A veteran of 97 international appearances, Carlos Edwards is not yet a retired Trinidad and Tobago player. The former Sunderland and Wrexham winger would still fancy the opportunity to reach the 100 game milestone for the Red,White and Black.
While the campaign is done and dusted with T&T’s qualifying hopes already ended, Edwards, at age 38, believes the Dennis Lawrence-coached outfit can finish the the journey on a high and defy the odds by pulling off a win over the United States on Tuesday at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
Edwards has tasted a win over US in a competitive World Cup qualifier at home, setting up Russell Latapy’s go ahead goal in the T&T’s 2-1 win in the semi-final round of 2010 World Cup qualifying at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
“Firstly, I am still available to play for the national team and I felt like I was missing out on the whole experience of being part of the team after being overlooked for these last four games but that is football and the coach knows what he would be looking for and I have the decision and support the team no matter what.
“But getting to 100 games is definitely something I would love to accomplish and so it will be part of my aim for the rest of the year and next year once I am fit and able to play,” Edwards said.
“On the topic of the game against the US, I think it is a wonderful opportunity for the team to finish on a high and dent the pride of America a bit. They will be coming here with all guns blazing. but I think we are capable of holding our own.
“I know what it is like to win a qualifier against the US and it will do the players a world of good to get a good result against the Americans under their belt,” Edwards said.
Arena anticipates no protests from US players
The US Soccer Federation confirmed this month that the policy it passed in February requiring players to stand during the national anthem remains in place, as social injustice protests became more widespread in the NFL and other sports last following critical comments from US President Donald Trump.
And US head coach Bruce Arena says he does not expect it to be an issue among his players when they face T&T on Tuesday at the Ato Boldon Stadium nor the previous qualifier against Panama yesterday.
“If we need to discuss it, we’ll discuss it,” he said. “But I don’t think that’s an issue we’re going to deal with. We’ve got enough to deal with besides kneeling and stuff.”
Arena said that up to Friday, he had not yet thought about a plan for the T&T match.
“I will be honest with you—I haven’t spent one second in preparation for the second game,” Arena said. “All of the focus has been on Panama. I cannot tell you one thing we would do in our second game in this swing.”
Mexican FF sells scarves to raise funds for quake victims
At last night’s World Cup qualifier against Trinidad and Tobago, the Mexican Football Federation sold green scarves with “Fuerza Mexico” on them for $2.70 (U.S.) outside Estadio Alfonso Lastras, with all proceeds going towards the earthquake relief fund. Fans inside the 25,000-capacity stadium would be encouraged to lift the scarves up during the playing of the Mexican national anthem.
And with the Mexican team mostly playing its World Cup qualifiers in Mexico City, it was massive attraction for the people of San Luis to have their national heroes play in that city.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, around 200 fans paid US$162 to attend the Mexico national team training session in Mexico City, with those who bought the tickets able to mingle and take photographs with the players while the funds went towards the relief fund.
“Local fans are encouraged to walk with canned items at Tuesday’s game in Couva to contribute to the Caribbean hurricane relief fund.