World Cup Dreams

Underdog World Cup participant Trinidad and Tobago was not expected to make any noise in this year’s international tournament. But, they wound up causing a racket.
With St. John’s graduate Brent Sancho anchoring the team’s defense, “T&T” stunned the world when they managed a 0-0 tie with Sweden in front of a crowd of 65,000 in Dortmund, Germany.
Their second match was against powerhouse England. Led by superstar and celebrity David Beckham as team captain, they were held scoreless throughout the first half thanks to an excellent Trinidad and Tobago defense.
Despite hanging in against a much stronger opponent throughout the first half, Trinidad and Tobago fell 2-0 on two late goals.
By this time, however, they had given England a good scare and the team had proven to be a fan favorite. They were energetic, likeable and unexpectedly good. Few were more exciting than the man with the dreadlocks and long beard that held opposing strikers at bay.
“I wouldn’t think when I was at St. John’s in my wildest dreams that I would be playing football now and representing Trinidad at the World Cup,” said Sancho, according to
In their final match against Paraguay, they lost 2-0. Sancho had a poor game, picking up a yellow card and an own goal in the loss, and Trinidad and Tobago was eliminated from the tournament.
However, they left their mark on the biggest soccer stage in the world and proved that they belonged in their first ever World Cup appearance.
They leave Germany with their heads held high.
“The players have shown they can play at this level,” said team coach Leo Beenhakker, according to
Added team captain Dwight Yorke: “I have played football for over 20 years as a professional and these have been the best times of my life.”
Brent Sancho currently plays professional soccer for Gillingham in England. He has started in 43 international matches, dating back to 1999.
He played for St. John’s in 1996 and 1997 and is the school’s first ever World Cup participant.

U.S. Open
Another St. John’s graduate, Andrew Svoboda, became one of the few professional golfers to qualify for this past June’s U.S. Open.
He advanced through the first round, shooting a five-over par 75 and was knocked out in the second round, where he shot another five-over par 75 on the same course.
As a child, Svoboda lived near and even caddied on the Winged Foot course that the U.S. Open was played on.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Svoboda before the Open, according to “Playing in the Open at Winged Foot will be awesome.”
Svoboda finished tied for 64th overall in the tournament.