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Portmore, Waterhouse face Haitians in Concacaf Champions Cup

Published:Sunday | May 12, 2019 | 12:43 AMRobert Bailey - Gleaner Writer

Reigning Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) champions Portmore United and beaten finalists Waterhouse will bow into action in the FLOW Concacaf Caribbean Club Championships today when they tackle Haitian sides Real Hope Academy and AS Capoise, respectively, at the Stadium East field.

In the opening match of the double-header, Portmore United, who defeated Waterhouse 1-0 to retain their RSPL title last month, will take on Real Hope Academy at 5:30 p.m. while Waterhouse will go up against AS Capoise at 8 p.m.

Shavar Thomas, head coach of Portmore United, said he is aware of his opponents’ strengths and weaknesses based on the information he has received, and so his team is ready to go into battle.

“We scouted them, and with the information that we have got, I think it is more than enough to execute our game plan,” said Thomas.

“We have won the Premier League, but that is in the past because we are now dealing with what we have ahead of us, which is the Concacaf Champions League, and we want to qualify directly to the Champions League, and this is a grand opportunity to do so by winning the group,” he said.

Portmore will be led by striker Javon East along with Ricardo Morris, Andre Lewis, and Damion Williams.

On the other hand, Dener Pierre, technical director of Real Hope Academy, said his team is looking forward to the competition.

“We are a very young team, but last year, we had a chance to participate in the Concacaf League that was held in Trinidad, and so that was a good experience for us because that was our first time,” said Pierre. “This is our second time, and so, hopefully, we are going to do better than we did last year.”

real hope confident

“They (Portmore) are the Jamaican champions just recently, and so they have a lot of confidence, but we just left Haiti in first place in our league, and so we have a lot of confidence in ourselves, and so we think it is going to be a very good soccer game,” Pierre said.

Johnson Jeudy and Schneider Desamore are the key players for Real Hope Academy.

Meanwhile, Waterhouse’s head coach Marcel Gayle said his team is upbeat ahead of today’s contest against AS Capoise.

“We are confident, and we are just ready to go out there and showcase our talents,” said Gayle. “We have some young players in the squad, and I know that they are eager and ready to go out there and play,” Gayle said.

“This tournament means a lot to us because this is our biggest stage for a team in the country, and we are going to use the opportunity as best as possible to showcase talent and to try to see how far we can go in this competition,” Gayle said.

His counterpart, Joseph Oudy, head coach of AS Capoise, was equally excited ahead of today’s contest.

“We came here to observe and learn,” Oudy said via a translator. “It is a learning experience for us, so we are very happy to come here and participate.”

“In Haiti, we are second in our league, so we are very confident and proud to be here. But we are here to win and it doesn’t matter how we win.”