The Caribbean Football Union (CFU) officially announced last night that Suriname is out of the 2016 Olympic Games qualifying series. Again. And for the last time. Hopefully.
For the fourth time in three days, the CFU’s Group Four has undergone a fixture change. And, for the second time, Suriname has been withdrawn for the competition.
The Dutch-speaking nation has apparently struggled to get visas to enter Puerto Rico and has given up hope of arriving with a reasonable timeframe.
St Vincent and the Grenadines were also said to also be AWOL up until last night. However, CFU officials apparently expect them them to show up in time to face hosts Puerto Rico at 8 pm tonight.
Trinidad and Tobago, who have 12 players on the island but should have another nine “Soca Warriors” available by 11 am today, will play their their first qualifier against St Vincent from 8 pm on Saturday.
The Warriors and Puerto Rico will clash at 8 pm on Monday night. Only the group winner will advance to the next round of competition.
Suffice to say that the competition has been a nightmare for the travelling teams while it probably is not much fun either for Puerto Rico football fans.
Trinidad and Tobago will hope that their frantic efforts to get to the US territory were not in vain.
(Trinidad and Tobago Under-23 Team)
Goalkeepers: Aaron Enill (San Juan Jabloteh), Montell Joseph (Unattached);
Defenders: Jesus Perez (North East Stars), Josiah Trimmingham (San Juan Jabloteh), Leland Archer (College of Charleston—USA), Alvin Jones, Martieon Watson (both W Connection);
Midfielders: Duane Muckette, Neveal Hackshaw (both North East Stars), Jelani Felix (Defence Force), Xavier Rajpaul (College of Charleston—USA), Keane McIvor (Lindsey Wilson College—USA), Jabari Mitchell, Jomal Williams, Aikim Andrews (both W Connection), Kadeem Corbin (St Ann’s Rangers);
Forwards: Rundell Winchester (Portland Timbers 2—USA), Ricardo John (Virginia Tech—USA), Adrian Welch (both St John’s University—USA).
Staff: Zoran Vranes (coach), David Muhammad (manager), Gilbert Bateau (assistant coach/trainer), Michael Taylor (physio), Esmond O’ Brien (equipment manager), Nigel Neverson (goalkeeper coach).