The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has confirmed its 20-man squad for the Concacaf Under-20 Championship, which includes the surprise inclusion of Germany-based midfielder Micah Cain.
Cain, who was born in the United States and can operate on either flank, was not invited to either of the two training camps in Trinidad over the last two months. However, he was allowed to join the 23-member team in San Jose, Costa Rica and impressed assistant coach Reynold Carrington enough to make the final squad.
Exactly half of the players on the final squad are based overseas although all but three of those boys were born on the two island republic and have prior experience on national youth teams.
Men’s National Senior Team midfielder Molik Jesse Khan is the most experienced player within the squad, which also includes the Terminix La Horquetta Rangers duo of Real Gill and Kaihim Thomas.
Attackers Josiah Wilson and Nathaniel James, right back Christian Bailey, central defender Jaron Pascall and the versatile midfield trio of Isaiah Thompson, Tyrik Trotman and Kassidy Davidson are all graduates of the former ‘elite’ national under-15 programme, along with Khan.
Former Fatima College playmaker Andrew De Gannes is the sole survivor from the Trinidad and Tobago that participated in the 2019 Concacaf Under-17 Championship.
University of Alabama (USA) midfielder Curtis De Leon also played in the 2019 Concacaf U-17 tournament but failed to make the final roster for the current Under-20 Team, which will be led by head coach Angus Eve.
The other three players who will remain in reserve are versatile Police FC wingback Isaiah ‘Eddie’ Edwards and the former national under-15 duo of goalkeeper Tristan Edwards and attacker Jaheim Faustin. Eve can change his roster in case of injury or at the end of the group stage, if Trinidad and Tobago advance to the knockout stage.
The U-20s lost 2-1 today in their second and final international warm-up match against Costa Rica, after a goalless draw in midweek.
The Junior Soca Warriors are scheduled to face Haiti in its opening match on 19 June at the Estadio Morazan in San Pedro Sula, Honduras before they face Mexico (21 June) and Suriname (23 June).
Last week, the Haiti Football Federation (FHF) announced that it will not participate in the Concacaf competition, although they have done an about-turn on that decision and will play. The FHF is under the control of a Fifa-appointed normalisation committee at present.
Remarkably, just eight days before their first game, Haiti does not yet have a coach for the Under-20 squad.
The top three teams from the group advance to the round of 16 of the Concacaf U-17 tournament.
(Trinidad and Tobago 20-member team)
Goalkeepers: 18.Rushon Sandy (Patuxent Football Athletics—USA), 1.Jahiem Wickham (Toronto FC—Canada);
Defenders: 5.Jaron Pascall (Police FC), 4.Jaheim Joseph (W Connection), 14.Josiah Cooper (Club Sando), 2.Christian Bailey (Defence Force FC), 13.Noah Roka (FC Stadieu—Austria), 3.Marvin Waldrop (Club Sando), 19.Isaiah Thompson (Unattached), 16.Tyrik Trotman (Hartford Community College—USA);
Midfielders: 8.Luke Phillip (Deportivo Point Fortin), 17.Andrew De Gannes (Atlanta Utd Academy—USA), 7.Kaihim Thomas (Terminix La Horquetta Rangers), 6.Kassidy Davidson (IFAPT—Portugal), 10.Molik Jesse Khan (Minnesota United II—USA), 15.Micah Cain (TSV Meerbusch—Germany),
Attackers: 9.Real Gill (Terminix La Horquetta Rangers), 12.Josiah Wilson (Cercle Brugge KSV—Belgium), 11.Nathaniel James (W Connection), 20.Tarik Lee (W Connection).
Reserve players: Tristan Edwards (Fatima College), Isaiah Edwards (Police FC), Curtis De Leon (University of Alabama, Birmingham—USA), Jaheim Faustin (Defence Force FC).
Head coach: Angus Eve