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Grudge match?! USA and T&T drawn in Gold Cup Group D alongside Panama and Guyana

The United States will have an opportunity to avenge their disastrous 2018 World Cup qualifying loss to Trinidad and Tobago on 22 June, as the two nations square off in Cleveland, Ohio at the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup.

Trinidad and Tobago and USA were drawn in Group D of the prestigious tournament today along with Panama and debutantes, Guyana. Only the group winner and runners-up advance to the quarterfinal round.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago right back Alvin Jones (right) smashes a long ranged 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)

Men’s National Senior Team Head Coach Dennis Lawrence, who recently received a two and a half year extension by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA), said a rematch with USA was written in the stars.

“I knew it was going to happen because it is what was meant to be,” Lawrence told TTFA Media. “As I said before, when you go into any major tournament I think if you want to win the tournament you have to probably beat some of the better teams and USA are one of the best, so we are looking forward to it.

“They’ll be excited about it and it’s going to be a full house when we play the US because they will have the fans behind them and hopefully a few Trinidadian fans will turn out.”

The Soca Warriors kick off their campaign on 18 June when they face Panama in Minneapolis while their final Group D affair comes against Guyana on 26 June in Kansas City.

Lawrence steered the Warriors to a 1-0 win over Panama at Port of Spain in his first competitive game in charge on 24 March 2017. However, T&T lost two subsequent clashes with the Central American nation, including a 1-0 loss at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 17 April 2018.

Trinidad and Tobago did not enjoy their last encounter with Guyana much either as the two nations played to a 1-1 draw in an exhibition match at Couva on 14 November 2017. But the twin island republic would still start as handsome favourites against their Caribbean colleagues.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker Levi Garcia (right) leaves Guyana captain Samuel Cox for dead during international friendly action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 14 November 2017.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

At present, Trinidad and Tobago are ranked 93rd in the world by FIFA while USA, Panama and Guyana are 24th, 74th and 175th respectively.

Lawrence stressed the importance of the upcoming competition to his players.

“They are going to look forward to an exciting tournament. It’s the biggest in the Concacaf region,” said Lawrence. “It’s like our World Cup and the players should be excited about it and excited about turning up in a tournament, representing Trinidad and Tobago and doing well. I think they need to just embrace the moment when it comes and go out and just try and do their best.”

But the Warriors’ clash with the host nation is sure to be the group fixture that grabs the attention of USA soccer fans.

On 10 October 2017, Lawrence enjoyed his most illustrious result as a head coach to date as Trinidad and Tobago stunned USA 2-1 at the Ato Boldon Stadium—thanks to a spectacular winner by right back Alvin Jones. The result meant that the ‘Stars and Stripes’ failed to appear at a World Cup tournament for the first time in 32 years and gifted Panama their first ever spot at a senior FIFA competition.

There will be a reunion for the three nations in June.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago left back Kevon Villaroel (left) tackles USA midfielder Christian Pulisic during 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 10 October 2017.
I95.5FM was paid to cover all of Trinidad and Tobago’s football matches, inclusive of travel and accommodation, rather than the other way around.
(Copyright AFP 2017/Luis Acosta)

Guyana, now coached by former Derby County defender Michael Johnson, have history with Trinidad and Tobago as well. Arguably one of the best results in Guyanese football came when the ‘Golden Jaguars’ eliminated the Warriors from the 2014 World Cup qualifying series; and, in the process, booked their own place in the Concacaf semifinal round.

Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago would do well not to end up as also-rans in a formidable Gold Cup grouping, though.

In other Gold Cup news, Mexico, Canada, Martinique and Cuba were drawn in Group A, Costa Rica, Haiti, Nicaragua and Bermuda are in Group B, and Honduras, Jamaica, El Salvador and Curaçao will do battle in Group C.

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64 comments

  1. Gold Cup talk on Field of Dreams


    • Nigel Myers Everybody is expecting our Soca Worries to do well in the Gold Cup 2019 , really Dr Alvin Henderson and after hearing him started of talking that madness I turned of my TV yes and I don’t know why Narada Wilson isn’t the host nah because from day one when this show started I told George Scoreboard Mathison that Steve David never knows the right questions to ask and I don’t blame him because he left our sweet country after joining our police service for 3 yrs and never looked back to follow our football and the madness that was happening over the years hence the reason why it is in the state that it is in now eh Them really good yes

    • Earl Mango thanks for the vote of confidence. Id keep doing my part.

    • Narada Wilson You surely does and the thing about it the panel talks about important stuff in order to finally fix our football but it seems that the Coaches , Administrators, and the Presidents never looks at the show in order to understand and learn something from the ex professionals / Legends including yourself so they just continue doing their own madness and continues to take our football to the point of no return Them really good yes

    • Well said Larry Joseph the TRUTH needs to be told at all times and our die hard supporters needs to stop supporting the mediocrity that has been happening for some years now especially when the real professional coach Stephen Hart was fired because of my dictator president agendas that continues to unfold Them really good yes steuupsss

    • Preach Preach my Prof Alvin Henderson as I having been saying many of our players are playing in the lower professional leagues abroad and they are playing against the real professional players whenever our Soca Worries are playing against the real professional countries and against the real professional coaches vs our bootleg Coaches that doesn’t have any winning stats with respect to coaching teams but is always hired to coach our national teams Them really good yes steuupsss

    • And we don’t have that Prof Alvin Henderson a top of the line Goal Keeper , two top of the line defenders, and especially no midfield generals play makers and prolific goal scorers on the Soca Worries team Them really good yes

    • The serious problem with our players in college is that they are playing school football at an age where they should be playing the real professional football abroad or senior football in our country Mr Steve David and stop comparing our past players including yourself with these nowadays players that have to many distractions and doesn’t want to train like the real professional players abroad Them really good yes

    • Yes Prof Alvin Henderson the problem with our Soca Worries goal scoring it is because of the bootleg Coaches system of play in order to score plenty goals Them really good yes

    • Preach preach Narada Wilson and Coach George and I will keep on saying Dennis Lawrence is ah bootleg Coach and will continue loosing because it seems that the new thing now is hiring coaches that played the real professional football abroad and many of them doesn’t get the job to coach the real professional teams because they have no coaching stats and many of the times it is the assistant coaches the same like the assistant coach at the Manchester city team that is ah real professional coach to help the winning coach Them really good yes

    • AHEM!!!! My Prof Alvin Henderson the only reason why our Soca Worries isn’t conceding plenty goals it is because the teams that they are playing against from the real football countries is always using their third teams eh and they continue loosing miserably but I really like Coach George for being real about the bootleg Coach and isn’t really sad Narada Wilson that our Soca Worries always have to depend on one player Mollino compared to other real football countries and teams like Barcelona who have three prolific goal scorers plus other real professional football teams Them really good yes

  2. Shaka Hislop on Trinidad and Tobago Gold Cup 2019 expectations


  3. Because my second sweetest country was hosting their very first World Cup in 1994 so no way the Strike Squad was going anywhere hence the reason why the stadium was overcrowded and the corrupted Jack Warner and his cronies went to the bank smiling Them really good yes

  4. If you don’t mind me saying Hudson Charles did not handle the ball. Look at it again in a play stop mode. Now then answer the question .Why did FIFA changed the referee one week to go.

  5. if philbert Jones had stayed on the ground and rolled around the penalty box when John Doyle hacked him down , If Hutson Charles didn’t chest trap d ball with hands up in the air , the pen is raised and the ink is dried they lost to us and they missed the WC full stop. why is sooo hard for TnT football to get a modicum of credit with fans like y’all no wonder it soo hard to win. o I forget Mexico sell out on the last game of the hex in 2005 WC that s how we reached the play off vs Bahrain

    • Apples and oranges. You are missing the point. Dey get credit for beating the USA. But was dat result solely responsible for knocking out the USA. Three events HAD TO HAPPEN on that day and all of them did. It was a perfect storm. We played our part, but that’s it. Might as well say Panama knock dem out, or Honduras knock dem out. Or correctly say Honduras, Panama (with a goal that never was), and T&T achieved results that kept the USA out of the 2018 World Cup.

    • Hey Mexico always selects a ‘weak’ team to play, whenever they have already qualified for a WC.

  6. Trinidad and Tobago, aided by results from 2 other games, eliminated USA. Please, it was not a straight knockout

    • Most people run with the narrative that we knocked them out, because it sounds better. But you’re right, they could have lost to us and still qualified. In a way the USA could consider themselves unlucky. Panama’s “equalizer” against Costa Rica was a ghost goal. It never crossed the line, and should not have been given. But so it goes sometimes.

    • Nigel karma for the two penalties not awarded to us in 89….

  7. USA is like an elephant whether they proclaim it or not – or maybe it’s the way for all sports teams…

  8. Let’s get real. We’ll do well to get a result against Guyana. We won’t get a point against either Panama or USA.

    Anyone seriously thinking otherwise depending on “de ball round”, “the opposition playing on the same field”, and “GOD is a Trini” entreaties.

  9. Like that group and tie set up or what lol…a tough group indeed. Panama drew with Brazil a few months ago I believe. Even Guyana is tricky, they dumped us out of WC 2010. Work to do…

  10. Other than the goalkeepers, I wonder if there will be any local-based player on our Gold Cup squad?

    • I believe Curtis Gonzales and Carlyle Mitchell will be pushing for a spot at least.
      Are Jomal Williams and Shahdon back home?
      Maybe Ross Russell Jr if he was serious about being impressed by him. Judah Garcia and Nickell Orr doesn’t seem to have done enough…

    • But how dey go push for ah spot not having played a competitive match for six months or more (by de time de Gold Cup rolls around)?

    • Nigel Myers Ah like how all the team selectors on wired always selecting this one and that one eh and it is always licks in we Soca Worries tail and then back to the drawing board and our Soca Worries will be loosing every game in the Gold Cup and the main reason is that the Coach doesn’t have a clue with what he is doing especially with the selection of the team and just imagine the only creative playmaker midfielder goal scorer it seems that he and my dictator president have something against hence the reason why he hasn’t been selected for a few games now the one and only Keron Ballpest Cummings Them really good yes

    • Earl Mango Pierre I feel the problems with the Pro League affecting Ballpest. The league is too short and inconsistent at the moment. Poor fellah.
      He doesn’t really have a proper platform to challenge for a spot.

    • And we have no one to follow in both footsteps and Mollino our prolific goal scorer it seems will be on the injury list for sometime again ent Mr Live Wire

  11. I can’t believe we haven’t played the USA in the Gold Cup since 2007.

  12. Dennis Lawrence: “I knew it was going to happen because it is what was meant to be. As I said before, when you go into any major tournament I think if you want to win the tournament you have to probably beat some of the better teams and USA are one of the best, so we are looking forward to it…”

  13. Not exactly a group of death, but a tough group to advance from. Probably on par with Group A which features Mexico, Canada, Martinique, and Cuba. Though we can’t sleep on Guyana, the key is beating Panama in our opening fixture.

  14. What grudge? I suspect that, we might be more on the defense than they are seeking to payback! From my calculations, we should have more players retained from that 2-1 win that eliminated the US than this current US team have of that yesteryear team.

  15. Go home , or go hard brother tt need to clam what we deserve and when that happen plenty will go our way. Usa, panama, guyana, full points.

  16. Right time for we to regroup and come at them again, we have to beat them in them ground to know how good we are at present.