Warriors get March friendlies with Guadeloupe and Martinique; Lawrence: Step in right direction

EPL Infrafred Sauna

The Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team will resume action next month when they travel to Guadeloupe and Martinique for friendly international action on 20 and 23 March respectively.

Both games fall within the FIFA international match window and represent the only chance for head coach Dennis Lawrence to use his full squad until September. Lawrence said he was delighted for the outings.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago forward Jamille Boatswain (right, foreground) chases the ball during international friendly action against Grenada at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 11 November 2017.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

“It’s another step in the direction that we want to go,” Lawrence told the TTFA Media. “We see these two games as very good competitive games for us… We will go there with a positive frame of mind and try and see if we can get two positive results.

“[…] We will assemble a squad to start training in due course and (we are) looking forward to the games.”

Guadeloupe and Martinique have traditionally been stubborn opposition for the Soca Warriors, particularly on their home turf, and the Martiniquans qualified for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup at Trinidad and Tobago’s expense. However, both nations are officially French territories and therefore do not compete in the FIFA World Cup qualifying series.

Lawrence has won just one of his last 12 games as head coach but that triumph was a head turner. The Warriors edged the United States 2-1 in Couva in World Cup qualifying action last October, a result that eliminated USA and cost coach Bruce Arena and USSF president Sunil Gulati their jobs.

Trinidad and Tobago subsequently drew friendlies with Grenada and Guyana in Couva in November.

At present, the Warriors are ranked 80th in the world by FIFA—after climbing nine spots since November despite not playing a match.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago right-back Alvin Jones (right) smashes a long-range free kick towards the USA goal during 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 10 October 2017.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

As a result, Trinidad and Tobago are now four places higher up the ranking system than they were when Lawrence replaced Tom Saintfiet as coach. Lawrence’s outfit are the second-highest ranked Caribbean nation—27 places below Jamaica—and seventh in CONCACAF.

Mexico, who are 17th in the world, are CONCACAF’s highest-ranked nation, followed by the USA, who currently sit at number 25 in FIFA’s rankings.

Lawrence’s players have travelled extensively during the early transfer window with flanker Joevin Jones moving to the German Second Division while forward Shahdon Winchester and midfielder Jomal Williams swapped Mexico for Azerbaijan and winger Neil Benjamin Jr departed for Vietnam.

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  1. I see that former France international defender and UEFA Champions League winner Jocelyn Angloma is the new Head Coach of Guadeloupe. They have already selected their players and scheduled training sessions since early February.

  2. There was a time when I would have queried about why we cant court tougher opposition from outside the region. But now…those two nations are actually very tough tests for our Warriors

  3. We have a losing record against Martinique and all of our games against Guadeloupe have been closely contested.

  4. Cheyenne, I think they are decent games to be honest.

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