St. Paul, Minnesota.- Trinidad and Tobago Head Coach Dennis Lawrence became a national hero in 2005 when on his 61st cap for his national team, he scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Bahrain, a historic result that sent Trinidad and Tobago to its first ever FIFA World Cup at Germany 2006.
When asked on Monday how much impact that iconic side still has in terms of inspiration for this current squad, Lawrence smiled.
“I would have to say, none,” the coach responded with a laugh in his pre-match press conference ahead of Tuesday’s 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup opening match versus Panama in Group D.
“Now I say that because sometimes you have conversations with the players, and you realize they don’t actually know that much about the history, because they are just that young.”
Lawrence then spoke of his desires for this 2019 Trinidad and Tobago team.
“We try to educate the boys as much as we can on the history and what it all means,” Lawrence said. “But what I want from them, and what they want from themselves, is to create their own history.”
As for those young and hungry players within this Trinidad and Tobago squad, MF Leston Paul was upbeat when asked about the vibe going into the opener against Panama.
“The players are hyped,” said Paul. “As young players, these are fun moments.”
“We want to go out there and express ourselves,” Paul continued. “And of course, we want to get the win. But in doing all that, I think you have to have some fun with it. Everyone is excited and ready for the game tomorrow.”
Trinidad and Tobago takes on Panama on Tuesday at Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minnesota. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 ET, to be followed by the United States vs. Guyana, kicking off at 10 ET.