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Warriors start W/Cup campaign in Nov; T&T gets CONCACAF seed

The Trinidad and Tobago National Senior football team will start its 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign this November in effectively the semifinal stage of the CONCACAF series due to its FIFA ranking.

The “Soca Warriors” are ranked joint fourth in CONCACAF at present and 55th in the world by FIFA and, as a result, have been fast tracked past the opening three qualifying rounds.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Kevin Molino (second from left) runs at Antigua and Barbuda players (from left) Keiran Murtagh, Akeem Thomas and Quinton Griffith during 2014 Caribbean Cup qualifying action. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Kevin Molino (second from left) runs at Antigua and Barbuda players (from left) Keiran Murtagh, Akeem Thomas and Quinton Griffith during 2014 Caribbean Cup qualifying action.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

CONCACAF’s other seeded nations are, in descending order, Costa Rica, Mexico, the United States, Panama and Honduras.

The match-ups and groupings for CONCACAF’s final three World Cup qualifying rounds will be determined at a FIFA Draw in St Petersburg, Russia on July 25, 2015. The top three teams in the confederation will advance automatically to the FIFA competition in Russia while the fourth-placed team will enter an intercontinental Play Off.

National head coach Stephen Hart admitted mixed feelings with the draw.

“The draw is a double edge sword,” Hart told the TTFA Media. “On one hand, we avoid the early qualifications where anything can happen. But once your games come around, you have to be mindful of the fact that you are playing teams that have been playing competitive international games.

“That being said, it is a more favourable position to be in.”

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president Raymond Tim Kee said the local football body will do everything in its power to support the team.

“The Team has to be adequately prepared which means there is a critical need for training camps, training matches and an overall program supported by all the stakeholders,” said Tim Kee. “Our National team deserves all that is required for us to be successful in the quest for Russia 2018 and rightly so. We shall make every effort to see this happen.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago forward and captain Kenwyne Jones (right) drives past Dominican Republic left back Edward Acevedo during the 2014 Caribbean Cup qualifying series in Couva. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago forward and captain Kenwyne Jones (right) drives past Dominican Republic left back Edward Acevedo during the 2014 Caribbean Cup qualifying series in Couva.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

St Kitts and Nevis, Belize, Montserrat, Dominica, Barbados, Bermuda, Nicaragua, Turks and Caicos, Curacao, US Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands and Anguilla will contest Round One of the CONCACAF competition with seven home-and-away knock out matches from March 23 to 31 of this year.

Canada, Cuba, Aruba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Suriname, Guatemala, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Grenada, Antigua & Barbuda, Guyana and Puerto Rico will join the seven Round One winners for more two-legged knock out fixtures between June 8 to 16.

The third round of home-and-away knock out games will include Jamaica and Haiti and runs from August 31 to September 8 with the six winners going on to join Trinidad and Tobago and the other top seeds in the CONCACAF semifinal qualifying round.

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12 comments

  1. Raymond Tim Kee going to blight this side.
    He and his cohorts are a complete waste.

  2. Lets hope we have a changing of the guard and get people in with real interest in the game and not just about fattening their pockets. Have confidence Coach Hart knows what has to be done.

  3. Jamaica is not seeded. So they start in an earlier round.
    If we aren’t going to get practice games, it would be better if we also started in an earlier round. So let’s see if it works in our advantage or not.

  4. Yea we need a bigger pool. Jamaica is the joint 4th with us? I don’t see them mentioned. Unless I just read over them. We have a lot of work. I hope some of these U20 players get some offers in this transfer window. We need young overseas pros so we can pick up out speed of play.

  5. I think many from that pool are guys that are unlikely to play in this campaign like Birchall and Edwards and Theobald and Glen. Definitely don’t think our pool is anywhere near wide enough.
    And that is why Hart himself has begged for a camp for his local based players.

  6. I think Hart has a good pool though with the nearly 30 we’ve seen so far. Need some fresh faces to help in the keeping department though. A striker who is playing regularly and scoring would also be nice

  7. I think we need at least six good warm up matches outside of the Gold Cup.
    We haven’t done a great job of widening our player pool in the last two years. We need time to blood a few pro league and under-20 players to see if they can handle this World Cup campaign.

  8. That’s some good news. I hope we fill the dates with decent friendlies in the meantime

  9. Should give the TTFA nuff time to organise some internationals for the boys too without begging at every step