Trinidad and Tobago joint national senior team coaches Hutson “Barber” Charles and Jamaal Shabazz should meet today to finalise a 20-man squad for next Wednesday’s friendly international against Peru from 8 pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
The game could mark a return to international duty for the Europe-based trio of Kenwyne Jones (Stoke City), Khaleem Hyland (Racing Genk) and Carlos Edwards (Ipswich Town), who have not worn red, white and black since the “Soca Warriors” were dumped from the 2014 World Cup qualifiers by Guyana in November 2011.
Turkey-based attacker Darryl Roberts, who is used on either flank by Samsunspor, and 22-year-old KV Mechelen (Belgium) defender Sheldon Bateau have also been named in the shortlist for the Peru friendly while 2012 Caribbean Cup stalwarts Densill Theobald, 30, and Seon Power, 28, are expected to cut short fledgling careers abroad to return for the fixture.
Theobald and Power are on trials in Finland and Singapore respectively where they hope to agree deals before the end of the week.
United States-born winger Nick De Leon, 22, declined to chance to make his debut for the Warriors as he is keeping his international options open while Iran-based utility player Jlloyd Samuel also turned down the call-up.
The Trinidad and Tobago coaching staff opted to allow Carlyle Mitchell time to see about his professional business with Canada-based US Major League Soccer (MLS) team Vancouver Whitecaps, who is expected to send him on loan. Twenty-two-year-old midfielder Kevin Molino, who is a free agent and on trial in Europe, was also excused.
The Vietnam-based duo of midfielder Hughtun Hector, 28, and forward Willis Plaza, 25, will stay with their employer, Song Lam Nghe, while Slovakia-based winger Lester Peltier, 24, was not requested.
The remaining 13 players are expected to be chosen from the Trinidad and Tobago Pro League today.
National captain and goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams is expected to retain his place, despite being recently frozen out at DIRECTV W Connection, alongside Central FC custodian Marvin Phillip.
Fellow Caribbean Cup players like: defenders Kareem Moses (North East Stars), Daneil Cyrus (DIRECTV W Connection), Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force) and Aubrey David (Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA), midfielders Keyon Edwards (Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA) and Kevon Carter (Defence Force) and striker Devorn Jorsling (Defence Force) should make the cut too, which brings the squad up to 16 players.
Connection utility player Joevin Jones is expected to leave for trials with MLS team Toronto FC on February 4 and, if he does go, will be unavailable to face Peru.
His teammate and central midfielder Clyde Leon is still out with an ankle injury while playmaker Ataullah Guerra (Caledonia AIA) and forwards Jamal Gay (Caledonia AIA) and Richard Roy (Defence Force) are on job hunts in Europe and their availability is uncertain.
Guerra, in particular, would potentially be a big miss as the Warriors are light on attacking central midfielders at present and he might be lured back for the international.
The vacancies leave the door open for several local-based prospects like W Connection attacker Hashim Arcia, Central FC winger Jason Marcano, St Ann’s Rangers defender Jamal Jack and utility player Devon Modeste, Caledonia AIA right back Kareem Joseph, North East Stars striker Cornell Glen, T&TEC winger Sylvester Teesdale and the Defence Force duo of defender Rodell Elcock and central midfielder Jerwyn Balthazar. At best, they may all be fighting for four positions.
There is expected to be no shortage of quality in Peru’s ranks.
The South American nation, which has qualified for four World Cups and won the Copa America crown twice, should travel to Port of Spain with Bayern Munich striker Claudio Pizarro, Schalke midfielder Jefferson Farfan and Corinthians striker Paolo Guerrero, who scored the decisive goal in the Brazilian club’s FIFA World Club Championship win over European champs, Chelsea.
Match tickets are $100 for uncovered and covered stands and go on sale today at Kenny’s Sport Shops in Chacon Street, Port of Spain, West Mall and San Fernando and at Ramsingh’s Sports World in Couva.
Tickets will also be available at the Ato Boldon Stadium on the match day while fans are asked to contact the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation at 623-9500 for further information. Children under-16 are free.
Jorsling, who is the Pro League’s leading marksman at present and Trinidad and Tobago’s ninth all-time international scorer with 19 goals, told the TTFF Media that he is excited by Peru’s visit.
“It’s the kind of game I have been eagerly waiting on,” said Jorsling. “I was looking on at the 2006 squad for that last friendly in Peru (in) the year the team went to the World Cup. But now I’m hopefully looking at a chance of getting some playing time…
“We will be looking to get that chemistry going as quickly as possible with the overseas players who are coming in. This is the right kind of game for us as we prepare for the Gold Cup and hopefully the fans and the corporate companies can join in the effort and help us bring back the national team and the TTFF in a good position in world football.”
Possible Trinidad and Tobago team:
Goalkeepers: Jan-Michael Williams (DIRECTV W Connection), Marvin Phillip (Central FC);
Defenders: Sheldon Bateau (KV Mechelen—Belgium), Kareem Joseph (Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA), Daneil Cyrus (DIRECTV W Connection), Seon Power, Kareem Moses (both North East Stars), Rodell Elcock (Defence Force), Aubrey David (Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA);
Midfielders: Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Keyon Edwards, Densill Theobald, Ataullah Guerra (all Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA), Khaleem Hyland (Racing Genk—Belgium);
Wingers: Carlos Edwards (Ipswich Town—England), Darryl Roberts (Samsunpor—Turkey), Kevon Carter (Defence Force), Hashim Arcia (DIRECTV W Connection);
Forwards: Kenwyne Jones (Stoke City—England), Devorn Jorsling (Defence Force).
Peru’s overseas-based squad:
Goalkeeper: Raúl Omar Fernández (FC Dallas—US);
Defenders: Alberto Rodríguez (Rio Ave—Portugal), Yoshimar Yotún (Vasco Da Gama—Brazil), Carlos Zambrano (Eintracht Frankfurt—Germany);
Midfielders: Paolo Hurtado (Paços de Ferreira—Portugal), Rinaldo Cruzado (Chievo—Italy), Jefferson Farfán (Schalke—Germany), Luis Ramírez (Ponte Preta—Portugal), Juan Carlos Mariño (Querétaro—Mexico);
Forwards: Claudio Pizarro (Bayern Munich), Paolo Guerrero (Corinthians), André Carrillo (Sporting—Portugal).