CONCACAF today revealed the 35-member provisional squads for its 12 participants at the July 2015 Gold Cup tournament in the United States.
According to Gold Cup regulations, the rosters are binding and teams can only select its final 23-man from this list. Coaches can make six changes to their final squad at the end of the Gold Cup group phase but those alterations are restricted to the provisional roster.
CONCACAF published data suggest that Trinidad and Tobago was the only team to register just 30 players. However, coach Stephen Hart explained that the confederation asked teams to select an additional five players last week while the “Soca Warriors” were in Curaçao.
Hart said the Warriors have since added four names to its list, which were accepted, although it got to CONCACAF after it already published its Gold Cup squads.
“It was an error,” Hart told Wired868. “The original document from CONCACAF said 30 players and last week they said to add five players to that list while I was in Curaçao… They acknowledged they got (our additional players) and I can choose from them.”
The four confirmed additions to the initial list were Columbus Crew midfielder Kevan George, Police FC defender Elijah Belgrave, St Ann’s Rangers attacker Kadeem Corbin and North East Stars goalkeeper Cleon John.
He did not say why Trinidad and Tobago choose not to take up their full allotment of 35 players.
There was no place for talented teenagers Shannon Gomez (DIRECTV W Connection) and Neveal Hackshaw (North East Stars), who will remain with the Trinidad and Tobago National Under-23 Team.
“My reasoning is I think it is better for them to play the Olympic qualifying and Pan Am Games,” said Hart, “because they will play every game there whereas if they came with me they will only get spot placement.
“I can always assess them again in time for the World Cup (qualifiers).”
Corbin is the only teenager who will travel to Jordan. Hart explained that the wily, versatile winger impressed in Curaçao and can potentially break into the first team, particularly after Point Fortin forward Marcus Joseph was dropped for disciplinary reasons.
“Corbin has been doing very well, ” said Hart. “He is a little bit on the weak side physically but he did relatively well (against Curaçao). He struggled with some bigger defenders throwing him aside but he showed he can do well as a wide player, as opposed to through the centre where he normally plays.”
Orlando City playmaker Kevin Molino, Hanoi T&T midfielder Hughtun Hector and Chainat FC defender Seon Power are all unavailable for Gold Cup duty due to injury.
The Warriors will be led by captain and Cardiff City forward Kenwyne Jones and Central FC goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams who are both making their third Gold Cup appearances.
Unusually, Trinidad and Tobago might be best served in central defence where coach Stephen Hart is spoiled for choice.
Seoul E Land’s Carlyle Mitchell might not recover from an ankle injury in time but KV Mechelan’s Sheldon Bateau, former Arsenal youth player Gavin Hoyte and the W Connection pair of Mekeil Williams and Daneil Cyrus provide plenty depth.
Hart’s 34-man provisional Gold Cup squad:
Goalkeepers: Jan-Michael Williams (Central FC), Marvin Phillip (Point Fortin Civic), Adrian Foncette (Police FC), Cleon John (North East Stars);
Defenders: Kaydion Gabriel (Central FC), Justin Hoyte (Millwall—England), Gavin Hoyte (Barnet FC—England), Radanfah Abu Bakr (HB Koge—Denmark), Yohance Marshall (Juventud Independiente—El Salvador), Elijah Belgrave (Police FC), Carlyle Mitchell (Seoul E Land—Korea Republic), Sheldon Bateau (KV Mechelen, Belgium), Mekeil Williams (W Connection), Daneil Cyrus (W Connection), Aubrey David (Shakhter Karagandy—Kazakhstan), Joevin Jones (Chicago Fire—USA);
Midfielders: Andre Boucaud (Dagenham & Redbridge—UK), Leston Paul (Central FC), Khaleem Hyland (KVC Westerlo—Belgium), Dwane James (North East Stars), Kevan George (Columbus Crew—USA), Ataulla Guerra, Sean De Silva (both Central FC), Keron Cummings (North East Stars);
Forwards: Shahdon Winchester (W Connection), Kenwyne Jones (Cardiff City—UK), Cordell Cato (San Jose Earthquakes—USA), Lester Peltier (Slovan Bratislava—Slovakia), Devorn Jorsling (Defence Force), Willis Plaza (Central FC), Trevin Caesar (San Antonio Scorpions—USA), Jonathan Glenn (IBV—Iceland), Rundell Winchester (Portland Timbers 2—USA), Kadeem Corbin (St Ann’s Rangers).