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Lawrence takes home-based players to Colorado on 23 May, T&T finalise USA preparation

The Pro League will kick off without its marquee Trinidad and Tobago international players as Soca Warriors head coach Dennis Lawrence got the green light to take a home-based squad to Colorado on 23 May to prepare for next month’s 2018 World Cup qualifier away to the United States.

The travelling squad could also include several overseas-based players whose domestic season would have ended by then, including Khaleem Hyland (KV Westerlo—Belgium), Levi Garcia (AZ Alkmaar—Netherlands), Sheldon Bateau (Krylia Sovetov Samara—Russia) (Murcielagos FC—Mexico) and Shahdon Winchester.

Photo: San Juan Jabloteh winger Nathan Lewis (right) takes on an opponent from Racing Club during 2017 Caribbean Club Championship action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 14 May 2017. Lewis scored the opener as Jabloteh won 2-0. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: San Juan Jabloteh winger Nathan Lewis (right) takes on an opponent from Racing Club during 2017 Caribbean Club Championship action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 14 May 2017.
Lewis scored the opener as Jabloteh won 2-0.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

The Warriors meet the United States on 8 June at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado, which is 5,223 feet above sea level. It is the home ground for US Major League Soccer (MLS) team Colorado Rapids which employs Trinidad and Tobago defender Mekeil Williams.

Trinidad and Tobago play at altitude again, five days later, as they travel to San Jose to tackle Costa Rica at 3,845 feet above sea level.

“The home-based players and the staff will get to Colorado on May 23rd and then we get down to work,” Lawrence told the TTFA Media, “with the idea obviously being for the players to get acclimatised in the best possible manner and also get physically ready for the game.”

Lawrence expects his full squad to be present at the training camp in Prentup Field, Colorado by 4 June.

The TTFA announced that the Warriors hope to have two closed door friendlies before the 9 June fixture. However, with no international opponent identified, the games are expected to be against local club or university opposition.

In contrast, the United States will tackle Venezuela in an exhibition match at Utah on 3 June—five days before they face Trinidad and Tobago.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland (left) rolls the ball through the legs of United Staes captain Michael Bradley during 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland (left) rolls the ball through the legs of United Staes captain Michael Bradley during 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Lawrence was at the Hasely Crawford Stadium yesterday for 2017 Caribbean Club Championship action and would have been pleased to see two of his international players on the score sheet.

San Juan Jabloteh winger Nathan Lewis and Central FC full back Carlos Edwards scored decisive goals as they eased to wins in their opening group matches against Haiti’s Racing Club and Antigua’s Grenades FC respectively.

There was a strong showing too by Central playmaker Sean De Silva while his colleague Nathaniel “Spanish” Garcia scored a cracking drive. However, attacking midfielder Keron Cummings was an unused substitute for the “Couva Sharks” and remains a peripheral figure at domestic level since he was shot in the leg, a year and a half ago.

The Pro League is due to kick off on 26 May with the Charity Shield. But the local clubs—Central included—have agreed to allow their players to join the national team camp and continue with weakened squads.

Photo: Central FC midfielder Nathaniel "Spanish" Garcia (centre) tries to caress a pass into the path of teammate Sean De Silva (far left) during 2017 Caribbean Club Championship action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 14 May 2017. Looking on (from right) are Grenades FC players Rakeem Henry and Nazir McBurnette and referee Sherwin Moore. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC midfielder Nathaniel “Spanish” Garcia (centre) tries to caress a pass into the path of teammate Sean De Silva (far left) during 2017 Caribbean Club Championship action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 14 May 2017.
Looking on (from right) are Grenades FC players Rakeem Henry and Nazir McBurnette and referee Sherwin Moore.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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2 comments

  1. TTFA if they can afford should Probably check if Canada are available for a game I think, given the close proximity to Colorado

    Big risk to play USA & Costa Rica without a international friendly