Trinidad Soccer Official Guarantees Win Over U.S.

Chris Baker
Date Published: 
Los Angeles Times

USA vs Trinidad & Tobago programUSA vs Trinidad & Tobago program

TORRANCE, Calif. — Oliver Camps, manager of the national soccer team of Trinidad and Tobago, is confident that his club will beat the United States in a World Cup qualifying match today at El Camino College.

"Officially, I can guarantee that the Trinidad team is going to win," Camps said. "I can guarantee that.

"We are confident because we know exactly what level we have reached. I would be failing in my duty as a manager if I did not feel confident that we could win."

What do the U.S. players think of Camps' guarantee?

"Making predictions that they're going to win is not right, especially in our home country," said goalie David Valone. "I could see them making predictions at home, but not here.

"I don't believe that (predictions) should be made before the game by a team like Trinidad. We respect them, but we're at home and we should win. That will just help us focus."

While Camps was making predictions, Everald Cummings, coach of Trinidad and Tobago, was complaining about sabotage.

As Trinidad and Tobago was scrimmaging at Torrance park Wednesday, the sprinklers went on. The players got soaked and practice was interrupted for 20 minutes.

"Maybe they thought we shouldn't be training so they put on the sprinklers to get rid of us," Cummings said. "What was strange was that the sprinklers went on in the middle of the field from one goal to the next. They came on because somebody knew what they were doing.

"That was a nasty thing to do. This is a country you're dealing with and not some little club in the park. We're supposed to be guests here."

Did Cummings think the United States Soccer Federation was responsible?

"I can't say for sure if they did it," Cummings said. "But it happened to us in America. We don't treat people like that in Trinidad.

"I know people will try all sorts of things to humiliate you before a game and take you off your psyche."

Camps said he had seen American scouts at the park shortly before the sprinklers came on.