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TTFA confirms friendly with 165th-ranked Guyana; Warriors still unpaid after USA heroics

The Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team will play in the next FIFA international match window, as the Soca Warriors look to follow up on their stunning World Cup qualifying upset over the United States at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 10 October.

And the opponents? Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) general secretary Justin Latapy-George confirmed that head coach Dennis Lawrence’s much touted “new era” will start with a friendly challenge from neighbouring Guyana.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (left) runs at United States left back Jorge Villafana during 2018 World Cup qualifying action in Couva on 10 October 2017.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Guyana, otherwise known as the “Golden Jaguars”, are ranked 165th in the world by FIFA and have played just twice in 2017—both friendly internationals, holding Martinique goalless in March and losing 0-1 to Grenada earlier this month.

The T&T versus Guyana game is carded for the Ato Boldon Stadium on 14 November.

The remaining five nations from the 2017 CONCACAF Hex have booked more illustrious sparring partners for the November match window.

Honduras will tackle Australia in a two-legged FIFA Play-off on 10 and 15 November. Otherwise, in friendly action, Mexico are due to face Belgium and Poland, Costa Rica play Spain and Hungary, Panama take on Colombia and the United States will travel to Portugal.

Panama will also take on Grenada on 24 October, although that is outside the FIFA window and will essentially be a ‘B’ fixture.

Lawrence, who ended a seven-game losing streak in spectacular fashion against the USA, has set himself the target of conquering the Caribbean and catching up to the rest of the Confederation.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago coach Dennis Lawrence (centre) gives instructions to team captain Khaleem Hyland (left) and winger Levi Garcia during 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 10 October 2017.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

For now, though, there is still the matter of paying the Warriors for their work—as many of Lawrence’s players are owed match fees dating back to March.

Latapy-George said the TTFA does not yet know when it will pay the Warriors.

“We have some finance meetings coming up [and] we would look to deal with that as quickly and effectively as possible,” he told Wired868.

The TTFA general secretary declined comment when asked whether the local football body is facing financial problems at present.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago right back Alvin Jones (second from left) celebrates with teammates after his stunning goal against the United States during 2018 World Cup qualifying action in Couva on 10 October 2017.
(Copyright AFP 2017/Luis Acosta)

How Concacaf’s top six move on from Hex

  1. Mexico (ranked 16): Next opponents—Belgium (ranked 5) and Poland (ranked 6)
  2. Costa Rica (ranked 22): Next opponents—Spain (ranked 8) and Hungary (ranked 53)
  3. Panama (ranked 49): Next opponent—Colombia (ranked 13)
  4. Honduras (ranked 69): Next opponent—Australia (ranked 43)
  5. United States (ranked 27): Next opponent—Portugal (ranked 3)
  6. Trinidad and Tobago (ranked 83): Next opponent—Guyana (ranked 165)

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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117 comments

  1. That’s why we would never be consistent with sports in Trinidad or anything in a matter of fact . But I’m sure the top executives get paid . This is always the problem pay the f***ing men they money

  2. The new era should be to get rid of the FAT BASTARD, David “eat money” John Williams from TTFA. I mean really, why does this man still have a job at the helm of our football??? If that’s the case bess when hire Anil Roberts!!!!! Come on if we are really serious about football in this country, ever since this man came in we failed. Sorry but I can’t fully support a team that is already doomed for failure because an incompetent Head!!!

  3. Trinis really have short memory yes. All this discussion about who we playing and none about whether we have the right folks leading the team. Dennis and his coaching staff just led us through an abysmal WC campaign, one we should have easily made it through and we seem to want to give him a pass. No plans to hold him accountable for our failure. What did we see that says he deserves to continue on?

  4. when we beat guyana we will of course have a welcome party and motorcade- how come he $ has not been paid for us game- who has it??

  5. People laughing saying is Guyana we chose to play in the upcoming friendly. But why not? Let’s build come confidence. It’s a tactic used by teams all over the world. Re last world cup, check out the mighty Brazil last warm up games before the start of the tournament, they played against against Panama and Serbia.

  6. What’s the purpose of we playing Guyana? Hopefully to beat them and boast? No 165, get real Lawrence, reminds me of Bertille St. Clair, he did the same, beat all the lower ranked teams to look good.

  7. Warrior to the bone please pay the squad and staff it’s the way forward please time flies.

  8. Guyana? I know they are an opposition you can’t take lightly they eliminated us from WCQ 2014 even before the semifinal stage. But we have to start looking at friendlies against teams outside the Caribbean pond with no offence to those nations. Haiti played Japan on the last FIFA calender date so we need to start looking at international opponents to build and lift our national team…start rebuilding.

  9. ..I amazes and amuses me as the Trini public continues to talk about the chronic failure of our national teams as discrete events. Truth is our national teams are in crisis – as are our football and our football Association. There is no national team that could rightfully claim to be even number five in CFU – CFU MIND YOU! – at this time. Forget the silly and meaningless FIFA rankings. Our natonal youth teams -male and female – have been failing for the past years , while the men (never mind the quizzical celebrations after beating USA) were dead last in WCQ with one win in ten matches. Shout “new era” to the rooftops all you want, our national teams, our football, our Football Association are in crisis. Nationalism is no substitute for cold blooded analysis. Unless there is root and branch systemic change in the TTFA our fate is always to lament the failure of one national team after another..

  10. Laurence trying to improve his stats

  11. Ogadoo. Why can’t they find teams to play who are ahead of us in the Fifa rankings. Teams that we can learn from and improve. Is just same old, same old!!!

  12. We should begin playing more South American teams like Venezuela. Only Jamaica and Haiti from the Caribbean we should be playing.

  13. I honestly think the Soca Warriors would’ve been better off facing someone else. Guyana’s senior Men’s programme is a mess! Unless the likes of Matthew Briggs, Neil Danns, Samuel Peter Cox and a few other solid overseas players are in that team, it would be a waste of time.

    • But Lasana, how these administrators does really think? U just beat USA, and on it next FIFA date, u play a team rank 165? that’s a waste of points, time and resources in a game you’re certain about winning even if ALL the TT players have a bad night

    • Not to mention a wasted chance to capitalise on that result with fans and sponsors. So many people were enthused about the result and it was a good opportunity to build on that. But it probably means the TTFA didn’t plan ahead and could not find a more illustrious opponent.
      Nothing wrong with playing Guyana at all. But the timing is off. Did any of those overseas Guyanese players play against Grenada earlier this month?

    • Everything wrong with playing Guyana at this point, no disrespect to my fellow countrymen, but we’re not there right now to compete with T&T

    • Danns and Cox played vs Grenada in a largely overseas-based squad. From the info I have gathered, a similar composition of squad will play vs T&T

    • Im hearing other stuff in the ground here Santokie, trust me lol however, only a squad with the aforementioned people, including Gregory Richardson would make any sense against the Soca Warriors

    • lol if its a local-based squad chosen, then the game should be free for fans in T&T 😂

  14. And what about the second friendly date in November? I see Guyana will be playing Indonesia on November 25th (non-FIFA date).
    https://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2017/10/21/guyana-senior-mens-football-team-invited-to-international-friendly-matches/

  15. It matters not whom they play against, what needs to be disclosed is what plans if any, are in place to substantially raise the standard of the local game which serves as a conveyor belt to the National Team.In the absence of a comprehensive plan to revolutionize the local game so as to produce players of the quality to take us forward, we will continue to spin top in mud.

  16. Well I guess I got my answer when I asked who will we be playing during the next FIFA window….was expecting a tough opposition….oh well…it’s a start an I’m guessing it’s wat we cud afford at d moment given d fact dat salaries are still outstanding since March

  17. What was heroic about winning a game against USA? Had they qualified then we could have considered them heroes. Other workers getting paid late. Tell DL and his men produce the goods and pay might be there before kick off

  18. Playing these teams in a Fifa window makes absolutely no sense. No disrespect but stronger teams are necessary on all dates. Remember we have a “plan” lol.

  19. Wonder how much they go charge for this game. Lol.

  20. Why is Dennis still in charge? Smh

  21. Sometimes I wonder if I truly don’t understand this word development..Our players has just finished playing 2 tough games challenging their work ethic,concentration,technical and physical abilities,I would think that should be an encouragement to keep playing that level which would require our players to not relax and would now encourage other higher level teams to pay attention to the New Era TNT ⚽️and may now be interested in playing us whereby creating opportunities for all

  22. Just as the proposed “Home of Football” represents change…so too should our approach to improvement be off-the-field…the TTFA need to expand their thinking and employ more resources to seek European and South American and even African opposition during the FIFA windows…not all nations are occupied and are looking for opposition…i truly believe that Bolivia…Ecuador…Paraguay…Wales…Scotland…Kazakhstan or even Holland would represent a much-needed test for our national footballers…it is not impossible

  23. Im waiting for a confirmation of a new Coach !!!

  24. Cant even get a decent coach

  25. What an embarrassment it would be should Soca Warriors (FIFA ranked 83) lose to Guyana (ranked 165)! More embarrassing for the USA(ranked 27), though…

  26. I’ll take a small margin of victory if I get to see a decent brand ….

  27. This better be a resounding and dominant victory otherwise all the momentum will cease!

  28. “This game is the Start of the 2022 campaign and as such will feature mostly young and fringe players to see who is capable of stepping up to the International level and may be in contention for selection for our next tournament which will be the Caribbean Cup and as such Guyana was felt to be the ideal team to begin our Preparations”

  29. Smh…can’t even get a decent opponent on FIFA date

  30. Why they have not been paid ?

  31. This is why Stephan Hart and DJW couldn’t see eye to eye…..steups

  32. Simone Ghirlanda I want to say something …our team is not the best and we critique our team as much the other guy but I find your comments in particular …very insulting …try to have a little decorem about you nah and show a little respect if that’s not asking too much? If you want a Trini team to kick your over 35 teams ass …there is some guys in Atlanta called Xtreme who will gladly …..whup your team’s ass and take your lunch money. Try not to insult the team as much ….it getting a little annoying.

    • The point is “What is the point to play friendlies against football nations that don’t exist?” How are you supposed to get better if all the friendlies are against amateur teams. Maybe you missed the point, but most folks here agree with it.

    • Check the comment above. Same exact thing.

    • I didn’t miss the point ….just didn’t like your condescending approach to it. I agree but here’s the thing …..when we played some tough teams and LOST ….our poor record and drop in rankings was immortalised by everyone. When we beat the U.S. and got the rank pushed up people laughed at that ….now we play a team like guyana to get international practice (despite the suspect calibre) to hope fully gain a win, maintain some confidence and expose locals ….there is more complaints and insults. Had we gotten a game vs say Ecuador and lost …the critics would have been out …..so can we just give the team our blessings for once and let them play?? The most historic win in TT for years and we probably had our smallest crowd ever …… at some point yuh have to let the team breathe ….

    • I think playing vs local based South America national teams in non-Fifa dates like Peru, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, etc is great. T&T needs to get away from playing all these Caribbean opponents outside Caribbean cup or qualifiers, as they are usually much worse than T&T at the same thing: tactically.

    • Also it doesn’t help the players secure contracts abroad. No one cares if X player scored 2 goals against a small Caribbean opposition. Now if you do that in Peru vs Peru you may likely get a good contract.

    • I agree but going with an easier team to begin with is no need to chastise them. We got a win let’s try to build on the momentum and expose some more locals then build up to that ….. Rather than rush in lose bad and mess with the confidence

    • If you go in Peru and get 4 …you won’t get your contract either but you will get a drop in rankings. Opposition has to be sensibly chosen for the right purposes ….. this is the national team not a club team

    • Malik Johnson to build momentum 😳

    • This is why we ranked so low low expectations bring low results

    • But low results against tougher teams brought us an 8 game losing streak ….. all we did was criticize ……unless we win …regardless of who the opposition is or where we are in yerms of development we will always criticize that team …. No win scenario

  33. Guyana…Guyana???…with all due respect to our neighbours to the south…but after a confidence-boosting victory over the USA in the last WC qualifier…the next match-day the TTFA arrange a friendly against Guyana…i would think a match against Canada…Mexico…El Salvador…or Guatemala would prove a more worthwhile test…stuepssssss

  34. Lawrence must resign…before it gets worst. I hope he does the right thing. And all this politics could stop…DW has to resign as well.
    Eventually it’s not going to add up for him, and the general public.

  35. Also, for those that purchased the season pass. Would it still be active for this encounter?

  36. So i’m guessing we will be using local players supplemented with players from the NASL and USL whose seasons would have ended.

  37. No offense to Guyana’s national team, cause im sure they could give us a run for our money. But I was really hoping we could have atleast secured a game against a much tougher opponent that could help our players develop their game. Venezuela or another South or Central American team that could help us sharpen up….

  38. Will be an interesting game *if* Guyana calls up a full squad including the overseas-based guys

  39. steups….ok..better than no match…guess its at the home of football

  40. That’s what happens when you don’t plan ahead.

  41. A win is a win. Next it will be against my over 35 team here in New York.