T&T's Soca Warriors sent packing

[DIGICEL CARIBBEAN CHAMPIONSHIP] Trinidad & Tobago, the only Caribbean nation still alive in World Cup 2010 qualifying, has been knocked out of the Digicel Caribbean Championship, which serves as Caribbean qualifying for the 2009 Gold Cup.

Playing without their European-based veterans, the Soca Warriors lost their first game to Grenada, 2-1, on former U.S. collegian Ricky Charles' goal in stoppage time, and they were eliminated when their 1-1 tie with Jamaica in their final Group A game left them in third place. T&T had never failed to reach the semifinals of the Caribbean championship and had missed only two of nine Gold Cups.

Jamaica, coached by former England star John Barnes for the first time since he replaced Rene Simoes, and Grenada finished 1-2 and advanced to the semifinals.

Cuba and Guadeloupe advanced in Group B ahead of defending champion Haiti and Antigua & Barbuda.

Jamaica, Grenada, Cuba and Guadeloupe all clinched berths in next summer's Gold Cup. For Grenada, it is the first time it has advanced to the finals.

The Reggae Boyz featured four MLS players, all U.S. college-bred players: Omar Cummings (Colorado Rapids), Dane Richards (New York Red Bulls), Tyrone Marshall (Toronto FC) and Shavar Thomas (Chivas USA). Haiti's Ricardo Pierre-Louis spent part of the 2008 MLS season with the Columbus Crew.

Jamaican Sean Fraser is one of several USL-1 players competing at the Caribbean championships. His Miami FC teammate Avery John played for Trinidad & Tobago. Puerto Rico Islanders James Marcelin and Osei Telesford played for Haiti and T&T, respectively.  Gason Gregory and Peter Byers, signed by the Montreal Impact late in the 2008 season, represented Antigua & Barbuda.

GROUP A
Dec. 3 in Kingston
Grenada 2 (Bain 39, Charles 90) Trinidad & Tobago 1 (Glenn 68).
Jamaica 2 (Austin 75, Shelton 81) Barbados 1 (Williams 47).
Dec. 5 in Montego Bay
Jamaica 4 (Vernan 6, Shelton 17, Williams 53, Phillips 78) Grenada 0.
Trinidad & Tobago 2 (McFarlane 43, 73) Barbados 1 (Goodridge 13).
Dec. 7 in Trelawny
Jamaica 1 (Vernan 46) Trinidad & Tobago 1 (McFarlane 80).
Grenada 4 (Bain 11, 26, 66, Julien 20) Barbados 2 (Williams 70, 78).

GROUP B
Dec. 4 in Montego Bay
Cuba 2 (Linares 8, 74) Guadeloupe 1 (Hanany 26).
Haiti 1 (Norde 51) Antigua & Barbuda 1 (Byers 70).
Dec. 6 in Trelawny
Cuba 3 (Marquez 7, Linares 21, Colome 35) Antigua & Barbuda 0.
Guadeloupe 3 (Antoine-Curier 14, Nicoise 17, Lambourde 90) Haiti 2 (Boucicaut 44, Enderson 68).
Dec. 8 in Montego Bay
Guadeloupe 2 Antigua & Barbuda 2
Haiti 1 Cuba 0

SEMIFINALS
Dec. 11 in Kingston
Jamaica vs. Guadeloupe
Cuba vs. Grenada

THIRD-PLACE GAME
Dec. 14 in Kingston

FINAL
Dec. 14 in Kingston

 

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