The “Soca Warriors” have completed their 2013 Gold Cup preparations and head for New Jersey tomorrow where they will settle in before opening their campaign on Monday July 8 against New Jersey at the Red Bull Arena.
The Trinidad and Tobago national football team, now headed by head coach Stephen Hart and director of football Leo Beenhakker, edged Fort Lauderdale club team, Plantation Florida, 2-1 at the Lockhart Stadium on Thursday with Kevin Molino and Cornell Glen delivering the goals in the 67th and 80th minutes respectively.
The Warriors have also officially changed captains as Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA midfielder Densill Theobald, who has led the team for much of 2013, will keep the armband for the Gold Cup. St Ann’s Rangers goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams captained the Warriors at the 2012 Caribbean Cup tournament.
“It’s been a really good few days for the team,” said Theobald, who played under Beenhakker at the 2006 World Cup. “We haven’t had this period together as a team for quite some time (…) in terms of actually getting to train everyday and prepare…
“It’s been a lot of hard work. The new coach Stephen Hart has come in and he’s settled in and I believe the players are responding well. Leo Beenhakker was always going to be a plus and now that he’s here we’ve all come to a good understanding.
“The coaches know what they want from us as players and we are fulfilling our duties and getting better at every session whether it be on the training pitch or in the sitting lounge in the hotel.”
The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) gave the reigns of its senior team to Hart and Beenhakker with less than a month to go before the tournament and demoted its joint head coaches Hutson Charles and Jamaal Shabazz. Shabazz rejected the proffered post although Charles remained with the squad.
New TTFA general secretary Sheldon Phillips claimed the coaching change has been “seamless.”
“Considering there is a new staff in place, the transition has been seamless,” Phillips told the TTFA Media. “The players seemed focused and ready to be led…
“The players seeing how the entire coaching are working together have in turn created a very supportive atmosphere and you’re seeing a solid team spirit develop in a very short space of time.”
There are no reported injury concerns in the Trinidad and Tobago 23-man squad.
Trinidad and Tobago squad:
Jan-Michael Williams, Marvin Phillip, Cleon John; Seon Power, Daneil Cyrus, Carlyle Mitchell, Radanfah Abu Bakr, Justin Hoyte, Curtis Gonzales, Aubrey David; Densill Theobald (captain), Chris Birchall, Andre Boucaud, Khaleem Hyland, Kevin Molino, Keon Daniel, Joevin Jones, Carlos Edwards, Darryl Roberts, Kevon Carter; Cornell Glen, Kenwyne Jones, Jamal Gay.
Stephen Hart (head coach), Leo Beenhakker (director of football), Hutson Charles (assistant coach), Derek King (assistant coach), David Muhammad (manager), William Wallace (manager), Peter Rampersad (assistant manager), Dave Isaac (physiotherapist), Jefferson George (goalkeeping coach), Michael Williams (equipment manager), Terrance Babwah (team doctor), Shaun Fuentes (media officer).