Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams will resume his professional career in Honduras after agreeing terms with Honduran top flight club, Juticalpa FC, on Friday—just hours after his solid showing in World Cup qualifying action against the United States.
Williams, 32, had short stints in Belgium and Hungary, a decade ago, but spent most of his career in the Pro League where he won titles with W Connection and Central FC.
He moved to North East Stars just over a month ago but will not play competitively for the eastern outfit, as he has been allowed to move on a free transfer to the Honduran mid-table club.
Williams said the offer came in weeks ago and he is looking forward to joining his new employers for pre-season training later this month.
“I think I have been trying for some time to go back outside and play at a higher level,” he told the TTFA Media. “[…] I am looking forward to it and it’s a good opportunity for me to continue my career outside and continuing to grow.”
Stars started their Pro League season last night at their new home ground at the Arima Velodrome with a 1-0 win over Point Fortin Civic, thanks to a long distance rocket by defender Kevon Villaroel.
However, Williams said his focus now is not on Trinidad or Honduras but on Costa Rica. The Soca Warriors should land in San Jose this evening anxious to pick up a point after a 2-0 loss to the United States in Colorado on Thursday.
The veteran goalkeeper suggested the team has adapted well to the tactical alterations employed by Lawrence but understand they have to work even harder for results.
“We really need to buckle down and get some more points on the board,” said Williams. “The camp is a bit quiet now because obviously we are very disappointed with the result against the US but we’ve had a couple training sessions since the match and the focus is coming back and we have to push on from here.
“We just have to go in and do exactly what the coaching staff is asking us to do. We need to be confident, eliminate our errors and get on with the task at hand in Costa Rica.”
Thirty eight year old right back Carlos Edwards, the only survivor from the historic World Cup 2006 squad, said the Warriors are disappointed but trying not to dwell on their recent defeat.
“We missed out on a chance to secure at least a point,” said Edwards. “Obviously after a day we’ve reflected and the coach has gone over the clips for us, showing us the positive side of things. And to be honest, we did have some very good moments in the game where we showed good shape and organisation. But the two goals came at crucial moments where we slipped up.
“What we’ll do now is try to react as best as possible, work on some of the areas and just focus on what is ahead which is Costa Rica on Tuesday.”
At present, the Warriors are bottom of the CONCACAF Hex with three points from five matches and need to win four of their remaining five matches to have a shot at automatic qualification for the Russia 2018 World Cup.
If coach Dennis Lawrence can help his troops to win three of those matches and manage one draw, they should secure fourth place and a FIFA Play Off with Asia’s fifth placed nation.
The Warriors play Costa Rica, Mexico and Panama away and have home matches against Honduras and the United States.
CONCACAF Hex fixtures
Mexico vs United States;
Panama vs Honduras;
Costa Rica vs Trinidad and Tobago;
(1 September 2017)
United States vs Costa Rica;
Mexico vs Panama;
Trinidad and Tobago vs Honduras;
(5 September 2017)
Honduras vs United States;
Panama vs Trinidad and Tobago;
Costa Rica vs Mexico;
(6 October 2017)
United States vs Panama;
Costa Rica vs Honduras;
Mexico vs Trinidad and Tobago;
(10 October 2017)
Trinidad and Tobago vs United States;
Panama vs Costa Rica;
Honduras vs Mexico.