Central FC’s Marcano is T&T proud
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The play of Jason Marcano (red jersey) has been key to Central FC qualifying for the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League two straight times. (Photo: Caribbean Action Images)

COUVA, Trinidad & Tobago -- For Jason Marcano, there is no greater feeling than representing Trinidad & Tobago on the football pitch. That’s true when he suits up for the Soca Warriors as well as when he competes in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League (SCCL).

Marcano hopes to make an appearance in a fourth SCCL during the 2016/17 edition, when his Central FC side takes its second straight trip to the annual tournament. The 32-year-old also participated twice with San Juan Jabloteh.

“It’s an honor, second to getting called into the national team, to go and play to represent your country,” said Marcano, who was last played for T&T in a 2-2 draw against Grenada on March 19. “Getting to do it in CONCACAF is important.”

Marcano said Central FC’s first experience in the SCCL was a positive one. The Sharks finished second in Group D on goal difference, losing twice on the road, while going unbeaten at home with a win against Comunicaciones and a draw with the LA Galaxy.

Back in the SCCL, Marcano believes that expectations have been raised.

“So long as the players have the togetherness and perform as a team, we just have to get it right on the field,” he expressed. “[With players like] Leston Paul and Jamal Jack, we have a lot of leaders on the team. We just have to go out there and do our job. I believe we will do well this time, better.”

Marcano is a big reason why Central FC is returning to the SCCL. He converted the first of four penalty kicks in a CFU Club Championship semifinal against Haiti’s Don Bosco that sent the Sharks into the final.

Against Trinidad rival DirecTV W Connection, Marcano scored a late insurance goal in a 3-0 victory in the final, Central’s second consecutive regional title.

“We have W Connection during the season, but it was best to go out and do it at a higher level at the [CFU Championship] because they performed very well against us during the season,” commented Marcano. “We always know we have a good challenge with them because they’re a great team as well. To beat them on the club championship level was even better for us. It showed which is the better team in the Caribbean.”

Central FC also won the TT Pro League for a second consecutive year, giving it an opportunity to earn CFU honors for a third time next year.

The cycle of success continues for Marcano and Central FC.

“I just hope we keep our players. I know sometimes new players are brought in and players look to leave the country,” Marcano finished. “I believe in our team, maybe get a little enhancement, but keep our team and we’ll be good to go.”

Central FC will face the Vancouver Whitecaps and Sporting Kansas City in SCCL, Group C play later this year.