Twenty-eight-year-old United States-based midfielder Ataulla Guerra will be a surprise inclusion in the Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team training squad today, after he received a late-up call from head coach Stephen Hart.
Guerra’s return to the fold means the Soca Warriors will have 24 players available to face Costa Rica for their opening game of the CONCACAF Hex on Friday 11 November at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
Guerra, who represents United States second tier club Charleston Battery, has not represented Trinidad and Tobago since the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. He scored a penalty in the Warriors’ 6-5 penalty shootout loss against Panama in the Gold Cup quarterfinals on 19 July 2015.
Hart explained that the decision to add Guerra to their ranks was primarily as safety against injury concerns. The former Central FC midfielder will ensure that the Warriors can play full 11v11 scrimmages, as they prepare to face Costa Rica.
“We have a little injury situation that we are monitoring, so I don’t have a lot of numbers tonight and I need that,” Hart told Wired868. “So now I have 24 [players]. It is important for me as I may have to give a few players a couple days off [to do light training].”
Hart declined the invitation to name the players who are injury concerns, although he insisted that he should have all 24 players available for selection on Friday.
“If I tell you [who the players with knocks are], you know where the first [Costa Rica] tackle will be [thrown at],” said Hart, with a laugh. “The medical staff doesn’t think I should be too concerned anyhow. But you never know.”
Kick off for Friday’s contest is 7pm and tickets cost TT$350 (covered) and TT$200 (uncovered).
(Trinidad and Tobago Team)
Goalkeepers: Jan-Michael Williams (Central FC), 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), Jelani Peters (W Connection), Carlyle Mitchell (Seoul E Land—Korea Republic);
Midfielders: Andre Boucaud (Dagenham & Redbridge—England), Khaleem Hyland (KV Westerlo—Belgium), 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), Ataulla Guerra (Charleston Battery—US), Cordell Cato (San Jose Earthquakes—US), Joevin Jones (Seattle Sounders—US), Marcus Joseph (Central FC);
Forwards: Kenwyne Jones (Central FC), Trevin Caesar (Orange County Blues—US), Willis Plaza (San Juan Jabloteh).
(Costa Rica Team)
Goalkeepers: Keylor Navas (Real Madrid), Patrick Pemberton (Alajuelense), Esteban Alvarado (Trabzonspor);
Defenders: Johnny Acosta (Herediano), Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps), Michael Umana (Alajuelense), Francisco Calvo (Saprissa), Cristian Gamboa (Celtic) Ronald Matarrita (New York City FC), Bryan Oviedo (Everton), Jose Salvatierra (Alajuelense), Pablo Salazar (Herediano);
Midfielders: Randall Azofeifa (Herediano), Celso Borges (Deportivo La Coruna), Yeltsin Tejeda (Lausanne), David Guzman (Saprissa), Bryan Ruiz (Sporting Lisbon), Cristian Bolanos (Vancouver Whitecaps), Johan Venegas (Montreal Impact), Rodney Wallace (Recife);
Forwards: Joel Campbell (Sporting Lisbon), Ariel Rodríguez (Bangkok Glass), Marco Uren (Brondby).