Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team coach Stephen Hart promised to ring in the changes, as the Soca Warriors close their CONCACAF semifinal round fixtures with a clash against the United States from 8.15pm on 6 September at the Everbank Field in Jacksonville, Florida.
Trinidad and Tobago will wear white kits for the outing rather than their usual red gear.
Both nations have already qualified for the hex, although the Warriors will advance as Group C winners if they maintain their unbeaten record in Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying competition so far.
And Hart suggested that he will tinker with his roster after a sloppy showing last Friday when Trinidad and Tobago made heavy work of a 2-2 draw with Guatemala in Port of Spain.
“I think certain players have shown in training that they should get a run out,” Hart told the TTFA Media. “I don’t want to change things extensively because I would like to keep some sort of balance but, yes, you’ll see some changes.
“I think what’s more important is to have a good performance [from the players] on their own personal levels and a good, collective performance as a team. Because, like I said, this is sort of the building towards the hex.”
The Warriors are already without Russia-based defender Sheldon Bateau, who is suspended for collecting his second yellow card against Guatemala.
Bateau started alongside Republic of Korea-based teammate Carlyle Mitchell in central defence on Friday. But Hart is not short of depth in that position with towering Denmark-based defender Radanfah Abu Bakr likely to step in while Mexico-based defender Yohance Marshall will also be pushing for a spot.
Trinidad and Tobago have nine United States-based players in their 24-man squad, exclusive of team captain Kenwyne Jones. Jones will join new Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise Atlanta United next January but, at present, is on loan at local Pro League outfit, Central FC.
His namesake, Joevin Jones, who scored both goals against Guatemala, plays for MLS team Seattle Sounders and hopes for a strong performance in his adopted nation.
“I think it would be a good way to end the semifinal round with a good result against the US and a strong performance,” said Joevin. “Obviously I know a few of the guys from playing in the League here and there has been a lot of talk about the match.
“Both teams are through but I am sure the two teams will go all out to try and win the match and set the pace for the next round.”
Hart said the Warriors are conscious of the need for a more efficient showing in Jacksonville.
“We know [we are] in the hex now but we also know that we have to be a little more efficient in the things we do, especially off the ball,” said Hart. “We had a long team meeting about it and we would like to start implementing it and look at this match as the first match of preparation for the hex.
“Both goals were preventable [against Guatemala] on Friday and we didn’t deal with the situation well enough. We could have managed the game better when we were 2-1 using our ball possession more effectively.
“We lost discipline and allowed them to at least have a fighting chance by coming back into the game. Obviously we are aware of this and we will be working on it as we head into this match.”
The United States are without star forward and Joevin’s Seattle teammate, Clint Dempsey, after a medical check-up showed that he had an irregular heart beat while Newcastle United fullback Deandre Yedlin is suspended and Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler was excused due to the birth of his daughter.
However, US coach Jurgen Klinsmann does welcome back Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley and Mexico-based defender Michael Orozco, after both missed their 6-0 romp over St Vincent and the Grenadines due to suspension.
After tomorrow’s affair, Trinidad and Tobago play the Dominican Republic and Martinique in Caribbean Cup qualifiers on 6 and 15 October respectively before resuming their World Cup campaign with their opening hex outings on 11 and 15 November 2016.
“We have to look at October first,” said Hart. “After a few days just to clear my head, I’ll sit down with the President (David John-Williams) and the staff and plan out October and November with regards to training camps, hotels and flights, once we know who we are playing first in the hex.”
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So guys who’s carrying the game tonight? Any of the local stations?
All Kenwyne naysayers look away now
I’m happy with a draw tonight if we can get it. Would be nice to top the group.
Draw with improved possession play, yep..
If our game is to be like Atletico and strike on the break, then so be it yes. We might have improved possession. But I don’t think we will ever have 50 percent or more possession against anyone in the hex.
Our strength is the sucker punch.
I agree, but I am mindful that possession is not only good from an attacking perspective.. it would help tremendously defensively as well, particularly against the hex opposition. Keep away will help earn a point in tough away games man, and it has to start being a point of emphasis tonight, i believe.
I wish we score 3 and win
Brian Jordan, considering that our strength is counter attacking rather than being clever on the ball, what do you think would be a fair ball possession ratio against opponents in the hex?
Depends on the opponent but I would like 40-45% as an average
I just checked and our average for the World Cup campaign so far is 47.
In competitive action over the last two years, we fell below your acceptable average twice. Against the US in POS, we had our worse game in terms of ball retention. A shocking 21 percent. Although we still got a draw.
In the 4-4 draw against Mexico, we managed 39 percent.
Otherwise in three games against Guatemala, two against St Vincent and matches against Panama and Cuba, we were all within that average.
And we were 60 and 61 percent in all the games against Cuba and St Vincent.
I don’t believe that at all
But then again St Vincent would help those numbers
Lol. Official stats Brian Jordan. So don’t know how to respond to that. Those are CONCACAF figures.
K.. sticking with 40-45
Our three games against Guatemala, we got 45, 45 and 48 percent respectively.
I would take 40-45 against Mexico for sure
That’s the average so against US, and Honduras for example we need to be higher for sure..
We got 42 percent against Panama. And Panama better than Honduras. So I’d expect us to do okay-ish there.
But we obviously should try to do better than 21 percent tonight.
I think 40 to 45 percent is fair. Occasionally, you might dip to as low as 35 percent. Anything worse and you are asking for trouble.
Btw, until we can get 50 percent and more against the top CONCACAF nations, I think Kenwyne will be an asset for that outlet ball to get us out of trouble that he can head on for a runner.
I like your thinking. We also could get more accurate and quicker passes to break down opponent defenses.
yeh like start Levi
plz no k.jones if we want 2 win
The article says that both teams qualified for the HEX, only TNT qualified. As I understand it, if TNT beat the USA and Guatemala has a huge victory 10+ then USA does not advance. The scenario is highly unlikely but the matches have to be played.
Fair point Sean. But about three records will have to be set for that to happen. T&T’s first win in the US, a record win for Guatemala over St Vincent and a record number of goals in a match at this stage…
Virtually qualified is more accurate. But I feel certain that Guatemala are done.
You cant blame a fella for fantasizing of 19 November 1989 Revenge….lol
You have a better chance of winning the lottery
Lol. Let’s save that revenge for the hex!
I think the draw against Dutty-Mala was one of the best things that happened to TT in this campaign. Mainly because we know that we have work to do… the all round mediocre performance showed… however the guaranteed spot in the hex gives us a chance to experiment. I remember in one of your interviews with him Lasana he said that he didn’t have the luxury of playing against top teams and having the ability to try stuff. It was always do or die… now he has that chance. Blessing in disguise…
I still want to top the group if we can though! And I like the idea of us having a psychological edge over the US when we meet them in the hex. Would be nice to avoid a defeat.
hahahaha It wasn’t me eh. Them really good yes.
who the hell wrote that??
Did you read the Newsday report Lasana? Whoever wrote that is deficient in writing skills as well as vocabulary. And what about the editors and proof readers/ Sad article, saying that Joevin jones was “still smarting” from the two goals he scored. SMFH!
Yes the article says he is still smarting….
Quote: Seattle Sounders midfielder Joevin Jones, still smarting from his pair of goals on Friday, said, “I know I had to put on a good performane and play my part in order to help the team and I was happy to do that.
sense…hell..im still smarting from reading that just now—i could only imagine how the young fella (Terry Fenwick voice) feels
Not to mention “performane”
I’d like to see Ranjitsingh in goal Radanfah & Yohance in Central Defence & Aubrey David at left-back Kevan George in place of Boucaud & Jomal Williams in the #10 role replaced by Cummings later in the game
Oh lord. Not me! I want us to play a strong team. I’m fine with the guys who are on fire in training getting a taste but I don’t want too many changes.
You want to leave out Molino?! Brian, you’re lucky that you’re talking from a safe distance right now! Hahaha.
I’d bring in Aubrey, Radanfah, Kevan and Levi. Maybe Yohance if he is flying in training. May the best goalie in practice play. But that’s it.
And of course I’d expect that either Shahdon or Trevin will get 30 minutes tomorrow at least.
My suggestions was based on the fact that this game is essentially a warm up for the hex and an ideal opportunity to test the men who we will have to depend on when the going gets tough and see what they are made of…Make no mistake I want us to WIN the group but lets look at the long term benefits of testing the bench in a less pressured situation ( We really shouldnt throw men in the deep end in Qualifying…some float but several sink) Tomorrow night allows us a unique chance to do that.
Buh A A SAFE distance??? You’ve seen me play Las even with 1& 1/2 knees Im still fearless in tackling so Im not afraid lol ?
Cummings isn’t in the squad.
Thanks Roneil thought he was one of the 23 my bad.
Hahaha. Brian, let those fellahs target the Caribbean Cup next month. If they work hard for it. I want a point. And I want Molino to regain his confidence too. He wasn’t at his best against St Vincent and he was anonymous against Guatemala. But he will be important in the hex.
I think it will be good for him if he shows up in his home state and represents well against the US.
I won’t fault that argument…I suspect Coach Hart will go somewhere in-between our 2 views
Probably. I look forward to seeing Levi of course. That will be interesting.
In the words of Dion Sosa. Levi Garcia and any 10 :v
LOL…but in all seriousness yeah boi that young fella in a class of his own yes!
With there being no real pressure as far as making the hex, it scares me a bit. Is the team mature enough to see this as a building block game where they can send a message OR not?
I’m hoping that, with the pressure off, we do much better than we did against Guatemala. Anything else would worry me a bit.
This is a critically important game. We can’t afford to come this far and get a poor result. This is the platform from which we get set for the November games, beginning with Mexico at home or CR in San Jose. Your thoughts are right on – we have shown to play well away and the pressure is off. But, the psychological edge of the US not finishing first and ahead of us is not something they are willing to up. Playing Mexico at home is a better first game for either the US or us (T&T) than going to CR. Both are poisons of a lethal kind, however. We should play for a result and if we can, a veeeery rear victory, and take our chances playing Mexico at home in the first game. Well done T&T , well done Stephen Hart – HEX for we and who vex, vex!
Yes. I agree Hannibal. I was just speaking to Prince Borde about that and he made a good point when he said our results against Mexico in Port of Spain are not bad.
Can you imagine with an opening win against Mexico will do for our confidence? We really do need to top the group if at all possible.
Well at least our Soca Warriors should be getting alot of support from all the Trinis that live in Florida Miami, Tampa Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, OCala, and other surrounding places eh compared to when they played in Chicago.
Earl Mango Pierre lmao well we top the table so expect all them hide away trini’s come out to support an give tong lash to they yankee friends!! just to throw picong lol……..you go see nuff Hide away Trinis coming to support an feel good lol
4 – 0
Eh? Ainsley, I hope you’re not driving. Because you will fail the breathalyser for sure! Lol