Ja target T&T scalp in U20 opener
Jamaica will tackle Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) in the opening round of the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship at the National Stadium today, starting at 8 p.m.
Both Caribbean nations will engage in the feature game of a triple-header. In the first game, Aruba face Panama at 3 p.m., and in the second encounter, the United States meet Guatemala at 5:30 p.m.
The six teams playing today are drawn in Group A. Twelve teams are down to participate, with Mexico, Cuba, Honduras, El Salvador, Haiti and Canada contesting Group B.
The tournament will crown the Confederation champions at this age level and qualify four teams to the 2015 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in New Zealand.
The top teams from each group will advance to the World Cup, with the second and third-place nations facing off in a final day knockout round to determine the two other World Cup spots.
Group A matches will be played at the National Stadium and Montego Bay Sports Complex in St James, with the latter being the venue for all Group B games and the final phase on January 24.
looking forward to a win
Coach of Jamaica's Under-20 team, Theodore 'Tappa' Whitmore, says his team is looking forward to a win at home against their fierce Caribbean rivals.
"We are looking forward to this clash as Trinidad and Tobago has always been a tough opponent for Jamaica at any level in football," Whitmore told The Gleaner yesterday. "We will take it game by game, we plan to win the game tomorrow and take it from there."
"We are definitely looking to win the game against Trinidad and Tobago and get the nation behind the team early. We need the support, so I'm encouraging strong crowd support as the 12th man in the stands are important," he said.
Derek King, who guided Trinidad and Tobago to a 3-0 win over Haiti in the final of the Caribbean Under-20 championship last year, is oozing confidence ahead of the contest.
"We are coming from a seven-day camp in Florida, and it was a welcome one. We needed the preparation," King said.
Captain of Trinidad and Tobago, Shannon Gomez, did not make the trip to Florida due to visa issues, but he has joined the other players here.
Jamaica squad: Michael Seaton, Daniel Roberts, Junior Flemmings, Shamar Nicholson, Cardel Benbow, Khallil Stewart, Donjay Smith, Ishmale Currie, John Luca Levee, Martin Davis, Isamnia Cohen, Roberto Johnson, Malcolm Stewart, Allando Brown, Shaquille Dyer, Javaun Waugh, Rennico Clarke, Joel Cunningham, Nicholas Nelson and Dane-Andrew Chambers.
Trinidad and Tobago squad: Akim Andrews, Leland Archer, Kadeem Corbin, Brendon Creed, Maurice Ford, Akeem Garcia, Levi Garcia, Kevon Goddard, Akeem Humphrey, Ricardo John, Shannon Gomez, Neveal Hackshaw, Jabari Mitchell, Karl Muckette, Jesus Prez, Jovan Sample, Kishon Seecharan, Martieon Watson, Johan Welch and Matthew Woo Ling.