Caledonia to make or break communication in Concacaf Champions League

Caledonia AIA, presently in its second consecutive Concacaf Champions League campaign, will tackle Guatemala’s Deportivo Comunicaciones on Thursday from 8pm at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in search of its
first overall win of the CCL.

The 64 year-old Guatemala City based club, nearly twice the age of the 34 year-old Caledonia, is the second most successful Guatemalan club behind CSD Municipal and is considered the most popular in that country.

Meantime Caledonia AIA, the 2012-13 Digicel Pro League runners-up behind winners Defence Force, have been gaining popularity over the years with a number of domestic knockout and FA Trophy titles, and are also the 2012 Caribbean champions.

But as the two clubs meet for the first time in their history,
Caledonia and Comunicacions share something in common. Group 6 favourites and leaders with 6 points, Mexico’s Deportivo Toluca, defeated them both in their opening 2013-14 CCL matches.

Caledonia were defeated 3-1 at the Estadio Nemesio Díez, Mexico City which stands 8,793 feet above sea level—an altitude favouring home teams—on August 6, while Comunicaciones went under 2-1 at home—the Estadio Cementos Progreso, Guatemala City—on August 22.

"A loss for either team [on Thursday] will put us out, so this makes the contest very interesting," said Caledonia technical director/head coach Jamaal Shabazz.

He added, "Comunicaciones played a very physical game against Toluca. I expect them to be just as aggressive against us."

Caledonia, which debuted in the CCL last season, finishing winless at the bottom of its group involving Major League Soccer (MLS) club Seattle Sounders and Honduran outfit CD Marathón, hunts an improved showing this time around.

"Its got to be now," continued Shabazz. "We are taking the experience as it comes. We qualified for this (Champions) League and now we are here, its time to earn our keep.

"We need to work hard and play with passion and desire, and let the result come out of our efforts and performance."

Shabazz named a 19-man squad for the Comunicaciones contest which includes goalkeepers, Grenadian, Shemel Louison and Glenroy Samuel, Antiguan Akeem Thomas, Nuru Muhammad, Noel Williams, Kareem Joseph, Aubrey David, Jamaal Smith, Stephan David, Keyon Edwards, Argentine Miguel Alejandro Romeo, Nathan Lewis, new midfield signing Tyrone Charles, Marcus Ambrose, Abdallah Phillips, Jamal Gay, Densill Theobald, Aaron Lester and Keron Betelmy.

"We have a good spirit in the team and a strong group feeling to succeed," shared the Caledonia boss. "We had warm up matches against W Connection (2-1 win) and Defence Force (1-1 draw) and look forward to (Thursday's) game.

Next in the CCL, Caledonia will welcome Toluca on Wednesday 18 September at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, then travel to Guatemala on Wednesday 25 September against Comunicaciones at the Estadio Cementos Progreso. Toluca and Comunicaciones will later wrap up the group matches against each other on Wednesday 23 October in Mexico City