Home / Volley / Global Football / Olympic team invites 39 trialists; do-or-die Caribbean group awaits

Olympic team invites 39 trialists; do-or-die Caribbean group awaits

Recent Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team call-ups Shannon Gomez, Neveal Hackshaw, Jomal Williams and Akeem Garcia were all included in a 39-player shortlist for the National Olympic team, which began training yesterday morning at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago teenagers Neveal Hackshaw (centre) and Shannon Gomez (left) track down Panama playmaker Anibal Godoy during international action at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago teenagers Neveal Hackshaw (centre) and Shannon Gomez (left) track down Panama playmaker Anibal Godoy during international action at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

The team will be coached by Yugoslavia-born Zoran Vranes, who recently led Central FC’s Pro League squad and helped Trinidad and Tobago to its last FIFA appearance at the Egypt 2009 Under-20 World Cup.

Trinidad and Tobago starts its Olympic campaign against Suriname on June 24 and there is a possibility that the young “Soca Warriors” could face a squad packed with Netherlands-based professionals. The Suriname Football Association is attempting to get its Parliament to allow dual citizenship for its Dutch expats in time for the senior Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.

Puerto Rico will not be an easy opponent either on its own turf. And only one team will advance from the group.

Vranes told Wired868, on Tuesday, that he was misinformed about the Olympic team’s fixtures and might have declined the offer to coach if he was properly advised. However, he is optimistic about the challenge ahead.

Photo: Zoran Vranes will lead the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Team. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Zoran Vranes will lead the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Team.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“It’s not going to be an easy ride at all,” Vranes told the TTFA Media. “Only one team will come out of our group and we are playing away from home. Okay, we know all of these teams from the past but football is always played on the day.

“Our players have the experience and the capability to beat these teams. They will have to focus from the start and take that through to the entire campaign.

“Qualifying for the Olympic Games is a great achievement and every country wants to be there. This is like a World Cup because the football tournament at the Olympics has a lot of significance as well.”

Shiva Boys Hindu College winger Levi Garcia, who is due to sign for Netherlands top flight club AZ in November, is also on the Olympic shortlist, which is comprised mostly of Pro League talent and also features six overseas-based players.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (centre) steams past Cuba players Yendri Torres (right) and Roberto Peraza during the Under-20 Caribbean Cup in Port of Spain, Trinidad. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (centre) steams past Cuba players Yendri Torres (right) and Roberto Peraza during the Under-20 Caribbean Cup in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Apart from Garcia—who is attached to Central FC but has opted to train alone until he heads for Europe—St Anthony’s College playmaker Matthew Woo Ling and former Club Sando winger Keeshun Seecharan are the only local-based recruits who do not currently play in the Pro League.

Ten of the selected Under-23 players are attached to defending champions DIRECTV W Connection including speedy winged attacker Neil Benjamin Jr, utility player Alvin Jones and the Naparima College duo of Martieon Watson and Jabari Mitchell.

Four notable omissions were Club Sando midfielder Akeem Humphrey, Dallas FC youth goalkeeper Johan Welch, Defence Force winger Akeem Roach, St Ann’s Rangers forward Nicholas Dillon and United States-based midfielder Andre Fortune Jr. However, there is believed to be some flexibility towards squad additions in the next few weeks.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Johan Welch celebrates during the "Soca Warriors" 2-2 draw with Jamaica at the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship at Kingston. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Johan Welch celebrates during the “Soca Warriors” 2-2 draw with Jamaica at the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship at Kingston.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

Welch was the undisputed first choice custodian for the Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 and Under-17 Teams although his performances were far from spotless. Dillon and Fortune both played at the Caribbean stage of the Under-20s ultimately unsuccessful World Cup campaign while Roach is considered one of the Pro League’s more promising young players.

Humphrey, whose rugged, athletic performances were key assets for the last National Under-20 Team, is either a baffling omission or an oversight.

The Olympic squad trialists are as follows:

Goalkeepers: Greg Ranjitsingh (Mercer University—US), Montell Joseph (Unattached—England), Javon Sample (Central FC), Christopher Biggette (St Ann’s Rangers), Aaron Enill (San Juan Jabloteh);

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago right back Alvin Jones (left) drives the ball into the opposing penalty area while St Lucia player Romiel Felix looks on during the 2014 Caribbean Cup qualifying stage. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago right back Alvin Jones (left) drives the ball into the opposing penalty area while St Lucia player Romiel Felix looks on during the 2014 Caribbean Cup qualifying stage.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Defenders: Dario Holmes, Josiah Trimmingham, Caleb Sturge (all San Juan Jabloteh), Alvin Jones, Shannon Gomez, Maurice Ford, Martieon Watson, Triston Hodge (all W Connection), Leland Archer (University of Charleston—US), Jesus Perez (North East Stars), Glen Sutton (Point Fortin Civic), Jelani Peters (St Ann’s Rangers);

Midfielders: Brendon Creed (Temple University—US), Kion Joseph, Neveal Hackshaw (both North East Stars), Kevon Goddard (St Ann’s Rangers), Keane McIvor (Robert Morris University—US), Akeem Redhead (Point Fortin Civic);

Attacking midfielders: Jabari Mitchell, Jomal Williams, Akeem Garcia, Aikim Andrews (all W Connection), Levi Garcia (Shiva Boys HC), Kishun Seecharan (Unattached), Jelani Felix (Defence Force), Duane Muckette (North East Stars), Matthew Woo Ling (St Anthony’s College), Nathaniel Garcia (Central FC);

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 midfielder Duane Muckette (left) tries to take the ball under pressure from Guatemala midfielder Andy Ruiz during the 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship in Jamaica. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 midfielder Duane Muckette (left) tries to take the ball under pressure from Guatemala midfielder Andy Ruiz during the 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship in Jamaica.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

Forwards: Ricardo John (Virginia Tech—US), Brent Sam (San Juan Jabloteh), Kadeem Corbin (St Ann’s Rangers), Neil Benjamin Jr (W Connection), Shackiel Henry (Point Fortin Civic), Dwight Quintero (Central FC).

 

2016 Olympic Games preliminary qualifying group

(June 24)

Trinidad and Tobago v Suriname in Puerto Rico;

Puerto Rico v Dominica/St Vincent and the Grenadines in Puerto Rico;

(June 26)

Trinidad and Tobago v Dominica/St Vincent and the Grenadines in Puerto Rico;

Puerto Rico v Suriname in Puerto Rico;

(June 28)

Suriname v Dominica/St Vincent and the Grenadines in Puerto Rico;

Puerto Rico v Trinidad and Tobago in Puerto Rico.

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.

Check Also

Creighton doubles up but Rangers lack fizz in 4-1 win over Prisons, as Caledonia clash looms

Terminix La Horquetta Rangers coach Dave ‘Hoghead’ Quamina, for once, was not readily available for …

60 comments

  1. I’m trying to find an answer for you Arthlon Dcoach. The team manager is abroad.

  2. How can Humphrey get left out

  3. You think Bonval is ready for this level Adrian Romain? He is a nice prospect for down the road though. How old is he?

  4. That’s my point Roneil K Walcott…then why they keep calling him up for National duty ?

  5. Don’t think I agree with you Kirwin. He should’ve featured in more cup games at least if that was the case.

  6. Prince if the man on the bench for his club right through and they keep calling him up for a national squad…he’s got to be good. Not so ?

  7. All yuh say so but he in the national team

  8. Sample must be a wonderful young fellah… But a not so wonderful keeper. Lol. Come on Sample. Show us what you’re made of! 😉

  9. The GKs puzzling me as well. I know GKs need to wait on the moment to get into the squad. But I think Sample is a National GK playing second fiddle…he’s just dormant. They always calling him but no game, he’s not even playing for his club. That means, they are aware of his potential.

  10. Teflon Shawn, if Derek King was coach then I’d understand that. If it is a new coach, I’d think he would want to see for himself from close quarters why Welch was number one for three years.
    But I agree that his CV has not been inspiring.

  11. 39 is just a weird number. In other words it’s one big try out?

  12. They probly still remembering the blunders of the U20 compy lat year Lasana Liburd.. vs Guatemala.. i think…

  13. Based on this discussion, the comments, etc, one thing is very evident…. The thinking into selecting this 39 is more hurried than well thought of. Again, planning and preparation is lacking in yet another Team’s tournament participation

  14. Agreed! Just bring the young man in. Yuh already named 39 what is 40

  15. Maybe. But if welch has been number one for three straight years under two different coaches, I think he is entitled to wonder how he doesn’t get into a five goalie shortlist when his number two is there.

  16. Welch isn’t good enough he shouldn’t be on this team….

  17. I have nothing against Marchan. I think I would go with Foncette as the most promising other goalie.
    Like I said, there is promise but no stand out contender or anyone I would safely toss into a big match.
    Remember Jan was 18 or 19 when he made his senior team debut. Now we are talking about goalies already in their mid-20s.

  18. Where is glenroy samuel now? He had so much promise

  19. I feel Andre Marchan is a good GK to be groomed, but he’s struggling for first team action Prince, although Lasana thinks differently.

  20. Goalkeeper wise, there is John Thomas “bago”, he should be graduating soon.. http://wbuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=2617 http://www.scoresway.com/?sport=soccer&page=player&id=165718…. Based on his age, he is probably eligible to represent the Olympic Team…. He definitely has pedigree

  21. I can’t recommend a good goalkeeper under 30. Apart from Jan, the other capable goalies are Marvin Phillip and Cleon John who are both just as old or older.
    The other younger goalkeepers just never seem as committed or lack the attributes.

  22. greg does look like has potential. he seem very active also. We need someone to take over from Jan. Do we have any other good keepers lasana for the senior team?

  23. Greg looks like he has potential. We sure need some of that. I find it odd that Welch is out but Sample is in when it was clear that the coaches felt Welch was the best they could do.
    Will get some more answers on the squad selection soon though.

  24. Amiel Mutilal, you were right. I got a call from Jabloteh that Enill has a played in a few games when the other two goalkeepers were injured. Not many third choice goalies get a game but he is one!

  25. Lasana, yuh wicked eh? LOL. But nah, ah never see him do dat yet. Here are some highlights of him playing in a friendly match for his club, Louisville City FC. He was voted Man of the Match.

  26. Nigel, I couldn’t tell on the clip. But does he come out of his penalty area and try to dribble Guatemalan attackers? 🙂

  27. For those of you unfamiliar with goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh:

  28. One of these days, I think it would be helpful if someone points out the immense differences that exist between the various colleges and universities that local players are opting to attend in the States. Like anywhere else – there are excellent environments and really horrible ones as well. Standards are very different, student athlete support systems are also very different, and most importantly – the strength of the degree is very different.

  29. Not quite Nigel Myers. The clubs can provide a shortlist of eligible players and coaches can peruse and scout and then decide who is worthy for the opportunity to trial with the team.

  30. Not really. Just feel the process has to get a little more collaborative, data driven, and transparent ..

  31. Any players you think could break into the squad that aren’t there Brian Icecarnival Jordan?

  32. Hmmm. Would love to understand the “administrator’s” directive and criteria used to draw up list..

  33. I heard Jangoo mentioned once. What position does he play Prince Borde?
    Brian Icecarnival Jordan, I think an administrator drew up a list based on players from the last national youth team and some players the coaches knew from pro league and wherever.
    What should happen is that all clubs should be asked to submit player names who are within the right age group to ensure the coaches can scout everyone.
    But…

  34. Not defending the selection process because I agree it def needs to be exactly what the other Brian said…more transparent and data driven but I suspect time time and expediency forced this quick selection process…also Vranes saying he was misled on the timing of the tournament would support this too…once again we enter a tournment with piss poor prep, beginning with a team thrown together at the 11th hour…pity becsuse if properly put together T&T could potentially field quite a potent U-23 team on.paper.

  35. I think former u20 player Shaquille Holder should be on this team and what about Rundell Winchester

  36. I know some of all yuh do r like the college system here in the states but these fellas are playing at a high pace. Other one is Keron Mathews at Flagler college. Big strong center back. If it’s me ah call all them up and have a big try out

  37. Lasana, I still don’t fully understand exactly how the players were selected for trials. Do you?

  38. This guy Dominic Jangoo should be there. My team played against his team. He was the best player on a top 25 NAIA squad.

  39. I don’t see why it should Jomo I. Johnson. The school players at home and abroad wouldn’t have played competitive football far longer than Humphrey.
    Nigel Myers, I was told that Duane Muckette has not returned to school since January. So that is that I presume.

  40. Belgrave will be 23 in November

  41. Well club sando season ended quite a while ago…so that might be an issue as well

  42. How is Caledonia AIA Jameel Neptune not named in this squad? He’s definitely a great asset to the left side.

  43. Lol. Nope. That has to be an oversight. He will be fighting for a starting place.
    On paper, we have talent but we don’t know the physical condition of the players. Conditioning cost Sam a spot in the last team from what I understand.

  44. U think humphrey acting skills cost him his place? Lol

  45. Correct Jomo. It was Belgraves who came on and the San Juan student came on in a match for Caledonia.
    David Muhammad is Raheem young enough for this team?

  46. Thats actually enil…he is d back up for mathis and belgrave at jabloteh..Lasana Liburd

  47. Wishing all the best to the young warriors

  48. Lasana Liburd, did you ever find out what’s going/went on with Duane Muckette in terms of his USF scholarship?

  49. Oh okay. Swore it was the same GK that replaced Belgrave when Central lose 3-2 to Jabloteh

  50. Greg Ranjitsingh has already graduated from Mercer University. He is with USL club, Louisville City FC.

  51. No. That was a kid from San Juan North Secondary. His name escapes me now.

  52. Didn’t Enil come on as a sub against Central ?