Tuesday 08 March 2016
Trinidad and Tobago Men’s Senior Team have secured a high profile friendly international against Uruguay, the national team of Barcelona star forward Luis Suarez, on May 27 in Montevideo, Uruguay.
This, according to the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA), was finalised following initial discussions led by TTFA president David John-Williams.
Uruguay have won the FIFA World Cup in 1930 and 1950 and have appeared at 12 World Cups. The South American powerhouse have also won the Copa America a record fifteen times, with their most recent in 2011.
Presently ranked 11th in the world by FIFA, “La Celeste (The Sky Blue One) are also currently second to Ecuador on the South American World Cup 2018 qualifying table ahead of Argentina, Brazil and Colombia. So far they have defeated Bolivia, Chile and Colombia (3-0), suffering a 2-1 loss to Ecuador. Their next World Cup qualifier is against Brazil on March 25.
“This is a definitely the kind of match we were looking for during the period in May,” T&T head coach Stephen Hart told the TTFA media.
T&T will meet Grenada in an international friendly on March 19 from 7pm at the National Stadium in St. George’s Grenada in preparation for back-to-back World Cup 2018 qualifiers against St. Vincent and the Grenadines on March 25 in Kingston and March 29 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Trinidad.
“Following our next two World Cup qualifiers, there is a bit of a break before we resume in September and not going to the Copa America means that we would need to set up our own matches, and this match against Uruguay will be a very good exercise and a quality test for us,” Hart said.
“Playing in Montevideo is also the kind of experience our players need, particularly those who may not always be exposed to these type of conditions. We’ve all heard of how difficult it is to play in Uruguay which makes this opportunity even more worthwhile for us in the midst of our qualifying campaign.”
Oscar Tabarez, 69, a former school teacher with over 30 years in coaching, including stints in Colombia, Argentina Italy and Spain, is the Uruguay national team coach. His current squad includes a star-studded cast which includes Barcelona’s Suarez, Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani, Atletico Madrid duo Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez and Boca Juniors’ Nicolas Lodeiro, as well as Cristhian Stuani of Middlesbrough and Abel Hernandez Hull City among others.
“We know how important it is to secure matches against top quality opposition and we feel very satisfied about being able to get this match arranged against Uruguay, a team that is as high as eleventh in the world today,” said John-Williams. “They will be heading into the Copa America and of course they have a rich history as well. This was just a case of us doing our job to ensure that the national team of Trinidad and Tobago receives this sort of timely opportunity in its continuing quest to go forward on the international football stage.
Hart is expected to announce his squad, mainly made up of local-based players, this week for the upcoming friendly international against Grenada on March 19.
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