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Soca Warriors star Keron Cummings shot; MLS target will miss Copa play off

Trinidad and Tobago international footballer and North East Stars playmaker Keron “Ball Pest” Cummings was shot outside his home in Diego Martin early this morning, after returning home from a boat cruise with his girlfriend.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago playmaker Keron "Ball Pest" Cummings (centre) tries to find space between the lines against Nicaragua in Port of Spain on 26 October 2015. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago playmaker Keron “Ball Pest” Cummings (centre) tries to find space between the lines against Nicaragua in Port of Spain on 26 October 2015.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Cummings, according to Stars coach Roland Clarke, had just been given a lift home by his girlfriend and was about to enter his house when an armed masked assailant struck. The talented 27 year old was allegedly shot in his leg and suffered a broken thigh bone.

Thus far, there is no indication that Cummings, who usually sports several gold chains and an oversized medallion, was the victim of an attempted robbery. He is warded at the Port of Spain General Hospital.

“From what I understand, he went to a boat ride and on his way home a masked man ran up to him and fired and he was shot in the leg,” Clarke told Wired868. “His bone is broken. Tomorrow he will undergo surgery.”

The armed assault will have immediate consequences for Cummings’ career and the prospects of the “Soca Warriors.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Keron Cummings (third from right) celebrates his second strike against Mexico with teammates (from right) Khaleem Hyland, Kenwyne Jones and Kevan George at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. (Copyright Nicholas Kamm/AFP 2015)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Keron Cummings (third from right) celebrates his second strike against Mexico with teammates (from right) Khaleem Hyland, Kenwyne Jones and Kevan George at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
(Copyright Nicholas Kamm/AFP 2015)

The Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team players enter into camp today in Couva, in preparation for their 2016 Copa America Centenario play off against Haiti on January 8 in Panama City.

Cummings, who rose to national prominence with a double strike in his country’s 4-4 draw against Mexico at the July 2015 Gold Cup, is a key component of the Warriors’ offence and featured in both Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Guatemala and the United States.

“It is extremely sad and unfortunate,” said Warriors manager William Wallace. “It is something that I am certain that will impact the team (and) the coach (Stephen Hart) will have to pull them out of this. It is sad, sad, sad.

“Right now (team co-manager) David Muhammad is at the hospital, so I should get more information in a while.”

The Warriors train this evening from 6 pm at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain. Coach Stephen Hart will have to decide whether to summon an additional player as compensation for Cummings’ absence.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Keron Cummings (left) challenges Mexico midfielder Hector Herrera during 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup action. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Keron Cummings (left) challenges Mexico midfielder Hector Herrera during 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup action.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

Cummings and Central FC’s Ataulla Guerra were expected to compete for an advanced central midfield role behind the lone striker.

Versatile Central attacker Marcus Joseph and W Connection striker Shahdon Winchester can also play as a “10” but have been out of favour. Hart could also push Khaleem Hyland into that role, as was the case against the United States but would struggle to find another holding midfielder, as Dwane James and Leston Paul have shown patchy form.

Another possibility is to introduce a winger like Connection’s Aikim Andrews or Portland Timbers II’s Rundell Winchester and shuttle Connection’s inverted winger, Jomal Williams, into a central role.

Clarke revealed that there might be other professional implications for Cummings, who hopes to join United States Major League Soccer (MLS) team, Orlando City, in January.

Cummings trained with City after the Gold Cup and is believed to have caught the eye of the club, which already have former FIFA World Player of the Year, Kaka, and 2014 TTFA Player of the Year, Kevin Molino, on their books.

Photo: North East Stars attacker Keron Cummings (left) goes for goal during a 2014/15 Pro League fixture while W Connection defender Maurice Ford looks on. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: North East Stars attacker Keron Cummings (left) goes for goal during a 2014/15 Pro League fixture while W Connection defender Maurice Ford looks on.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“It is a great shock to us and everybody is saddened,” said Clarke. “He is our marquee player and very popular in the team… Outside of that his future can also be hampered.

“In January, he was supposed to sign with Orlando City and I think he already has a pre-agreement in place. It is really sad to wake up this morning to hear this kind of news.”

Cummings has made 14 international appearances for Trinidad and Tobago with three goals. All three items were scored this year in separate outings against Mexico.

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams, who once employed Cummings at W Connection FC, said he was disappointed that the talented player has suffered this setback, just as his career was taking off.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacking midfielder Keron Cummings (centre) celebrates his 2015 Gold Cup goal against Mexico with teammates (from right) Cordell Cato, Joevin Jones, Mekeil Williams and Aubrey David. (Courtesy MexSport/CONCACAF)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacking midfielder Keron Cummings (centre) celebrates his 2015 Gold Cup goal against Mexico with teammates (from right) Cordell Cato, Joevin Jones, Mekeil Williams and Aubrey David.
(Courtesy MexSport/CONCACAF)

“It is unfortunate and disappointing to get the news,” John-Williams told Wired868. “I have gotten some conflicting reports and I don’t know the extent of the injury yet. But I hope it is not career threatening and he he has a speedy recovery.

“It is a definite setback for him just when he has turned the corner on his career.”

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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71 comments

  1. Sad, but find out about what took place on the boat ride……find out about any altercation and over what or whom……

  2. Really sad to hear this about ballpest..Cummings, just as his is maturing and making headways in his career. ..such talent my dear friend hope he has a quick speedy successful recovery. ..god is your guide bro

  3. You’re a suspicious man I see. 🙂

  4. Was anything taken from what I read so far doesn’t seem so. Could this really be someone hating to that extent or the playing out of a previous altercation with someone who was intent on doing him harm. In any case praying he has a speedy recovery and a swift return to form.

  5. Savitri iam not sure what are you trying to imply sad though. …i hope its not meant that now that djw is the president he is calling the shots…if so its a sad state because if anyone is going on the form of attacking players in the league they would have looked at some of the connection players and also the they are some best national under 23 players…and also the positions they play.. …ball pest Cummings is our former player and well liked and respected at our club and its so sad to hear about this thats my boy …he’s going through a wonderful time in his career so I wish him a speedy recovery. …but people I am sure that stephen hart picks his own squad and if any of our players are called I very well hope that its on merit for they outstanding work on the field and I would be first to criticize our players if they out of form and not performing …..I think if u do ask them they will say how tough we are on them when it comes to the national team….if you are not good enough then u dont deserve to be there…your football will show on the field…National selection is only by merit and performance I hope…not nice if you are implying spaces are being open up for our players….season greetings to all…

  6. Today in the San Raphael Catholic church Sunday morning mass a guy sat pretending to be listening to the service ,only to be caught stealing an old lady phone that was next to her under her hymn book. Really sad.

  7. Well hard to comment on this bc the youth come like my son but big picture the ghetto
    really hates its own!! We always wonder y ppl move out when they “make it” in Barrackpore he would have been worshipped and safe!!

  8. Hoping for a full & speedy recovery as well, such a scary situation

  9. Wanna come watch my boy Jomal” bebo” Williams train with d “big boys”! He’s so close to me like a son! So proud of him! Go Bebo!!

  10. Hannibal Najjar

    The proverbial, easy come easy go. Life around the world is near the zenith of meaninglessness and until we value life as God intended, i.e., “we are spiritual beings having a human experience and not, human beings having a spiritual experience” (de Chardin), we will continue “outing” peoples’ lights for no reason. This state of our living is now in the hands of Dr. Rowley to repair and set aright the new desired tone. And, please Keith Rowley do not wait for your first term to be near over as it was with the US President B. Obama and then to ask “for another term to finish what we started” the timer is now and the person is YOU; in not now, then, WHEN and if not you then, WHO? Work on all fronts to give hope to our young people and bring smiles to their “lost” faces.

  11. absolute madness, huge disappointment, he was by far my favourite up and coming warrior. I wish him a speedy recovery.

  12. It is sad that we have to be scared to have nice things. But that’s the reality.
    I don’t have a gun or security detail. So I’m just as vulnerable.
    It is only the mercy of God that keeps us safe yes. Because I can’t safe that I feel comforted by the police service. Even though I have met many very pleasant officers over the years.
    Very few helpful ones. But quite a few nice ones.

  13. That’s jealousy , why a brother can’t make it in life without you sons of bitches hating

  14. Good lord. From a total non football perspective this is why long time ago I stop wear my gold at fetes and boat cruise and don’t go them events in T&T without a army of serious men

    Have too much personal experience of this happening to associates of mine

  15. There was now this second a shoot out between police and an individual on D/M main road. My husband had to drive his car for cover coming g out the gas station. He called rather shaken up. Smdh with place

  16. So sad…d team trains this evening(27th) at d stadium? Looking for confirmation!

  17. Hmmm, smh, not blaming the victim here but in this present reality, why is there still the need to wear these ostentatious gold jewelry. They are a magnet to bandits, it’s best to invest that money elsewhere. . Hopefully he has a full and speedy recovery. .

    • Well, it does not appear that it was a robbery at all. But as a national player, he is paid fairly well when he represents his country. So bandits would find a reason to target him regardless.
      If they are looking for someone in a particular community who has things worth stealing, then he cannot hide. And that is simply because he is productive and excelled in his field. That should never be a curse.

  18. And he was shot in his leg too. Clear message being sent there. Sad indeed.

  19. This is so sad. But Lasana Liburd why the suspicions why can’t it just be robbery. Trinis is something else yet

  20. This is so unfortunate because it is very evident that he was targeted, but he shall rise again.

  21. Sounds like some type of jealousy or down right wickedness!.

  22. Really troubling on both a personal and professional level, I sincerely hope he is able to make a swift recovery.

  23. Hmm the timing is the oddest thing to me

  24. From the reports coming, it does not seem to have been an attempted robbery.

  25. Too sad. Hoping he recovers well and get back on the football field

  26. They willing to kill for far less Paige Bain….. We live amongst real monsters in this sweet nation. Monsters in high and low places. This story could have been far more tragic than it is….

  27. Why dey so??? Could end a man career for gold chains! steups! #sad go get a facking job…Stop de crap!

  28. One can only hope that the police makes an arrest and justice is served. But I know I am better off just hoping for a full and speedy recovery.

  29. If this had anything to do with football… Either way it is EVIL!!

  30. THIS IS REALLY TRAGIC NEWS FOR BOTH TEAMS AND THE TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO FOOTBALL FRATERNITY!!!!

  31. Horrific development on many levels, and some of the implications and options for the team are well-explored in this article.
    First and foremost I hope and pray that he survives this experience and that all those responsible are somehow brought to justice.

  32. He’ll be out for a long while and this could be possibly career ending. If the bullet broke his thigh bone he technically is lucky to be alive because it could have easily hit his femoral artery. Hoping for the best….

  33. This is really sad. Still thanking God for protecting his life. Get well soon and100% recovery…..

  34. Very sad. Lasana the last thing Coach Cooper told the QPCC players after the NSL championship decider was to guard against this sort of thing as the common bandit has no additional respect for sportsmen really. Anybody can lose their life or livelyhood at the hands of these imps now it seems.

    Sheppy

  35. Just when doors start to open up for a brother wow the devil busy #Speedyrecovery?✊?

  36. Dammm sad news for him first if it stops him from moving forward in his career and for the National team that’s a gap to b filed because he played his role well

  37. I din want to say anything further…but could be an opening Connection?

  38. Sad…. Hope he recovers to full fitness. Lasana, can you clear something up for me, who are the Managers of the Warriors? I am seeing Wallace and Mohammed co-managers, when team was announced Peter Rampersad and Muhammad was listed as Manager…

  39. I think it planned to derail his career

  40. ..Sad..Our reality. Best wishes for a speedy and successful recovery..

  41. Sounds really odd. Hope it doesn’t derail his career.