"Ill-advised and precipitous."
Canadian-based Devon Bower and Isaiah Noreiga, of Houston Dynamos, are in an 18-man national Under-17 squad leaving tomorrow for Barbados for a warm-up match on Sunday against the Bajan youths. The Shawn Cooper-coached T&T squad, which is coming off two comfortable wins over Tobago clubs—St Clair Coaching School (5-2) and Stokely Vale (6-2)—faces the national Under-20 team today at Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya, from 4 pm. They are also expected to play Pro League champion Defence Force and W Connection before journeying to Montego Bay, Jamaica, on February 13 for the Concacaf Under-17 Championships.
In August last year, the local U-17s topped their Caribbean Football Union qualifying group with a 0-0 draw with Cuba and victories over Bermuda (2-1) and St Kitts/Nevis (8-0) which was followed by a tour of Colombia. Jamaica Under-17 footballers suffered a 2-1 loss against USA and drew 0-0 draw with visitors USA in the two warm-up matches yesterday and Sunday night at Jarrett Park in Montego Bay as they continued their preparations. The Jamaicans, who are coming off a tour of Brazil, will face T&T on February 15 in its Group C opener and Guatemala, two days later. Following the two matches against Jamaica, the Americans returned home on Thursday for a further week of preparations before heading back to Jamaica on February 10 for their Group B encounters with Cuba (February 14) and Panama, two days later. Costa Rica, Haiti and El Salvador comprise Group A while Honduras, Canada and Barbados are in Group D.
The top two teams from each group will advance to the quarterfinals February 22-23 with winners of groups A and B facing the runners-up from the opposite group. Likewise, the winners of groups C and D will play the runners-up from the opposite group with all four winners moving on to the semifinals February 25 and qualifying for the Fifa Under-17 World Cup in Mexico. The four semifinalists will join Mexico as Concacaf’s representatives at the June 18 to July 10 World Cup.
T&T team for Barbados:
Goalkeepers: Quesi Weston, Tevin Dodds, Defenders: Damani Richards, Dario Holmes, Tariq Nichols, Nicholas Marcano, Devon Bower, Kiel Pierre, Anthony Charles, Midfielders: Adan Noel, Neil Benjamin, Glen Sutton, Duane Muckette, Jomel Williams, Strikers: Garvin Samaroo, Shaqullie Henry, Dwight Quintero, Isiah Noreiga.
Technical staff: Carl Joseph (manager), Shawn Cooper (coach), Ross Russell (asst coach), Natalie Thomas-Charles (equip manager), Michael Taylor (physio).