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Eve scraps lone pre-Gold Cup friendly due to ‘Covid concerns’ over opponents

Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team interim head coach Angus Eve will not have the benefit of a warm-up match before the Concacaf Gold Cup playoffs, after the Soca Warriors scrapped a proposed friendly against amateur club, Miami Dutch Lions FC.

Eve, according to the TTFA Media, was forced to veto the outing on the recommendation of the Soca Warriors’ ‘medical team’, as the Dutch Lion players did not ‘undergo the necessary PCR Covid testing prior to the match’.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago interim head coach Angus Eve (centre) conducts a training session in Miami before the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup playoffs.
(via TTFA Media)

“The T&T Medical team advised against playing to avoid the risk of any members of the T&T team contracting the virus going into the Gold Cup qualifier against Montserrat on 2nd July,” stated the TTFA Media.

It is uncertain whether the Men’s National Senior Team technical staff discussed the matter of PCR tests with Miami Lions beforehand. Eve has three managers on his technical staff—Adrian Romain (team manager), Basil Thompson (logistics manager), and Richard Piper (national teams director)—but only Piper travelled to Florida with the team.

Dr Akash Dhanai serves as the team doctor for the Soca Warriors.

Eve is expected to address the media over the next 24 hours to discuss his final 23-man squad for the Gold Cup playoffs, which start on Friday with Trinidad and Tobago facing Montserrat from 9.30pm at the Drv Pnk Stadium in Miami.

The winner of that contest will battle either Cuba or French Guiana on Tuesday July 6 for a spot in the group stage of the confederation’s showcase tournament.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago forward Ryan Telfer (centre) in action against St Kitts and Nevis during 2022 World Cup qualifying action on 8 June 2021.
(via TTFA Media)

At present, Eve has 24 players in his camp, as Andre Fortune II, Jelani Peters, Triston Hodge, Ryan Telfer and captain Khaleem Hyland joined the team on Sunday night, while Kevin Molino and Neveal Hackshaw arrived earlier today.

Denmark-based custodian Nicklas Frenderup is expected tomorrow to swell Eve’s ranks to 25. Versatile flanker Joevin Jones has been ruled out due to a knee injury suffered on duty with his Major League Soccer (MLS) employers, InterMiami FC, on Saturday.

(Current training squad)

Goalkeepers: Adrian Foncette (Police FC), Nicklas Frenderup (Ranheim Il—Denmark), Marvin Phillip (Unattached);

Defenders: Aubrey David (Deportivo Saprissa—Costa Rica), Radanfah Abu Bakr (Unattached), Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Justin Garcia (Defence Force), Neveal Hackshaw (Indy Eleven—USA), Jelani Peters (Pittsburgh Riverhounds—USA), Jesse Williams (Unattached), Alvin Jones (Unattached), Triston Hodge (Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC—USA), Ross Russell Jr (Terminix La Horquetta Rangers);

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago left back Ross Russell Jr lines up a shot during a practice session in Miami before the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup playoffs.
(via TTFA Media)

Midfielders: Hashim Arcia (Defence Force), Andre Fortune II (Memphis 901 FC—USA), Khaleem Hyland (Al Batin—Saudi Arabia), Duane Muckette (Unattached), Molik Khan (Unattached), Judah Garcia (Unattached), Michel Poon-Angeron (Unattached);

Attackers: Marcus Joseph (Unattached), Isaiah Lee (Terminix La Horquetta Rangers), Kevin Molino (Columbus Crew—USA), Reon Moore (Defence Force), Ryan Telfer (Atletico Ottawa—Canada).

Technical staff: Angus Eve (head coach), Reynold Carrington (assistant coach), Hutson Charles (assistant coach), Clayton Ince (goalkeeper coach), Adaryll John (strength and conditioning coach), Saron Joseph (performance trainer/massage therapist), Roger Ryan (physiotherapist), Dr Akash Dhanai (team doctor), Michael Williams (equipment manager), Shaun Fuentes (press officer), Adrian Romain (team manager), Basil Thompson (logistics manager), and Richard Piper (national teams director).

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