Sun, Oct

Trinidad and Tobago’s National Senior Team will be cut to twenty-two players today as the team heads into its final week of preparations in the sister-isle for Saturday’s 2010 World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica at the Dwight Yorke Stadium.
Head coach Russell Latapy will have his full compliment of players for an evening session at the Dwight Yorke Stadium on Monday with Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones as well as United States-based duo Avery John and Cornell Glen all expected to join up with the rest of the squad.

Glen scored on his home debut for San Jose Earthquakes in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake.

“It felt great to get my first goal on debut for the team. I wanted to have a good start and I think we achieved that with the victory and all. I felt good out there and hopefully I can keep it up and take it into the other matches.

“Now I have an important game coming up against Costa Rica with the national team and it’s a game which we need to win to stay in it. I’m looking forward to it next Saturday,” Glen said.

Sunderland midfielder Carlos Edwards is one of seven players in the current squad which was part of the team that drew 0-0 with Costa Rica in Port of Spain in 2005 during the final round of qualifiers for 2006 Germany. The others are Dwight Yorke, Dennis Lawrence, Clayton Ince, Silvio Spann, Glen and Jones. Edwards is optimistic looking ahead to the weekend clash.

“Everyone knows how important a game it is for us at this stage of the campaign. We haven’t made the best of starts but this could be our chance to get it right and set the trend for the rest of the campaign. It’s not going to be easy because Costa Rica will be coming to try and get a win as well but we have to be focused and believe in our potential. So far the build up has been good and we’re just waiting anxiously to get out on the field and do the business,” Edwards told TTFF Media.

Meantime, T&T defeated Tobago United 5-1 in a training fixture at the Dwight Yorke Stadium on Sunday evening. Yorke put the national team ahead in the second half while Kerry Baptiste added three more in the second half and Jason Scotland added another. Five members of the T&T team were given playing time with the Tobago club on request of  Latapy.

The football fever on the island is expected to increase  later in the week and preparations for the staging of the match are continuing full steam at the match venue. Some members of the Soca Warriors are also carded for a meet and greet session with fans at a Bmobile outlet in Scarborough on Wednesday. Officials of the TTFF and the 2010 Local Organising Committee are also already based in the sister-isle to oversee operations relating to the staging of the event.

The Costa Rican team along with traveling journalists and supporters are expected on the island on Thursday. The team will be based at the Le Grand Courlan Hotel while the T&T team checks into the Blue Haven Hotel on Monday afternoon.

And  Costa Rica's coach Rodrigo Kenton claimed that his team is in high spirits during the practice sessions ahead of the upcoming matches against USA and T&T.