Aubrey, Boatswain suspended for minor league sweat; Levi recalled for upcoming WCQs

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AZ Alkmaar teenager Levi Garcia is back with the Soca Warriors squad but, otherwise, the most remarkable thing about the Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Mexico and the United States are the absentees.

Head coach Dennis Lawrence swung the axe with relish with as many as 12 changes from the squad that lost to Honduras and Panama last month.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper and captain Jan-Michael Williams (right) asks questions of his defence 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)

Honduras-based goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams, a 32-year-old veteran with 80 full international caps, and 26-year-old Kazakhstan-based defender Sheldon Bateau—both of whom shared captaincy duties for the previous qualifiers—are out.

So too are goalkeeper Marvin Phillip, defenders Aubrey David, Carlyle Mitchell and Radanfah Abu Bakr, midfielders Hughtun Hector, Cordell Cato, Jomal Williams and Tyrone Charles, and forwards Jamille Boatswain and Willis Plaza.

Reasons were offered only for David and Boatswain who are suspended for playing in a minor league match before Trinidad and Tobago’s crucial qualifier at home to Honduras.

The contentious game was believed to have occurred before the players joined camp to prepare for World Cup duty. It is uncertain when the Warriors staff discovered about their outing. Both players started against Honduras but were unused substitutes away to Panama four days later.

I95.5FM reporter Andre Baptiste revealed the incident over the weekend although the players were not named before tonight.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago assistant coach Sol Campbell (right) congratulates striker Jamille Boatswain after his double strike against Barbados in a 2-0 win at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 10 March 2017.
(Courtesy CA Images/Wired868)

David and Boatswain, who play professionally in Finland and Costa Rica respectively, have apologised and—according to the TTFA Media—offered to donate their match fees to charity.

“I really want to apologise to the nation and the people I disappointed with my actions,” David told the TTFA Media, “and I know every action has a reaction and I have accepted the decision of the TTFA. I want to put this behind me and look forward to representing Trinidad and Tobago again.”

Incidentally, it has been at least four months since the Warriors have received match fees.

Lawrence’s sweeping changes mean that teenaged winger Kathon St Hillaire and 20-year-old Club Sando defender Josiah Trimmingham have earned their first senior international picks. But their first taste of Warriors action will be away to Mexico on 6 October.

It will be not be at the dreaded Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, though. Instead, Mexico, who have already qualified for the Russia 2018 World Cup, opted to host Trinidad and Tobago at the Estadio Alfonso Lastras in San Luis Potosi.

It will be the first time in this World Cup campaign that “El Tricolor” opted not to play a qualifier at its famous base in Mexico City.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team winger Kathon St Hillaire (centre) celebrates with teammate Micah Lansiquot during 2017 World Cup qualifying action against El Salvador at the Estadio Nacional on 22 February 2017.
(Copyright Straffon Images)

Whereas the Azteca holds 87,000 patrons and is located 7,200 feet above sea level, the Estadio Alfonso Lastras holds just 25,111 fans and has an elevation of 6,070 feet.

The TTFA confirmed that, owing to problems with the lighting system at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain, the Warriors’ final home match will be at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 10 October.

Ironically, in Couva last month too, the Warriors played under a dark tower owing to a lighting failure at the Ato Boldon Stadium.

Lawrence has lost his last six matches as coach while the Warriors’ winless streak now stands at eight games. In that period, Trinidad and Tobago fell 15 places to 99th in the FIFA rankings.

However, Garcia promised that the team will try to finish their campaign on a high note.

“I am fit and ready to go for Trinidad and Tobago,” Garcia said. “I spoke to the coach and was happy to be included as I always welcome the opportunity to play for my country. I must admit, it’s disappointing that we will not be going to the World Cup but we have to lift our heads and look to the future.

“Plus we have to make a statement by playing good football in the two final games and get six points.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (centre) goes airborne to control the ball during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on Friday 2 September 2016.
Trinidad and Tobago and Guatemala played to a 2-2 draw.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

(Trinidad and Tobago Team)

Goalkeepers: Adrian Foncette (Police FC), Greg Ranjitsingh (Louisville City FC—USA), Glenroy Samuel (Morvant Caledonia Utd);

Defenders: Alvin Jones (W Connection), Mekeil Williams (Colorado Rapids—USA), Daneil Cyrus (Juticalpa FC—Honduras), Triston Hodge (W Connection), Kevon Villaroel (North East Stars), Josiah Trimmingham (Club Sando);

Midfielders: Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Leston Paul (CD Pasaquina—El Salvador), Khaleem Hyland (Al-Faisaly Harmah—Saudi Arabia), Kevan George (Jacksonville Armada—USA), Jared London (Club Sando);

Attacking midfielders: Joevin Jones (Seattle Sounders—USA), Kevin Molino (Minnesota United—USA), Nathan Lewis (San Juan Jabloteh), Neil Benjamin (W Connection), Kathon St Hillaire (St Ann’s Rangers), Levi Garcia (AZ Alkmaar—Netherlands);

Forwards: Shahdon Winchester (Murciélagos FC—Mexico), Trevin Caesar (Sacramento Republic—USA), Akeem Roach (CD Vida—Honduras).

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About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief editor at 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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  1. The players have no choice but to play in minor league for small money if the TTFF not paying them. John Williams and the rest of them made a mess of T&T football. Bring back Jack Warner.

  2. I am sorry but in Mexico we will be lucky if we only get 3..This current squad sorry to say not cutting it.

  3. It’s quite ironic that after we qualified for world cup in 2006, our football took a spiral nose dive. Coach Hart brought some hope but that was short lived

  4. By know this national team have change over 75 players or even more for our qualifiers we are still looking for a team i cannot even talked about a side mr coach you started playing fete march i guess because plenty players guit the game

  5. Aubrey jamille will be better off cause I sure dey ah getting good pay to play minor league

  6. Ppl on d national team foghtin to get there salary’s

  7. What is the sense reshuffling the squad now ?? It dont matter at this stage smfh

  8. Minor is community based football to uplift d youths and add professionalism to amateur football smh what so wrong with that men just trying to keep fit and dey skill level high lol

  9. What’s the difference between a minor league and the pro league?

  10. Lol why trinidad footballers like minor league so . I guess is the little quick monies they does get but this going on long time it’s not a now thing

  11. ..Frankly, nothing these fellas do – some, not all of them – surprises or disppoints me. They capable of all kindsa shite and they never learn..

  12. Other minor league offenders over the years

    W-Connection (September 2013)
    Joevin Jones, Daneil Cyrus

    Central FC (September 2013)
    Johan Peltier

    St. Ann’s Rangers (January 2011)
    Adrian Narine, Clevon McPhie, Josimar Belgrave, Elijah Belgrave

    San Juan Jabloteh (April 2010)
    Marvin Oliver, Noel Williams

    Ma Pau SC (April 2010)
    Rennie Britto

    Police FC (April 2010)
    Emmanuel Nurse, Jason James, Kaaron Foster, Randy Britto, Hayden Janes, Terryl Alwin

    San Juan Jabloteh (December 2009)
    Ataulla Guerra

    Caledonia AIA (December 2009)
    Kerwin Jemmott, Keyon Edwards

    Joe Public (December 2009)
    Carlyle Mitchell, Hayden Tinto, Gorean Highley, Kareem Young

    Superstar Rangers (August 2007)
    Kerwin Jemmott, Devon Modeste, Arnold Ferguson, Milton Gomez, Jhony Ortiz Cardona

    Joe Public (July 2002)
    Arnold Dwarika, Nigel Pierre, Stokely Mason, Adrian Narine, Joseph Peters, Kendall Velox

  13. The fact that it happens all the time doesn’t diminish his actions which were poor. I didn’t say I was surprised, I said I was disappointed by him making such a poor choice.

  14. .Mexico is known as “El Tricolor”, not “Los Ticos”. I know Lasana knows that. And why are you disappointed Brent? This behaviout has been par for the course for YEARS. See, people blame the coach a!lot of the time when blame shoulf be assigned to players. And THIS is one of the biggest issues!in our football – the lack of professionalism among players and the inability of top players to handle success..

  15. Something is suspicious the 2 captains for the past 2 World Cup Qualifiers (Williams and Sheldon) weren’t selected..hmm. Tallest maybe doesn’t like Boucard and Guerra. Lasana ah see yuh boy get selected Levi Garcia, good player no doubt.

  16. With ppl like Corneal Djw Jamal shabazza Mohammed issa our football have no way to go

  17. What Andre Boucaud did to get drop

  18. I wonder if this type of infraction was included in the Code of Conduct that national players have been receiving since last year? Well ah guess de first ting tuh ask is if de Code of Conduct was ever actually implemented?

  19. Still no Levi Garcia Jerrel Bru Britto Marcus Joseph wat really going ?

  20. Disappointed in Boatswain… he just got his big break and a poor decision could have costed him his career… silly really. These guys need to grow up and learn to be pros

  21. What going on boi, ppl real toting for minor league sweat wii

  22. Only God can help us now …just let them play

  23. “Incidentally, the Warriors have not received match fees in at least four months.”

    This line could and should probably be put in every article about the Soca Warriors

  24. All these arm chair football coaches and experts! Sigh!

  25. So the two suspended players are donating their match fees to charity eh and they haven’t been paid in four months. Them really good yes hahahahaha

  26. Lasana… Los Ticos-Costa Rica…..El Tri-Mexico…just a correction….

  27. The whole TTFF want changing. Including persons who outright disrespect players, persons like Stern John.

  28. Neveal Hackshaw just turned 22. I find his continuing absence mystifying, especially when we are sometimes using defenders in central midfield.

  29. Hyland and George coulda get a rest.

  30. Why they always seem to give others a so call “chance” when a campaign is done and dusted. It’s like those in charge now notice after failing terribly, that who they selected is not up to standard and can’t finish the campaign. Steups I smh so many times for sports in T&T, idk how my head in fall off yet.

  31. Kenwyne Jones is playing for his club and was technically available btw. But I don’t suppose many people want to hear that.

  32. This national team is the worst in history…. No discipline, no committment, no passion… Better they change their name to Millwall

    • We score 7 goals on Mexico in 2 games, draw with USA, reach 2 Gold cup quarter finals, went into Guatemala drop 2 on them and reach the WCQ final stage with the (worst national team in history). Could you imagine if this team did not have “no discipline, no commitment, no passion”….. wow…..we would have gotten to WC quarter finals…… semi finals even.
      They definitely eh playing for money so i will call that passion. Ask how long it takes to travel from Trinidad to India, well TTFA book Bateau on a 38 hour journey from Kazakhstan. If that is not commitment what is? Over a 4 year period and 2 real coaches there were 6 disciplinary instances.
      Some Trinbagonians eh easy boy.

  33. Some people go to the circus to see the tigers and lions and bears…some go cause of the flying trapeze….
    *Jay-Z voice*
    Still clowns

  34. No wait, wait, wait!! So effing Levi mentally ready now!?!? Lemme go and read this and shake meh head.

  35. Look I eh read this article and ah dying with laugh over here

  36. So u telling me that Ataulla Guerra can’t make this team lollll this has to be a joke

  37. Is it really “dropped”? Or did some of these players just ask to not be included because of their clubs’ season amd the fact we no longer has chance of qualifying?

  38. Still no Andre Boucaud? Marvin Phillip gets called up yet Jan Michael dropped? Hope one of the other ‘keepers get a sweat oui

  39. What’s the average age of the players who got dropped? And the average age of the players in the squad?

  40. Really confused about Levi though? His inclusion now and his absence before. Just bizarre…

  41. They get suspended for playing a minor league match before camp but Joevin was welcomed to train with the team when he skipped out on Sounders?

  42. The Campaign went down the drain when they called Tom and Jerry from Bangladesh…

  43. Want to laugh and steups at the same time. I’ll settle for SMH.

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