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Edwards drafted for South American tour; Messi buzzing

Trinidad and Tobago national football team head coach Stephen Hart has gone for more experience in his squad for next month’s South American tour by drafting in 35-year-old right back Carlos Edwards.

Edwards, a “Soca Warriors” stand-out at the 2006 World Cup, has played just once since the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup and that game was initiated described his testimonial. However, the former soldier has been asked to do a job for his country once more with Hart clearly unwilling to chance promising but uncapped DIRECTV W Connection right back Alvin Jones.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Carlos Edwards (right) in action against Mexico.
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Carlos Edwards (right) in action against Mexico.

“I’m always delighted when the call comes to play for Trinidad and Tobago,” said Edwards, who has just signed a one-year deal with England Championship club Millwall. “I’m one of the older guys around now but I’ve looked after myself and I’m still able to make a contribution at a good level in England; so why not give it my best for country as well.

“I’m 35 now but I think I can still bring something to the table and make a contribution to the current squad.”

Trinidad and Tobago plays Argentina on June 4 in Buenos Aires, Argentina before facing another World Cup-bound team, Iran, on June 8 in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Argentina captain Lionel Messi, arguably the best player in his generation, is looking forward to shaking off a disappointing season by his high standards with Spanish powerhouse, Barcelona.

“As I join up with the national team, the atmosphere is completely different,” Messi told reporters in Argentina. “Lots of times in the past when I have gone back to Barcelona, I have played well. Now I am hoping that the opposite happens.

“When I return to the training ground with my teammates, with my friends, it’s going to change my mentality and it’s going to be another story.”

Photo: Argentina superstar Lionel Messi (left) is watched closely by Colombian defenders Alexander Mejia (centre) and Aldo Leao Ramirez during a 2014 World Cup qualifier. (Copyright AFP 2014/Alejandro Pagni)
Photo: Argentina superstar Lionel Messi (left) is watched closely by Colombian defenders Alexander Mejia (centre) and Aldo Leao Ramirez during a 2014 World Cup qualifier.
(Copyright AFP 2014/Alejandro Pagni)

Football fans can still support the Soca Warriors in Buenos Aires by booking a $16,000 tour with the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) at 623-9500 or through Nissicharters.com. The roundtrip package includes four nights’ accommodation with breakfast (based on double occupancy) at the Marriott Hotel as well as a city tour, fan pack, category one match ticket and ground transportation.

A rhythm section, tassa group and steelband will be part of the travelling contingent, arranged by the Ministry of Tourism, which leaves the Piarco International Airport at 1 am on June 1.

Edwards told the TTFA Media that he will be one of the happiest persons on the flight.

“The games against Argentina and Iran are on a massive scale when it comes to international football,” said Edwards. “A lot of eyes will be on the game and I think we’ve got to be ready for the challenge and there are a lot of different factors involved here both on and off the field of play.

“I’m really looking forward to these two games and again, more than delighted to be part of the squad.”

Photo: Mllwall defender Justin Hoyte (centre) made his international debut for Trinidad and Tobago against Romania in June 2013. (Courtesy Shaun Fuentes/TTFF Media)
Photo: Mllwall defender Justin Hoyte (centre) made his international debut for Trinidad and Tobago against Romania in June 2013.
(Courtesy Shaun Fuentes/TTFF Media)

Edwards is the second call-up to the squad after stand-by and Central FC defender Yohance Marshall replaced Daneil Cyrus, who left Connection for Vietnam club Hanoi T&T last Friday. At present, the only full time full back in the national squad is Millwall’s Justin Hoyte.

Colombus Crew coach Gregg Berhalter has said he might not allow midfielder Kevan George to join the Warriors for the tour although, thus far, there has been no suggestion that George has been denied the chance to join Hart’s squad.

(Trinidad and Tobago squad)

Goalkeepers: Jan Michael Williams (Central FC), Marvin Phillip (Point Fortin Civic);

Defenders: Justin Hoyte (Millwall—England), Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Carlos Edwards (Millwall—England), Yohance Marshall (Central FC), Gavin Hoyte (Dagenham & Redbridge—England), Radanfah Abu Bakr (FK Kruoja Pakruojis—Lithuania), Carlyle Mitchell (Vancouver Whitecaps—Canada), Sheldon Bateau (KV Mechelen—Belgium);

Midfielders: Khaleem Hyland (Racing Genk—Belgium), Ataullah Guerra (Central FC), Andre Boucaud (unattached), Kevan George (Columbus Crew—US), Lester Peltier (Slovan Bratislava—Slovakia), Joevin Jones (W Connection), Densill Theobald (Caledonia AIA), Kevin Molino (Orlando City—US);

Forwards: Marcus Joseph (Point Fortin CC), Rundell Winchester (Central FC), Willis Plaza (Central FC), Trevin Caesar (North East Stars), Kenwyne Jones (Cardiff City).

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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29 comments

  1. i am all for the development of youth, but to those who are saying carlos should be left out, solely bcuz of his age, i cannot agree with that.. u need experience as well.. it is not just about youth, but quality and the right mixture…age is nothing but a number.. Andrea Pirlo is 35yrs old and still plays at the highest level both domestically and internationally.. Carlos is at the twilight of his career, a career in which he has done his best and given 110% for the national team… y should we not grant him the opportunity 2 do something which may mean something 2 him…

  2. This is a friendly game afterall so why not let Carlos play? he certainly has a lot he can offer off the pitch as well as provide valuable experience and maturity in such a big match. I’m a big fan of Alvin Jones and company and I believe he will have his chance but let him earn it! not by just being a good player but by demonstrating consistency as well as the hunger to make it. To be fair to Hart the match that he came to see the youngster play by far wasn’t his best match and that may have aided the situation. My problem with many of you who rush to make comments on social media is that I don’t see any of you at games! So what then gives you the authority to say who and whom should and should not make the team? so why should Hart take any of you guys seriously?

  3. I’m almost certain Carlos will start, the man is coming off a great season in a very competitive league…

  4. That is the Catch 22, Tony. My balance would be to have a core 15 or 16 players but then take some bright upcoming talent for the remaining spots.
    So, if Carlos will start, then I say take him. But if he is on the bench, I would lean towards giving that slot to a youngster who deserves it on merit.
    It isn’t the end of the world though. I’m sure Alvin Jones and so on would have a very good chance of making the squad after this tour.

  5. Fine balance between wanting to expose young players and needing to produce a team that can offer a creditable performance…a respectable performance in these games is necessary to secure other games of this calibre in the future…

  6. I really don’t see anything wrong with this. He can help mentor the younger ones there.

  7. Adrian, the Vietnam League still active and the games outside the FIFA window. So I don’t think there was the option to bring back Hughtun Hector this time.

  8. Dotish decision by the coaching staff. If yuh say yuh preparing for the future yuh go bring back Carlos? That’s why we are mediocre. … Jokers man

  9. Hector and they have left you out the squad for what reason? none

  10. Love this. I was of the opinion it was me alone. Where the youths we have to prepare for the next World Cup? Or are we going to ask the old guard?

  11. I am very unhappy with that selection. didn’t we have a farewell match for Carlos and birchall?

  12. its just they take long to give youths that senior team exposure so they can fall in. but they should have one or two youth that’s been on top of their game in that selection and have them as subs.

  13. Di maria meal would have give Alvin Jones or a Next young one the chance to gain the experience at high level

  14. what about the future? would have liked to have seen more younger talents or someone who never had a chance to play. more exposure for our players.

  15. I don’t understand all the negative comments. Firstly, Edwards made it clear in BIRCHALL’S farewell that he would answer the call if given the opportunity in the future and he’s still more than capable of performing at the highest level. Secondly, there is probably no better player in his position in the national team at the moment (I accept that I could be wrong about this though, but honestly, no one comes to mind at the moment), how could it ever be a bad thing that he’s playing? Lastly, this is not Cuba or Bermuda or St Kitts and Nevis we’re facing (No offence to any of those teams/countries) This is Argentina! Do you really want to chance an inexperienced (albeit talented) defender/midfielder against the likes of Messi, Di Maria, Aguero, Higuain and company? (I don’t think so) Those guys will exploit that weakness in no time. Now I’m all for development and I’ve asked myself the same questions that you guys are asking at some point, but throwing younger inexperienced players into the fire like that is going to do more damage to that player’s development than good I think.

  16. I understand the coach’s decision. But I won’t say I agree with it in this case.

  17. So why we couldn’t have drafted Alvin Jones into the camp the same way ? Hmmmm

  18. Politics again need a coach from out side that’s what. Hart is a trini remember that…

  19. Trinidad not serious bout football. Where is the development?

  20. I think Edwards deserve the chance to play against Argentina. After all he has done for Our country! Maybe at half bring on the young guy

  21. I can understand AND support this decision, with no cover at right back, since Cyrus opted out…giving an UNCAPPED player a debut against ARGENTINA would be madness…I mean we aren’t going to beat Argentina but neither do I think we want to collect double-figures

  22. When will the younger players get at chance smh

  23. Just saying at some point, we have to trust the upcoming players. I think we need to look forward, not back.

  24. I too love Carlos as a true ambassador of T&T football but I would have liked to see a younger player given a chance.

  25. who wouldnt want to play those matches?

  26. Not sure how I feel about it. I can understand not wanting to be thrashed but carrying old man Edwards?

  27. I don’t agree in this scenario either.

  28. Edwards get sign by millwall?? Hmmm