Wed, Aug


Soca Warriors captain, Clyde Leon, is quietly confident his team, the Soca Warriors, can reach the semifinal stage of the Digicel Caribbean Cup Finals in Martinique, which will secure a Concacaf Gold Cup spot in the USA next year. The Soca Warriors, seven-time winners of the regional crown, qualified for the eight-team finals after topping its Second Round Group F qualifiers at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella, on Saturday with wins over St Vincent and the Grenadines (6–2), Guyana (2–1) and Haiti (4–0). In Martinique, the Soca Warriors, who failed to qualify for the previous tournament under Colombian coach, Francisco Maturana, will compete in Group H with the host country, last year’s beaten finalist Grenada and the winner of Group G (Antigua & Barbuda, Suriname, Cuba and Dominica) which kicks off at the Antigua Recreation Ground, today.

The Soca Warriors’ will kick off the Finals with a match against the Group G winners on November 26 at the Pierre Aliker Dillon Stadium.
The other group will comprise defending champion and four-time winner, Jamaica, Guyana, Guadeloupe and the Group G runner-up. The winner of the Digicel Caribbean Cup will receive US$120,000 and the runners up US$70,000. Speaking ahead of the finals, Leon, who missed the 4–0 win over Haiti because of a hamstring strain, said, “Being in the same group as the host nation Martinique means that we will be up against the home crowd, but I think we are ready for the challenge.

“Grenada and Martinique are good teams also and I don’t expect they will be easy to overcome, but we are also getting better game by game and I am not worried about the opposition right now. We just have to do our homework and go out there and keep that momentum going from our last three matches,” Leon said. The T&T team is carded to resume training on Monday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, while the T&T Football Federation and team management are still in the process of finalising an international friendly for November 17, which is a Fifa international date. Nicaragua initially agreed to host T&T from November 15 to 18, but travel complications have forced a cancellation.