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Captain Khano to lead Bermuda

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Former MLS man Khano Smith will captain Bermuda for the first time in today’s World Cup qualifier against Trinidad in Port of Spain.

It will be a proud moment for the ex-New England Revolution winger who recently called time on his professional career to concentrate on coaching in the US.

For head coach Boyles, Smith’s influential presence in the dressing room and big-game experience made him the obvious choice to wear the skipper’s armband.

“Khano is our most experienced player and will be captaining us against Trinidad,” said Boyles, who will take charge of his first senior international match today.

“He played a key role in Bermuda’s win in Trinidad three years ago and has plenty of experience playing in important matches. We have other senior players who we will also be looking towards such as Damon Ming and Sammy DeGraff, who were both in and around the squad during the last qualifiers.”

A partisan crowd is expected to create a cauldron-like atmosphere at the 27,000 Hasley Crawford Stadium for the Soca Warriors’ first qualifier since 2009.

Considering it will be the first taste of World Cup football for the majority of Boyles’ squad, he believes it’s of paramount importance they don’t become overly fazed by the occasion.

“We will be playing at the bigger stadium, the Hasley Crawford, which is a grass pitch as opposed to the smaller artificial turf stadium Bermuda played at three years ago,” said Boyles, whose squad arrived in Trinidad in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

“Back then I gather Trinidad were missing a few of their main players through unavailability or injury, but that won’t be the case this time and that’s sure to add another recipe to the occasion.”

Boyles has also called on his squad to evoke the spirit of 2008, having shown them a video of that memorable victory in the team’s hotel yesterday as part of a confidence-boosting exercise.

“I’m pleased with our preparations both in Florida and since we’ve arrived in Trinidad,” said the ex-Devonshire Cougars coach. “We’re excited and looking forward to the challenge ahead.

“We watched the first half of the 2-1 win in 2008 in the hotel today and you can you see that our players absolutely worked their socks off in that game. That’s something we need to replicate and hopefully build upon.”

Three more players are scheduled to join up with Bermuda’s squad in Trinidad. Tyrell Burgess was due to arrive last night and will be available for today’s match, while John Barry Nusum and Reiko Trott are expected to touchdown tomorrow ahead of the Island’s second qualifier in Guyana on Tuesday.

Today’s kick off is at 5pm (Bermuda time).

Khano Smith in his New England Revolution days

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Published September 02, 2011 at 10:00 am (Updated September 02, 2011 at 10:11 am)

Captain Khano to lead Bermuda

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