Home / Volley / Global Football / Panama mauls T&T U17s again; Cooper says Warriors gelling

Panama mauls T&T U17s again; Cooper says Warriors gelling

The bad news is the Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 Team have conceded nine times without reply in their two opening warm-up games against host nation, Panama.

The good news is they are unlikely to play a tougher opponent at the Under-17 CONCACAF Championship, which kicks off in Honduras on February 27.

National Under-17 coach Shawn Cooper added five overseas-based players to his squad, which qualified for the CONCACAF leg of their Chile 2015 World Cup campaign by finishing fifth in the Caribbean tournament.

Photo: The Trinidad and Tobago national under-17 team pose at the Beausejour Stadium in St Lucia during the Caribbean qualifying round. Coach Shawn Cooper has made a handful of changes to his roster since then.
Photo: The Trinidad and Tobago national under-17 team pose at the Beausejour Stadium in St Lucia during the Caribbean qualifying round.
Coach Shawn Cooper has made a handful of changes to his roster since then.

But it did little to bridge the gap against Panama as the junior “Soca Warriors” followed up an opening 4-0 loss to the Central American nation with a 5-0 humbling on Wednesday evening.

Trinidad and Tobago finished with just nine players on the field after two red cards.

“It was another tough loss for us but we’re not going to let it push us down,” Cooper told the TTFA Media. “I thought the performance in this second game was an improvement but we are conceding goals badly and the game changed in the second half when the referee sent off two of our players.

“But the players were very disappointed at the end and I’m pleased about that because it shows that they do not like this feeling of defeat and they know they have to dig deeper.”

Two years ago, Cooper led an Under-17 Team that included Levi Garcia, Brent Sam, Andre Fortune Jr, Brendon Creed and Akeem Garcia. The Presentation College (San Fernando) coach took that outfit into the CONCACAF quarterfinals—at the expense of Costa Rica—before they lost 4-2 to eventual finalist, Panama.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 head coach Shawn Cooper.
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 head coach Shawn Cooper.

Poor preparation and a paucity of stellar individual talent has made his job much more difficult on this occasion. There were eyebrows raised too when his CONCACAF squad omitted the two top scorers from the Caribbean qualifying stages, Trinity College East’s Dareem Daniel and St Benedict’s College’s Anthony Herbert.

However, Cooper said his new-look team, which now includes Philadephia Union’s Jerren Nixon Jr, Stevenage FC’s Morgan Bruce, New York Red Bulls’ Noah Powder and the US Players Development Academy duo Joshua Burnett and Chaz Burnett, is starting to gel.

He suggested they will be ready by the time their CONCACAF opener against Guatemala kicks off on February 27.

“I’m still seeing us getting up to scratch by the time our first game comes around,” said Cooper. “We’ve been down this road before. Our opponents in the first game have not had an easy time with us in the past and I believe we can get it right. But the main thing is to keep the boys at a good level in terms of spirit and making sure they believe that there is still a whole tournament for them to go out and perform in.

“The players coming into the squad on this trip have started gelling and generally the team will continue to improve.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 Team player Jerren Nixon Jr (centre) towers over (from left) Derek King, Kenwyne Jones, Hutson Charles and Cornell Glen during the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Nixon was just 14 years old at the time.
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 Team player Jerren Nixon Jr (centre) towers over (from left) Derek King, Kenwyne Jones, Hutson Charles and Cornell Glen during the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Nixon was just 14 years old at the time.

The junior Warriors will do battle in Group A alongside Honduras, Jamaica, USA, Cuba and Guatemala while Group B comprises of: Canada, Haiti, Panama, Mexico, St Lucia and Costa Rica.

Each group winner will qualify directly for the Under-17 World Cup while the second and third place teams will enter a four team play off with two qualifying berths at stake.

About Editor

Editor

Check Also

SSFL All-Stars stay away Saturday; ‘Sousou hands’ Smith saves South in Sunday showpiece

He has, one of his fans has boasted, more hands than a sousou and Denzil …

34 comments

  1. Why don’t you all just shut the hell up and let the man do his work? When jack Warner digging allyuh eye out for years allyuh eh saying nothing but allyuh wanna cry down the coach whilst he trying to get his team up to scratch …. Hypocritical imbeciles…. Let the fucking man do his work and save the criticism for the actual end result rather than a scrimmage!!

  2. Frequent red cards usually speak of a desperation. Trouble.

  3. I don’t think any coach should be sacked in pre-season. Otherwise Beenhakker might have been fired before the 2006 world cup. We will see what happens in the tournament.

  4. I meant the under-17 team that lost 4-2 to Panama is now our under-20 team

  5. Trinidad is the only place where we recycle coaches with losing records over and over in 1st world countries you are judged on results not friendship or how much ass you kiss and how much hit you willing 2 take every national team coach is set up 2 fail and the only chance of success is a miracle or over achievement

  6. I guess that’s the key to keep your coaching job with the TTFA. If they don’t pay you then they really can’t really fire you

  7. If that Trinidad team had a more skillful squad, why the changes? I do note we haven’t scored and the top 2 scorers from the previous rounds were dropped from the squad.

  8. Hard to defend the country’s pride without the tools though. I haven’t seen Panama’s U17s play. But, as Cornell said, Panama is producing some wonderful youth teams these days.

  9. I agree that it is very difficult to gauge a technical staff in these circumstances. YoungWarriors Ttff, Cooper got the U-17 team to the CONCACAF quarterfinals two years ago which is not bad going at all.
    The Panama team that eliminated T&T came within penalties of winning the entire competition.

  10. That was two years ago Kendall Tull. This is a different crop. Otherwise that last team toured Colombia and so on before their CONCACAF campaign and was better prepared. I think they had two tours.
    And, arguably, a more skillful crop of players.

  11. There is an obvious question here – Our original team lost 2-4 against these same opponents who have beaten us 9-0 over two games. What has changed?

  12. Our senior team will struggle to beat that Panama U-17 team

  13. Yuh cah fire ah man who they ain’t paying consistently..they aint paying he staff consistently….they aint give he teams no money and no tours for preparation….they aint helping him further his coaching education…Cooper and Elcock hadda buy water n fruits out of their own pocket….they aint giving him a fair chance for success. Again, to fire him is a total disrespect.

  14. That U17 Panama team is a very good team. Not looking for excuses. Just saying

  15. The person or persons who have cooper still coaching our youth teams need to be fired 9 goals in two games nah man only in T&T…. Well done TTFA

  16. Depends on the teams perception of utility right now too I guess. It’s difficult for such young guys to really perform given the preparation and all that. You said reputation there Lasana, additionally the country’s pride and reputation. That alone poses a challenge for them when coming to taking things seriously.

  17. Prince Borde We suppose to fuss about every T&T team’s preparation!!

  18. T&T football-governing-body leadership is lacking…

  19. Why de fuss, there wasn’t much expectation from this group

  20. I am not picking on any coach in particular, but Lasana Liburd, can you find out the success rate of Shawn Cooper? He has been around for quite a while, yet i do not recall his Win/loss stats…

  21. Parents of the training team called me to ask questions of certain activities of that team!!

  22. Secret weapon ? Look left to go right ? Huh

  23. Gregory we have that problem with prepping of all sporting teams!!

  24. Parents told me of events that occured during training!!

  25. Cooper has a secret weapon…. the team right now is not the team he planning to play… is the classic look left go right……

  26. Herein lies the audacity of hope! We are decades behind regarding true holistic preparation of teams to challenge for spots in international competitions. Preparation begins over a period of years, not weeks.

  27. Why doesnt Cooper say that this team is an indisciplined team and he has contributed to it!!

  28. I always had my fears about this bunch. Obviously you must first point the finger at the preparation. And I didn’t see the natural talent to camouflage it.
    Not sure how good the overseas-based players are but this squad will have to work their tails off to get through this with reputations intact or enhanced.

  29. 2 reds ? Hope it wasn’t dissent or something foolish because then we’ll have another problem.