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Bulls Abroad: Trinidad and Tobago U-20s take fourth in CFU U-20 Championship

Noah Powder and the T&T U-20s cleared the hurdle they cared most about in their recent CFU tournament, but flubbed their finish.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Trinidad and Tobago Men's U-20 National Team achieved its primary objective for October's Caribbean Football Union U-20 Championship when it qualified for the semifinals of the tournament. That achievement guaranteed T&T a place in next year's CONCACAF U-20 Championship, thereby securing the team a shot at qualification for the 2017 U-20 World Cup.

But the young Soca Warriors stumbled into the knockout rounds of the CFU tournament absent primary scoring threat Nicholas Dillon and 16-year-old rising star Isaiah Hudson, who left the squad under unusual circumstances outlined by Trinidadian outlet Wired 868.

In their semifinal against Antigua and Barbuda on October 28, the T&T U-20s kept their fourth consecutive clean sheet, but lost in the ensuing penalty shootout.

Against Bermuda in the third-place playoff, the Soca Warriors' defense was finally breached. T&T slumped to a 2-1 loss. Haiti won the tournament, beating Antigua and Barbuda, 4-0, in the final. Les Grenadiers are now the reigning CFU Men's champions at both the U-20 and U-17 levels.

New York Red Bulls' Academy graduate Noah Powder was ever-present for T&T throughout the CFU tournament and should certainly be in the mix when a squad is named for February's CONCACAF Championship.

However, T&T U-20s' head coach Brian Williams left Curacao expressing disappointment at his side's flop in the knockout rounds and promising to take another look at his player pool in November. As reported by TTFA Media, Williams has a November training camp ahead of him, and he intends to make good use of it:

We’ll have a two-week break and then we will get back to the training field. My coaching staff and I will be opening up the squad again and I will welcome the chance to include any player that I think is disciplined enough and capable enough to represent the country and bring something extra to the squad, that could bolster our chances at the Concacaf level.