The Women Show The Way

Marc Purcell
Date Published: 

When you consider that the team was thrown together at the last minute, had little in the way of sponsors or resources and to a greater extent respect; The Trinidad and Tobago women's team showed more determination, guts and "balls" than there male counterparts in the Women's Concacaf World Cup qualifiers held in Toronto earlier this month. They finished the tournament with a very respectable 1-1-1 record. In fact the women just missed qualifying for the second round of the tournament.

In there first game versus Haiti, Izler Brown put the women in the lead after 45 seconds. Haiti leveled the score six minutes into the second half but T&T went ahead for good in the 72nd minute on a break away by Delia De Silva. Nicole Mitchell the goalkeeper saved a Haitian penalty to preserve the 2-1 win for T&T.

The second game was the killer for T&T. They faced Costa Rica, the team that placed third in the tournament. Costa Rica benefited from a two generous "penalty" decisions inside the first twenty minutes that made the climb too much for the Calypso girls. Vasha Maharaj made the score line 2-1 in the 44th minute. In the second half the ladies came out firing on all cylinders. Trinidad and Tobago dominated the second half. Delia De Silva made some strong runs on the the left wing. However, T&T failed to capitalize on there scoring chances much to the disappointment of the pro T&T crowd. Costa Rica went on to win 3-1 which left T&T with the enormous task of beating Mexico to reach the second round.

In the final game with Mexico the women showed why they will be one of the few bright spots of the year. In a closely fought game Trinidad and Tobago tied Mexico 2-2. With the score 1-0 in favor of the Mexicans, Izler Brown leveled the score in the 31st minute. The score line was 1-1 at the half. Trinidad and Tobago had to fight from a 2-1 deficit after the 68th minute. Delia De Silva scored nine minutes from time to make the final score respectable. The star of the game turned out to be Germain Gordon. Germain a defender by trade, became the emergency goalkeeper after Nicole Mitchell injured her neck in a mid-air collision at the stroke of half time. She made several good saves and looked sharp in the net. However, the tie meant that T&T failed to qualify for the final round. Mexico went on to finish second behind eventual tournament winners Canada.

After the tournament, Fifa Vice President Jack Warner stated that he will dedicate the resources necessary for the starting up of a women's league in Trinidad. The TTFA also extended the contract of Jamal Shabazz as head coach of the women's team for the next four years.

Mr. John takes the lead.

"When you are this big they call you Mr." That phrase best describes Stern John. John is now the leading goal scorer in the MLS. John has 20 goals in 22 games and is two clear goals ahead of the nearest competitor. His nine goal blitz in August not only moved the Columbus Crew into the playoffs but made him MLS player of the month.

Additional links: Here is an interview conducted by MLSNET about Stern. Quicktime Video of Stern scoring number twenty.

Stern John's scoring accomplishment has not gone unnoticed by European teams. There is strong speculation that John will leave Columbus at season's end. According to the Weekend Independent in Trinidad John is currently being courted by former Newcastle United manager Kevin Keegan. Keegan currently at Fulham in the English First division. However, two teams have stepped forward in there quest for Stern John. They include English Premiership Charlton Athletic, Scottish Premiership club Celtic and Dutch club side Feyenoord.

John will not have to go on a trial with the English clubs since both Athletic and Celtic have expressed a willingness to sign John on what they have seen on live television and from video footage of his matches. His manager Alvin Corneal stated that Keegan has made arrangements with Eddie Comanie of Charlton for John. However, Corneal will fly to England to finalize the arrangements.

Corneal said that John had all the qualities of Dwight Yorke and would make it in English football. "If anything, I would give Stern the edge because of his aggression." John will stay with the Crew until November when the playoffs ends and then will travel to England. Also seeking the move is his cousin Ansil Elcock. Corneal stated that they will try to work out a package deal for the two. Barring that Elcock will stay in the MLS with a higher salary.

Yorke paying off.

When Dwight Yorke moved to Manchester United the phrase surrounding Alex Fergusion's purchase was a new spin on the US' cable station Art and Entertainment's slogan: "Time well spent." Some may of said it was: "Money well wasted." However, Dwight Yorke is showing why interest was so keen in the Tobago born striker.

Yorke has scored three goals in his last two games with Manchester United. He scored a double versus Charlton Athletic in his home debut for the club on Wednesday night. His first goal was scored when he headed home a curled shot from David Beckham. His second goal was scored when a missed cross fell nicely to Yorke who buried a shot past the goalkeeper.

He scored again on Saturday when a paried shot fell to Yorke's teammate Paul Scholes. Scholes played it back in for Yorke who mis-kicked it into an open net.

Yorke made the newspapers in England earlier in the week for his off the field exploits. You will not see anything related to that reported here in TTFOL. The reason being that what consenting adults do in the privacy of there bedrooms is no concern of mine. It should never be splashed across the front page of a newspaper to increase sales.