Portmore, Arnett ready for regional rivals
Top local clubs Portmore United and Arnett Gardens will oppose regional competition in the FLOW CONCACAF Caribbean Club Championship semi-finals today at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex.
Reigning Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) champions Portmore United will first face Club AtlÈtico of the Dominican Republic at 6 p.m. before Arnett Gardens tackle Central FC of Trinidad and Tobago at 9 p.m.
Portmore United's coach, Shavar Thomas, says that the game is huge for his club and they are looking to produce a top-performance game.
"Everything has been going good for us. The players are confident and ready for the game. With the exception of Maalique Foster, who is down with an ankle injury, the squad is healthy," Thomas told The Gleaner yesterday.
Thomas has a deep squad with top players such as captain Ewan Grandison, Javon East, Jermie Lynch, Damano Solomon, and Ricardo Morris.
Club AtlÈtico are based in Santo Domingo and currently play in the Dominican Republic's First Division.
In the feature game, Arnett Gardens will face a tough task against Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) champions Central.
"The team is pretty much working very hard. We are in the semi-final of a tournament that will be competitive. It is a stepping stone towards the CONCACAF Champions League next year," Jerome Waite, head coach of Arnett Gardens, stated.
Arnett's key players include the RSPL's Most Valuable Player, Fabian Reid, Marvin Morgan, Renae Lloyd, and goalkeeper Damian Hyatt.
Central FC have won the T&T League in the last three seasons and are coached by former Trinidad and Tobago striker Stern John. They will look to marksman Tyrone Charles, as well as Jason Marcano and Cornell Glen for big performances in the competition.
The Caribbean Club Championship, now in its 20th year, is held among clubs whose football associations are affiliated with the Caribbean Football Union, a subconfederation of CONCACAF.
The Tier 1 competition, known as the CONCACAF Caribbean Club Championship, is contested by the champions and runners-up of the top professional and semi-professional leagues in year one in 2018 and is open to only fully professional leagues in year two in 2019 and onwards.
The Tier 2 competition, known as the CONCACAF Caribbean Club Shield, is contested by the champions of the top leagues in member associations that have no professional or semi-professional leagues in year one in 2018 and is open to amateur and semi-professional leagues in year two in 2019 and onwards.