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Plaza replaces Peltier in Warrior squad; visa issues deny Rundell

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.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago forward Willis Plaza (left) tries to keep the ball from Panama captain Roman Torres at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago forward Willis Plaza (left) tries to keep the ball from Panama captain Roman Torres at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

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.

Photo: Central FC striker Willis Plaza (centre) charges through the centre of the Comunicaciones defence during CONCACAF Champions League action. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC striker Willis Plaza (centre) charges through the centre of the Comunicaciones defence during CONCACAF Champions League action.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

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).

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago captain Kenwyne Jones celebrates his goal against Mexico in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago captain Kenwyne Jones celebrates his goal against Mexico in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

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);

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacking midfielder Keron Cummings (centre) celebrates his 2015 Gold Cup goal against Mexico with teammates (from right) Cordell Cato, Joevin Jones, Mekeil Williams and Aubrey David. (Courtesy MexSport/CONCACAF)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacking midfielder Keron Cummings (centre) celebrates his 2015 Gold Cup goal against Mexico with teammates (from right) Cordell Cato, Joevin Jones, Mekeil Williams and Aubrey David.
(Courtesy MexSport/CONCACAF)

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).

AboutLasana 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. pace but no end product in my opinion

    • He’s young and learning. He’s improved rapidly so far. So hope he keeps his feet on the ground and continues to progress.
      Plaza is more experienced and composed. But Plaza is four or five years older and Rundell is still an Under-23 player.

    • i understand ur point lasana n i agree to an extent….but i much prefer players in their prime…i saw rundell a few times and found he looked out of ideas…running up n down and no final ball….much like what peltier is becoming….but id give him a second chance become i make up my mind.

    • I don’t like to be harsh on players publicly for fear that I might be unfair. But as regards to Peltier…
      Let me say that I have always preferred clever players. Athletic players are useful once they put their shift in. And Peltier hasn’t been putting in a good-enough shift to satisfy me.
      What I love about players like Joevin Jones, Akeem Garcia and Kadeem Corbin is they are fast but can also think on their feet.

    • I see Rundell as a striker in the long run though. He has the knack for finding the ball in scoring opportunities in the box.

    • I totally agree…other than Joevin..d other much hyped players eh producing especially d wide areas but I wud continue further assessment after d Panama game

  2. Rundell brings electric pace. And he is used to life on the flank.

  3. I don’t think Winchester brings anything diff tbh…plaza was the better option

  4. Cummings is the real deal. I saw that kid run Mexico’s midfield ragged. He will get a big team move soon.

  5. Confirmed that, after Rundell was ruled out, the national coach did enquire about Ataulla Guerra. He was said to be injured.

  6. We could have done with Winchester in the team

  7. Opportunity knocks……break down the door Willis Plaza

  8. Lasana ….what happened with Cummings Orlando trial …at first I heard he did well then nothing??

    • Well, Cummings is back at Stars. Maybe they couldn’t agree personal terms. Maybe he isn’t what they need now or whatever.
      Those teams with salary caps sometimes need to clear a spot on the roster for you.

  9. He is the secret weapon… The danger!. He coming to pepper man!… Pressure

  10. I didn’t check but did molino make the squad?. What of molino the majicman

  11. Lasana you rate this kid Plaza so highly??

    • His pluses are he is a pure finisher. Left foot or right foot with no backlift.
      I wouldn’t say he is a dribbler but he will roll or fake past a defender in a flash if he thinks he isn’t paying close attention. And he is pretty mobile. He can pass too.
      He can fade in and out of games though. And sometimes he presses the opposing defence and sometimes not. His hold-up game should be more consistent too.
      So those are his pluses and minuses to me.

    • He scored against LA. Galaxy. He must have good qualities.

    • Kenwyne Jones and Jonathan Glenn have more physical presence and muscle. Kenwyne is obviously our best player in the air and can batter defenders. And Hart has said that Glenn is a great finisher as well.
      So that is what Plaza is up against.

    • Left foot, right foot no backlift….with mobility? Hard to find ….. seems like Hart’s hesitation is the type of forward his system employs ….hold up and lead the line first …. finish second …let’s see how the games go …Glenn is a dangerous one as well …. I’m quietly optimistic about this team …. I always had faith in. Hart but I didnt think he had players … I was wrong

  12. Any info on if the games will be on us television tv?

  13. The pool of players is getting bigger and bigger. Great for a small island like us.

  14. So appreciate this page. Keeps me informed of my team going ons.