The Soca Warriors will host the Dominican Republic in Caribbean Cup action from 7pm on Wednesday 5 October at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva rather than at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, due to concerns about the prevailing weather conditions.
Tickets are on sale for TT$200 (covered) and TT$100 (uncovered) at all Sports and Games and Kenny’s Sports stores as well as Ramsingh’s Sportworld in Couva and Heritage Sports in Tobago.
The contest will be the opening affair of a round robin competition between Trinidad and Tobago, Martinique and the Dominican Republic. The winner will advance to 2017 Caribbean Cup semifinal round and secure an automatic berth at the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. While the runner-up will enter a play-off for a Gold Cup spot.
In a previous interview, the Hasely Crawford Stadium’s facility manager, Anthony Blake, explained that the venue is in dire need of an overhaul while construction in the area over the past three decades has made it prone to flooding.
“The stadium is built on reclaimed land and since the construction of places like One Woodbrook Place, you have a higher displacement of water coming from uptown which comes downtown,” Blake told Wired868. “When it rains in Port of Spain, Hamilton Holder Street and the Woodbrook Youth Facility floods and Wrightson Road floods. And all the water eventually gathers at the stadium because it is lower than the surrounding land…
“When they did the assessment in 1970s before they started building the National Stadium, there wasn’t as much construction with Movie Towne and so on… Now, we have to either move the stadium or lift it by several feet to stop it from being a retention pond.
“Or we have to fix the drainage in the area from as far as [Nelson Mandela] Park. Once that doesn’t happen, water will continue to move towards the low point which is the stadium.”
There were over 20,000 spectators for the Warriors’ last home match, which was a 2018 World Cup qualifier against Guatemala on 2 September 2016. However less than half that amount can get in at Couva, as the capacity of the Ato Boldon Stadium is just 10,000.
Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team coach Stephen Hart will announce his Caribbean Cup squad in a press conference at the TTFA headquarters tomorrow.
France-based midfielder John Bostock will miss out again, as his switch of allegiances from England is not yet approved by FIFA. However, there was some good news for Warriors fans as goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams made his first 90 minutes outing yesterday in over six months, as Central FC lost 4-1 away to Vancouver Whitecaps in CONCACAF Champions League action.
Warriors captain also played the full 90 minutes for the “Couva Sharks” while Sean De Silva, Leston Paul, Keron “Ball Pest” Cummings, Nathaniel Garcia, Kadeem Corbin, Jason Marcano and Kaydion Gabriel—who have all been capped by Hart—also featured.
De Silva scored a superb curling free kick for Central, whose competition ends with their next group match away to Sporting Kansas City after two losses and a draw from their three outings.