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T&T refereeing trio selected for Dallas Cup 2013
T&T FIFA referees Joel Davidson and Rodphin Harris along with assistant referee Caleb Wales have earned appointments for the 2013 Dr Pepper Dallas Cup which takes place in Dallas, Texas, from March 24-31.
The Dallas Cup has been around for the past three decades and is one of the most celebrated youth tournaments even attracting top clubs out of giant footballing nations such Spain, Brazil, England, Germany and Argentina.
T&T has also been represented at the Dallas Cup over the past years with clubs such as Alcons, St. Ann’s Rangers and SKHY FC participating in the invitational tournament which attracts the youth teams of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Arsenal and others.
More than 180 teams from 13 countries, forming various age groups, will participate in the 2013 edition and for the first time FIFA is co-sponsoring the referee events surrounding the tournament which is earmarked for talented young referees and assistant referees.
T&T’s Dion Neil, a FIFA assistant referee for the past six years and who recently returned home after serving in the 2013 Concacaf Under-20 Championship in Puebla, Mexico, highlighted the opportunity awarded to the trio by the Concacaf Referees Commission.
“They are just three months into their international career,” said Neil, who served in such tournaments as the Concacaf Olympic Finals 2012, Concacaf Under-20 Championship in 2011 and the Concacaf Under-17 Championship in 2009.
“This is the first time that new FIFA/Concacaf referees are given this opportunity,” continued Neil.
“In our times this never happened. This is a big opportunity for FIFA/Concacaf referee assessors to see them and assess their performances. This is a great opportunity for them to do high level games and mesh with other FIFA referees from Concacaf.
It’s a big challenge and I hope they step up to the plate and realise and appreciate the opportunity that they are getting.”
World known names in football such as David Beckham (Paris St Germain), Landon Donavon (Los Angeles Galaxy), Rafael Marquez (New York Red Bulls), Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen, Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Edmilson (FC Barcelona) and Peter Crouch (Tottenham Hotspur) are just a few that competed in the Dallas Cup as youth players.
“It’s a major tournament,” said the 28-year-old Davidson. “I’ve visited the (Dallas Cup) website and even checked out past
tournaments…and I can say that leaving for Texas on Friday is the biggest opportunity in my career. They are looking at young talented referees and I am ready to go and do well.”
Davidson said that it’s a learning experience, explaining that apart from match appearances, there would be sessions training as well as performance evaluations.
“We train right through the week here in T&T and this is also an opportunity to make our colleagues proud, and let other referees in Concacaf know the work that our instructors are doing,” ended Davidson.
The marquee game of the Dallas Cup opening day on March 24 will see one of the world’s most iconic brands, Manchester United, battling Mexican powerhouse Club America from 6.30 pm at the historic Cotton Bowl Stadium in the Gordon Jago Super Group.
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