Bankers Insurance Central FC striker Willis Plaza will travel to Panama after all as a rib injury to Slovakia-based winger, Lester Peltier, opened a pathway for his recall for international duty on October 8.
Even then, Plaza only got the nod after United States-based forward Rundell Winchester and his Central teammate Ataulla Guerra were deemed unavailable.
“Willis has been included,” Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team head coach Stephen Hart told Wired868. “We actually wanted (Rundell) Winchester but because of visa issues he couldn’t leave the States.”
Hart’s preference for Winchester was tactical, as the pacy forward, who represents Portland Timbers 2, earned all four of his international caps on the flank. An enquiry was also made for Guerra but he was said to be nursing a knock.
Peltier’s absence means the “Soca Warriors” travel to Panama with just one experienced flanker, Chicago Fire’s Joevin Jones. Austin Aztex’s Trevin Caesar has two substitute appearances out wide while 19-year-old DIRECTV W Connection’s Aikim Andrews is uncapped.
Plaza has 18 international appearances and five goals for the Warriors as a centre forward or second striker. However, Hart noted that Plaza trained as a winger in the pre-Gold Cup camp earlier this year, when he flirted with a 4-3-3 formation.
So, Plaza will again be asked to impersonate a winger.
“We think we have it solved,” said Hart. “During training for the (2015) Gold Cup, I used him out wide. I don’t know if I would want to use him there during the game but we have that option.”
Plaza’s inclusion as a winger came at the expense of two of his Central teammates, Marcus Joseph and Sean De Silva, who both played on the flank this season. San Juan Jabloteh attacker Tyrone Charles made his national senior team debut as a winger against Panama, earlier this year, but will also have to wait for another shot at the international stage.
The Warriors face Panama on October 8 and then return to Trinidad to host Nicaragua at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on October 13. The Panama clash will be shown live on Flow channel 99 while tickets for the Nicaragua affair go on sale next week at $100 (uncovered stands) and $200 (covered stands).
There will be at least one other change to the Trinidad and Tobago squad as England-based defender Gavin Hoyte will return to his employer, Barnet FC, after the Panama outing.
Hart is yet to announce who will replace Hoyte in the squad to face Nicaragua in Port of Spain.
(Trinidad and Tobago team to face Panama on October 8 in Panama City)
Goalkeepers: Jan-Michael Williams (Central FC), Marvin Phillip (Morvant Caledonia Utd);
Defenders: Gavin Hoyte (Barnet—England), Radanfah Abu Bakr (HB Koge—Denmark), Yohance Marshall (Murcielagos FC—Mexico), Sheldon Bateau (KC Krylia Sovetov—Russia), Mekeil Williams (Antigua GFC—Guatemala), Daneil Cyrus (Chicago Fire—USA), Aubrey David (Shakhter Karagandy—Kazakhstan);
Midfielders: Andre Boucaud (Dagenham & Redbridge—England), Khaleem Hyland (KV Westerlo—Belgium), Kevan George (Columbus Crew—USA), Neveal Hackshaw (North East Stars);
Attacking Midfielders: Joevin Jones (Chicago Fire—USA), Keron Cummings (North East Stars), Aikim Andrews (W Connection), Willis Plaza (Central FC);
Forwards: Trevin Caesar (Austin Aztex—USA), Jonathan Glenn (Breioablik—Iceland), Kenwyne Jones (Cardiff City—Wales).