CONCACAF'S Director of Development Jason Roberts has said he was left impressed with the level displayed by the four competing teams at the just concluded T&T Football Association Youth Invitational Tournament.
Roberts, accompanied by FIFA Development officer for the Caribbean Marlon Glean, witnessed the last four matches in the Under 15 boys competition, including the closing doubleheader and the Awards Ceremony at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, on Sunday last.
The tournament was a dress rehearsal for the teams- Mexico, Panama and T&T ahead of the CONCACAF U-15 Championship in Florida, USA next month, Roberts, an ex-Blackburn Rovers and Grenada forward said on Tuesday.
“The TTFA youth invitational was a fantastic opportunity to see some of the top talents in the region put together by the TTFA in preparation for the CONCACAF U-15 tournament. This was a wonderful chance to see well-drilled teams performing at an extremely high level, some real talent across all of the sides, and I have to commend the TTFA for seeing that preparation and bringing the teams together. It is a unique opportunity to ensure these players are well prepared, getting used to elite tournaments and used to the atmosphere of having a big crowd," Roberts said.
He added, “Individually I thought there were some standout performances. The T&T number 8 (Molik Khan) who was extremely talented with the number 10 (Nathaniel James) as well. You look across for the number 10 striker for Panama- Reymundo Arauz, Venezuela number 7 (Klinsmann Gomez and the striker Jesus Anuel), were also good. Mexico, as expected, also played at a very high level for young players."
“I would like to say how exciting it was to see football in our region at such a high level in preparation for the CONCACAF U-15, where I would be spending a lot of time viewing games of similar quality,” Roberts added.
Meanwhile, Carlos Subero's 59th-minute strike earned Venezuela a 1-0 victory over T&T on Tuesday at the Ato Boldon Stadium in another practice match between the teams.