Racing Club de Lens midfielder John Bostock, a former England National Under-17 captain, will hope to finally make his international debut for Trinidad and Tobago next month, after head coach Stephen Hart named the talented central midfielder in his 24-man squad to face Guatemala and the United States on 2 and 6 September respectively.
Bostock, who was a target for a succession of Trinidad and Tobago coaches over the past four years, joined the Soca Warriors in March but was unable to play due to an error in the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association’s (TTFA) application for his change of nationality with FIFA.
Bostock, who was born in England, did not waver in his desire to represent his grandmother’s homeland and now looks set to be rewarded with his first senior international outing. FIFA is expected to rule on Bostock’s application on Monday and Hart selected him in anticipation of a positive decision.
Another new call-up is Canada-born goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh, who plays for Louisville City FC in the United States’ second tier league and is a former Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 player.
Ranjitsingh will help compensate for the absence of Central FC goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams, who recently returned to full training after a shoulder injury.
Combative midfielder Kevan George has also forced his way back into the Warriors fold with his performances for Jacksonville Armada FC in the US second division while central defender Carlyle Mitchell (Seoul E Land—Korea Republic) and Cordell Cato (San Jose Earthquakes—US) also return after recent absences.
Kenwyne Jones, who recently joined Pro League champions Central FC, will lead the squad which also includes Marvin Phillip (Morvant Caledonia United), Sheldon Bateau (KC Krylia Sovetov—Russia), Khaleem Hyland (KV Westerlo—Belgium), Levi Garcia (AZ Alkmaar—Netherlands), Kevin Molino (Orlando City—US) and Joevin Jones (Seattle Sounders—US).
The Soca Warriors, who top the group at present, need a win or draw against Guatemala to seal their place in the hex, which is the CONCACAF’s six-team final qualifying round.
However, a defeat to Guatemala would force Jones and his troops into a must-win situation away to the United States to preserve their Russia 2018 World Cup dream.
Guatemala goalkeeper Paulo Cesar Motta, who conceded twice in Trinidad and Tobago’s 2-1 World Cup qualifying win in Guatemala City last year, vowed that the Central American team will do everything in their power to be successful in Port of Spain.
“This is a very important game for the team and we need to get a winning result,” said Motta. “We are very motivated to get this result for our family, our wives, our children and the country.”
The Guatemala fixture kicks off at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain from 7pm. Gates will open at the venue from 4pm.
Tickets cost TT$300 (Covered Section) and TT$150 (Uncovered Section) and are available, through Sun Tixx, at any of the National Lotteries Control Board’s (NLCB) 900 Lotto outlets nationwide.
The TTFA has advised patrons to avoid counterfeit ticket issues by purchasing directly and only from the authorised agents.
There are no restrictions on tickets that a single person can purchase, which was a rule previously implemented to protect supporters from scalpers.
(Trinidad and Tobago squad)
Goalkeepers: Greg Ranjitsingh (Louisville City FC—US), Marvin Phillip (Morvant Caledonia United), Adrian Foncette (Police);
Defenders: Aubrey David (FC Dallas—US), Daneil Cyrus (W Connection), Radanfah Abu Bakr (JK Silame Kalev—Estonia), Sheldon Bateau (KC Krylia Sovetov—Russia), Yohance Marshall (Murcielagos FC—Mexico), Mekeil Williams (Colorado Rapids—USA), Carlyle Mitchell (Seoul E Land—Korea Republic);
Midfielders: Andre Boucaud (Dagenham & Redbridge—England), Khaleem Hyland (KV Westerlo—Belgium), Hughtun Hector (W Connection), Neveal Hackshaw (Charleston Battery—USA), Kevan George (Jackson Armada FC—US), John Bostock (RC Lens—France);
Attacking Midfielders: Levi Garcia (AZ Alkmaar—Netherlands), Jomal Williams (Murcielagos FC—Mexico), Kevin Molino (Orlando City—US), Cordell Cato (San Jose Earthquakes—US), Joevin Jones (Seattle Sounders—US);
Forwards: Shahdon Winchester (Murcielagos FC—Mexico), Kenwyne Jones (Central FC), Trevin Caesar (Orange County Blues—US).
Editor’s Note: Read Wired868 tonight for Stephen Hart’s explanation on his 24-man squad and thoughts on the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Guatemala.