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Mitchell eager to make Soca Warriors impact
Newly-selected ‘Soca Warriors’ midfielder Darren Mitchell wants to create a lasting impression in the minds of the national team selectors that will secure his place in the team.
“I don’t want it to be a one shot,” said the 23-year-old Princes Town-born footballer over his debut call-up for two friendly internationals, both away, against Belize and Peru on Friday and Tuesday, respectively.
Mitchell was named in an 18-man squad which departed yesterday in two batches with co-coaches Hutson Charles and Jamaal Shabazz focused on preparations for the 2013 Concacaf Gold Cup in July. The squad includes 2006 World Cup players Densill Theobald (Caledonia AIA/T&T), Chris Birchall (Port Vale/England), Kenwyne Jones (Stoke City/England) and Cornell Glen (North East Stars/T&T), along with Carlyle Mitchell (Edmonton FC/Canada), Keon Daniel (Philadelphia Union/USA), Marvin Phillip, Darren Mitchell (Central FC/T&T), Cleon John, Daniel Cyrus (W Connection/T&T), Aubrey David, Ataullah Guerra, Keyon Edwards (Caledonia AIA/T&T), Joevin Jones (W Connection/T&T), Curtis Gonzales, Kevon Carter, Devorn Jorsling (Defence Force/T&T) and Marcus Joseph (Point Fortin Civic Centre/T&T).
“I’m not just here for a trip,” continued Mitchell. “I want to put in a performance that would always be on the coaches’ minds and to be selected for other teams. So I’m really hoping that they use me in the matches against Belize and Peru.” Mitchell, nicknamed ‘Chucky,’ quickly made a name for himself since joining Central FC from Tobago Phoenix during the December/January transfer window as one of the season’s most electrifying midfielders.
And in just under three months since joining the Pro League club earned himself a call-up with the ‘Warriors.’ “It’s a great feeling you can never truly explain,” Mitchell said over his call-up by Charles and Shabazz. “Clearly they are seeing something that they like, and I’m ready to prove to them that I can add a lot to the national team. I’m very thankful for the opportunity and I want to make the best of it. I never thought I would be getting such an opportunity so soon. I’ve only been playing with Central for a short time. I have to thank (Central) coach Terry Fenwick, because if he wasn’t pushing me to do better every day, I wouldn’t have earned this opportunity.”
While Mitchell focuses on his involvement with the T&T squad, co-head coaches Charles and Shabazz already have two friendly international European opponents on the agenda in their preparations leading up to the Gold Cup. The ‘Warriors’ are expected to tackle Romania in Bucharest on June 4 and also Estonia in that country on June 7. And looking ahead to the Gold Cup fixtures, T&T are drawn alongside El Salvador, Haiti and Honduras in Group B of the 2013 Concacaf Gold Cup and will play their opening game at the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey against El Salvador on July 8.
T&T will play its second game against Haiti at the Sunlife Stadium in Miami on July 12 before travelling to face Honduras at the BBVA Stadium in Houston on July 15. The top two teams of Groups A, B and C, and the best two third place finishers will advance to the quarterfinals from July 20. The Gold Cup Final is slated for July 28 at Soldier Field, Chicago.
2013 Concacaf Gold Cup
Group A: Mexico, Panama, Canada, Martinique
Group B: Honduras, El Salvador, T&T, Haiti
Group C: USA, Costa Rica, Belize, Cuba
(local time followed by EDT time)
July 7 – Rose Bowl (Pasadena, CA)
Canada vs Martinique, 2.30 pm (5.30 pm EDT)
Mexico vs Panama, 5 pm (8 pm EDT)
Monday, July 8 – Red Bull Arena (Harrison, NJ)
El Salvador vs Trinidad & Tobago, 7 pm (7 pm EDT)
Haiti vs Honduras, 9.30 pm (9.30 pm EDT)
Tuesday, July 9 – JELD-WEN Field (Portland, OR)
Costa Rica vs Cuba, 5.30 pm (8.30 pm EDT)
Belize vs USA, 8 pm (11 pm EDT)
Thursday, July 11 – CenturyLink Field (Seattle, WA)
Panama vs Martinique, 5.30 pm (8.30 pm EDT)
Mexico vs Canada, 8 pm (11 pm EDT)
Friday, July 12 – Sun Life Stadium (Miami, FL)
Trinidad & Tobago vs Haiti, 7 pm (7 pm EDT)
Honduras vs El Salvador, 9.30 pm (9.30 pm EDT)
Saturday, July 13 – Rio Tinto Stadium (Salt Lake City, UT)
USA vs Cuba, 1.30 pm (3.30 pm EDT)
Costa Rica vs Belize, 4 pm (6 pm EDT)
Sunday, July 14 – Sports Authority Field at Mile High (Denver, CO)
Martinique vs Mexico, 2 pm (4 pm EDT)
Panama vs Canada, 4.30 pm (6.30 pm EDT)
Monday, July 15 – BBVA Compass Stadium (Houston, TX)
El Salvador vs Haiti, 6 pm (7 pm EDT)
Honduras vs Trinidad & Tobago, 8.30 pm (9.30 pm EDT)
Tuesday, July 16 – Rentschler Field (Hartford, CT)
Cuba vs Belize, 5.30 pm (5.30 pm EDT)
USA vs Costa Rica, 8 pm (8 pm EDT)
July 20 – Georgia Dome (Atlanta, GA)
Group A runner-up vs Group B runner-up, TBD (x)
Group A winner vs Group B/C third-place, TBD (x)
x-matches scheduled for 3 pm and 6 pm local with order TBD
July 21 – M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore, MD)
Group B winner vs Group C runner-up, TBD (y)
Group C winner vs Group A/B third place, TBD (y)
y-matches scheduled for 4 pm and 7 pm local (4 pm and 7 pm EDT) with order TBD
July 24 – Cowboys Stadium (Arlington, TX)
X quarterfinal winners, TBD (z)
Y quarterfinal winners, TBD (z)
z-matches scheduled for 6 pm and 9 pm local (7 pm and 10 pm EDT) with order TBD
Sunday, July 28 – Soldier Field (Chicago, IL)
Semifinal winners, 3 pm (4 pm EDT)
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