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Lawrence urges Warriors to stake claim for Gold Cup place in Iran contest, minute’s silence for Jlloyd

Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team coach Dennis Lawrence is asking players to stake their claim for a 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup place tomorrow morning when the Soca Warriors face Iran in international friendly action at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran.

The match kicks off at 10:30am TT time (6pm in Tehran). The game will be carried live on I95.5FM and fans can view the live stream at: https://mycujoo.tv/video/iran?id=29452.

Photo: Thou shall not pass!
Spain playmaker Isco (right) fails to get his free kick past the Iranian wall during World Cup action on 20 June 2018.
(Copyright FIFA)

Iran gave a decent account of themselves at the Russia 2018 World Cup when they held Portugal 1-1 and came within a whisker of a second round place. Lawrence described their Asian opponents, who are coached by Portuguese veteran Carlos Quieroz, as a “very competitive and very aggressive team in a positive way.”

The Warriors are coming off a 1-0 loss to Thailand last month.

“We expect it to be a very, very tough game because the Iranian football team is a fantastic team at the moment,” Lawrence told the TTFA Media. “[…] But we’ve come, we’re mentally focused and we are going to give it our best to get a performance in first and foremost and hopefully the performance gives us a result.

“The players that are here are here to take the opportunity… We’re preparing for the Gold Cup in June and this is part of our preparation and so the opportunity is there for these players to stake their claim and to put in a performance.”

Trinidad and Tobago defender Sheldon Bateau said the squad is settled and harmonious and hope to finish the year on a positive note. And he credited Lawrence’s work with the team over close to two years.

“I think any transition takes time; he’s been here a while now and it’s difficult for him because we only have five days together within each window,” said Bateau. “He’ll give a little bit more information at every camp. He will not offload a lot at one time because it’s also difficult for us as players.

Photo: The Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team train in Tehran on 14 November 2018.
(Copyright TTFA Media)

“He implements something new in every camp and it’s a young and ambitious team, taking in what the coach is giving to us. Dennis has played at this level before and I myself, looked up to him when he played.

“When he gives information the players take it a bit differently. We can trust that whatever he gives is something we can use that can help us as a team.”

One new addition for the Warriors is Denmark-born goalkeeper Nicklas Frederup, who is eligible to represent Trinidad and Tobago through his mother, who is from San Fernando.

“It’s good to [meet the players] face to face because I have been following them,” said Frederup. “I have been trying to join the team for a long time and I am happy now that I have gotten the opportunity from coach Lawrence. It’s a big dream for me and hopefully I can settle in and make a valuable contribution to the team.”

At today’s press conference, Lawrence was asked by an Iranian reporter whether Trinidad and Tobago had a player in the mould of 2006 World Cup captain Dwight Yorke. The Warriors coach confessed that the two island republic is not what it once was as a football nation.

Photo: Ex-Trinidad and Tobago captain Dwight Yorke (right) greets England captain David Beckham during the Germany 2006 World Cup.
(Copyright AFP 2015)

“I don’t think we have a player at that level,” said Lawrence. “Dwight Yorke won the Champions League and the Premier League… So the idea now is for us to put together as a group and develop our younger talent to get them back to that level.

“[…] We are going to create the Dwight Yorkes, the Stern Johns, the Russell Latapys and the Marvin Andrews over a number of years; but for now it’s all about baby steps.”

A special guest for tomorrow’s international match is the wife of former Trinidad and Tobago defender Jlloyd Samuel, Helia Sahimi.

The Iranian Football Federation agreed to have a minute silence before kick off tomorrow in honour of former Trinidad and Tobago defender Jlloyd Samuel, who played in Iran for three years and died in a car crash in May. Samuel’s former employer, Esteghlal, plays at the Azadi Stadium where the international friendly will be staged.

Samuel’s Iranian wife, Helia Sahimi, received special permission to attend the contest although Iranian women are not generally permitted to football matches.

Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago international Jlloyd Samuel.

(Trinidad and Tobago team)

Goalkeepers: 22.Adrian Foncette (Police FC), 1.Marvin Phillip (Central FC), 21.Nicklas Frenderup (Sandnes ULF—Norway);

Defenders: 4.Sheldon Bateau (FC Kairat—Kazakhstan), 5.Daneil Cyrus (Al-Orobah FC—Saudi Arabia), 2.Aubrey David (Vaasan Palloseura FC—Finland), 15.Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), 18.Triston Hodge (W Connection), 6.Keston Julien (AS Trencin FC—Slovakia), 16.Alvin Jones (W Connection);

Midfielders: 12.Akeem Humphrey (Club Sando), 8.Khaleem Hyland (Al Faisaly FC—Saudi Arabia), 13.Duane Muckette, 23.Leston Paul (Central FC);

Attacking midfielders: 10.Ataulla Guerra (Charleston Battery—USA), 3.Joevin Jones (Darmstadt 98—Germany), 9.Nathan Lewis (Indy Eleven FC—USA), 21.Jomal Williams (W Connection), 7.Cordell Cato (Charlotte Independence—USA), 11.Lester Peltier (Club Al Mujazzal—Saudi Arabia);

Forward: 17.Isaiah Lee (Munroe Community College—USA).

Staff: 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), Shaun Fuentes (media officer), Richard Piper (manager).

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49 comments

  1. If d team do good.DJW do good dat is d problem u have

  2. Who is the Rasta fella in the middle eh they now playing the kind ah football I like to watch Them really good yes

  3. Buh A A I didn’t know that we also have a Neymar playing for our sweet country The captain really good yes hahahaha

  4. But wait I now seeing the score eh when that goal score on our Soca Worries eh I guess it scored when I was typing and replying to the comments on wired volley eh I real good yes hahahhaa

  5. Trey Hart It seems like yuh making me out eh hahaha

  6. Collin Cudjoe I don’t want our Soca Worries to ever loose I want them to get back really serious about the beautiful game and play the game like it suppose to be played with the possession and passing to each other like the real professional players that they suppose to be and how can the Coach leave out our bestest midfield player and goal scorer Keron Ballpest Cummings eh that is also the bestest player right now in our professional league eh Brent Sancho shudda be the president of the corrupted TTFA yes he wudda surely be on the team again Them really good yes steeuupsss

  7. Earl Mango Pierre you love to play devil’s advocate lol.

  8. Nigel Myers The bestest scoring chance is always a penalty eh Them really good yes

  9. Iran dominated the first half, but we had the best scoring chance.

  10. Trey Hart Is you for real eh our football has improved eh what game is you watching eh no real attack on the opponents goal eh and only one shot the first half and there goes the continuing serious problem with our football, scoring goals wins the games eh Them really good yes

  11. Buh A A the Iranian television speaking and show clips of our sweet country yes about our culture and the accomplishments in the sports when Hasley Crawford won the gold , when we qualified for our first ever.World Cup in 2006 and even Mackfahlane and his accomplishments with his mass Well done Iran

  12. I think its irrelevant as to whether they’re playing their ‘real team’ or not. Our football has improved compared to the last game so far

  13. U really need for tnt to loose boi.

  14. And it seems that it isn’t the real Iran team that represented in the World Cup eh I guess their coach trying out his new players Them really good yes

  15. Decent showing thus far, very very questionable refereeing.

  16. Iran bring dey referee and d score is 0-0.well done Guys

  17. It’s about margins and any u could get.d tnt playing for respect.

  18. Why the captain so emotional eh Alyuh leave the referee alone and just play the beautiful game nah eh Alyuh know that Alyuh playing against 12 Them really good yes

  19. What they arguing about eh it is a penalty Them really good yes

  20. Play good football, come back home alive…

  21. Man gone Iran to fight Iranians? lol

  22. Look at the madness the captain doing now eh retaliating because he was fouled earlier eh one more yellow card and that will be it for him Them really good yes

  23. So why our Soca Worries possession and passing of the ball cannot be the same as the Iran team eh Them really good yes

  24. Trinidad and Tobago Starting XI vs Iran:
    1. Marvin Phillip (GK), 16. Alvin Jones, 4. Sheldon Bateau, 5. Daniel Cyrus, 18. Triston Hodge, 8. Khaleem Hyland (capt.), 23. Leston Paul, 3. Joevin Jones, 11. Lester Peltier, 10. Ataulla Guerra, 19. Nathan Lewis

  25. Wait wait…the man Iranian wife, who appeared after he died and who his british wife and family knew nothing about, is a special guest? Lord…bachanaal

  26. So the players have to stake their claim at this game in order to represent at the 2019 Gold Cup in my second sweetest country, what Coach will ever make a statement like that eh Them really good yes

  27. Heard it’s also on cnc 3, you can confirm to be certain