Youth: USA's toughest U-20 qualifying opponent in turmoil again

Trinidad & Tobago is supposed to be the toughest opponent in the six-team group in which the USA will kick off the three-week Concacaf U-20 men's championship on Nov. 1, but the status of the U-20 Soca Warriors is up in the air because of financial problems affecting numerous T&T national teams.

The T&T U-20s have not trained since July when they played in the Central American and Caribbean Games, where they lost all three games. Wired 868 reported that the Trinidad & Tobago Football Association had not paid the U-20 coaches and the head coach Russell Latapy blamed the problem on "the perceived disrespect shown to the staff by [TTFA] president David John-Williams."

The USA was one of six seeds for the Concacaf U-20 Championship in Bradenton, Florida. Only the six group winners advance to the semifinal round of qualifying from which the top two teams in each of the two three-team groups will qualify for the 2019 U-20 World Cup.

T&T was drawn from the first of five pots of Concacaf teams, so it is presumably the toughest team the USA will face in the first phase. The other teams in Group A are Puerto Rico, Suriname, the U.S. Virgin Islands and St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

The U-20s aren't the only T&T team in turmoil. The T&T senior women have qualified for the final round of Women's World Cup in Concacaf but don't have a coach. Nor does the T&T U-17 men's national team, which hasn't trained since April.
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