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Williams names T&T U-20 squad: Dillon and Powder are in; Levi, Julien are out

Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team coach Brian Williams will not have the services of AZ Alkmaar winger Levi Garcia or San Juan Jabloteh left back Keston Julien when he tries to steer his squad to the Korea Republic 2017 Under-20 World Cup.

Williams named his 20-man squad today for this month’s CONCACAF Under-20 Championship, which kicks off on Saturday 18 February in Costa Rica.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago and AZ Alkmaar winger Levi Garcia (right) takes on Maccabi Tel Aviv and Israel international defender Eli Dasa (L) during a Europa Cup contest on 3 November 2016, at the Netanya Stadium.  (Copyright AFP 2017/Jack Guez)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago and AZ Alkmaar winger Levi Garcia (right) takes on Maccabi Tel Aviv and Israel international defender Eli Dasa (left) during a Europa Cup contest on 3 November 2016, at the Netanya Stadium.
(Copyright AFP 2017/Jack Guez)

Trinidad and Tobago’s first outing is scheduled for Sunday 19 February against Bermuda. Four of the 12 participating nations will go on to represent the confederation in the Korea Republic.

The young Soca Warriors are captained by W Connection midfielder and ex-Naparima College standout Jabari Mitchell, who represented the national youth team three years ago when they won the Under-20 Caribbean Cup.

Williams will be pleased too to have Central FC striker Nicholas Dillon back from trials with a Belgium second division team. Dillon is Trinidad and Tobago’s leading scorer with eight goals in the qualifying rounds.

Utility player Noel Powder, who represented New York Red Bulls II last season but spent the last month on trial in Europe, is also included and should be a significant asset.

Williams initially stated his preference to use Powder as an attacking winger but Julien’s absence could change that, as the youth team does not have another specialist left back.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team defender Kierron Mason (right) keeps his eye on the ball during a practice game with St Ann's Rangers at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team defender Kierron Mason (right) keeps his eye on the ball during a practice game with St Ann’s Rangers at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Kierron Mason, Shane Sandy—both midfielders who Williams has used in central defence—and right back Kori Cupid have filled in at left back at times. But not altogether convincingly.

Another possibly forced omission was Denmark-born central midfielder Marc Gangia, who had been trying to get a Trinidad and Tobago passport just before the team left for a pre-tournament tour in Colombia.

Naparima playmaker Justin Sadoo and St Augustine midfielder Jesse Joseph were both left out as well as Williams introduced two rookies in the form of Fatima College’s Stephon Marcano and Alcons’ Joshua Sitney.

The other outfield players who did not make the final squad were: San Juan North Secondary defender Kyle Thomas and United States-born defender Coby McGregor from Cedar Stars Academy.

United States-based players Andrew Rullow, Jarred Dass and Anthony Herbert were declared unavailable while Presentation College (San Fernando) midfielder Kareem Riley was injured and Naparima schoolboy Isaiah Hudson is supposedly to face a disciplinary committee for his withdrawal from Curaçao in mid-tournament.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team midfielder Joshua Sitney (left) tries to shrug off the attentions of a St Ann's Rangers player during a practice game at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team midfielder Joshua Sitney (left) tries to shrug off the attentions of a St Ann’s Rangers player during a practice game at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Shiva Boys utility player Yohannes Richardson and Canada-based defender Jacob Sooklal were two other players used earlier in the qualifying series who failed to keep their places.

Former QRC goalkeeper Jadel Pool-Lewis, who now represents the Franklin Pierce University in the US, also misses out as Williams carries only two goalkeepers and opted for Shiva Boys Hindu College custodian Denzil Smith and Montel Joseph, who plays for English Conference team Boreham Wood FC.

Carapichaima East goalkeeper Dejourn Charles and St Anthony’s College goalkeeper Jabari Brice also failed to make the cut.

Smith managed a remarkable four successive clean sheets in last year’s Caribbean Football Union (CFU) championship in Curaçao.

On the attacking end, Dillon is the only authentic centre-forward in the squad although the likes of St Ann’s Rangers attacker Joshua Toussaint and Police FC winger Joshua Leach can operate there if necessary.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team attacker Josh Toussaint (centre) celebrates after scoring against St Ann's Rangers during a practice game at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team attacker Josh Toussaint (centre) celebrates after scoring against St Ann’s Rangers during a practice game at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

In short, Williams has banked on versatility for the Costa Rica tournament with only three genuine defenders, one out-and-out forward and 14 multi-functional players.

“This is the best selection we have come up with and I am satisfied with the players available to us and I have confidence in the ability of every player,” Williams told the TTFA Media. “Every player selected was carefully assessed by myself and the support staff over the past few weeks and even months before that for us to get to this final selection.

“The players have worked extremely hard and have progressed both on and off the field of play.”

The National Under-20 team played three practice games in Colombia, as they lost 5-0 to AcotFutpro and drew 1-1 and 2-2 with Puerto Tejada and Fundaleu respectively.

The TTFA claimed that Fundaleu was a third division team although there was no information online about any of Trinidad and Tobago’s opponents and none were listed as professional teams by SoccerWay.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Under-20 Team midfielder and captain Jabari Mitchell (centre) passes the ball during a practice game against St Ann's Rangers at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Under-20 Team midfielder and captain Jabari Mitchell (centre) passes the ball during a practice game against St Ann’s Rangers at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

(Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team)

Goalkeepers: Montel Joseph (Boreham Wood FC—England), Denzil Smith (Shiva Boys HC);

Defenders: Kori Cupid (Presentation College, San F’do), Isaiah Garcia (W Connection), Taryk Sampson (Ma Pau Stars), Simeon Bailey (Barataria South Secondary), Shane Sandy (Naparima College/Ma Pau Stars), Kierron Mason (Marabella Crisis Centre), Noah Powder (New York Red Bulls—USA),

Midfielders: Morgan Bruce-De Rouche (Queens Park Rangers FC—England), Stephon Marcano (Fatima College), Joshua Sitney (Alcons),

Attacking midfielders: Micah Lansiquot (Mucurapo East Secondary/St Ann’s Rangers), Rushawn Murphy (Malick Secondary/St Ann’s Rangers), Kathon St Hillaire (St Anthonys College/St Ann’s Rangers), Jabari Mitchell (W Connection), Joshua Leach (Police FC), Josh Toussaint (St Anns Rangers),

Forwards: Nicholas Dillon (Central FC), Taofik Lucas-Walker (DC United Academy—USA);

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team midfielder Micah Lansiquot controls the ball during a practice game against St Ann's Rangers at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team midfielder Micah Lansiquot controls the ball during a practice game against St Ann’s Rangers at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Staff: Brian Williams (Head Coach), Dunstan Williams (Manager), Kerry Jamerson (Assistant Coach), Ross Russell (Goalkeeper Coach), Michael Taylor (Physio), Esmond O’Brien (Equipment Manager).

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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38 comments

  1. I’m happy that they are scoring goals now. Although I’m not sure about the quality of their opposition. But that’s a good sign.

  2. I have some doubts Sean Powder. I felt what “disciplinary issues” there might have been with Hudson, Pappy and Quinn should have been sorted by now. We are a small nation and never ever player we can get.
    Also I am not a fan of all these utility players. I’d rather my back six at least be specialists.

    • I think only Julien missing from back 4. Midfield looks intact

    • Wing backs are solid. Stoppers were not specialists there, and that was key issue during qualification.

    • Well I am convinced some one has hacked into Lasana’s account because I know he cannot be realistically suggesting that the 2 players who nonchalantly decided to abandon their team because they felt they were only being selected because of the unavailability of the regulars should have been considered by the coach.
      Nah!
      Cyber crimes unit of the TTPS needs to investigate this hack.

    • I didn’t say they should have been brought back Kester. Just the matter should be sorted with some sort of conclusion.
      They pulled out of a tour last October. It is February. That’s just ridiculous.
      The boys haven’t had the opportunity to formally make a case or for either party to try for conciliation.
      I’d never say Brian should be bound to select them. But how could it be left hanging for almost five months?
      We must have a bigger player pool than Brazil to take such an approach.

    • Didn’t The coach report that after discussions with the players he was not satisfied with the explanations and he was making the decision to not consider them?

    • Yes he did. But the TTFA said there is a disciplinary proceeding to be had. Won’t you think that should be sorted by now Kester Lendor?

  3. I noticed only 21 players in team shot in Colombia. And one was fifth goalie who wasn’t on original list.
    So I think the ttfa has hidden a few absences. For all the efforts to give this team excellent preparation, it looks like quite a few things went wrong. From start to finish.

  4. Levi was always unlikely so not a loss. Julien will be missed, is he still on trial? Solid team that should get out of Group C.

  5. This team is good enough to get out of the group stage with two wins. We will see the true quality in the reseeded second stage.

    Keston Julien will be missed, is he still on trial?

  6. another passport failure ???…steups…

  7. About 5 big omissions or unavailable players in my opinion.
    Still seems a formidable team.
    Given the forwards and muds chosen looks like he going with 4-1-4-1

  8. Good luck to the youths. Versatile seems to be the word

  9. This team mark licks all over it

  10. Time to play. Good luck to the young men.