Teams started arriving on Thursday and among those coming to the twin islands is American A-League campaigners Puerto Rico Islanders who have a few international players
The Islanders lost in the semi-finals of this season’s A-League season and their coach Colin Clarke is confident his team’s chances are good in the Club Championship.
“We are anxious to be in the tournament and are looking forward to the second round to play with the top teams. It is going to be a tough event, but exciting,” Clarke said on the club’s website.
Current Panama national team midfielder Victor Herrera Piggott is a key member of the Islanders team. Piggott is also a past player with Mexican teams Toluca and Necaxa.
The club also has Panama national team goalkeeper Gustavo Avila who lined up against TT in the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup and World Cup qualifiers.
Young Panama midfielder Carlos Juan Torres is among the key players in the team as well as Croatian-born midfielder Goran Vujanovic.
They also have goalkeeper Josh Saunders who was with MLS team Chicago Fire at the beginning of the season. He had been initially drafted by the San Jose Earthquakes in 2003 and is also a former LA Galaxy player.
The rest of the team includes Peruvian born defender Ruben Diaz, Puerto Rican national team defender Alexis Rivera, former Cuban national team forward Alberto Delgado, former LA Galaxy defender David Johnson and defender Jorge Ramirez who has four appearances for the Peru senior team.
The Puerto Ricans were expected yesterday before taking on Jamaica’s Harbour View tomorrow at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium from 5 pm.
The TT teams competing are Joe Public and CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh. Joe Public face Helenites FC of US Virgin Islands at the Marvin Lee Stadium from 5 pm.
Jabloteh have a bye as their initial opponents Positive Vibes of the US Virgin Islands withdrew from the tournament on Thursday.
The first round group winners along with the three best second- place teams will advance to the quarter-finals on November 11 at the Marvin Lee Stadium and Marabella’s Manny Ramjohn Stadium.
The tournament semi-finals and final will take place at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain on November 14 and 16, respectively.
The Caribbean winner will progress to the 2008 CONCACAF Champions’ Cup, consisting of eight teams, joining the defending champion Pachuca CF, another Mexican side; DC United, one more club from the USA; along with three Central American clubs.