Dwight Yorke Shined For Trinidad & Tobago And Manchester United

null

Sometimes all it takes is an opportunity.

A teenager on the Caribbean island of Tobago took his chance and ran with it when Aston Villa manager Graham Taylor scouted the area in 1989 ahead of a new campaign. Taylor was highly impressed in a friendly match against a local side and offered the standout a trial. The rest is history, so they say, and the youngster was none other than Dwight Yorke, who would go on to become one of the most decorated players to ever hail from Concacaf.

Birthplace: Canaan, Tobago, Trinidad & Tobago

Years active: 1989-2009

Teams: Aston Villa, Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham City, Sydney FC, Sunderland

Notable achievements: Premier League champion (three times), UEFA Champions League, English League Cup (two times), English FA Cup, Intercontinental Cup champion, Caribbean Cup, A-League champion, Football League Championship, Premier League top scorer and Player of the Season (1998-99), UEFA Champions League top scorer (1998-99)

Yorke soon shipped off to Birmingham — very much against the wishes of his mother — but a move across the pond paid more dividends that the family could have ever imagined. As is the case with many players who come to England from foreign lands, Yorke had his doubters, but 232 appearances and 73 goals later, the naysayers no longer had a single ounce of ammunition.

Yorke played as a right winger in his early years in England but saw his career truly take off when he was moved to center forward. He helped Aston Villa to two league cups and in the process became one of the most highly coveted talents in the Prem. With a move to a bigger club in focus, Yorke drew the ire of Villa manager John Gregory.

“A couple of weeks ago Dwight openly stated to me that he wanted to play for Manchester United and not Aston Villa. That really hurt me, and if I had had a gun I would have shot him,” Gregory infamously said.



Nine years after his arrival in England, consistent play at the highest level earned him a move north to English giants Manchester United for a fee of £12.6 million. A move to Old Trafford ultimately brought a cabinet full of hardware, thanks in large part to Yorke’s production up top alongside strike partner Andy Cole. The two tore opposing back lines apart and scored goals for fun, famously leading the Red Devils to the treble of the UEFA Champions League, Premier League, and FA Cup in the 1998-99 season.



After spending three more seasons in Manchester, Yorke made two other stops in England for Blackburn Rovers and Villa rivals Birmingham City before making the jump to Australia. His presence alone would have done wonders for the A-League in its inaugural season, but he scored seven goals and captained Sydney FC to the title. 

Another impressive aspect of Yorke’s career came when exhibited the kind of positional flexibility that is often required to elongate one’s career and maintain a key role in a team. He transitioned to center midfield while playing in Australia and harnessed that newfound role to great effect for his home nation.

Trinidad & Tobago hook home the title in the inaugural Caribbean Cup in 1989 in the very first year he appeared, and they came painfully close to qualifying for the World Cup in the subsequent year, but the crowning achievement of Yorke’s international career came many years later.

In 2001 it appeared his days of suiting up for the Soca Warriors were over when he retired from international football due to disagreements with the staff, but he elected to rejoin the side for their 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign. Trinidad & Tobago booked their ticket to the 2006 World Cup in Germany and a spot in history, becoming the then-smallest nation to ever qualify for the tournament. Yorke captained a side that had no ambitions of simply showing up: they battled Sweden to a 0-0 draw while down a man, but they were ultimately unable to follow that solid result and lost the subsequent group games by a pair of 2-0 scorelines.

With 72 official appearances and 19 goals under his belt in international play, Yorke elected to hang the boots up once again for his home nation the following March in order to focus on the final stage of his club career at Sunderland. A man built for showtime, he came out of retirement for the second time and did so in dramatic fashion. Long an Achilles’ heel for some of the best defenders in England, he got the better of the United States back line in his return in 2008 and lifted the Soca Warriors to a 2-1 win in a qualifying match for the 2010 World Cup.

When he did finally end his playing career for club and country, Yorke already had his place in Concacaf lore secure. A young boy from a Caribbean nation took his chance and soared, lifting one of the biggest clubs in the world to domestic and European glory, as well as his home nation to heights they had never experienced before.

First Half Own Goal Gives D.C. United Huge Victory Over Portland Timbers

In 90 minutes of rain, D.C. United emerged victorious in the Pacific Northwest, benefitting from an own goal in a 1-0 win against the Portland Timbers. Bill Tuiloma knocked in Ulises Segura's cross in the 25th minute, giving United their second consecutive win, both of which came away from the friendly confines at Audi Field. The win elevated the Black-and-Red to fourth place in the Eastern Conference, a position that could change depending on other results on Sunday.

D.C. United In Position To Solidify Playoff Position With PDX Trip

After two weeks off for the international break, D.C. United are back in action on Sunday afternoon as they travel cross-country to take on the Portland Timbers. A win could see the Black-and-Red vault back into fourth place in the Eastern Conference after they were surpassed midweek by Toronto FC, who moved into fourth on the goal differential tiebreaker. Both teams currently occupy a playoff spot at the moment but need a win to cement their standing.

4 Notes From The Opening Rounds Of The Concacaf Nations League

The opening two rounds of the Concacaf Nations League are in the books, and we now have a clearer picture of which nations might punch their tickets to bigger and better things or tumble down into a lower league. 

Final 4 Weeks Of MLS Season Should Provide Plenty Of Drama

With the new schedule this year, Major League Soccer has a couple more sprints before the finish of the 2019 season. With the new playoff schedule, the second season is much shorter this year, after having to deal with the November international window smack dab in the middle of the playoffs. This year the playoffs are sandwiched between the October and November FIFA windows, which will help produce an MLS Cup winner in a whirlwind of a playoff schedule.

The Gap Between US & Mexico Is Widening On The International Stage

Rewind the tape to last September, when the USA and Mexico faced off in a friendly in Nashville. Tyler Adams helped the USMNT grab a 1-0 victory under the guidance of interim manager Dave Sarachan. What might be most memorable from that game, though, was the towering center back Matt Miazga reminding Mexican youngster Diego Lainez just how much shorter the then 18-year-old was than Miazga.

Trinidad & Tobago Struggle In Opening Rounds Of Concacaf Nations League

Though it may have been just a consolation prize considering their last-place finish in the Hex, Trinidad & Tobago’s shocking win over the United States at the tail end of 2017 was ample reason for the small nation to celebrate. 

4 Games Left To Decide D.C. United's MLS Playoff Standing

The last time D.C. United took the field in a competitive MLS game, they did their playoff chances a world of good. In a crucial showdown against the Montreal Impact on August 31, the Black-and-Red repeatedly punched their opponents in the mouth over the first 45 minutes of the game, picking up a 3-0 win that massively helped ease the pressure on a playoff race that was rapidly tightening up.

Concaclusions, Ep. 1: Nations League Matchday 1 & Mexico Dominate USA

null

From clutch finishes to a surprise resignation, the last week of Concacaf action featured just about everything imaginable as the inaugural Nations League is now underway. Away from the opening round of the tournament, Mexico were busy flexing their muscles in front of a rain-soaked crowd at MetLife Stadium. 

The Favorites Roll, Curaçao Narrowly Beats Haiti & More From Days 2 & 3

null

The past two days of the Concacaf Nations League has provided plenty of drama, decisive results, and world-class goals for everyone to enjoy. With games across all three leagues in the competition, some storylines are already beginning to play out throughout the competition, as we move on to the second match day, beginning on Monday.

Unexpected Concacaf Twist: Gustavo Matosas Stepping Down Because Of Boredom

The Concacaf Nations League began play this week and is sure to provide plenty of drama on the field over the next couple of months. Countries are vying to move to the semifinal round, or avoid relegation, or even jump up a league through promotion. There's always some element of unpredictability in these games, leading to shock results and standout performances from unheralded players.