Training camps are complete, friendlies played, and now national teams are en route to cities across North America for the start of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Tuesday.
T2 forward Rundell Winchester and the Trinidad & Tobago National Team are heading to Chicago, where the Soca Warriors will open their ninth Gold Cup appearance on Thursday against Guatemala at Soldier Field.
One of the youngest players on the squad, Winchester, 21, is hitting his stride at the right time as he enters his first Gold Cup. The Plymouth, Tobago, native scored twice for the T&T U-23 National Team in CFU Olympic qualifying in late June. With the senior national team, Winchester assisted on the game-winning goal in a 1-0 victory against Haiti in the Soca Warriors’ final tune-up friendly ahead of the Gold Cup late last week.
The play of Winchester has caught the eye of T&T head coach Stephen Hart, who highlighted the performance of his forwards in his post-game comments after the Haiti friendly.
“They are three sort of dynamic players (and) they love to run behind,” said Hart. “They are players that have good pace and energy.”
The Soca Warriors have a roster filled with players who play professionally across the globe, including three who play in Major League Soccer – midfielders Cordell Cato (San Jose Earthquakes), Kevin George (Columbus Crew) and Joevin Jones (Chicago Fire).
T&T will compete in Group C alongside Cuba and Mexico, the team that knocked the Soca Warriors out of the quarterfinals of the 2013 tournament. Here is the full schedule for T&T at the 2015 Gold Cup:
|Thurs., July 9||Guatemala||Soldier Field||Chicago||4 p.m.||FOX Sports 2 / UDN|
|Sun., July 12||Cuba||Univ. of Phoenix Stadium||Glendale, Ariz.||3:30 p.m.||FOX Sports 2|
|Wed., July 15||Mexico||Bank of America Stadium||Charlotte, NC||5:30 p.m.||FOX Sports 2|
Click here for a complete Group C preview from MLSsoccer.com.