In the last few days rumors of Dwight Yorke's transfer at the end of the season have been swirling around. Most of the rumors surround the fact that Villa were knocked out of the UEFA cup last week by Athletico Madrid and Yorke's desire to play in European competition next season. The lost leaves Yorke without a European place if he remains at Villa. Clubs interested in Yorke include Manchester United and Arsenal. It has been reported that the London based Arsenal, has valued Yorke at £10,000,000. The transfer deadline is at month's end. Compounding Yorke's desire to move on is the team's mediocre performance and the resignation of manager Brian Little this season. The lost of Yorke will be devastating to Villa. Yorke is primarily there bread and butter man. One of the things that will keep Yorke at Villa would be the bringing in of Russell Latapy at season's end. Last season Villa wanted Latapy to run there midfield. However, his current club in Portugal decided to keep him for one more year. It is yet to be seen if the current Villa manger views Latapy in the same light as the previous manager did.
The next edition of the Gold Cup will expand from the current twelve teams to sixteen. Concacaf in order to raise more awareness about there main tournament has decided to invite Colombia, Japan and South Korea to the tournament to be held in the USA in the year 2000. Brazil which has been invited to the last two tournaments will also join the party. The Caribbean teams will be picked from the winner and runner's up of the Shell/Umbro tournament in 1998 and 1999. The runner's up in both years will play against the team placing fourth in the Central American championships and Canada to complete the Gold Cup teams.
What is of more concern is the inviting of Colombia. There invitation signals a continuing move by Concacaf to merge with the CSF. CSF is the South American governing body. The main idea is to create a Pan American football body that will rival UEFA. While the prospect of seeing T&T play Chile in Port of Spain is a good one. The fact of the matter is that teams in Concacaf are definitely not as strong as those in South America. South American teams like Bolivia, Peru and Uruguay are licking there chops at the increasing of World Cup spots from six to nine. A World Cup spot is worth a minimum US$750,000. That will be good money to those countires seeking to create and expand programs. There is only one Concacaf team that can compete with South American teams that being Mexico. The USA has it's problems. While they beat Brazil at home last month, if they took there show on the road to Buenos Aires it would be a completely different story. After those two teams there is no team that can compete with South American teams. A fine example is what happened to Costa Rica this year in the Copa America. There full strength team got there tails knocked around. With regard to the currently inform Jamaica, while the tie with Brazil looks good and was well deserved, it came against a team that German manager Berti Vogts described as: "Brazil on vacation."
Concacaf has always had there "flavor of the World Cup." That being the team that jumps up and makes it to the World Cup only to disappear for the next World Cup campaigns. In 1990 it was Costa Rica. This year it is Jamaica. In 2002 it might be T&T. However, if the merger goes through, T&T and the rest of Concacaf can kiss good-bye all there dreams of ever playing in the World Cup. The merger is not going to happen over night but at the current pace look out! T&T will be playing in Bolivia for there World Cup lives sometime in the next century.
In the starting lineup...
Dwight Yorke and Aston Villa will be looking to reach the treasured 42 point mark this weekend when they will play Everton. Clint Marcelle and Barnsley will want to continue there march up the Premiership table when they face Liverpool at home. You can hear all the action by going to the Stadium at 9:30 am on Saturday. Over in Scotland, Anthony Rougier and Hibernian want to continue there winning ways when they face Aberdeen. Marvin Andrews and Raith Rovers face Patrick Thistle. In Portugal, Russell Latapy and Boavista face Benfica. Leonson Lewis and Chaves will face Maritimo. In Switzerland, Jerren Nixon and FC Zurich face FC St. Gallen. Across the atlantic, Stern John and Ansil Elcock and the Columbus Crew will face there fellow T&T counterparts in Mickey Trotman and Brian Haynes from Dallas. Evans Wise and David Nakhid go into action for the first time this season when they face MLS champions DC United.