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Jamaica U-17 vs Trinidad and Tobago U-17 at Arnett Gardens Stadium, Kingston, Jamaica on Saturday, February 4th 2023.

T&T Under-17 men’s football team coach Shawn Cooper will be hoping for an improved display when his team faces Jamaica in the second and final warm-up match at the St Elizabeth Technical High School in Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth, Jamaica from 5 pm (T&T time) on Tuesday.

Both teams are using the match as part of their preparations for the 20-team Concacaf Under-17 Championship which kicks off in Guatemala on Saturday, (February 11) until February, 26.

On Saturday last, at the Arnett Gardens Stadium, the Merron Gordon-coached Jamaica eked out a 1-0 win courtesy of a 77th-minute Orane Watson goal, after he replaced Nicholas Simmonds who missed a first-half penalty.

Despite the young 'Reggae Boyz' 1-0 win in regulation time both teams also contested a penalty shootout, which Jamaica won 4-2.

And speaking after the match, Cooper said the outcome was not too bad and was something his team can build on.

"I think we needed to put a little more numbers going forward and get the lines a little tighter, but we will work on what we have to for the next match.

For the match, Cooper was without the services of the trio of Jeremiah Cateau (Concorde Fire/USA),

Rio Cardines (Crystal Palace/England), and Dominic Wilson (Nashville FC Academy/USA) while 14-year-old Seth Hadeed was among the unused substitutes.

Commenting on Cardines, Cooper said, "He had some passport issues, but it was ironed out and he will be here for the next game.

"Definitely, he (Cardines) would have influenced us going forward, but what I really wanted is for all the guys to get in some game time at this level and feel what an international game is like, and there is no better team than a Jamaica youth team we can play which will prepare us definitely going into our three matches in the Concacaf tournament."

With regards to Hadeed who travelled as a reserve, Cooper stated, "Seth (Hadeed), on the other hand, is only 14 years with a bright future ahead of him, but I just wanted the older guys to get some game time because I think this is ideal preparation for us."

Speaking in the Jamaica Gleaner, the young "Reggae Boyz' coach Gordon said his team hit their marks in their win over and he was satisfied with what the boys displayed throughout.

“I think, had we scored that penalty, it would have been much easier. But I am proud of the boys. This is the first time they are playing against their age group. We are just going to tighten up things and move on,” Gordon said.

“I think, defensively we were good, but in the latter stages of the game, we sat back too far. But playing with your home crowd, you wanted to hold on to the win,” Gordon assessed.

Following today's match, the T&T squad will depart for Guatemala on January 9 ahead of its opening Group F match against Canada on February 11 at the Estadio Pensativo in Antigua, Guatemala at 6 pm while USA and Barbados, the two other teams in the group clash from 9 pm.

The young “Soca Warriors” then face the USA in the second match on February 13 at the Estadio Pensativo from 9 pm, three hours after Canada tackles Barbados before closing out their round-robin group campaign against the “Bajans” on February 15 from 6 pm, with USA and Canada facing off at 9 pm.

Groups H which is made up of Honduras, Haiti, El Salvador, and Suriname will also be played at the Estadio Pensativo in Antigua while Group E which comprises defending champion and eight-time winners Mexico, Panama, host Guatemala, and Curacao, and Group G featuring Costa Rica, Jamaica, Guadeloupe, and Cuba will be based at the Estadio Nacional Doroteo Guamuch Flores in Guatemala City.

After the group stage, the top three nations in each group will advance to the knockout stage, joining the four 2022 Concacaf U-17 Men’s Qualifiers (CU17Q) group winners: Bermuda, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Puerto Rico.

The round-of-16 matches will take place on February 18, and 19, at both venues, followed by the quarterfinals on February 21, and 22 with the semifinals set for February 24, and the finals on February 26 in Guatemala City.

All knockout stage matches will be played in a single-match direct elimination format, and the four semifinalists will qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Peru 2023.

T&T team against Jamaica on Saturday: (4-2-3-1): 20 Ailan Panton (GK); 4 Aydon Caruth, 6 Joshua Figaro, 12 Jaden Williams, 19 Lyshaun Morris; 14 Tau Lamsee, 5 Josiah Ochoa (captain); 16 Derrel Garcia, 15 Michael Chaves (vice-captain), 2 Jeremiah Niles; 13 Lindell Sween.

Subs: 1 Jaden Ottley (GK), 8 Samuel Duncan, 9 Tyrell Moore, 10 Malachi Webb, 17 Vaughn Clement, 18 Armani Rowe, 21 Seth Hadeed.

Unavailable: Jeremiah Cateau, Rio Cardines, Dominic Wilson.

Technical staff: Shawn Cooper (head coach), Marvin Gordon (assistant coach), Devin Elcock (assistant coach), Gilbert Bateau (trainer), Declan Squires (goalkeeper), John Jerry (equipment manager), Michael Taylor (medic), Christo Gouveia (manager).

Jamaica U-17 squad:

Tawayne Lynch (goalkeeper), Joshua Grant (goalkeeper), Ahir Dixon, Alexavier Gooden, Malik Robinson, Adrian Reid, Malachi Molina, Nashon Bolt Barrett, Brandon Bent, Ronaldo Barrett, Jason Whyte, Jahmani Bell, Orane Watson, Dyllan John, Dusting Cohen, Nicholas Simmonds, Adrian Mahoney, Ashton Gordon, Everald Swaby, Jordan Mongatal.

SOURCE: T&T Guardian