Orlando City midfielder Kevin Molino is set to make his first appearance of Trinidad and Tobago’s 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign after he was pencilled into the “Soca Warriors” squad today to face St Vincent and the Grenadines on March 25 and 29 respectively.
Molino missed much of 2015 through injury but has already represented Orlando in three Major League Soccer (MLS) games this season.
Hart said he has monitored the former Mucurapo Secondary schoolboy closely, in recent weeks, and believes he can help lift the Warriors.
“I think it’s exciting for the country that Molino is back,” Hart told the TTFA Media. “He played 90 minutes for his club on Friday and that’s fantastic.”
As expected, Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart also made room for skilful 18 year old AZ Alkmaar winger, Levi Garcia, who played for 80 minutes today and created one goal in his team’s 2-2 draw against FC Twente in the Netherlands Eredivisie.
“Levi has been doing well,” said Hart. “He gives us a bit of penetration and I want to give him the experience of coming into the camp and fighting for a position. Because he knows what it is now to fight his way onto a team and try to get selected.”
The big surprise, though, was a maiden call-up for 24 year old Belgium-based midfielder John Bostock, who once captained England at Under-17 level and is Crystal Palace’s youngest ever first team player, after he made his debut at 15 years and 287 days old.
Bostock joined Tottenham Hotspur a year later but never got on the field for them and has been a journeyman player ever since with seven different clubs in the following seven years.
Bostock qualifies to represent the Warriors through a Trinidadian grandmother and, although he was born in south London, he already holds a Trinidad and Tobago passport. He has been wooed by Trinidad and Tobago for at least the last three years and was even officially named on the Warriors’ shortlist for the CONCACAF 2013 Gold Cup.
Hart thinks he will be asset to the national team with his shooting from distance and dead balls.
“Bostock is a player that I think a lot of people will like,” said the Warriors coach. “He gives an outside threat with his shooting and the dead ball situation.”
Hart is without first choice goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams, defender Radanfah Abu Bakr and midfielders Keron Cummings and Cordell Cato through injury.
And he also overlooked attacking midfielder Ataulla Guerra, who recently joined Charleston Battery in the US second tier, and Marcus Joseph, who scored his first international goal against Grenada yesterday.
Winger Lester Peltier and defensive midfielder Kevan George, who are both unattached at the moment, were also omitted.
Oddly, there was no room for Republic of Korea-based defender Carlyle Mitchell, although his absence meant that Hart has just two specialist central defenders, Sheldon Bateau and Yohance Marshall.
Daneil Cyrus and Mekeil Williams can both fill in as stoppers but have been used predominantly as full backs at international level.
There was no call either for Iceland-based striker Jonathan Glenn, who led the line in Trinidad and Tobago’s 2016 Copa America Centenario loss to Haiti on January 8.
Hart hinted that he put a premium on versatility in the selection of his 22-man squad.
“I tried to find the most balanced squad possible to go into the games,” said Hart. “We have some key players injured so I had to juggle the line up and add one or two players that can fill in certain roles.
“So hopefully we have the right balance and mind frame going into the (game).”
Captain Kenwyne Jones is back, after missing the 2016 Copa America Centenario play off loss to Haiti on January 8, and will be making his first international appearance since his mid-season move to Abu Dhabi-based club, Al Jazira.
Versatile Central FC midfielder Sean De Silva, who has been wooed by Guyana and Antigua and Barbuda over the past year, has finally forced his way into the squad for a competitive fixture, on the back of his consistent performances this season.
And El Salvador-based striker Willis Plaza is back too, after missing out on a pick for the play off defeat to Haiti.
The Warriors will have double sessions at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Monday and Tuesday before departing for Kingstown on Wednesday.
(Trinidad and Tobago team)
Goalkeepers: Marvin Phillip (Morvant Caledonia United), Adrian Foncette (Police FC);
Defenders: Sheldon Bateau (FC Krylia Sovetov—Russia), Yohance Marshall (Murcielagos FC—Mexico), Daneil Cyrus (W Connection), Mekeil Williams (Colorado Rapids—USA), Aubrey David (Deportivo Saprissa—Costa Rica), Justin Hoyte (Dagenham & Redbridge—England);
Midfielders: Andre Boucaud (Dagenham & Redbridge—England), John Bostock (OH Leuven—Belgium), Khaleem Hyland (KVC Westerlo—Belgium), Neveal Hackshaw (Charleston Battery—USA);
Attacking midfielders: Jomal Williams (W Connection), Kevin Molino (Orlando City—USA), Levi Garcia (AZ Alkmaar—Netherlands), Hughtun Hector (W Connection), Sean De Silva (Central FC), Joevin Jones( Seattle Sounders—USA),
Forwards: Kenwyne Jones (Al Jazira—UAE), Willis Plaza (Alianza—El Salvador), Shahdon Winchester (W Connection), Trevin Caesar (Orange County Blues—USA).
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HART and MARCUS have a history, so maybe Hart is looking for a lot more from Marcus in order for him to get into the team.
The 24-year-old Joseph, who has seven international caps and was a substitute in the Warriors’ 1-0 loss against Panama in March, missed a physical evaluation exercise twice and allegedly delivered a suspect reason for his absence through a teammate.
“I can’t have that kind of inconsistency from a player,” said Hart, who took disciplinary actions against players like Keon Daniel, Joevin Jones and Cyrus in the past. “We asked you to come for an evaluation (and) you don’t show up. We make an alternative date and he said he was in Tobago and couldn’t get a flight. But I came over from Tobago that same night on a half-empty plane…
“And, to make it worse, he didn’t contact me directly but sent a message with a player. That is unacceptable.”
There was also another time where Hart was talking about Marcus’ lack of intensity in training, but I can’t remember the article.
It’s true. Marcus has to take some responsibility for his fate as well.
Happy for De Silva (y)
WATCH: 2015/16 Highlights of John Bostock
Vision on point
Damn good addition in my opinion. Hope we find 4-5 more like him around the world
That left boot is no joke eh?
I was making the assumption before the video. But the video confirmed it…wicked lefty
Indeed there got to more players of TT heritage in the UK of strong quality in the championship and premiership – they all can’t be Jamaican and Guyana heritage
So many press conference I’ve been to and humbly queried this to coach Hart
This can help push the Warriors to another level
Marcus Joseph not in the squad .. Something is totally wrong with that coach ?
To be honest Keith, it is a 22-man squad with two goalkeepers and just six defenders. That’s a big risk. But I guess he can always add a defender for the second leg in case of an injury or suspension.
And I guess that shows how offensive we will be against St Vincent.
..It is one match and the defenders are versatile and can slot into in any position..
If u say to me Hart wants more than goals from his strikers no problem…let’s say he thinks jorsling and marcus don’t run enuff for the team then what else other than goals does Kenwyne bring to d team? Cuz if I’m honest his work rate is fantastic at best ?
..Yup. He’s done good so far..
Hart hasn’t made squad or tactical decision choice that hasn’t worked or backfired in anyway that I can remember to be fair – so in a strange and good way he has earned the right to be given a very large benefit of the doubt over decisions he makes, that most football coaches don’t usually have
Every coach has made decisions that didn’t work. Hart is no different. I would say more worked than didn’t work though.
But he ent infallible if that’s what you mean.
Ye just that he deserve that big benefit of the doubt before people go as far as speculating – he got something personal for leaving out Joseph for eg
Well, yes and no. I would say that he probably just doesn’t think Marcus Joseph can give Warriors a better chance of victory than the other players.
Sometimes it is personal in that a coach might think a player’s attitude is disruptive. That is usually speculative and you can even say personal.
At the end of the day, I’m sure it is just about who Hart thinks will help T&T win matches. And that’s his right as coach.
I will not grade hart until he gets out of this round. This is round he took Canada to
Last time. Hopefully he has learnt from his pass experience. So far so good.
The squad has a very strong midfield core Shawn. On paper anyway. Because there are new faces who will need time to gel.
I would have taken Jorsling to the Gold Cup. But then I can’t point to any coaching licences in my CV. Lol.
For me, when times dark, I want to see a man with more than a dozen goals on his CV to introduce.
…LOLOLOL.How true is dat!!..
the squad is brutally strong ….we will be there supporting the lads Jerron Abasali Justin Abasali
You will have to add Justin Abasali in the right panel under Members.
..Ok. Every coach has his personal approach. But play good, bad or ugly, gimme a scorer every time..
Goal scorers with right attitude and that “fit in” are probably always going to be selected, I would hope.
..Even the bad attitude scorers get into the team. George Best. Cantona. Stoichkov. Romario. Many others. The world wants to win..
Keith Look Loy Point taken, but I hesitate to compare our football maturity to those teams or the talent surrounding those luminaries. I s if any of those were perceived to have detrimental attitudes, they would not have been picked.
..I also suspect if..
..Well, I am not arguing a case for him but I don’t know that Joseph was not selected because of a bad attitude..
Neither do I, but I know each coach knows the psyche of their team and players best.. Goalscoring is great, but other factors can negate that is all I am saying..
Btw, I was speaking generally.. Not about any specific player..
Keith, judging from previous omissions of Devorn Jorsling and Cornell Glen, Hart clearly doesn’t feel he needs specialist scorers.
His philosophy seems to prefer more “harmony” and “balance” within his squad.
And, to be fair to him, he has gotten results that way so far.
He can’t “carry” 2 players with the system he plays…. he allows KJ to roam… so he figures unless KJ get injured, his work load (or lack there of) should be enough to last a full 90… lol….
Maybe. But I’m talking about a player on the bench eh.
I know… Hart would take a utility player rather than another goal scorer…. this is why KJ is allowed to not “really” run in games… goal scorers do their damage inside the 18…. our team need players who could run… and since we getting goals from our midfielders he willing to sacrifice a poacher for a midfielder/forward…
saw Molino in some highlights this weekend.. his movement off the ball is good . but his finishing is off…. taking 2 touches when he should strike with 1, and not being decisive enough when presented with goal scoring options (this was against NYCFC)… if he plays behind KJ and we are not dependent on him to be our goal scorer we should be ok….
I want to believe we won’t need Molino to play 90 minutes in both games. I’d be happy for him and Levi to be assets on the bench if necessary.
Or maybe to start the second game.
right now I would start Levi before I start Molino… not enough games under KM belt coming off injury and you see the rust infront goal…. Levi is in form right now and his movement and understanding of game is way superior to anyone playing in pro league MLS or any league that is not a top tier league…. IMO
but as you said… also not bad options to have come off the bench
But it is his first senior international and it takes more getting used to it than that.
Also he would have had just a week with this squad. Nope, he is getting his learner’s permit for me. Although I’m very encouraged that he will go on to be a very important player for us.
true, but the game is against SVG….. it is a “soft” international game and the level of competition he sees in practice everyday and in game in Holland are FAR superior to anything he would face in CONCACAF (outside of Mexico US and Costa Rica) … class is class Sana…. no need to hold him back if he can get the job done…. by playing in Eredivisie every week, he doh need no learner’s…. he driving already…
You don’t learn anything sitting on the Bench #letsstartLevi
. SCORING is the most important skill in the game. A scorer will always be in my squad..
Idk that’s why I think it’s some thing else cuz he scoring for his club and he scored against Grenada so idk
Clearly Marcus Joseph didn’t suitably impress Hart in that training camp before the Grenada match. Unless he is carrying an injury.
Well this have to be obeah Roland Jemba Hamilton Sr. Aarön Afc Andrews Johanan T Q Campbell I feel hart have a personal issue with the man once he not injured
Well wais this bai, na I hadda talk to Lobo and find out if is a disciplinary problem, or injury or what, cuz other than those, there isn’t any legitimate reason for not including him.