The weekend past was just a taste, a tiny morsel actually, of what’s to come for the rest of C2K18.
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Molino keen on Kaka partnership
T&T midfielder Kevin Molino is buzzing with enthusiasm as he prepares to team up with Brazilian World Cup hero Kaka at Orlando City in American Major League Soccer (MLS) next season.
Molino, now one of the starting midfielders for Orlando in the USL, has already met with the former Real Madrid star at the club and is already counting down the months until they join forces next season.
The 32-year-old Kaka was unveiled downtown Orlando on Tuesday and is the club’s first MLS designated player.
“It’s great to see the World Cup and Champions League winner coming to Orlando City,” Molino said. “I can’t wait for next season to reach. The chance to train and play alongside a legend from Brazil is a massive step for me and for the club.”
Kaka signed a 3.5-year contract with the Lions for an undisclosed amount of money.
He said, “I said a few times that one day I'd like to play in America, in MLS. This thing started in 2012, when Flavio said they had this dream to buy a team and build an amazing thing in America.”
His relationship with club owner Flavio Augusto da Silva was a major factor in the player joining the US club.
For Molino, he intends to take everything from his time with the player, who won the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards in 2007 awards in 2007. After his success with AC Milan, Kaka joined Real Madrid for a transfer fee of £65 million. He was a member of the 2002 Brazil World Cup winning team.
“For me personally I think this can only help me to become a better player. I am really happy I made the decision to stay at the club because this is a big period in my career. You can learn a lot by observing and training with great players like I did with guys like Russell Latapy and Dwight Yorke. But now I have the chance to play with Kaka. That’s a big deal for me. This can hopefully help me as a player when it comes to putting on a great performance for the national team in our effort to reach Russia 2018. All our players can develop from every bit of experience they get all year round,” Molino said.
Yorke, Ronaldo in Rio for Fifa interactive World Cup final
Former T&T captain Dwight Yorke will join Brazilian legend Ronaldo at the Rio de Janeiro's iconic Sugarloaf Mountain today to watch the final showdown of the Fifa Interactive World Cup (FIWC).
In its 10th year, this is the first time ever that a FIWC Grand Final will take place at the same time and in the same country as the Fifa World Cup.
Some 2,000,000 players from around the globe attempted to qualify for the FIWC Grand Final and 20 players from around the world will travel to Rio de Janeiro, to challenge for the title.
As well as the honour of being named FIWC world champion, the winner will also receive US $20,000 and an invitation to the Ballon d' Or, to rub shoulders with the best footballers in the world.
Ronaldo and Yorke, who will be sharing their football expertise with the contestants also.
Fifa head of Strategy and Brand Management, Ralph Straus, said, “It is a landmark moment in Fifa Interactive World Cup history to host the tournament in the same country as the Fifa World Cup. We're very excited to be hosting the final showdown at a truly iconic landmark in the presence of two footballing greats."
Webb: Concacaf could push for fourth spot
Following the impressive performance of the Concacaf teams at the 2014 World Cup, president of the Confederation Jeffrey Webb believes Concacaf could push for a fourth qualification spot for future World Cups.
Speaking on the weekend, Webb said, “The strong performance by our teams certainly justify the debate to push for a fourth full spot and we will do so accordingly. Only South America at 83 percent had a higher share of its teams advance to the knockout stage of this World Cup.”
Webb added that he wasn’t surprised that three of the four teams from the region progressed to the second round with Costa Rica, Mexico and United States making it through. Costa Rica subsequently booked their place in the quarter finals.
“I’m not really surprised. We knew immediately after the draw that the groups were going to be tough, but I also predicted that we would have two teams advance to the knockout stages. Having three out of four actually progress is a very good indicator of the game’s level in parts of our region,” Webb said.
He added that proper coaching and development programs have pushed Concacaf teams to another level and he expects to see more teams from the Caribbean such as T&T and Jamaica stepping up to the plate.
“I believe it is a combination of different elements for each team. For one, the strong commitment from National Associations to player development is certainly showing with individual standouts on the field.
“I also believe that the fact that Concacaf’s Gold Cup is played every two years, instead of every four years has a positive impact on the level of competition. Teams have the opportunity to play highly competitive games more often allowing them to evaluate their player pool at that level.
“We have also witnessed outstanding coaching in our teams. Managers have successfully adjusted their teams and formations during the course of games in order to get the result,” Webb said.
McFarlane coaching at US nationwide programme
Former national forward Errol McFarlane is now a coach with the Super Soccer Stars which is a United States nationwide football programme for kids of all programmes.
It specialises in personalised attention and quality instruction from former professional players, which gives its young athletes the best chance to improve their skills on the pitch.
The organisation was founded in 2000 by Argentine Gustavo Szulansky. After starting in New York, Super Soccer Stars has expanded to the Northeast, Florida, Illinois, and California.
McFarlane and former Manchester United player Mark Wilson are among the coaches at Super Soccer which has a dual philosophy; fostering players’ lifelong passion for the game of football while maintaining a specific focus on player development rather than competition.
Shaun Fuentes is the director of communications for the TTFA. [email protected]