First some international football news —– Paris Saint Germain produced a stunning first-leg home display to demolish Barcelona 4-0 and take a giant step towards the last eight of European Champions League.
A brace from Angel Di Maria and further strikes from Julian Draxler and Edinson Cavani condemned the Catalan giants to a defeat that equals their biggest ever in the competition and leaves them with a nigh on impossible task in the March 8 second leg in Spain.
Back locally, TT’s men team new coach Denis Lawrence is days away from naming a training squad with an eye on his first major assignments – seeing TT safely through in CONCACAF World Cup 2018 qualifying home matches against Panama March 24th and against Mexico four days later.
TT lost their first two of their ten-match qualifiers vs Costa Rica 2-nil at home and vs Honduras 3-1 away.
Lawrence finalised his support staff at the weekend including Stern John and Ross Russell as coaches.
And from Colombia to Costa Rica as Trinidad and Tobago’s Under 20 Men’s Team are scheduled to arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica this Wednesday afternoon ahead of their opening match of the CONCACAF Under 20 Championship against Bermuda on Sunday at the Ricardo Saprissa Stadium.
T&T completed their training camp in Cali, Colombia on a winning note on Monday as a 25th minute goal by Noah Powder was enough for a 1-0 victory over Cardoso FC’s under 20 team in the closing training match.
The victory was the team’s second of the five-match schedule, following a 2-0 win over Club America U-20s on the weekend. T&T drew two and lost one of the other three matches.
The team’s new goalkeeper coach is Clayton Ince, the former Crewe Alexandra goalkeeper replacing Ross Russell who returns to T&T to join the Men’s Senior Team staff for an upcoming training camp. Also flying in to Costa Rica is Belgium-based forward Nicholas Dillon.
Head Coach Brian Williams summed up the training camp, saying he was pleased to see the team gathering momentum with victories in their closing two games.
“At this point in time I can say we were able to get the team up to a satisfactory level during the period in Cali. The players remained focused throughout the camp, the facilities were of a good standard and we were able to concentrate on football throughout,” he told TTFA Media.
“Once we are in Costa Rica, the approach changes as now we will focus all our energies on match day which is when we face Bermuda (February 19th) in our opening fixture. We have gathered the necessary information on the opponents and along with my coaching staff, we will plan for the matches ahead and ensure that our players are ready for the challenges we will face in Costa Rica,”