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Joevin allegedly goes AWOL from Seattle; TTFA can’t confirm involvement for Jamaica friendly

Talented Trinidad and Tobago winger Joevin Jones joined the Soca Warriors squad in training on Tuesday but it is uncertain whether he will take the field for Thursday’s friendly international against Jamaica, kicking off at 8pm at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain.

Jones’ surprise return caused a stir in the United States, with the Seattle Times claiming that the wing-back “left [his Major League Soccer (MLS) employers] the Sounders without authorisation.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Joevin Jones (centre) terrorises United States players DeAndre Yedlin (right) and Michael Orozco during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Seattle Sounders general manager Garth Lagerway pointedly did not contradict the Times’ version of events although he would only say that Jones returned to Trinidad for personal reasons.

Lagerway conceded that Sounders could not stop Jones from representing the Soca Warriors in upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and Panama on 1 and 5 September respectively. He did say, though, that “friendlies [are] something that we negotiate around.” This could be interpreted as a warning should Jones be used without their permission in Thursday’s friendly, which falls outside of the FIFA international match window.

A TTFA release this evening stated that “There is no confirmation that the player will take part in Thursday’s match.”

However, Wired868 understands that National Senior Team coach Dennis Lawrence is looking into whether he can add the winger to his match-day squad.

Last month, the 25-year-old Jones signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with Bundesliga 2 club, SV Darmstadt 98, which will see the former W Connection standout and Mucurapo East schoolboy join the German second division in January 2018 as a free agent.

Sounders are keen to keep Jones until then as they bid to retain the MLS Cup this December.

Photo: Joevin Jones (right) buries his penalty kick past Toronto FC goalkeeper Clint Irwin during the MLS Cup final on 10 December 2016 at the BMO Field in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Seattle defeated Toronto on extra-time penalty kicks.
(Copyright AFP 2016/Claus Andersen)

It is uncertain whether Darmstadt and Sounders failed to arrive at a mutually acceptable figure for Jones’ early release, which would have allowed him to join the German club before that country’s transfer window closes next week.

Jones’ return to Trinidad means he will miss two MLS fixtures against Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers on 23 and 27 August respectively.

Bizarrely, though, when asked whether Jones would rejoin his employers after this international break or might simply abandon them until his contract expires at the end of the year, the Sounders manager “refused to speculate.”

in league action on Sunday, Jones played for 90 minutes as Sounders won 2-1 over Minnesota United, the worst club in the MLS this season who employ Jones’ compatriot, Kevin Molino.

Lawrence already has San Jose Earthquakes winger Cordell Cato in his fold as Cato was allowed to join the Warriors a week early, after losing his spot in the club’s first team.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team head coach Dennis Lawrence (right) thanks midfielder Cordell Cato for his effort during 2018 World Cup qualifying action against Panama at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 24 March 2017.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

The Warriors expected to have the services of Colorado Rapids defender Mekeil Williams against Jamaica as well. However, although Williams also lost his starting position in recent weeks, Rapids decided to keep hold of the player until obliged to release him for international duty by FIFA law.

Jones, who already has one foot out of the door at Sounders, apparently opted to walk to his own beat.

At present, Lawrence has 21 players in camp with Williams, Defence Force goalkeeper Andre Marchan and 17-year-old W Connection attacker Isaiah Hudson all omitted from the initial 24-man provisional squad.

North East Stars defender Kevon Villaroel was recalled after recovering from injury.

Defence Force utility player Curtis Gonzales, a two-time World Youth Cup defender, should face Jamaica for the first time at senior level on Thursday and he is relishing the match-up.

“We know how important it is to get it right for the Honduras game and the rivalry with Jamaica is massive,” Gonzales told the TTFA Media. “I have never played against them but I have heard lots of stories and I am feeling honoured to be part of the team that will take them on on Thursday. I expect the match to be a rough one.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team head coach Dennis Lawrence (left) passes on instructions to Aubrey David (right) and Curtis Gonzales during 2018 World Cup qualifying action against Costa Rica at the National Stadium in San José on 13 June 2017.
Costa Rica won 2-1.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA Images/Wired868)

Jamaica travel to Trinidad with six players from their 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup squad, which finished as runners-up. Defender Ladale Ritchie and midfielders Michael Binns, Ewan Grandison and Ricardo Morris all saw action for the “Reggae Boyz” at the recent Gold Cup while forward Shamar Nicholson and defender Rosario Harriott were unused substitutes.

Jamaica coach Theodore “Tappa” Whitmore has also included 16-year-old attacker Kaheem Parris, who could become his country’s youngest international player if he takes the field at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

Parris was part of the Jamaica squad that eliminated Trinidad and Tobago at Under-17 level last year while he scored twice in a 3-1 win over El Salvador in April, which was the Boyz’ only triumph of the CONCACAF competition.

“I am so grateful for this wonderful opportunity to represent my country,” Parris told CONCACAF. “To be part of the squad is great and I am looking forward to this encounter coming up.  I have been working hard and I believe hard work pays off at the end of the day.

“Playing in the CONCACAF tournament at U-17 level earlier in the year […] helped me to develop mental strength and to grow as a player, to get over disappointments quickly, to move on to success quicker and make me want to work harder.

Photo: Portmore United captain and midfielder Ewan Grandison (centre) hammers home the equalising goal past San Juan Jabloteh defender Akeem Benjamin (left) during 2017 Caribbean Club Championship action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 18 May 2017.
Grandison is part of the Jamaica team that tackles Trinidad and Tobago at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Thursday.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

“So with this national senior team call-up, I plan to work hard to be a regular in the senior team.”

Tickets for Thursday’s friendly international, priced at $100 (covered) and $50 (uncovered), are on sale at all NLCB Lotto locations  and will also be on sale at the venue on Thursday.

Tickets for the World Cup qualifier with Honduras are also on sale at Lotto locations and fans can get free entry for the Jamaica friendly by showing a ticket for the Honduras affair.

(Trinidad and Tobago squad for Jamaica friendly)

Goalkeepers: Marvin Phillip (Point Fortin Civic), Adrian Foncette (Police FC);

Defenders: Maurice Ford, Triston Hodge, Alvin Jones (W Connection), Taryk Sampson (Central FC), Shane Sandy (St Ann’s Rangers), Kevon Villaroel (North East Stars), Aubrey David (PS Remi—Finland);

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago and Point Fortin Civic goalkeeper Marvin Phillip.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

Midfielders: Hughtun Hector (W Connection), Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Jared London (Club Sando), Nathaniel Garcia (Central FC);

Attacking midfielders: Hashim  Arcia (Defence Force FC), Nathan Lewis (San Juan Jabloteh), Neil Benjamin Jr (W Connection), Tyrone Charles (Club Sando), Julio Noel (San Juan Jabloteh), Cordell Cato (San Jose Earthquakes—USA),

Forwards: Rundell Winchester (North East Stars), Marcus Joseph (W Connection);

Standby: Joevin Jones (Seattle Sounders—USA).

About Lasana 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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59 comments

  1. Why would any player put their making the real professional monies abroad in the real professionals leagues to represent the Soca Worries that is always owing our players and coaches their well deserving monies eh, like my baller for life is brainwashed by Coach DL plenty of lyrics about representing our sweet country for free or what eh, well my advice to all our players that is making the real professional monies abroad is Alyuh beter always put alyuh professional clubs first at all times eh until the corrupted TTFA really starts to treat you all like real professionals and stop the exploitation once and for all. Them really good yes.

  2. Well…I could see this from a point of view where Joevin recognised that T&T had two vital games and he “owed us a performance”. He felt, at the point in time, that spending as much time prepping for those games with the national team was more important than his soon to be ex-club and was willing to sacrifice everything to get us to the world cup. It didn’t work out. The extra week didn’t help him or us. Now that we have “died” he can give his all to Seattle for the rest of the season. It could be seen as professionalism vs patriotism. Or…he could do a Molino and do nonsense again after the “disciplinary stuff was handled internally and we move on from that” a la Hart and the 1st boat ride.

  3. https://t.co/b6dHxG4SfE?amp=1

    TUKWILA, Wash. — Seattle Sounders left back Joevin Jones returned to training on Thursday after leaving the club for personal reasons on Aug. 22 and joining the Trinidad and Tobago national team ahead of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

    Jones missed Seattle’s matches against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Aug. 23 and Portland Timbers on Aug. 27.

    “He understands where he is with me and with his teammates,” Head Coach Brian Schmetzer said of Jones. “He has to prove to them that he is absolutely fully committed up until Dec. 9 and that will dictate how he plays, when he plays, why he plays.”

    Jones signed a pre-contract with German club SV Darmstadt 98 in late July and will depart for Europe following the 2017 MLS season. He leads the Sounders with 10 assists in 24 matches, and Schmetzer said that Jones is available for selection on Sunday at home against the LA Galaxy (6 p.m. PT; FS1, 107.7 The End, El Rey 1360 AM | TICKETS).

    “A lot of guys on the team like Joevin,” Schmetzer said. “A lot of them believe that he’s a good guy. People make mistakes. There’s no getting around that. As far as I’m concerned, it’s put to bed. All the disciplinary stuff has been handled internally. It’s put to bed. He’s got to prove it on the field. I have faith in him, and I expect him to do his job.”

  4. So what is Joevin’s situation now?

  5. Sorry I didn’t screen shot the original story this morning – but the Seattle times reporter has changed it up A LOT just checking it back a few minutes ago

    Click bait headline still is there – but his tone is much more understanding re Joevin, new quotes from Sounders coach & added opinion to similar football situations with players

    Shall we confront him on the twitter world ? Ha

  6. Allow me to add my two-cents…while d way in which it was done may not be most professional…he chose to give his country d best effort by sacrificing his own club commitments an self gains…more time home before WCQ = better preparation for the games an less stress on d body to over exhaustion jet lag among other stuff…I applaud d stance star

  7. This is normal football business. German club wants him earlier as MLS has a September 1 window, TnT play September 1st and 5th WCQ. MLS and USSF would like insurance on USA qualification for Russia 2018. We can not use a simplistic Master/Slave worker paradigm to analyse these multiple variables of Joevin’s actions.

  8. On a side note: Kaheem Parris was really a handful in that CFU U-17 tournament last year. He looks a good prospect for Jamaica.

  9. Actually what I mean’t to say is that Sounders wanted millions for him from the German Club before is contract expired, so the German Club said that the Sounders team is ah set ah mad people, hence the reason why they decided to wait for him until 20 18 now that he is a free agent. . Them really good yes

  10. That makes no sense. His contract is up, making him a free agent. Seattle is not entitled to compensation unless they want to get him in this transfer window

  11. I can’t tell whether people on this thread supporting this move by Joevin or not, but this is the same kind of indiscipline and lack of commitment that leads one to break out of camp to go lime on the avenue.

  12. Agreed the German team is involved. Also Joevin have to play Wednesday and Sunday probably full 90 then fly from Seatlle about 8 hours plus 3 hour time difference with a Monday release and Friday September 1 match vs. Honduras then Tuesday match vs. Panama for a total of 4 matches in 15 days. If he follow the MLS(USSF) Monday release he will not be the match changer he can be in those WCQ. Who benefits from that?

  13. Indicipline. That was always their problem and some are encouraged because they got away with it in the past but the US is not TnT and he will find that out soon enough.

    • Hannibal Najjar

      This should not have been done by JJ and last that I remember, though I tend to agree with you DE about the general MO of more serious and professionally run clubs, the coach of “Berghdal” Molino in the US, from I remember, did not take any disciplinary action.

  14. This doesn’t bode well for him.. .. just saying…

  15. I’m pretty sure the German team is behind this move and probably wants to push Seattle into lowering asking price so the player can join them next week.

  16. The Seattle journalist arguing hard on twitter ha

    First he said in story his sources said Joevin left team without permission

    Now it’s “irrelevant” if he plays vs Jamaica or not

  17. why they ain play him? Aint like[checks the time on my Hublot] he can make it back to Seattle now eh?