Vesprey bites hand as T&T U-17s beat Jamaica 1-0 in Kingston

Jamaican forward Akel Vesprey scored the decisive goal against the country he now calls home as he guided the Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Under-17 Team to a 1-0 victory against the young “Reggae Boyz”.

Vesprey got a last-gasp winner for the Soca Warriors who had the upper hand despite long spells of playing on the backfoot at the Jamaica Football Federation technical center in Kingston.

Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Akel Vesprey (left) tries to hold the ball off Jamaican midfielder Duwayne Burgher during international under-15 friendly action at Mannie Ramjohn Stadium on July 25, 2023.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/Wired868

Coach Shawn Cooper traveled without some of his more experienced players, such as midfield playmaker Cayden Trestail, utility player Criston Gomez, defender Sheridan McNish and goalkeeper Makaya Taylor.

And he gave four teenagers their first international starts tonight: defenders Antonio Hills, Jimally Renne and Jaydon Caprietta, and midfielder Alejandro Harper.

Flanker Dimitre Jones and midfielders Adasa Richardson and Antuan Louison also wore the national colors for the first time as they saw action from the substitutes’ bench.

Richardson, a Naparima College student and Cox Coaching School player, is just 14 years old and is expected to represent Trinidad and Tobago in the 2024 Concacaf Under-15 Championship, which starts in August.

Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Riquelme Phillips (centre) tries to hold off Jamaican opponent Kai Myles (right) during under-15s international friendly action at Mannie Ramjohn Stadium on July 25, 2023.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/Wired868

However, it was the more seasoned Vesprey who decided the match.

The former Naparima College flanker moved to Jamaica to represent Munro College earlier this year. And he made the most of his local knowledge to help Trinidad and Tobago get their tour off to a positive start.


Trinidad and Tobago: Mikhail Clement (GK); Jeremiah Daniel, Salim Soanes (Keston Richards), Antonio Hills (Dimitre Jones), Jaydon Caprietta; Jimally Renne; Jasai Theophilus (Antuan Louison), Nikosi Foncette (captain), Alejandro Harper (Seth Hadeed), Riquelme Phillips (Akel Vesprey); Jonathan Mason (Adasa Richardson).

Unused substitutes: Necose Moore (GK), Eran McLeod, Kyron Baptiste, Jayden Christophe, Josiah Simmons.

Coach: Shawn Cooper