporated new players into his training squad for a recently-concluded four-day camp, which could be a move to bring a fresh dynamic to their gameplay. Still, he believes that with the right application, the team will compete strongly against Canada and, by extension, in the Concacaf World Cup qualifiers, which promises to be both demanding and exciting.

“We just have to be tactically aware. A coach can only give instructions. When the players go out there, they have to have the mindset to play the position, to play the role that the coaches give them to the best of their ability because, a coach could never tell a player what to do for every second of every minute of a game,” he reasoned.

The Soca Warriors will have two practice games against Jamaica early next month, ahead of the Copa America qualifier against Canada. The Reggae Boyz trip to Trinidad follows the Soca Warriors tour of Jamaica last year for two friendly matches.

“They promised to return that favour to us, so these two games are supposed to be in early March. We will use those games as the final two warm-up games going into the CONMEBOL playoff match and when that happens, then we will pick that final squad,” Eve declared.

He also welcomed the fact that two players –Reon Moore of Defence Force and Real Gill of Club Sando –have been signed to play overseas in the Canadian Premier League and United Soccer League, respectively.

This, the tactician believes is another step in the right direction to not only assist in the players preparations for the challenges ahead, but more importantly, for football in the twin island republic.

“It shows that the work that we are doing (is good) and people are identifying players again, because we (once) had the same set of players getting contracts all the time. This is a new batch of players who are getting contracts, and I could tell you, when people see them playing with the national team, that is how they get that sort of exposure,” Eve shared.

“It shows that people are watching us again and watching our players and that augurs well for the country and for the team on a whole,” he ended.

Having watched the Soca Warriors parade their skills at the 2006 FIFA World Cup with tremendous amount of pride, Trinidad and Tobago’s Denmark-born Marc Gangia was inspired to push to one day boast a successful career in which he achieved a similar World Cup feat.

Fast forward 18 years later, Gangia has now found himself in the right place to possibly bring that dream to fruition, as he was invited to the Soca Warriors setup by Head coach Angus Eve.

However, Gangia, 26, who earns his Trinidad and Tobago stripes through his father, knows all too well that breaking into Eve’s final squad for the upcoming Copa America qualifying playoff against Canada on March 24 and, by extension for the World Cup qualifiers later this year, will take some doing, but he intends to make the most of the opportunity.

"It is nice to be here. It is a big opportunity hopefully to be a part of (the squad). I remember the 06 World Cup and also following the (English) Premier League (with T&T footballers) Dwight Yorke and Kenwyne Jones and players like that," Gangia said, during a meet the press hosted by TTFA on Tuesday.

"It is a big step for the country if we could qualify for the (2026) World Cup and also (for the Copa America tournament) in the summer. It is a big match ahead in Canada, so we will see if we could get through,” he added.

Though it was his first time being called to a training camp with the Soca Warriors, Gangia, who is a striker for Danish fifth-tier side Dalum IF, pointed out that he is no stranger to the twin island republic.

"This is probably my fifth time now. My dad has a lot of family here, so we have been here a couple of times,” Gangia shared.

He also revealed that his call up was only a matter of timing, as things have been in process for almost a decade.

"Approximately ten years ago it started, but it has been a long process with the passports and all those kinds of things,” he said.

With his appetite for international action now open through the just-concluded four-day camp at Larry Gomes Stadium, which launched the Soca Warriors preparation for the campaign ahead, Gangia is now ready to raise his game even further to become a staple in Eve’s side.

“The weather is hot compared to Denmark so there is a transition I have to get used to, but I think the boys have been nice and taking good care of me, so it has been good so far,” he noted.

 

With their Copa America playoff fixture against Canada fast approaching, Trinidad and Tobago’s senior men’s Head coach Angus Eve recently called a 35-man training squad of mostly local-based players which is aimed at ensuring he fields the best possible squad for that crucial encounter next month.

The four-day camp, which ends on Thursday, not only provides the opportunity for players to impress the coach and secure a spot in the team, but also serves as preparation for the playoff contest scheduled for March 24. The winner of the playoff will qualify for the prestigious CONMENOL Copa America in June.

Along with players who were a part of the Soca Warriors unit that had a successful run to the Concacaf Nations League quarter-finals, Eve extended a first-time invitation to German-born Keenon Erfuth, whose mother is Trinidadian, and Denmark-based Marc Gangia, who is eligible to represent the twin island republic through his father.

Gangia, 26, is a forward with Danish fifth-tier team Dalum IF, while 21-year-old Erfuth, also a forward, is currently with German association football club VfR Neumünster.

Having enjoyed good form last year when they also registered an historic 2-1 win over United States, Eve is keen to build on that foundation.

“It’s a great chance for us to get some of the guys together as a group again because as you would have seen, the majority of them would have returned to their clubs and have been very active in the local league since November,” Eve told TTFA Media.

“There are few regulars in this squad, but we also took the opportunity to invite some players, who we believe have been showing up and performing for their clubs in the local premier league,” he added.

Following the Copa America qualifiers, Eve’s next focus will be the 2026 Concacaf World Cup qualifiers, which is scheduled for June. The Soca Warriors will contest Group B alongside Costa Rica, St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada and Bahamas.

“There is a lot of international football coming up with the Copa America qualifier being the most urgent assignment, but of course, there are the World Cup qualifiers following soon after in June. These sort of windows where we can have some time with the players available are extremely important for us,” Eve noted.

Trinidad and Tobago Training Squad: Kaihim Thomas, Reon Moore, Jamali Garcia, Christopher Biggette, Jabari St Hillaire, Kevon Goddard, Justin Garcia, Brent Sam, Nathaniel Garcia, Justin Sadoo (all Defence Force), Duane Muckette, Michel Poon-Angeron, Liam Burns, John-Paul Rochford, Isaiah Leacock (all AC Port of Spain), Real Gill, Shervohnez Hamilton, Kai Moos, Jamal Jack (all Club Sando), Luke Phillips, Denzil Smith, Justin Cornwall, Mark Ramdeen (all Point Fortin Civic), Alvin Jones, Robert Primus, Adrian Foncette (all Police FC), David Daniel, Ross Russell Jr, Isaiah Lee (all La Horquetta Rangers), Mickaeel Jem Gordon (1976 FC Phoenix), Rhondel Gibson (Eagles FC), Keenon Erfuth (VFR Neumunster—Germany), Marc Gangia (Dalum IF—Denmark), Jonathan Assue (unattached).

With Trinidad and Tobago’s Copa America playoff against Canada fast approaching and their opponents for the 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign revealed, Head coach Angus Eve is cautiously optimistic about the way forward.

This, as he believes his senior Soca Warriors are in a much better place ahead of this year’s campaign compared to last year when they had a fairly successful run, which included an historic victory over United States in the Concacaf Nations League quarterfinals.

Should they secure an upset victory over Canada in the upcoming March 23 fixture, Trinidad and Tobago would qualify for the prestigious Copa America tournament to contest Group A alongside Argentina, Peru and Chile.

The Soca Warriors are also set to contest Group B in the second round of the Concacaf World Cup qualifiers alongside Costa Rica, St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada and Bahamas.

Eve, who views the ongoing T&T Premier Football League, as well as pre-season football for his foreign-based charges in North America as an additional boost, pointed out that they have already started plotting the way forward.

“We had a strategy meeting where we planned our way forward. We have been speaking individually with everybody in their individual roles. This is what the collective meeting (was about), to bring back in all the data and plan the way going forward,” Eve told TTFA in a recent interview.

The tactician credited T&T Premier Football League’s tier one and tier two competitions for improving his talent pool to some extent.

“It has been tremendous and refreshing for us because every (national training) camp that we would have gone in previously the locally based players weren’t playing (regularly), and we had to do a lot of work to bring (them) up to match fitness,” Eve reasoned.

“Now they are playing, the league is going well. I think it’s very competitive so we can see that the players are playing much sharper. I thought that this (second) season the boys would be playing a lot faster, and they are. So, it’s good for us and we want to bring them in,” he added.

That said, Eve welcomed the fact that surging young talents Tyrese Spicer of Toronto FC and Colorado Rapids’ Wayne Frederick II, are now among the potentials for a national call-up.

“We have some new boys who will get the opportunity to come in the camp and work with us in that environment. We have seen a lot of nice young players coming through the league.

"The players in Canada, the players in the US are already in pre-season with their clubs so they will get a lot of pre-season matches under their belt. It’s a lot more game time and also that we have the few players in Europe, they are still in action and playing,” Eve noted.

“(So) I think we’re in a better place going into this round of matches because soon after, we’ll have the World Cup campaign to start,” he ended.

Jamaica's senior Reggae Boyz are now aware that they will face Guatemala, Dominican Republic and Dominica in Group E in second round action of the 2026 Concacaf World Cup qualification.

Their other opponent will come from the first round playoff tie between British Virgin Islands or US Virgin Islands. It was revealed during Thursday's draw which took place at the Home of FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland.

With hosts Mexico, United States and Canada, all earning automatic qualification, the qualifiers will be contested among the other 32 FIFA affiliated Concacaf member associations. The second round of qualifiers will see the two first round winners, joining the confederation's remaining 28 participating member associations.

The first round of qualifying will take place in March 2024 between the four lowest-ranked Concacaf Member Associations based on the FIFA Men’s Rankings as of December 2023. These two-legged matchups will see British Virgins Islands opposing US Virgin Islands in Playoff one, while Turks and Caicos Islands and Anguilla will lock horns in Playoff two.

From there, the second round of qualifiers will see the two first round winners, join the confederation's remaining 28 participating member associations to make 30 teams divided into six groups of five teams.

Following single round-robin matches (two home and two away) in the second round, the six group winners and runners-up will progress to the final round (12 teams total).

The Second Round will be played over the course of two matchdays in June 2024 and then another two matchdays in June 2025.

Second Round Grouping

Group A: Honduras, Antigua and Barbuda, Cuba, Bermuda, Cayman Islands

Group B: Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Bahamas

Group C: Haiti, Curaçao, Saint Lucia, Barbados, Aruba

Group D: Panama, Nicaragua, Guyana, Montserrat, Belize

Group E: Jamaica, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Dominica, Winner Playoff 2 (British Virgin Islands-US Virgin Islands)

Group F: El Salvador, Suriname, Puerto Rico, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Winner Playoff 1 (Turks and Caicos Islands-Anguilla)

Jamaica wrapped up their Concacaf World Cup Qualifying campaign for Qatar 2022 with a comeback 2-1 victory over Honduras on the 14th and final matchday of the Third Round of CWCQ on Wednesday night at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica.

Honduras enjoyed the better start of the two sides and grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 18’. 

After a VAR review, the referee ruled there was a penalty for Honduras and Angel Tejeda stroked home the spot-kick to give the Catrachos the advantage.

Jamaica looked to get back on level terms and they would get the 1-1 equalizer in the 38’ with a penalty conversion from Leon Bailey.

The momentum was with Jamaica and the Reggae Boyz took their first lead of the contest just moments before the halftime whistle with Ravel Morrison burying a shot off a corner kick to make it 2-1 to the home side.

Jamaica aimed to extend their advantage in the second half, while Honduras tried to find a way back on even terms, but in the end, no goals could be found in the second 45 minutes, as Jamaica saw things out to collect the three points.

Interim Reggae Boyz Head Coach Paul Hall has named a 24-man squad for the final three FIFA World Cup qualifiers against El Salvador, Canada and Honduras.

Reggae Boyz head coach Paul Hall has named an experienced squad for his squad for the next three FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Mexico, Panama and Costa Rica, respectively.

Hall, who replaced Theodore Whitmore on an interim basis, after the latter was relieved of his duties late last year, did not see it fit to select any outfield players currently participating in the Jamaica Premier League. Leon Bailey misses out once again as he is not fully recovered from a thigh injury that has seen him miss 11 of Aston Villa's Premier League matches this season. Shamar Nicholson declined his invitation claiming he wants to spend the time settling into his new club Spartak Moscow.

However, Hall is not short of striking options as he has called up West Ham’s Michail Antonio, Queens Park Rangers’ Andre Gray, Philadelphia Union’s Cory Burke, FC Toulouse’s Junior Flemmings, Fulham’s Bobby Reid, and Santos de Guapiles’ Javon East.

In midfield, Miami FC’s Devon Williams and Lamar Walker, Blackpool FC’s Kevin Stewart, Derby County’s Ravel Morrison, Hartford Athletic’s Peter-Lee Vassell and Preston North End’s Daniel Johnson got the nod for the crucial matches.

In defence, Hall will choose from the likes of Reading FC’s Liam Moore, Macarthur FC’s Adian Mariappa, recent Inter Miami signee Damion Lowe, Toronto FC’s Kemar Lawrence, Morecambe FC’s Gregory Leigh, Vancouver Whitecap’s Javain Brown and FC Cincinnati’s Alvas Powell.

Andre Blake of Philadelphia Union, Dwayne Miller of Eskilstuna City and Amal Knight of Harbour View FC make up the goalkeeper pool.

Jamaica will open the coming window against Mexico at the National Stadium in Kingston on January 27 before travelling to Panama for their next match on January 30. The penultimate round of qualifiers concludes with Jamaica hosting Costa Rica at the National Stadium on February 2.

Reggae Boyz Head Coach Paul Hall says he wants the team to play attacking, possession-based football but noted that it will be difficult to change the personality of the team in the short term.

“It is very difficult to change the personality of a team in the short term because we’re looking for results and looking to pick a squad and a team that is going to get us results,” said Hall speaking at his introductory press conference on Monday.

 Hall explained the style of play he wants the team to exhibit under his leadership while once again indicating that the changes will take time.

“I do like to press high. I also like to make sure the team is attack-minded and play a possession-based style. How much of that we can get out of them in the short term is down to the work we can do beforehand, but tactically, we’re looking to press and counter-press and hopefully, in the five phases of the game, try to dominate the opposition.” Hall said.

The interim coach also said a change he will implement is centred around the team's wide play and the use of rotations when necessary.

“We could get our wingers to come inside, get our fullbacks attacking or the opposite way around and we could have rotations. I’m very much about rotations,” Hall said.

Hall took charge of the Reggae Boyz last week after the Jamaica Football Federation fired Theodore Whitmore. Whitmore lost his job after the Reggae Boyz only managed to win one of their first eight matches in the final round of qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and now lies sixth in the eight-team standings with seven points. Only six matches remain in the qualifiers and the Reggae Boyz are seven points off the top three, which are automatic qualifiers for the World Cup.

The Reggae Boyz will resume their campaign on January 27 against Mexico at the National Stadium in Kingston. The match will come seven days after the Reggae Boyz play Peru in an international friendly on January 20.

Interim Head Coach of the “Reggae Boyz,” Paul Hall, says his selection policy in the short term will be to pick the best players available as he aims to get Jamaica into the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

When the Reggae Boyz face El Salvador at the Estadio Cuscatlan in San Salvador on Friday, Reggae Boyz defender Damion Lowe is hoping for an important victory for more than one reason.

Jamaica Reggae Boyz head coach Theodore Whitmore says the team is looking to continue riding its momentum into the upcoming round of World Cup qualifiers, particularly as it relates to defensive solidity.

The Caribbean team had a difficult start to its qualification campaign going winless in its first five games, before getting on the board against Honduras.  The run of games included a 3-0 home loss to Panama and a 2-0 away loss to the United States.  During the period the team conceded 8 goals.

Whitmore, however, made tweaks to the team’s formation for the last two matches against Canada and Honduras, which has led to two clean sheets.

“I think we want to build on the last two performances, from Canada to Honduras I think we can see much improvement because we have not conceded for the last two games, so we would like to build on that,” Whitmore said.

“We have a balanced squad here, for these two upcoming games so we are looking forward to it.  Again, we want to build on the strength of the last two performances.”

The Jamaicans will kick off the crucial round of matches with an encounter against El Salvador on Friday, followed by a home match against the United States on Sunday.  For the first time since the start of the campaign, the team will be allowed to have limited fans in the stadium.

 

 

Jamaica’s senior national men’s team is set to leave for El Salvador on Monday evening, November 8, giving coach Theodore Whitmore three days to work with the players before their crucial World Cup qualifier against El Salvador on Friday, November 12.

Jamaica’s coming matches against El Salvador in San Salvador and a strengthened United States of America at the National Stadium in Kingston will be of great importance to the Reggae Boyz, who will be hoping to make up lost ground on the five teams ahead of them in the final round of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

The players based in Europe are scheduled to arrive at the Norman Manley Airport in Kingston at 4:30 pm on Monday, where they will join the local delegation on a charter leaving at 7:00 pm. The players based in the United States (and Costa Rica) will fly directly to San Salvador on the same afternoon.

Injured players Dillon Barnes and Andre Gray will be replaced by Dwayne Miller and Javain Brown, respectively.

Jamaica will return to the island by charter on Saturday, November 13 before taking on the United States on Tuesday, November 16, at the National Stadium. A maximum of 5000 vaccinated spectators are expected to attend.

Jamaica got off to a poor start in the Octoganal round of qualifiers, losing 2-1 to Mexico and 3-0 to Panama in September. They then lost 2-0 to the United States in October and drew 0-0 with Canada and 1-1 with Costa Rica before getting their first win, a 2-0 victory over Honduras.

Jamaica has five points, the same number as El Salvador. They are also a point behind Costa Rica and three behind Panama that a currently fourth in the standings.

Mexico, the USA and Canada are the top three teams and are in the automatic qualifying positions for the World Cup.

 

The mystery surrounding the decision of West Ham forward, Michail Antonio, to withdraw from Jamaica’s team days ahead of the ongoing round of World Cup qualifiers has added another twist, with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) insisting it was based on a misunderstanding.

According to multiple reports, the issue stemmed from the fact that the player was not given permission to carry his personal physiotherapist on the trip, which he had agreed to pay for out of pocket.  Through his agent, Antonio who has suffered from a long history of muscular injuries, made the request for the medical professional to be able to join the squad but was turned down.

However, strangely, the JFF now insists that the player’s representative was given the wrong information as he should have in fact been granted permission to travel with the therapist.

“It was a simple mix-up that caused that caused that to happen.  What we don’t want to do is to continue to lay the blame all over the place.  We know administratively from the JFF hierarchy that that is something we had supported,” General Secretary Dalton Wint told TVJ Sports.

The official, however, seemed to be at a loss to explain how a member of the technical committee could have communicated a negative answer to the player’s agent when the answer he admits should have been a simple and positive one.

“He is allowed (to carry physiotherapist), it’s simple.  That’s why we used the term miscommunication.”

Wint went on to state that the issue had been cleared up with the player and his agent and expected him to return to the team in the near future.  The Jamaica team is at the bottom of the standings with three losses in the first four matches.

   

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Michael Ricketts has said the organisation will consider playing the rest of the country’s home World Cup qualifiers on foreign soil, due to losses incurred from hosting the matches.

The JFF hosted its first home qualifier earlier this month and it’s safe to say things did not go as planned.  The team suffered a heavy 3-0 defeat to Panama, which led to questions surfacing regarding the stewardship of the national program.

In addition, however, the match was played in front of an empty stadium due to existing covid-19 protocols.  As such, the organisation has been unable to collect gate receipts or other revenue, while footing the expenses associated with hosting the game.  With seven home games left to go, Ricketts insists the issue could become a major one.

“We can’t afford to play games without making any money at all at the turn styles,” Ricketts said. 

“So we are looking at options and we will have to discuss it with some of our key players, then we will look at whatever options may present themselves,” he added.

The Jamaica national team will next be in action on October 7 when they face the United States, while their next home match will be against Canada three days later.

 

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