Maturana joins Soca Warriors

The team checked in at the Radisson Plaza Hotel and Corneal conducted a light practice session at 6 pm.

The unit was expected to be joined yesterday by their interim head coach Francisco Maturana, as the Colombian commences his tenure with the Soca Warriors ahead of the original schedule.

Maturana was slated to take up duties from February 1 leading up to the friendly against Guadeloupe at the Queen’s Park Oval on February 6 but he has brought forward his arrival and Corneal welcomes the South American’s decision to be present for the game.

“It’s put a different spin on it and it’s definitely a positive one,” Corneal said in a TT Football Federation (TTFF) Media story. “It’s a situation now where we have our head coach beginning his tenure with a national team away from home, so there will be various points on this trip which hold a lot of significance. “I am looking forward to his presence here because as a coach holding the position that I am at the moment, it is again a learning experience and he (Maturana) has already signalled his intentions to work along with the present staff members,” Corneal said.

“I am quite sure too that the players will see it as a way to get to know the coach and to have him know them a little bit earlier than we had expected,” Corneal added. The 18-man squad has Trent Noel as captain with a few regular faces from the TT Pro League who have had international experience over the past 12 months.

Chicago Fire defender Osei Telesford is also here while Charleston Battery striker Andre Toussaint along with young defender Kern Cupid and Nickelson Thomas have experience the game in Puerto Rico while on duty with W Connection.

Puerto Rico, coached by Northern Island-born Colin Clarke, are coming off consecutive victories over Bermuda last week.

They also have four players from American A-League outfit Puerto Rico Islanders and are currently ranked 196th on FIFA’s world list and 21st by the Caribbean Football Union (CFU). TT are rated 78th by FIFA and third in the CFU behind Cuba and Haiti.

The match is set for tonight at 8 o’clock. (CMC)


"Maturana joins Soca Warriors"

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