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CONCACAF-bound U20 Warriors one win away from Caribbean title

CONCACAF-bound U20 Warriors one win away from Caribbean title

18-09-2014 Hits:9 National Team News

Wednesday 17 September 2014Trinidad and Tobago Under 20 defender Josiah Trimmingham, in his first appearance at the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Men’s Under 20 Championship, earned his country a late...

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Jan-Michael Williams thrilled to face former club in Digicel Charity Shield

Jan-Michael Williams thrilled to face former club in Digicel Charity Shield

16-09-2014 Hits:137 Central FC

Pro League curtain raiser: Rivals W Connection and Central FC to clash on Saturday Tuesday 16 September 2014Central FC goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams believes that the ‘Sharks’ are faced with a “very...

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Four new Jamaicans among Jabloteh’s 2014-2015 signings

Four new Jamaicans among Jabloteh’s 2014-2015 signings

15-09-2014 Hits:84 San Juan Jabloteh

All-time top scorer Kerry Baptiste given new but familiar role at the San Juan club Monday 15 September 2014San Juan Jabloteh, usually a near total-local outfit, have increased their tally of...

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U20 Warriors virtually into CONCACAF Final Round and one point away from Caribbean Final

U20 Warriors virtually into CONCACAF Final Round and one point away from Caribbean Final

15-09-2014 Hits:37 National Team News

Eighteen-year-old St. Ann’s Rangers forward grabbed a double on Sunday as Trinidad and Tobago Men’s Under 20 footballers dumped Curacao 4-0 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium to lead Group A...

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Young Warriors start WC qualifying with win; within one win of Concacaf stage

Young Warriors start WC qualifying with win; within one win of Concacaf stage

14-09-2014 Hits:45 National Team News

Jabari Mitchell scored with a powerful shot from the top of the penalty area, as Trinidad and Tobago rallied from a goal down to beat a clever Suriname team 2-1,...

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King names T&T U20 squad for Caribbean Finals

King names T&T U20 squad for Caribbean Finals

11-09-2014 Hits:77 National Team News

Wednesday 10 September 2014Trinidad and Tobago head coach Derek King has finalised his 20-man squad that will compete in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Under-20 Finals in Trinidad.The T&T U20...

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Vranes – Sharks will chase every title

Vranes – Sharks will chase every title

10-09-2014 Hits:172 Central FC

Wednesday 10 September 2014“We will be after every title there is,” Central FC head coach Zoran Vranes cautioned, less than two weeks before the start of the 2014-2015 TT Pro...

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U20 Warriors in final push for Caribbean glory

U20 Warriors in final push for Caribbean glory

08-09-2014 Hits:64 National Team News

King eyes Concacaf Finals spot Monday 8 September 2014Trinidad and Tobago’s National Under 20 Men’s Team will enter a live-in training camp on Tuesday ahead of their Caribbean Football Union (CFU)...

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Elton John and Kevon Villaroel at Belgium’s CS Vise

Elton John and Kevon Villaroel at Belgium’s CS Vise

08-09-2014 Hits:145 TT Pro League News

Monday 8 September 2014Defenders Elton John and Kevon Villaroel have joined fellow Trinidad and Tobago internationals Willis Plaza and Rundell Winchester, as well as ex-San Juan Jabloteh and Central FC...

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Young Warriors draw 1-1 with Guadeloupe's MNT

Young Warriors draw 1-1 with Guadeloupe's MNT

07-09-2014 Hits:141 National Team News

Saturday 6 September 2014A Trinidad and Tobago team, mainly comprising National Under 20 players, pulled off a 1-1 draw against Guadeloupe's Men's National Team in a friendly at the Dwight...

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Caledonia a CONCACAF Champions League challenger

aledonia a CONCACAF Champions League challengerCaledonia AIA Technical Director Jamaal Shabazz has made it clear that the Morvant-Laventille club is not just making up numbers in a 24-team CONCACAF Champions League when the 2013-2014 season kicks off on August 6.

"Caledonia AIA didn't just qualify to participate," Shabazz said. "We fought hard for our place, we've made serious sacrifices, so I think our chances are as good as any other team this year."

Caledonia had its first taste of the Concacaf Champions League--the confederation's version of the UEFA Champions League--last season and finished at the bottom of a three-team group behind MLS outfit Seattle Sounders and CD Marathón of Honduras in the group stage.

Now after joining fellow TT Pro League club DIRECTV W Connection for a second consecutive Champions League, the Morvant-Laventille club is ready to stand up against the top clubs of Mexico, Central America, USA, Canada and the Caribbean.

Last season, Caledonia AIA by virtue of winning the 2012 Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Club Championship, qualified for the Champions League, but this year, only did so by defeating Portmore United of Jamaica in a play-off to join Connection and Haitian side Valencia FC to represent the region.

At a gala event at the Intercontinental Hotel in Doral Miami, CONCACAF held its annual draw which saw Caledonia AIA being grouped with ten-time Liga Mexico champion Deportivo Toluca FC of Mexico and Guatemala's CSD Comunicaciones.

According to Shabaaz, his side is happy to be pooled with a team from Mexico, sighting that it's a good situation for Caledonia since it will present an opportunity to play against an opposition that has a different style of play, having faced USA's Seattle Sounders and Marathon in their inaugural run.

"Toluca has a good history, but we have a good history too," Shabazz went on to add. "Playing at the Azteca in Mexico is exactly the experience that Caribbean teams need at this stage."

Toluca is located just outside of Mexico City standing 8,723 feet above sea level, and the high altitude is seen a serious obstacle standing in the way of the Trinidadians.

Shabazz pointed out that presently, his club doesn't have "the resources to go and train in the higher altitude situation. So we have to use the next option, which is to go in a couple of days before the game. The logistics of that is we have two months to prepare. In the mean time we have to try and get our players as fit as they should be."

He added, "We certainly want to strengthen our team of course, but the bulk of those players we will bring in will come from our Reserve (team) and youth teams because we don't have the resources to make big or huge addition to the squad. I think we have a decent squad from last year. Although we did well to retain some trophies, I think we were faced with a situation where we were without key players in the month of January."

Last year, the Champions League games hosted in Trinidad were poorly attended and Shabazz feels that CONCACAF should initiate a public awareness plan to better highlight the importance of the CCL to the teams and its supporters particularly from the Caribbean.

"I don't think a lot of people in Trinidad and Tobago or even the Caribbean, recognizes that this is CONCACAF, equivalent to the European Champions League and by W Connection and Caledonia qualifying back-to-back ... what a huge feat this is. These games are televised and it gives you a chance to showcase your community and your country so I think from that point, once CONCACAF can initiate an awareness programme then we will do what we can to urge the fans to come out," said Shabazz.

Caledonia AIA ended their domestic 2012-2013 season finishing second in the Digicel Pro League, which qualifies the Morvant-Laventille club for a third consecutive CCL appearance.

The season also saw the club retain the First Citizens Cup and FA Trophy, but failed to do so in the Lucozade Sport Goal Shield and Digicel Pro Bowl after being knocked out by eventual winners W Connection.

2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League groupings
(Schedule of matches are still to be formulated)

Group 1: Arabe Unido (Panama), Houston Dynamo (USA), W Connection (Trinidad & Tobago)

Group 2: Olimpia (Honduras), Sporting Kansas City (USA), Real Esteli (Nicaragua)

Group 3:  Herediano (Costa Rica), Cruz Azul (Mexico),  Valencia FC (Haiti)

Group 4: Club America (Mexico), Alajuelense (Costa Rica), Sporting San Miguelito (Panama)

Group 5: San Jose Earthquakes (USA), Montreal Impact (Canada), Guatemala #2 (Guatemala)

Group 6: Comunicaciones (Guatemala), Toluca (Mexico), Caledonia AIA (Trinidad & Tobago)

Group 7: Club Tijuana (Mexico), Victoria (Honduras), Luis Angel Firpo (El Salvador)

Group 8: LA Galaxy (USA), Isidro Metapan (El Salvador), Cartagines (Costa Rica)

TT PRO League 2013

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