Team Bahamas set to host Trinidad and Tobago

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Simba FrenchSend an emailMarch 20, 2023 288 3 minute readFacebookTwitterLinkedInShare via Email

 The Bahamas senior men’s national soccer team goes through a practice session at Roscow A.L. Davies Soccer Field at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre. The Bahamas will play Trinidad and Tobago in its CONCACAF Nations League B Group C match at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium at 4 p.m. on Friday. DANTE CARRER

The Bahamas senior men’s national soccer team has been preparing for its final window of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Nations League B Group C action. They will kick off that window with a key match against Trinidad and Tobago at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium this Friday at 4 p.m.

The Nassau Guardian caught up with the team during one of its practice sessions at the Roscow A.L. Davies Soccer Field, as overseas players flew in to join the local players.

Head Coach for The Bahamas Nesly Jean said that he and his coaching staff, that includes Kevin Davies and Avery Kemp, have been looking at the new players over the past few weeks, integrating them into the team’s sessions.

“We had some friendly games against Turks and Caicos, so it was good to look at them. We were able to look at the team and see how far we are, and how far we are with the new guys,” Jean said.

Veteran ‘Swiss Knife’ Lesly St. Fleur returns to the team and looks to guide the young squad into this next window.

“Playing with the young guys is a pleasure – to do so with my experience and to give my knowledge to them about the game is something that I welcome. They are the future. It’s going to be an exciting game (against Trinidad and Tobago), knowing that we drew 0-0 with them the last time we played here. They have something to prove so they are coming to play hard, and we will be ready for the task ahead,” St. Fleur said.

St. Fleur has scored the lone goal for The Bahamas in Group C play.

The overseas players are in the country and Jean is anticipating them and the local players getting on the same page.

“I am looking forward to seeing these players come in and perform well,” Jean said. “I want to see them step up to the level that they have been playing overseas and bring up the local guys to the same level. Once everyone is on the same page, I think we will do well.”

One of those overseas players, Christopher Rahming, came in last week. The towering midfielder said he is anticipating that they will do well.

“We have to win these games to stay in League B. I am hoping we get control of the game early on Friday, ensure that everyone get a touch on the ball early and build up confidence. That is one thing that we didn’t do during the Trinidad game the last time, where it seems we were afraid to pass the ball. That is the main focus for me,” Rahming said.

The Bahamas sits in third place in the group with a 1-3 win/loss record and three points. Trinidad and Tobago are in second place with a 3-1 record and nine points. In its second game in this window, The Bahamas will head to St. Vincent and the Grenadines to play that nation. St. Vincent and the Grenadines sport a 0-1-3 win/draw/loss record and have one point. They sit in fourth place in the group. The Bahamas’ only win in the group came against St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a 1-0 victory.

The Bahamas is hoping to get a spot in the CONCACAF Gold Cup qualification tournament this summer. They will need to win both matches and get some help from Nicaragua for a chance to play in that tournament.

“Some of these guys felt Gold Cup for the first time a few years back,” Jean said. “They are excited about the games coming up. I think we have a chance as well looking at the points in our group. I feel like if we make that step and work hard and give everything on the field these two games, we will have a chance to go through to the Gold Cup.”

Jean said that it is good to see that The Bahamas can compete with teams like Trinidad and Tobago.

“Most of the players from Trinidad and Tobago play at a high level professionally,” Jean said. “It only encourages us in that we have made a step forward as we can compete in the region. We have analyzed their videos and watched their games for the past few years and see how we can try and go through their lines and score some goals. We don’t want to sit back because we feel that we can compete and play with them.”

The 22-man roaster will officially be named today.

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