AZ Alkmaar teenager Levi Garcia is back with the Soca Warriors squad but, otherwise, the most remarkable thing about the Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Mexico and the United States are the absentees.
Head coach Dennis Lawrence swung the axe with relish with as many as 12 changes from the squad that lost to Honduras and Panama last month.
Honduras-based goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams, a 32-year-old veteran with 80 full international caps, and 26-year-old Kazakhstan-based defender Sheldon Bateau—both of whom shared captaincy duties for the previous qualifiers—are out.
So too are goalkeeper Marvin Phillip, defenders Aubrey David, Carlyle Mitchell and Radanfah Abu Bakr, midfielders Hughtun Hector, Cordell Cato, Jomal Williams and Tyrone Charles, and forwards Jamille Boatswain and Willis Plaza.
Reasons were offered only for David and Boatswain who are suspended for playing in a minor league match before Trinidad and Tobago’s crucial qualifier at home to Honduras.
The contentious game was believed to have occurred before the players joined camp to prepare for World Cup duty. It is uncertain when the Warriors staff discovered about their outing. Both players started against Honduras but were unused substitutes away to Panama four days later.
I95.5FM reporter Andre Baptiste revealed the incident over the weekend although the players were not named before tonight.
David and Boatswain, who play professionally in Finland and Costa Rica respectively, have apologised and—according to the TTFA Media—offered to donate their match fees to charity.
“I really want to apologise to the nation and the people I disappointed with my actions,” David told the TTFA Media, “and I know every action has a reaction and I have accepted the decision of the TTFA. I want to put this behind me and look forward to representing Trinidad and Tobago again.”
Incidentally, it has been at least four months since the Warriors have received match fees.
Lawrence’s sweeping changes mean that teenaged winger Kathon St Hillaire and 20-year-old Club Sando defender Josiah Trimmingham have earned their first senior international picks. But their first taste of Warriors action will be away to Mexico on 6 October.
It will be not be at the dreaded Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, though. Instead, Mexico, who have already qualified for the Russia 2018 World Cup, opted to host Trinidad and Tobago at the Estadio Alfonso Lastras in San Luis Potosi.
It will be the first time in this World Cup campaign that “El Tricolor” opted not to play a qualifier at its famous base in Mexico City.
Whereas the Azteca holds 87,000 patrons and is located 7,200 feet above sea level, the Estadio Alfonso Lastras holds just 25,111 fans and has an elevation of 6,070 feet.
The TTFA confirmed that, owing to problems with the lighting system at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain, the Warriors’ final home match will be at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 10 October.
Ironically, in Couva last month too, the Warriors played under a dark tower owing to a lighting failure at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
Lawrence has lost his last six matches as coach while the Warriors’ winless streak now stands at eight games. In that period, Trinidad and Tobago fell 15 places to 99th in the FIFA rankings.
However, Garcia promised that the team will try to finish their campaign on a high note.
“I am fit and ready to go for Trinidad and Tobago,” Garcia said. “I spoke to the coach and was happy to be included as I always welcome the opportunity to play for my country. I must admit, it’s disappointing that we will not be going to the World Cup but we have to lift our heads and look to the future.
“Plus we have to make a statement by playing good football in the two final games and get six points.”
(Trinidad and Tobago Team)
Goalkeepers: Adrian Foncette (Police FC), Greg Ranjitsingh (Louisville City FC—USA), Glenroy Samuel (Morvant Caledonia Utd);
Defenders: Alvin Jones (W Connection), Mekeil Williams (Colorado Rapids—USA), Daneil Cyrus (Juticalpa FC—Honduras), Triston Hodge (W Connection), Kevon Villaroel (North East Stars), Josiah Trimmingham (Club Sando);
Midfielders: Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Leston Paul (CD Pasaquina—El Salvador), Khaleem Hyland (Al-Faisaly Harmah—Saudi Arabia), Kevan George (Jacksonville Armada—USA), Jared London (Club Sando);
Attacking midfielders: Joevin Jones (Seattle Sounders—USA), Kevin Molino (Minnesota United—USA), Nathan Lewis (San Juan Jabloteh), Neil Benjamin (W Connection), Kathon St Hillaire (St Ann’s Rangers), Levi Garcia (AZ Alkmaar—Netherlands);
Forwards: Shahdon Winchester (Murciélagos FC—Mexico), Trevin Caesar (Sacramento Republic—USA), Akeem Roach (CD Vida—Honduras).
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The players have no choice but to play in minor league for small money if the TTFF not paying them. John Williams and the rest of them made a mess of T&T football. Bring back Jack Warner.
I am sorry but in Mexico we will be lucky if we only get 3..This current squad sorry to say not cutting it.
Them fellers mad we
It’s quite ironic that after we qualified for world cup in 2006, our football took a spiral nose dive. Coach Hart brought some hope but that was short lived
Just sweat…not in competition man
By know this national team have change over 75 players or even more for our qualifiers we are still looking for a team i cannot even talked about a side mr coach you started playing fete march i guess because plenty players guit the game
Aubrey jamille will be better off cause I sure dey ah getting good pay to play minor league
Ppl on d national team foghtin to get there salary’s
What is the sense reshuffling the squad now ?? It dont matter at this stage smfh
Typical and unsurprising
Minor is community based football to uplift d youths and add professionalism to amateur football smh what so wrong with that men just trying to keep fit and dey skill level high lol
What’s the difference between a minor league and the pro league?
Big big difference…Minor have more passion, excitement an skill than Pro League ??
Lol why trinidad footballers like minor league so . I guess is the little quick monies they does get but this going on long time it’s not a now thing
..Frankly, nothing these fellas do – some, not all of them – surprises or disppoints me. They capable of all kindsa shite and they never learn..
Other minor league offenders over the years
W-Connection (September 2013)
Joevin Jones, Daneil Cyrus
Central FC (September 2013)
St. Ann’s Rangers (January 2011)
Adrian Narine, Clevon McPhie, Josimar Belgrave, Elijah Belgrave
San Juan Jabloteh (April 2010)
Marvin Oliver, Noel Williams
Ma Pau SC (April 2010)
Police FC (April 2010)
Emmanuel Nurse, Jason James, Kaaron Foster, Randy Britto, Hayden Janes, Terryl Alwin
San Juan Jabloteh (December 2009)
Caledonia AIA (December 2009)
Kerwin Jemmott, Keyon Edwards
Joe Public (December 2009)
Carlyle Mitchell, Hayden Tinto, Gorean Highley, Kareem Young
Superstar Rangers (August 2007)
Kerwin Jemmott, Devon Modeste, Arnold Ferguson, Milton Gomez, Jhony Ortiz Cardona
Joe Public (July 2002)
Arnold Dwarika, Nigel Pierre, Stokely Mason, Adrian Narine, Joseph Peters, Kendall Velox
I want to come play Minor League next time I visit
The fact that it happens all the time doesn’t diminish his actions which were poor. I didn’t say I was surprised, I said I was disappointed by him making such a poor choice.
.Mexico is known as “El Tricolor”, not “Los Ticos”. I know Lasana knows that. And why are you disappointed Brent? This behaviout has been par for the course for YEARS. See, people blame the coach a!lot of the time when blame shoulf be assigned to players. And THIS is one of the biggest issues!in our football – the lack of professionalism among players and the inability of top players to handle success..
Something is suspicious the 2 captains for the past 2 World Cup Qualifiers (Williams and Sheldon) weren’t selected..hmm. Tallest maybe doesn’t like Boucard and Guerra. Lasana ah see yuh boy get selected Levi Garcia, good player no doubt.
With ppl like Corneal Djw Jamal shabazza Mohammed issa our football have no way to go
What Andre Boucaud did to get drop
I wonder if this type of infraction was included in the Code of Conduct that national players have been receiving since last year? Well ah guess de first ting tuh ask is if de Code of Conduct was ever actually implemented?
Still no Levi Garcia Jerrel Bru Britto Marcus Joseph wat really going ?
Levi is there though…
But he need alot of playing time though
Agreed he will get it…
Disappointed in Boatswain… he just got his big break and a poor decision could have costed him his career… silly really. These guys need to grow up and learn to be pros
Bad choices… bad attitudes…
Lack of Discipline Brent been one of the main reasons for our football decline…THIS one is particularly disappointing given Boatswain’s potential and his ARMY Background!!!
Really believe that the bad administration will continue to breed bad attitudes in some players. Yes, they should be held accountable but they haven’t been paid in some time and yet no one holds the administration accountable. Just a house of cards built on sand..
Agreed Brian ? Bad Administration is right up there as another of the reasons too.
I don’t know Boatswain personally so it’s difficult for me to say he has a bad attitude. What I do know is that he made a bad choice. He could have been hurt and then his pro contract would have been terminated. Now that this is out, he will surely be fined and who knows what else.
Whether it be bad choices or bad attitudes, it would be nice for us to rule out the administrative malperformance as a contributing factor.
The administration’s malperformance as you aptly indicated has zero impact on a man making a personal decision to play a minor league game as a professional. Sorry that’s on the player…. you can’t convince me otherwise, sorry.
I disagree. Working with the youth here. Their thought process puts loyalty in line with payment. No money no love. Many minor leagues pay very decently. Not sure you’re aware.
All choices have consequences….one just has to be prepared for whatever they are..
Brian he’s not playing with the national team for money, he has a pro contract. Not saying they shouldn’t pay him on the national team but he has a choice to say whether he wants to be elected or not. Playing minor league football under a pro contract is totally unacceptable. Bad decision by the player, has nothing to do with the admin.
I think it is about accepting an inducement which looks much better when they are not getting match fees. That simple to me
Simple as that…
What Boatswain did was totally unprofessional that could have caused his contract to be terminated yet you’re willing to blame the administration and not the individual who made a selfish decision. Unbelievable really…
Not sure where I am blaming the administration. Missing my point bro
Maybe I am….
What going on boi, ppl real toting for minor league sweat wii
Only God can help us now …just let them play
“Incidentally, the Warriors have not received match fees in at least four months.”
This line could and should probably be put in every article about the Soca Warriors
they play anything to get paid ?
Do you get paid zero for showing up to a job and underperforming?
Daniel Ringis – but ya get fired though for underperforming, in a general sense.. but apparently that doesn’t apply to current management and the board of TTFA.
Agreed completely about that. But if you get called out to work over and over like the players have. They have to be compensated
All these arm chair football coaches and experts! Sigh!
Urrrm…quite a lot of them are actually coaches and experts though…IJS…
So the two suspended players are donating their match fees to charity eh and they haven’t been paid in four months. Them really good yes hahahahaha
Dan… everybody see dat play and leave it dey…. u hada be d one to raise d jep nest eh!! Alyuh really good yes ??
Lasana… Los Ticos-Costa Rica…..El Tri-Mexico…just a correction….
The whole TTFF want changing. Including persons who outright disrespect players, persons like Stern John.
Neveal Hackshaw just turned 22. I find his continuing absence mystifying, especially when we are sometimes using defenders in central midfield.
Hyland and George coulda get a rest.
Why they always seem to give others a so call “chance” when a campaign is done and dusted. It’s like those in charge now notice after failing terribly, that who they selected is not up to standard and can’t finish the campaign. Steups I smh so many times for sports in T&T, idk how my head in fall off yet.
Kenwyne Jones is playing for his club and was technically available btw. But I don’t suppose many people want to hear that.
I would…Guess the same applies to Boucaud too SMH.
Recall Jan Michael, Kenwyne, Hyland even Carlos, for the US game. Give them a send off. They were faithful servants during some hard times in T&T football since the blacklist send us back to the dark ages. Stern and all could get a sweat, I don’t think we ever gave him a goodbye either.
Kion good point. Except for Stern. No disrespect to he, he deserves a send off. But think the time for him to lace up is gone.
I think Hyland and Jan-Michael can still possibly play in four years though. Hyland is just 28 and although Jan is 32, goalkeepers tend to play longer than outfield players.
Define playing though? Cuz I’m sure he not starting and he hadn’t scored in however long.
Lol a man say let Stern lace up yes. If he looking poor against pro league opposition, but then again R9 got a send off and he was around stern size ????
Was bein facetious re Stern…but is he picking the side. Re: Hyland… He has been the only guarantee pick in midfield for years and he hasn’t done the job. I ready to throw away this whole team except for joevin, Garcia and bateau. We need a world class keeper. Jan Michael is by far the best of this lot but if Glenroy and ranjitsingh can’t displace him, it means our football did not improve
Kion our football has not improved at all in the GK dept…11 years ago we had 3 Goal-keepers who could compete for the #1 shirt.
This national team is the worst in history…. No discipline, no committment, no passion… Better they change their name to Millwall
We score 7 goals on Mexico in 2 games, draw with USA, reach 2 Gold cup quarter finals, went into Guatemala drop 2 on them and reach the WCQ final stage with the (worst national team in history). Could you imagine if this team did not have “no discipline, no commitment, no passion”….. wow…..we would have gotten to WC quarter finals…… semi finals even.
They definitely eh playing for money so i will call that passion. Ask how long it takes to travel from Trinidad to India, well TTFA book Bateau on a 38 hour journey from Kazakhstan. If that is not commitment what is? Over a 4 year period and 2 real coaches there were 6 disciplinary instances.
Some Trinbagonians eh easy boy.
Some people go to the circus to see the tigers and lions and bears…some go cause of the flying trapeze….
No wait, wait, wait!! So effing Levi mentally ready now!?!? Lemme go and read this and shake meh head.
Look I eh read this article and ah dying with laugh over here
So u telling me that Ataulla Guerra can’t make this team lollll this has to be a joke
They don’t rate USL above TT Pro
Is it really “dropped”? Or did some of these players just ask to not be included because of their clubs’ season amd the fact we no longer has chance of qualifying?
They did not say anyone asked to be excluded. And I do understand that some players got a phone call telling them they would not be invited. The phone call is a respectful touch btw.
Lasana Liburd ok ok…. interesting selections then…. hope the youths get a chance to get some playing time… cannot understand some of the players that are still on team, but….
The phone call is a respectful change!… funny how they get certain things right after the fact!! Lasana Liburd
Still no Andre Boucaud? Marvin Phillip gets called up yet Jan Michael dropped? Hope one of the other ‘keepers get a sweat oui
Ranjitsingh is a really good keeper.
They too culturally stigmatized with their selection process..there are a lot of Trinis playing internationally for Colleges in the US, UK, and even in Germany, whom are very talented(including my own nephew) …but the approach of the TTFA is sadly disappointing…because they not…how do I say this….Black.
Once you’re a poor black boy…ya will definitely make the squad…but if ya light skin, or Indian…and ya daddy rich, and investing, thousands of dollars in you to play the sport…ya non-existence to the TTFA…then IF ya get trials for Trinidad..and they don’t select you; that’s the end of the investment..just saying..
That’s been going on for yearrrsss. The selection process is disgusting.
Bazil Joseph Toy Loy That’s the most ignorant statement I’ve ever read you’re a disgrace and should be ashamed of yourself for posting such codswallop because our national are filled with different races light skinned , Indian etc??
Najé Samo – that’s not true!!
Najé Samo – spare me…do you even play professional football?? If you do, have you ever looked around your team, league, or country lately…so please. Quit replying because you are racially and emotionally attached, k??
Are you even in Trinidad and Tobago, to see how things operate with our football?? I’d really love to know that…No but YOU “see an opinion, about certain specifics of racial selective process”….and that’s the only reason you replied…because you relating to it, on a racial stance…
Najé Samo – I’m sure you don’t even know where the hell, Central FC is, or the Rangers, and who manages them…but ya commenting about racial ignorance..
Bazil Joseph Toy Loy John Williams , Brent Sancho and Richard Fakoory to be exact , and yes I am a footballer and know exactly what is going on in the football in Trinidad and it’s mainly because of the lack of funds being pumped into the sport and the turn out we get from supporters that’s causing the league to decline , there are many talented footballers in Trinidad and Tobago of all races and the best of the best are selected sometimes we may not agree with the coaches pick but you have no right to make sure an ignorant statement it’s people like you are the problem..
Najé Samo – Lack of funds does not negate the selection process through our local football…and I know you’re lying about the turnout of supporters…again, spare me.
Next time you actually get to play, or are seated in a game…just look around you, really look and see what we are working with as a nation…and I’m not sure you’re even telling the truth, calling names is impressive btw..
Again, the selection process is disgusting….what club do you play for?…if your really on the ground with our football..
Btw…that B man Sancho ya call there; he’s an asshole. Trust me.
You’re such a loser Bazil ???
Joke of a man!
I agree with you that the selection process is horrible but what the Fuck does being black (and apparently every black player on the team is poor) please explain?
N no trini ronaldinho attulla guerra
What’s the average age of the players who got dropped? And the average age of the players in the squad?
Will take a closer look at that soon. But Bateau is mid-20s and Cato is even younger. Jomal Williams was in the last under-23 squad.
The average age of the 25 man squad for the last two qualifiers was 27.04. The average age of this squad is 25.3.
It is still left to be seen what the difference in ages of starting team would look like.
Interestingly eight years ago when Dennis was a fresh-faced 35, he played until the end of the qualifiers even after we had no chance of qualifying before he handed over the baton and announced his retirement.
Was Kenwyne and Jan skewering the numbers higher?
Really confused about Levi though? His inclusion now and his absence before. Just bizarre…
What is bizarre Levi asked to be excused because he was recovering from a injury and did not think he was mentally up to play the last 2 games
Its simple as that
There’s a different mentality required when playing top flight European football vs national team football? Cause he played for AZ during this recovery time. And I don’t think he was getting significantly more minutes for the warriors than he was for AZ.
Levi start back playing for his club yet? Maybe he searching for minutes
Yes. He played for them since before the last WCQ.
Club probably told him to say that. T&T not footing the bill if he get hurt so it makes perfect sense.
No it was a personal decision he missed a month of their preseason due to the injury so when the season started he was not 100 % and he was struggling a bit with fitness and his form so he called Dennis and explained his situation and current position of being in his last year of his contract etc
Its a critical junction in his career now and he has an option for additional 2 years which the club can exercise with immediate effect based on performances so it was a personal decision which we his management team is standing by for this young man’s career
I see nothing wrong with that Dion Sosa. Especially if national team call ups not benefiting his career
They get suspended for playing a minor league match before camp but Joevin was welcomed to train with the team when he skipped out on Sounders?
He skipped out on Sounders to play with the national team tho. Not exactly the same. Besides, why our so called pros always running down these fete matches??
Maybe they like fete matches more than boat fetes. Idk.
And if you’re okay with a player going awol on a team for you, don’t play high and mighty when your players go to play elsewhere.
The Campaign went down the drain when they called Tom and Jerry from Bangladesh…
Want to laugh and steups at the same time. I’ll settle for SMH.