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Central off to face Galaxy minus Oliver, Ettienne and Joseph

The Central FC squad boarded a flight to Los Angeles this evening where the “Couva Sharks” will make their CONCACAF Champions League debut on Thursday night against MLS team, LA Galaxy.

Photo: LA Galaxy midfielder and former England international and Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard.
Photo: LA Galaxy midfielder and former England international and Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard.

Details regarding which players are available to Central coach Ross Russell are sketchy though.

Wired868 was informed that new acquisitions Marcus Joseph and Andre Ettienne might not have been processed to play and they remained in Trinidad alongside veteran playmaker Marvin Oliver who did not get a visa.

However, no one at Central could confirm their squad details. Former operations director Kevin Harrison had his duties cut and now works as “advisor to the board” while media officer Amiel Mutilal was not kept on.

Harrison said his new job specs were provided by Central chairman and SIS director Daren Mohamdally and were meant to give him and former club chairman, Brent Sancho, more time to prepare for the September 7 general elections.

Sancho is the current Sport Minister and UNC candidate for Toco/Sangre Grande while Harrison, a British native, is employed as his advisor. Mutilal also worked for the Sport Ministry during the recently concluded Women’s Premier League (WPL) competition.

Photo: Central FC players (from left) Elton John, Yohance Marshall and captain Marvin Oliver pose with the 2014 Lucozade Sport Goal Shield trophy. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC players (from left) Elton John, Yohance Marshall and captain Marvin Oliver pose with the 2014 Lucozade Sport Goal Shield trophy.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“I am disappointed not to be more involved in the day to day (affairs) at Central FC,” Harrison told Wired868. “I feel there is a lot more that I could be doing to assist the club… (But) decisions were made after Brent’s appointment and my own at the Ministry of Sport that people were needed there 24/7.”

Central appointed Derek Khan as media manager but he has not hit the ground running. It meant that the Sharks began their 2015/16 season quietly.

Russell, a former two-time Pro League champion coach with Defence Force, joined Central after a short stint with the Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Women’s Team at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.

However, even as the media reported that Russell had been installed, another Central director was understood to have continued canvassing potential candidates. It was symptomatic of the club’s slightly bewildering pre-season.

Similarly, despite news that Joseph and Ettienne swapped Point Fortin Civic for Central, Wired868 understands neither player travelled to Los Angeles.

Photo: Point Fortin Civic attacker Marcus Joseph is set to join Central FC. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Point Fortin Civic attacker Marcus Joseph is set to join Central FC.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Oliver, who had prior legal issues in the United States, and National Under-23 goalkeeper Javon Sample were the only players known to have been denied visas.

Former team captain Leston Paul is understood to be returning from a football trial in Europe at present alongside 21-year-old forward Dwight Quintero and midfielder Jean-Luc Rochford, who all represented Central last season.

It is uncertain whether they will link up with Russell for the new Pro League season, which is expected to kick off in September.

Veteran attacker Kerry Baptiste is the sole new signing with the Sharks in the United States. Baptiste spent his last two seasons with San Juan Jabloteh and previously played for North East Stars, T&TEC and Joe Public.

Otherwise, Central’s Champions League campaign will be spearheaded by the Trinidad and Tobago 2015 Gold Cup trio of Jan-Michael Williams, Ataulla Guerra and Willis Plaza alongside returning players like new captain Sean De Silva, winger Darren “Chucky” Mitchell, veteran attacker Jason Marcano, utility player Jamal Jack, defenders Kaydion “Drogba” Gabriel, Akeem “Battery” Benjamin and Elton John and National Under-23 midfielder Nathaniel Garcia.

Photo: Central FC players (from left) Elton John, Darren Mitchell, Kaydion Gabriel, Uriah Bentick, Jason Marcano, Leston Paul, Ataulla Guerra and Akeem Benjamin celebrate during their penalty shoot out win over Montego Bay United in the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship semifinal. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC players (from left) Elton John, Darren Mitchell, Kaydion Gabriel, Uriah Bentick, Jason Marcano, Leston Paul, Ataulla Guerra and Akeem Benjamin celebrate during their penalty shoot out win over Montego Bay United in the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship semifinal.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

The other Central FC players believed to be in Los Angeles are: Akil Clarke, Marcelle Francois, Keion Goodridge, Kevon Villaroel, Elijah Manners, Triq Nicholas and Nicholas Dillon.

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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14 comments

  1. I’ve heard coaches at a much higher level talk about players forget instructions when adrenalin started to flow.
    Knowing Fevrier, I am certain there was a tactical plan. Maybe the experience overwhelmed some of the younger players.

  2. I’m not bashing them but to learn you can’t sugarcoat certain things …. I think Charles need to use it as a learning experience because even at a youth level the defensive mistakes they made were shocking ….. top team…rookie team …. as a footballer basic principles of coverage and tracking needs to be adhered to. The goals were way to easy …. not sure they had a tactical plan going into the game

  3. Well, the average age of the team was said to be 21 and there were five teenagers used. Defending is not an art that you master in your first or even second season of adult football.
    Not that I think it is an excuse. Connection choose to play with an inexperienced team. Hopefully a plan is in place to develop them as happened before with Joevin Jones.

  4. Nah …. the nature of the goals suggest otherwise ….. all sloppy defensive mistakes

  5. Naive? Or just not good enough against one of CONCACAF’s top teams?

  6. Are they gonna learn from the naive play of W Connection?

  7. Rally round Oliver…..the leader

  8. So disappointed with the recent developments at the club. It’s like they gone to the dogs since the political appointments for Sancho and Harrison. Why would they sack Amiel? He’s been such a proactive asset in their marketing department.