United States College-based midfielder Duane Muckette has faced Jamaica before at the CONCACAF level, captaining this country’s National Under 17 team in their 2011 CONCACAF Final round clash which ended 2-2.
On Friday he will suit up as the most experienced member of the current T&T Men’s Under 20 team for their opening CONCACAF qualifier against Jamaica at the national stadium in Kingston. Muckette also captained the previous Under 20 team which failed to make the CONCACAF Finals in 2013. He and Akeem Garcia are the only two players from the both that squad and the Under 17 team of 2011 who will be back in action today.
“I expect this game to be a tough one. Jamaica is a very physical team and plays with a fairly good deal of pace,” Muckette told TTFA Media as he looked ahead to the encounter.
“Being the home team doesn’t make it any better for us. However, this is nothing we can’t handle. We will approach the game focusing on us; focus on our game plan and our style,” he continued.
The University of South Florida standout spoke about the recent training camp in Miami, saying it brought some benefits to the team’s readiness for the competition which features top confederation teams such as United States, Panama, Honduras, Mexico, Canada and Mexico among others.
“The Miami training camp was good. It helped for a lot of things. It took the players away, where we were able to focus on football and the task at hand. It caused the players to build a stronger bond and made sure that we are on the same page, as far as what we want for this team and how we’re going to go about trying to achieve it,” he stated.
T&T didn’t have many warm up matches since copping the Caribbean Championship with a 3-0 win over Haiti in Port of Spain in September, but the former Queen's Royal College student felt the two games in Miami played its role in helping the team.
“The games did help. It gave the staff a better idea of the team and what needs to be done. And I am very confident that we will get it right. I am enjoying these players. This is a good bunch of players as well as a good bunch of young men. We are showing the right mentality and spirit towards the tournament. We all understand the task at hand and the importance of it, and we are willing to put that before our personal desires. This team understands the word “team” and this is what makes me confident.
T&T faces Jamaica in their opening match from 8pm tonight (9pm TT time) at the National Stadium in Kingston, United States meets Guatemala and Aruba tackles Panama in their two earlier matches this evening.
Scotiabank sponsors U-20 Tournament
Scotiabank, as part of their recently announced partnership with the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association of Football (CONCACAF), is proud to sponsor the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship tournament and support future football stars.
From January 9-24, 2015, twelve countries will gather in Jamaica to compete in the tournament, which determines the regional youth champion and the Confederation's four qualifiers for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand taking place May 30 to June 20, 2015.
"Scotiabank is proud and thrilled to support these young athletes who all share the same passion for football," said John Doig, Scotiabank's Chief Marketing Officer. "We are looking forward to seeing the future stars of football come together for what promises to be a great tournament."
The 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship tournament will be hosted at the National Stadium in Kingston and the Montego Bay Sports Complex in Montego Bay. The participating countries are Aruba, Canada, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago and the USA. For more information about the tournament and tickets visit http://www.concacaf.com/category/under-20s-men.
On December 9, Scotiabank announced that it has become the Official Bank of CONCACAF and the league's first official partner. As part of this agreement, Scotiabank will also become the title sponsor of the Champions League and the Caribbean Nations Cup and a sponsor of the Gold Cup. The multi-year agreement also includes support for multiple CONCACAF youth tournaments including the 2016 Olympic qualifying events and the Men's and Women's Under-20, Under-17 and Under-15 tournaments. The newly-named Scotiabank Champions League tournament will resume in February 2015.