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Lawrence keeps faith with regulars, eight Pro League players in T&T squad to face Japan

Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team head coach Dennis Lawrence looks like holding faith in his regular core players for the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup tournament, as he ignored a host of potential wildcard selections for his trip to Japan this weekend.

The Soca Warriors leave Trinidad tomorrow in anticipation of their friendly against Japan in Aichi on 5 June. The match falls within the FIFA international match window and Lawrence could have selected his best potential team. However, even with ace midfielder Kevin Molino excused due to a slight hamstring strain, winger Joevin Jones and full back Aubrey David unavailable due to visa issues and left back Triston Hodge ruled out through injury, there were no new faces in the squad.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago coach Dennis Lawrence (centre) gives instructions to team captain Khaleem Hyland (left) and winger Levi Garcia during 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 10 October 2017.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Marvin Phillip and Adrian Foncette are the travelling goalkeepers—although neither have played competitively since last December as a result of the dormant Pro League—while Gregory Ranjitsingh, Nicholas Frenderup and Jan-Michael Williams were overlooked.

And Lawrence kept faith in the local-based outfield players too with Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Carlyle Mitchell (Terminix La Horquetta Rangers), Akeem Humphrey (Club Sando), Jomal Williams, Shahdon Winchester (both W Connection) and the unattached Judah Garcia all getting the nod.

Saudi-Arabia based central defender Daneil Cyrus, a veteran of 78 senior international caps, believes the Japan test should help ready the Warriors for next month’s Gold Cup.

“We know it is going to be a very difficult match for us but also a good test that we need right now ahead of the Gold Cup,” Cyrus told TTFA Media. “We are missing a couple players but like coach continues to say, this is just an opportunity for other players to step up and prove they deserve to be in the squad and try to seal their place with a strong contribution.

“[…] Japan has a good squad with a lot of experience but we also have players who have played at a good level with a lot of experience. I think once we stay focused and adapt to the environment quickly then we can put in a good performance and just basically continue focusing on the Gold Cup, which is the most important thing for us right now.”

Trinidad and Tobago play their second and final warm-up match against Canada in Los Angeles on 10 June before kicking off their Gold Cup campaign against Panama on 18 June in Minnesota.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago substitute Shahdon Winchester (centre) takes on Suriname right back Miquel Darson during 2017 Gold Cup playoff action at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 4 January 2017.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

(Trinidad and Tobago squad to face Japan)

Goalkeepers: Marvin Phillip (Central FC), Adrian Foncette (Police FC);

Defenders: Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Carlyle Mitchell (Terminix La Horquetta Rangers), Mekeil Williams (OKC Energy FC—USA), Alvin Jones (OKC Energy FC—USA), Daneil Cyrus (Al Orobah FC—Saudi Arabia);

Midfielders: Khaleem Hyland (Al-Faisaly FC—Saudi Arabia), Judah Garcia (Unattached), Kevan George (Charlotte Independence), Akeem Humphrey (Club Sando), Leston Paul (Memphis 901 FC), Duane Muckette (Memphis 901 FC—USA), Neveal Hackshaw (Indy Eleven FC—USA);

Attacking midfielders: Nathan Lewis (Lansing Ignite—USA), Jomal Wiliams (W Connection FC), Lester Peltier (Al-Orobah FC—Saudi Arabia), Levi Garcia (Ironi Kiryat Shmona—Israel);

Forwards: Shahdon Winchester (W Connection).

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender Curtis Gonzales (right) keeps the ball from Mexico attacker Carlos Vela during their Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on 28 March 2017.
(Copyright AFP 2017/Alfredo Estrella)

(Remaining available players on Gold Cup shortlist)

Goalkeepers: Nicklas Frenderup (HB Koge—Denmark), Gregory Ranjitsingh (Orlando City—USA), Jan-Michael Williams (FC Halifax Town—Canada);

Defenders: Leland Archer (Charleston Battery—USA), Aubrey David (Deportivo Saprissa—Costa Rica), Justin Garcia (Unattached), Ross Russell Jr (La Horquetta Rangers), Keston Julien (AS Trencin—Slovakia), Kareem Moses (FC Edmonton—Canada);

Attacking midfielders: Cordell Cato (Oklahoma City Energy FC—USA), Kevin Molino (Minnesota United—USA), Reon Moore, Dylon King (both Defence Force), Kathon St Hillaire (SKF Iclinic Sered—Slovakia), Joevin Jones (Seattle Sounders—USA);

Forwards: Willis Plaza (Churchill Brothers—India), Marcus Joseph (W Connection), Akeem Roach (Mosta FC—Malta).

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49 comments

  1. I see Lawrence keep picking certain players time n again , these guys would come on the field put out 100% n still look mediocre against Caribbean opponents, Lawrence look like he ain’t calling the shots , let’s be honest a couple of these guys best football is behind them

  2. Please start taking a realistic look at foreign based goalkeepers (I know this struggle personally being the “foreign based” female keeper ) … please leave the bias out. Just pick the best players to represent the country proudly. Give people a chance atleast.

  3. Better than that coach, i expected a better team, but if ranjitsingh
    Aubrey David, Joevin Jones and Kevin Molino not in the team, well we in wining no game, might beat guyana.

  4. Why doesn’t Ranjitsingh get selected ?

  5. Lasana Liburd jov 33 wasnt reveal in Seattle today ????

  6. Also this GK situation is 100% personal from either Lawrence or DJW.. no way Greg is worse than the 2 keepers selected.

    Something is definitely up there. As someone said earlier Greg should tell us to off

  7. Where’s the left back Julien???

  8. Donald Trump hired William Barr to be America’s attorney general and he has proven to be a loyalist and Trump’s lawyer not the people’s lawyer nor a defender of the Constitution. DJW hired Dennis Lawrence as National Men’s Coach and he has proven to be a WC Connection and DJW loyalists and coach not able to measure up to the standards of national coach

    • Sean Powder Preach. When I said that many months ago, including in the TTFA Board meeting that reappointed him for TWO YEARS with a poor record and without knowing his salary, people vex with me. They said “he is one of our own so we should keep him.” I could only register my vote against.

    • Keith Look Loy Dennis has to understand his coaching career is in its infancy and he is destroying his own reputation with these selections and subsequent on field performances. He is pigeonholing himself back to scout and training jobs. I am no expert and he ent ask for career advise but where he plan on doing after? Many of the players he is not selecting will rise in stature and their clubs and them will not hold him in high regard. At some point safe yourself

    • Sean Powder Correct. It is easier to tag along with DJW but what life is there for him after DJW? Anyway, the Gold Cup will be the litmus test. The last two times around under Hart we arrived at the knockout phase.

    • Hart was our own too…look what happened to him…I does feel it for Ranjitsingh an d Danish dude…them fellas will eventually reject call up an invitations

  9. Ranjitsingh should just declare himself available for Canada…his nonselection for T&T continues to be a joke. I guess the new excuse might be he’s not getting game time..steups

  10. The match priority is not scoring.

  11. Why those 2 GK, when we have options of Ranjitsingh and Williams who are in active campaigns? I expect the Gold Cup will more or less look the same…

  12. One striker is amazing, but he is consistent.

  13. Question Lasana Liburd would this also be the gold cup roster?

    • This isn’t the final roster yet. But these guys must have an excellent shot at being in the 23.
      Aubrey David, Joevin Jones and Kevin Molino will be added to bring it up to 22 players and then we will add a third goalkeeper and that makes 23.
      So it might be that the team is as good as done barring injuries.
      What do you think Nigel Myers?

    • I only ask because I don’t see any of the younger gk’s picked and I’m wondering at what point do we start looking towards World Cup qualifying when the current keepers will be pushing 40

    • Lasana, ah tired. I eh know what to say again. I know we will not always be in full agreement with a coach’s squad selection. And at the end of the day we give him the benefit of the doubt because he is the one seeing them in training etc. and supposedly picking the people to achieve his goals. But when I see the same people being picked over and over again regardless of form, physical fitness, match fitness and so on, it pisses me off. How are people supposed to step up if they are not getting the opportunity. If not in a friendly when. If not against a Wales C team, when? Are you going to wait until tournament time to throw in somebody new, wait until you are ravaged by injuries to try people out? How exactly are we building depth? And if there are legitimate reasons why these other players are not getting the time of day, then let us know.

    • Somebody get this man his own show or a book deal or a seat on the TTFA board!!
      U sir deserve a medal!!

    • According to Lawrence at the press conference yes, the travelling squad to Japan would effectively be the GC roster. Really does make for some puzzling decisions unless we read into his comments about poor attitudes being the reason for exclusions (except for the GK situation of course).