Date: Wednesday 1st April 2009
Location: LP Field, Nashville, Tennessee
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"I am a Soca Warrior. I say win or lose I am ah fighter. I'm a Soca Warrior ..."
Sound up Maximus Dan - "Fighter (Soca Warrior)". Well that was the call both before and after the game. Every Soca Warrior came out of their hole to attend this 2010 World Cup Qualifier. From the looks of the parking lot around 4.30pm, at least on one side, yuh would swear we had home field advantage. Every man woman and child dressed in TnT colors was pumped even before the kick off whistle at LP Field in Nashville, TN on Wednesday April 1st, 2009.
As we pull into the parking lot, play yuh ent know ... is ah pelau we start to smell So we pull ah park and follow we nose to ah boss pot by ah small van where Newton, Brewster and dey whole crew was liming. With the back of the soccer mom van open, drinks and food sharing ... and while dat happening, de lil' smally Indian guyl trying to get in every picture boy ... allyuh watch and see for allyuh self. But guess what? It was like ah cook off to begin with .... cause ah Atlanta crew now come off de bus route and pull eeen ah small maxi (well not really, but yuh get meh drift) and pull out ah serious stew chicken breds ... with Roti Skins!! Laaaaawwwwwwwdddddd ... is rel ting. So we change direction one time! Who would believe we come there to watch ah football game, eh? Pressure.
We ran into ah Trinbago crew from San Francisco, and then one from Long Island, NY. And as we began to roam, it was almost raining Trini's from everywhere - Alabama, Mississippi, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, South Carolina, Chicago (IL), North Carolina, New Orleans, Houston, Florida and we sure from every other city/state in the US. But we must mention Georgia, specifically the city of Atlanta, that went the distance to support our Soca Warriors. With the amount of Trini's that show up from Atlanta, yuh would swear d' whole ah Trinidad show up!! 5 bus loads deep ... and that is at least what we know of. Trinidad's very own, Nigel Fabian had organized the entire thing. Allyuh remember him? Courts You Can at Courts? Well he handle things nice. Big up Nigel. We even see ah crew from Germany who just came in for the game. And this crew said they have a Roller Soccer thing in Germany. TJJ Germany ... we need to explore that!
While in the parking lot, we had to laugh yes. Ah man pull out ah ball ... well look ting! Then ah next man bring two car oil bottles .... allyuh believe that was for small goal??!! Seriously. And I don't know if allyuh know, but I am, well at least I was ah long time footballer for QRC and ting. So play yuh don't know, but it's sweat ... YES, is two ah side going on in the parking lot. I tell yuh, we see more ballers outside than we see playing the actual match.
So after about an hour and and some Powerade, we headed inside LP Field. Talk about a beautiful setting. The field was well manicured, the weather was perfect and the fans, regardless of country, were all jubilant. The Atlanta posse had a massive rhythm section led by De Pan Yard man himself, Charles. It was pure niceness. I think the only time the rhythm section stopped playing was for the singing of the National Anthem and the moment of silence for those who lost their lives in the WCQ in the Ivory Coast a few days earlier. And even then, someone had to beg the iron man to stop jamming.
During the warm, we could see Latas and Yorky doing their thing. And even though we knew York was not playing, we were ready. Everybody in the crowd was feeling the victory for TnT. Even Toast and Rudder and dem boys from the Spartanburg/Greenville area in SC was ready. Dem fellas did not stop jamming. Even before the game started, they were shouting, "T & T .... we want ah goal .... T & T ..... we want ah goal!!" Things were feeling good for us.
The game started on time, right at 6.45pm and it was nonstop action and serious ball. From left to right. But the bigger action was by the Atlanta section. The only time they stopped playing was when Stern John control the ball on his chest and turn to beat ah man, or when Kenwyne Jones make ah rush at de last stopper. Or for the play of the game (for T&T) when Carlos Edwards pick up ah ball in his 18 yard box, and push it twice towards half line, and as DeMarcus Beadsly rush him, he push it past him and end up in USA's 18 yard box. Well is now the crowd gone mad. Edwards then play ah best cross to John, who 'accidentally' let the ball bounce off his shins. Hmmmmmmmm .... the crowd went frantic then got silent all in the space of 20 seconds ... long enough for the iron man to strike up another rhythm, and it was right back into d' action.
As the game ended with Trinidad and Tobago losing 3-0, all the coaches came out ... if yuh hear coaching! Who should done what and played where, who should have gone wide and sat deep, and who should have started or benched. If one had stayed there any longer, you might have come out with a coaching license yes. It was sad to see the loss but it was good to see familiar faces. Even ex-national youth team player and QRC legend Jeremy 'Checky' Short was there, and Willo from CIC, and even Josh Stewart ... ah big time balller (who needs to be on the team) was chilling out. But who knows.
Now just as we were making our way to the exit, there was a bit of commotion by the front gate. Well yuh know TJJ going to get ah shot of that! Well guess what? The rhythm section start up ah session and even have the Americans brucking out to we tunes. That was Awesome baby ... with a capital A!
As the evening came to a close, the famous Doggy began to do his thing ... going down to the ground with some serious balancing skills with a TnT flag as ah face mask. The lime ended just where it started - in the parking lot - with the Soca Warriors fans singing to the top of their voices .... "I am a Soca Warrior. I say win or lose I am ah fighter. I'm a Soca Warrior ..."
JoyJuice ... Outside wit dat!