W Connection forward Marcus “Lobo” Joseph will be included in the Trinidad and Tobago contingent to face the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after all. Joseph, who is the Pro League’s leading scorer at present, was left out of the original squad as he does not have a US visa and the team is travelling through Miami.
However, a late injury-forced pull-out by Israel-based attacker Levi Garcia encouraged coach Dennis Lawrence to press for alternate travel arrangements for Joseph.
As a result, Joseph will travel alone to the match venue in Girona, Spain via London. He is due to arrive on Tuesday 4 September, two days before the international friendly. The remaining local based-national players and staff left Trinidad today for Spain.
“It is always disappointing to lose a player like Levi Garcia for an international fixture but this happens in football and we have to make the adjustments,” Lawrence told the TTFA Media. “It’s fortunate that we have been able to make arrangements for Marcus [Joseph] to join the team. He is in fine form in the TT Pro League this season and we are eager to see this translated unto the international stage.”
The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) also revealed a meeting with the US Embassy on Wednesday 29 August to “discuss the visa process and requirements for the team members traveling to the United States for future tournaments.”
The TTFA was represented by general secretary Justin Latapy-George and National Under-20 Team manager Alexandrine Elliot-Procope.
The meeting was the first known discussion between the two parties since a public exchange between US Chargé d’Affaires John McIntyre and TTFA president David John-Williams.
John-Williams blamed the US Embassy for the Women’s National Under-15 Team’s failure to get visas to play in the 2018 Concacaf Championship, while McIntyre retorted by saying the incompetence of the John-Williams-led body was hurting local footballers and that the football president had “cocoa in the sun.”
Neither John-Williams nor McIntyre were involved in Wednesday’s meeting.
Latapy-George also met Panama ambassador Luis Cigarruista Vargas last month, in what the local football body hopes will create a “a defined partnership” to the benefit of the local game.
(Trinidad and Tobago squad)
Goalkeepers: Adrian Foncette (Police FC), Marvin Phillip (Central FC);
Defenders: Sheldon Bateau (FC Kairat—Kazakhstan), Daneil Cyrus (Al-Orobah FC—Saudi Arabia), Aubrey David (Vaasan Palloseura FC—Finland), Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Triston Hodge (W Connection), Keston Julien (AS Trencin FC—Slovakia);
Midfielders: Kevan George (Charlotte Independence—USA), Neveal Hackshaw (Charleston Battery—USA), Akeem Humphrey (Club Sando), Khaleem Hyland (Al Faisaly FC—Saudi Arabia), Duane Muckette (Central FC);
Attacking midfielders: Ataulla Guerra (Charleston Battery—USA), Joevin Jones (Darmstadt 98—Germany), Nathan Lewis (Indy Eleven FC—USA), Kathon St Hillaire (SC Znojmo FK—Czech Republic), Jomal Williams (W Connection);
Forward: Shahdon Winchester (SJK Seinajoki—Finland), Marcus Joseph (W Connection).
Dennis Lawrence (head coach), Stuart Charles-Fevrier (assistant coach), Stern John (assistant coach), Ross Russell (goalkeeper coach), Israel Dowlat (doctor), Dave Isaac (medic), Saron Joseph (therapist), Sam Huggins (trainer), Michael Williams (equipment manager), Wayne Cunningham (media officer), Richard Piper (manager).