Trinidad and Tobago enter their CONCACAF Gold Cup opener against Guatemala on a goal drought, but coach Stephen Hart is confident of turning around their fortunes in Chicago.
The two nations meet in their Group C opener at Soldier Field on Thursday, with Guatemala’s form shading that of their opponents.
Guatemala advanced in CONCACAF’s World Cup qualifying with a 1-0 aggregate win over Bermuda in June, before suffering a 4-0 loss to United States in a friendly on Friday.
Officially, Hart’s men are without a goal in 450 international minutes dating back to the Caribbean Cup in November – but did earn a 1-0 win over Haiti behind closed doors, also on Friday, in an unofficial friendly.
In turn, Haiti put in a gutsy performance in their Gold Cup opener on Tuesday – stealing a point late in a 1-1 draw with Panama in Texas.
Hart said he is confident Jonathan Glenn can show his qualities – the Iceland-based forward is in form.
Glenn, who plays for IBV, has scored in five of his past seven club games, and is set to add to his two substitute appearances for Trinidad and Tobago at the Caribbean Cup.
Goal-scoring midfielder Kadeem Corbin and Portland Timbers attacker Rundell Winchester, meanwhile, have plenty of upside, according to Hart.
“They are three sort of dynamic players that have good pace and energy,” Hart said, as reported by the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian.
“I think both Corbin and Winchester need to learn how to use their qualities better.
“Glenn is almost a pure finisher. He runs behind and he is very composed in the finishing. Overall I am quite pleased [with our preparation] so far.”
Guatemala’s second-leg win over Bermuda in World Cup qualifying was their first triumph since their run to the Copa Centroamericana final in September, which saw them put together a five-match winning streak.
Their Argentine coach Ivan Sopegno will hope Marco Pappa – the Copa Centroamericana leading scorer with four goals – can fire again, having got the Seattle Sounders man back onside for the national outfit.
Each of forwards Pappa and Carlos Ruiz were part of an international boycott late in 2014, but Sopegno has the pair available to lead Guatemala’s charge towards breaking their Gold Cup drought.
They have not won the tournament since 1967, and have just two quarter-final appearances to show for their past seven campaigns in the event.
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