Trinidad and Tobago will be without versatile flanker Joevin Jones when they face Montserrat in a 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup playoff fixture next Friday, after he suffered a knee injury yesterday in a 2-1 loss for InterMiami CF against Major League Soccer (MLS) neighbours, Orlando City.
It was InterMiami’s fourth straight MLS defeat while Jones’ injury, which he suffered after coming off the bench in the second half, will almost certainly rule him out for the rest of the season.
Jones’ absence next week is a blow to Men’s National Senior Team interim head coach Angus Eve, who selected just 10 overseas-based players in his 26-man squad—although the domestic Pro League has been suspended since March 2020.
Either ex-Point Fortin Civic forward Marcus ‘Lobo’ Joseph, who has 20 senior international appearances with six goals (five of them against Anguilla), or Terminix La Horquetta Rangers attacker Isaiah Lee, who has two caps with no goals, would be expected to deputise for Jones.
There was a scare in Canada too as former Soca Warriors head coach Stephen Hart had to vacate the HFX Wanderers bench after feeling unwell, during the opening game of the Canadian Premier League (CPL) season.
Hart, 61, was replaced by assistant coach Mesut Mert as the Wanderers fell to a 2-0 defeat away to Pacific FC. Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Andre Rampersad captained the Wanderers while his compatriot Akeem ‘Froggy’ Garcia played upfront.
However, a close relative of the former Soca Warriors head coach assured fans that Hart is in good spirits and undergoing tests out of an abundance of caution.
Elsewhere in the CPL, Trinidad and Tobago forward Ryan Telfer played from the start in his preferred wide attacking role for Atletico Ottawa, who edged Edmonton FC 1-0.
Telfer played as a centre forward in all five outings under former coach Terry Fenwick and managed a solitary goal against Guyana. However, it is uncertain how Eve plans to utilise his strengths.
One possibility is that Telfer deputises for Jones on the flank with Joseph starting in the centre forward position.
Eve will have fingers crossed tomorrow as ace midfielder Kevin Molino is expected to make his second start for Columbus Crew since his return from a hamstring injury. Columbus play away to Austin FC in Texas before they release Molino to join his international teammates.
In the US second tier, versatile defender Neveal Hackshaw scored in a 3-2 win for Indy Eleven over Loudoun United while Triston Hodge and Jelani Peters also had successful weekends for Colorado Springs Switchbacks and Pittsburgh Riverhounds respectively.
The trio are also in Eve’s plans for next week, along with Memphis 901 midfielder Andre Fortune who began his weekend fixture on the substitutes’ bench.
The active Trinidad and Tobago players who were not selected for the Gold Cup playoffs include Leland Archer (Charleston Battery), Leston Paul (Memphis 901), Mekeil Williams (Pittsburgh Riverhounds), Noah Powder (Real Monarchs) and Ajani Fortune (Atlanta United II).