One reason Kenwyne Jones chose to go on loan to Central FC in his native Trinidad and Tobago was to help him be closer to his national team as they have a busy fall schedule ahead. A key part of that schedule concludes tonight as they play in the ScotiaBank Caribbean Cup qualifiers. The tournament serves as a qualifier for the CONCACAF Gold Cup next summer.
Tonight, they are on the road facing Martinique at the Stade Pierre-Aliker in Fort-de-France. Kickoff is at 8:00 p.m. Both teams won their opening match in the final round of qualifying. Tonight’s game must have a winner due to the Caribbean Football Union’s rules for the competition. Extra time and penalties will be used to decide it in case of a draw in regulation.
Orlando City’s Kevin Molino had a hat trick in Trinidad and Tobago’s 4-0 win over the Dominican Republic on October 5. Martinique defeated the same opponent 2-1 on October 8 to set up tonight’s winner-take-all match.
Heavy rain has prevented the team from training much ahead of the match can could play in part in the game tonight.
As captain of the squad, Jones told assembled Trinidad and Tobago F.A. media:
“We have no doubt that they (Martinique) will come out with the belief that they can get a result and they will come hard. But we have to take care of our game. We know our capabilities which you would have seen being demonstrated in the game last Wednesday and I think once we do things in the right manner and we do it as a team, then there is every reason to believe we can get the result to propel us to the next phase and also the CONCACAF Gold Cup.”
Martinique is an “overseas department” of France and not a member of FIFA. Their national team does participate in Caribbean Football Union and CONCACAF events. Martinique has qualified for the last three Caribbean Cup tournaments and will provide stiff competition for Jones’ Soca Warriors.
Alongside Jones in the squad is Decatur High School graduate Kevan George, who currently plays for the Jacksonville Armada of the NASL. George was born in Trinidad and Tobago before moving to the Decatur area. He played for Concorde Fire and Georgia Soccer’s ODP program before attending the University of Central Florida.