T&T U20s begin qualifying quest
Trinidad and Tobago’s U-20 Men will begin their quest for qualification to the 2022 FIFA Under 20 Men’s World Cup when they come up against Haiti in the first game of a double header at the Estadio Morazan in San Pedro Sula from 4pm (6pm TT ) on Sunday.
Fellow Group F teams Mexico and Suriname will meet in the second game of the double header.
T&T head coach Angus Eve conducted his final session with the 20-man squad on Saturday at the Real Espana ground after training the previous day at the Rancho Tarra training pitch. All four Group F teams are based at the CopanTL Hotel and Convention Centre in San Pedro Sula.
T&T had its official walk-through at the Morazan stadium on Saturday morning as all four teams are not permitted to train on the surface prior to the matches in order to preserve it.
“We’ve prepared for it. The boys have all dedicated themselves in the preparations and it’s about going out and trying to execute things on the day,” head coach Eve said. “The commitment has been there and of course we are aware that no game in this tournament will be easy.
Team captain Molik Khan further added, “I think we are focused on the task and we know what is required. The coach has instilled into us that hard work and sacrifice is what will get us through long with our skill and proper application. I know that the boys have been working hard and looking forward to this opening day. The opponents, Haiti are as strong as anyone but we have to be able to match them on the day and give it our all to secure something positive from it.”
Defender Jarron Pascal arrived at the camp on Saturday afternoon after staying back in San Jose, Costa Rica to sit a Cape examination. There was one change to the initial Final 20 man squad with goalkeeper Tristan Edwards coming in for goalkeeper Rushon Sandy who was relieved due to covid symptoms during the closing days of the training camp in San Jose, Costa Rica. Edwards was already in camp with the rest of the squad in San Jose and stayed on before leaving with the group for San Pedro Sula on Friday.
Sunday’s match will be the first ever CMU20 encounter between the two nations, as Trinidad & Tobago begin the quest for a third FIFA Men’s Under-20 World Cup, while Haiti are trying to qualify for their first.
Haiti FW Steevenson Jeudy is already well-known around the region after winning the Best Young Player Award at the 2022 Flow Concacaf Caribbean Club Championship as a member of Violette AC.
The competition will kick off on Saturday with Group Stage action among the top ranked 16 teams (according to the Concacaf Men’s U-20 Ranking). After Group Stage play (June 18-23) the top three teams in each of the groups will advance to the Round of 16, joining the four Qualifiers winners (matches took place in November 2021).
The 16-team Knockout Stage will begin with the Round of 16 (June 25-26), followed by the Quarterfinals (June 28-29), Semifinals (July 1), and Final (July 3).
All Knockout Stage matches will be played in a single match elimination format, with the semifinalist (four teams) qualifying to the FIFA Men’s U-20 World Cup Indonesia 2023 and the finalists (two teams) to the 2024 Paris Summer Olympic Games.
Fans will be able to follow and enjoy the competition through the Confederation’s TV partner networks, including TUDN | ViX (USA-Spanish), Televisa (Mexico), One Soccer (CAN), ESPN (Caribbean and Central America), and multiple partners around the world. For other territories, the event will be available on the Official Concacaf App (all subject to territory restrictions).
The defending CU20C champion is the United States, who defeated Mexico 2-0 in the previous edition in 2018. The 2020 edition was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.