T&T U-15s close group with 3-0 loss to Canada; Latapy: “Good learning experience”

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Trinidad and Tobago signed off from the CONCACAF Under-15 Championship group today with a 3-0 loss to Canada at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

The defeat followed heavy losses to Costa Rica (4-0) and the United States (6-0), as the young Soca Warriors failed to score a single goal while conceding 13 times in three 70 minute matches.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-15 midfielder Jabari Lee (right) tries to evade a challenge from Republic Bank XI midfielder Randy Antoine during action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 15 April 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

However, National Under-15 Team coach and former Soca Warriors icon Russell Latapy insisted that his players were not far off from their opponents in terms of potential and will learn from the trip.

“This trip was good for us especially staying here at the IMG Academy where these boys can see the way the professional athletes live and behave,” Latapy told the TTFA Media. “I think in terms of potential and talent we are not far off from some of these other teams. But again it is imperative we get into the right habits and this tournament was really important for that.

“Things are going to take time to come through but we will continue to persevere with what we are trying to achieve.”

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The Trinidad and Tobago team entered their final match with no chance of progressing out of a tough Group B. They trailed by a single goal by the end of the first half before conceding two more after the break as Jérémie Omega Nkoy helped himself to a double while Cameron De Silva chipped in with an item.

It continued a rough introduction to international competition for the young Warriors who failed to win any of seven outings under Latapy. The three CONCACAF losses apart, Trinidad and Tobago managed three draws and a solitary defeat in pre-tournament matches against club teams from North America and Europe.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-15 and Under-17 head coach Russell Latapy (centre) shouts instructions at his players during 2017 Under-17 World Cup qualifying action in Couva on 17 September 2016.
Haiti won 2-0.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Latapy, a former league winner with Porto and Glasgow Rangers, suggested that his team does have good talent and the players would be better for the experience.

“It was a good experience for the players over the three matches,” said Latapy. “Definitely a learning experience for the players who were able to see and experience a lot of different aspects of the game at the international level. Unfortunately at home we are not playing at a high enough level for these players to be really exposed to international football.

“The boys are seeing the importance of a lot of different aspects in terms of tactical awareness and the right mentality, the winning mentality; a professional mentality.”

The young Warriors are expected to be temporarily disbanded on their return so the players can represent their respective schools in the upcoming Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) competition.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-15 Team forward Justin Araujo-Wilson (left) tries to escape from a Republic Bank XI defender during action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 15 April 2017.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA Images/Wired868)

Trinidad and Tobago Under-15 Team:

Goalkeepers: 1.Jahiem Wickham (St Anthony’s College/Trendsetter Hawks), 18.Kernel La Fon (Matura Secondary/North East Stars);

Defenders: 4.Antonio Chee Ting (Trinity College East/San Juan Jabloteh), 3.Darian Bradshaw (Queen’s Royal College/St Ann’s Rangers), 12.Rhowen Stewart-Williams (St Benedict’s College/Club Sando), 2.Randy Antoine (Arima North Secondary/San Juan Jabloteh), 5.Cephas St Rose (Independiente Sabaneta FC—Colombia), 16.Marc Wharfe (Maple Leaf International School/Skhy FC);

Midfielders: 9.Ezekiel Kesar (Naparima College/Point Fortin Civic), 13.Zachary Welch (Fatima College), 6.Jabari Lee (Pleasantville East/W Connection), 15.Adriel George (Bishops High School Tobago/St Clair Coaching School),

Attacking midfielders: 11.Jaiye Sheppard (Scarborough Secondary/Phoenix FC), 10.Josiah Edwards (Brazil Secondary/San Juan Jabloteh), 7.Jean-Heim Mc Fee (St James Secondary/St Ann’s Rangers), 8.Josiah Allen (Shiva Boys Hindu College);

Forwards: 17.Justin Araujo-Wilson (Fatima College/Skhy FC), 14.Aamal Julien (Point Fortin East Secondary/Point Fortin Civic).

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    Keep on working and progressing despite all negativity

  2. We need to give the exposure and keep supporting them

  3. We should choose the best to actually represent us. So the National team should not have players that still need work.

  4. Both… I believe many of them were shell shocked and froze just by being in the same group with US…Canada and Costa Rica..

  5. SheldonScipio, Players at U-15 should have gone thru some development at U-13, club, Primary School level and/or lower secondary school level. However, as Bass Cleff stated sometimes the fundamentals like balance and coordination are never taught. Some kids are just dropped off at clubs, sweat in PE, thrown into form one football and when they show some talent they are picked up by the more popular clubs where they play against the obvious weaker teams, score a few goals and then they selected by the coaches doing the screening for our national team, underdeveloped and unprepared.

  6. Are we getting better or worse at losing?

  7. What do we look for choosing players locally?

    Shouldn’t U15 players have gone through some development at U13 and earlier levels?

  8. It is no surprise that Trinidad got crushed. To throw stones at Lataqpy shows the level of ignorance that floating around. It all started with a poor screening process of which Eve played a part. Quite a few of the players that eventually went were newer players who came into training later and many of them were “discovered” after the supposed “best of the best” had been sent to screen months before by Zones.

    A lot of the players were not even fit and much time was spent trying to get them there., The US and Brazillian team spend years playing together and getting famiilliar with each other. Our boys are now starting a relationship.

    They did not play many preparation games. I don’t know why. Maybe the money wasn’t there. Everyone looks good in practice. It’s a reality.

    The technical level was not there. The games they play outside will help that and help them to realize that they may be hot shots in Trinidad but they are no where ready.

    Latapy has to work with what he was sent. Now he can evaluate how the boys played under pressure and scout on his own to find the players he needs to raise the team level. He needs at least a year to 2 Years to make a realistic team.

    I know plenty people want his job, but stop trying to undermine him. The real reason we get lix is because our players are not ready yet. to expect results against such well prepared teams from less than 6 months of training is ridiculous.

  9. All projects have a starting point; and this tournament was the commencement point for personal growth and development of the U15 players. Each player must reflect via individual thinking time for the purpose of appreciating the lessons learned from this tournament, and implement the learning moving forward. We need to continue to support the Coach, and the players individually, and collectively while providing a platform along with the support systems for future success.

  10. Look leh meh call meh uncle “Trump” and tell him to let us invade our sweet country to finally put the right Soccer administration, coaches, etc, etc, etc, in place eh before is to late and all is lost eh. Them really good yes.

  11. You know how long that I am saying that same thing eh, these nowadays bootleg coaches have no stats eh, but they are allowed to coach our national teams eh just because they played professionally abroad and in our sweet country steuuppsss. Them really good yes.

  12. Maybe we should look into having thse coaches prove themselves in club football before being appointed. Angus Eve has been successful at SSFL level, maybe he should get a shot with the U-17 team. Whoever winning the U-15 pro league should be given a shot at the nat’l U-15 team. Marcelle was abysmal at SSFL level…Leonson struggle with Benedicts. Maybe these fellas who educated in portugal just can’t translate that brand to the local kids.

    • I like that suggestion Kion ??Teams generally take on the “personality” of their Coach…Latas has always emphasized attacking football that entertains as his brand… unfortunately in modern football that is likely to get you MAULED unless you possess players of his (Latas) calibre who can force opponents on the backfoot by dominating them so much they are always on the defensive and can’t mount a proper attack…but to do that we have to have players who are comfortable with the ball at their feet and these youngsters aren’t there and may never be…what we need IMHO is a Coach who will design a system that best suits the players we have…and that’s why your suggestion has much merit because Coaches like Angus are we well placed to see the players and get the best out of them.

  13. Maybe when the corbeaux grows teeth. Them really good yes.

  14. I hope this group of boys learns from the experience. If the screening process that took place earlier this year was transparent then maybe the results would have been better. Too much politics in sport……

  15. I look at other sports and see 18/17 yr old.s who cannot even vote or do military service winning the medals..When are we going to ‘catch up?

  16. Progress. from 6 to 3. Will get better Coach.

  17. No offense, no defense, no organization, but we are not that far off!!? Well he must have gone way off and should fly off into the sunset.

  18. Will Latapy be retained as coach after this drubbing?

  19. I do see this as organizational progress. I recall a few years ago our U15 boys were left stranded at Piarco as no one paid for tickets to the Concacaf tournament in Cayman Islands. We eventually had to default from that inaugural U15 tournament leaving boys and parents in Piarco disappointed, for me a shameless act by the adults then in charge. Here we are a few years later and Latapy U15 has already played two international events. This experience will yield results and has been a good investment. Have to give credit to TTFA here for support to Latas.

    Regarding the results on the field, its hard to swallow all dem bagels and donuts; 4-0, 6-0 and 3-0. With the boys heading to SSFL season, Latapy must coordinate with SSFL coaches to get his players playing his preferred position for the player. Lastly, Latapy/TTFA MUST reach out and scout foreign born players of which their are many that will strengthen this squad

  20. Brent Bennett especially when the fundamentals were never taught before…balance n coordination etc ppl just don’t get it and half the time the non constructive criticisms come from persons like myself who either never played at a high level, never coached or just not willing to come back and give back…

    • Therein lies the issue. The kids are not necessarily at fault nor is Latas. It’s naive of us to think we can send these kids to these tournaments and be successful with poor development. This failure lands at the feet of our administrators. We have to go back to development…get back to zonal football and get the top players for each zone being coached by top coaches. From that we select the national team.

    • From.what I’ve been lead to believe that’s how these players were selected. Although I’ve no information on teaching the players how to run or walk I’ll put that down to mother nature lol

    • Nah Malik Johnson… to my knowledge no. We don’t have a zonal system anymore.

  21. Latas was EASILY the most entertaining local PLAYER I’ve ever seen but his COACHING track record is ABYSMAL!!! His stint at Senior level was bad when he took over the U-15’s we got eliminated AT HOME from a preliminary round of CARIBBEAN qualifiers and now THIS debacle! Why we continue to give him chance after chance is beyond me…we did MUCH better at this level under Coaches like Corneal Vranes Cooper St Clair and a host of others whose names escape me now….and we reaped the rewards of those youths… Bertille’s U-14’s became the Strike Squad and the core of the U-20 team that went to Portugal in 1990 formed the 2006 Soca Warriors…the most successful countries put their Youth programs in the hand of their best coaches if we persist with Latas I fear for our next generation of talent!

  22. It’s my opinion that we need a development program that isn’t disbanded for secondary schools or for Pro League. That program must be headed up by the best possible coach, whoever that may be.

  23. I don’t disagree with Latas though. Our kids lag so far behind technically and tactically it’s not funny. We have to give the man at least a year to begin to see results. 6 months is simply not enough time to take those kids to another level.

    • I agree however with SSFL beginning the players will likely have a huge gap in time before connecting with him. I hope that he is able to speak with the SSFL coaches of these players and have them play in the positions he prefers but these coaches may place a higher priority on winning than viewing themselves as part of the development process for national players. Latapy and the TTFA need to really reach out and coordinate with SSFL coaches

  24. “The boys are seeing the importance of a lot of different aspects in terms of tactical awareness and the right mentality, the winning mentality; a professional mentality.”

    So is he saying our players have a “fete match” or “whatever” mentality?

    If our mentality is poor at Under-15, what is the mentality at the lower levels?

    Latapy needs to stop sugar coating what is the root cause of why our players played so poorly.

    It’s funny that he sometimes displayed a less than professional mentality in his playing days whenever he returned home to play football.

  25. What Latas smoking? Talking about not far off talent wise. Bro how man goals the team scored? Competing is one thing, but getting hammered every game come on mow… little magician

  26. The supposition that we aren’t far off isn’t supported by the results.

    • If the preparation was there and the talent is there then…

    • Wow Lasana Liburd you still trying to bat for Latas. We will continue down the same road all the time

    • Yeah, Lasana Liburd. You have real Gunners belly.

    • The same way he does always be batting for Mr Bound not to score eh. Mr Live Wire really good yes. hahahahaha

    • Maybe I need to also offer incentives to any player on our youth national teams that scores goals when representing eh the same that is done for the top goal scorer of our professional league because I am really fed up of no goals being scored on our opponents eh, and as a prolific goal scorer mehself back in meh football days maybe I should take down meh goal scoring boots from the arctic and come and show them a thing or two eh. Them really good yes.

    • Earl Mango Pierre That is what I really don’t understand. The widespread lack of goals at all levels of our football. The opposition’s defences are so good that we can’t score one goal! One goal! Losing 6-0, 3-0, 2-0, whatever nil? Dat makin sense? Or is it that our players are physically and mentally unfit to play 90 mins? Oh lord… if you cyah play 90mins, kill de game by raining goals in 45, nah? steups

    • ,The reason is because the bootleg coaches are not demonstrating the right goal scoring drills to the players and secondly our players are hooked on the Jamaican dutty, boom, boom, clot dance hall music that is always degrading our women and talking about killing and this and that instead of getting hooked on our own beautiful music the old and new Soca, they cannot dance, hence the reason why my Brazilians/ South Americans are very tricky, skillful, and great goal scorers eh, you ever see meh bestest player “Ronaldinho” dance eh to their ‘Tango music” eh. Them really good yess steeuuppss..

    • And now that our professional league has a longer season, the most goals prize will be $ 20, 000, but 30 goals must be scored, ah tired of so little goals being scored a season, the highest I think it was 16 goals and last season was 11 goals, well maybe because it was a short season, so my writer Stephon Nicholas time for another one of meh stories in the newsday papers eh and let them know that Mango gone mad yes offering big, big monies to our top goal scorers eh. Them really good yes.

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