Trinidad and Tobago soccer fraternity, still reeling from its early ouster from 2014 World Cup qualifying, held what was referred to as ‘national football (soccer) consultation’ on Sunday, hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation. According to acting Federation president, Lennox Watson, the idea was to let the public have its say as to what went wrong in Trinidad’s failed attempt to reach the CONCACAF semifinal round of qualifying for the 2014 Brazil World Cup and for the way forward.
The eight-hour forum in Port-of-Spain offered the opportunity to coaches, fans and players to give their views on the state of football (soccer) in Trinidad and Tobago, on what went wrong and the way forward. Trinidad and Tobago was beaten, 2-1, by Guyana in the first leg of the two-match series at Providence National Stadium in Guyana on Nov. 11.
Watson, also heeded the call from former national players Dwight Yorke and Russell Latapy, who expressed their offer to play a role in Trinidad and Tobago football (soccer). Watson, who took over from recently former Federation president Oliver camps, who resigned recently because of his involvement in the bribery scandal involving several CFU (Caribbean Football Union), welcomed the former players’ involvement in the way forward for Trinidad football.
“Come, let’s talk. We are more than willing to explore every avenue to allow you guys to play a part,” stated Watson in response to Yorke and Latapy. “This is a new beginning for us and we will be placing a heavy emphasis on youth development and I am sure Latapy and Yorke can be a huge inspiration to our youngsters.
“I feel encouraged by their public offer,” added Watson. “It is vital for the Hislops, Yorkes and Latapys to pass on what they have learn’t to our future generation of footballers.” Latapy was Trinidad and Tobago’s World Cup coach before German Otto Pfister took over.
To compound the current crisis in Trinidad soccer, the junior Soca Warriors Olympic team lost its second game, 5-2, to St. Kitts and Nevis after its 1-1 tie versus Cuba in the four team qualifying group in St. Kitts. Trinidad has to win its final game versus Surinam to reach the final qualifying round. Cuba leads the group, St. Kist and Nevis is second on goal difference, Surinam is third and Trinidad last.
Arantes Wins 2011 Bronx League Championship
The Arantes Soccer Club won the Digicel Hugh Lawrence Championship Trophy to be crowned champion of the Bronx New York International Soccer League in 2011. Arantes players and head coach Bobby Austin proudly accepted the trophy and other award at the league’s 36th Annual Awards Dinner and Dance on Saturday, Nov. 5. Second placed was Kandia Football Club.
In other team awards, Kandia FC took home the second place trophy. Semifinalist New Upsetters won the Most Improved trophy; while Selassie F.C. was voted Most Disciplined team award, which was accepted by Coach Teddy McKenzie. In the individual awards, Howard Benjamin of New York Upsetters won the Most Valuable Player award; O ‘Marley Francis of Kandia F.C. copped the Best Goalkeeper award; James Darby of Akademia F.C. took home the Best Defender trophy and Brian Wollaston, also of Akademia F.C. was the Most Outstanding Midfielder. Valentino Fogo of Arantes was the leading goal scorer with 10 goals. Austin of Arantes F.C. was voted Coach of The Year.
In a special award, the Bronx League President, Glen Porter, presented an Appreciation Plaque to Evander Childs High School principal, Barbara Kirkweg for her continued support of the Bronx International Soccer league.
Galaxy Wins Third MLS Cup
The Los Angeles Galaxy won its third MLS championship and first in six years when it defeated the Houston Dynamo, 1-0, on Sunday night, Nov. 20 at The Home Depot Center in Carson (CA). Galaxy manager Bruce Arena got his third MLS Cup victory, forward Robbie Keane won his first MLS championship in his first year here and midfielder David Beckham can now leave MLS as a champion after five years in the league.
The Galaxy dominate the game from start to finish, but it wasn’t until the 72nd minute when Beckham headed on the ball to Keane, who fed Donovan on his diagonal run across the 18-yard box for the score. Donovan, who scored his 20th play-off goal, was voted 2011 MLS MVP.
Monroe College Exceptional
Monroe Community College in New Rochelle (NY) had an exceptional year in soccer as both men’s and women’s soccer teams reached their respective NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) national championship games, but both finished second in the nation. The Monroe Mustangs (14-1-2) men’s team lost to Cloud County Community College (Kansas), 4-1, in the NJCAA Division I national final last Sunday in Phoenix, Arizona; Sagi Levi-ari scored the only goal for the Mustangs. Lanin Janneh and Anthony Asante were selected to the All-Tournament Team.
The Lady Mustangs (14-1-1) fell, 4-0, to a strong Montgomery C.C. team at the NJCAA Div. III championship game at Courtland, New York the week before. Mikaela Howell, Happy Orere-Amadu and Djegnale Dioubate were selected to the All-Tournament Team. Howell was also named Region V co-MVP with Evelyn Mendez of BMCC and was selected to the Region V First Team; Dioubate, Amadu, Astrid Lasso and Fatima Ba were named to the Region V Second Team