Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Under-20 Team head coach Angus Eve has invited 40 players to join his training squad on 5 May, including 16 overseas-based players and three Terminix La Horquetta Rangers players.
The national youth team is preparing for the Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship which kicks off in mid-June in Honduras. Trinidad and Tobago are drawn with Mexico, Haiti and Suriname in Group F, with three nations advancing to the knockout stage while the table-proppers will be eliminated.
Eve has spread his talent net far and wide and today named 16 overseas-based players in his initial training squad. The most intriguing selection is, arguably, Columbus Crew Academy midfielder Caleb Borneo.
Borneo, a skilful diminutive midfielder, represented Trinidad and Tobago at Under-15 level in an invitation tournament. However, he was not part of coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier’s team that participated in the 2019 Concacaf Boys Under-15 Championship.
His development in the United States has continued apace, though, and, within the last fortnight, Borneo was named on MLS Soccer’s Best XI players in his age group at the Generation Adidas Cup and then called up by United States Under-19 head coach Marko Mitrovic.
At present, Borneo is in a 33-member United States U-19 training camp in Carson, California. However, Eve hopes to lure the player back to the Red, Black and White.
Although Borneo was born in the USA, his father, Kernell Borneo, is a former Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) player for El Dorado Senior Comprehensive. The elder Borneo was also successfully recruited as a scout for the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association’s now defunct Talent Identification and Player Pool (TIPP) programme under former TTFA technical committee chairman Keith Look Loy.
Eve told Wired868 that he hopes to have answers from his invited players very soon.
There were call-ups too for the Terminix La Horquetta Rangers trio of electric flanker Real Gill, midfielder Kaihim Thomas and full-back Emmanuel Thomas.
Successive national coaches Dennis Lawrence and Terry Fenwick have struggled to incorporate Rangers players into their set-up, with club director Richard Ferguson being less than enthusiastic about such requests.
Eve used Rangers full-back Ross Russell Jr and forward Isaiah Lee at the July 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup but has not included a player from the La Horquetta-based team since then. The call-ups for Gill and the Thomases will hopefully represent a thawing of relations.
Fifa does not mandate that clubs release players for national youth competitions and Ferguson could have the final say on their involvement with Eve’s squad.
There were four picks too from a ‘combine’ in Washington DC by the North America Caribbean Training Method (NACTM), which was attended by assistant coach Reynold Carrington.
Austria-based defender Noah Roka and the US-based trio of flanker Wayne Frederick II, forward Tyrell Moore and midfielder Curtis De Leon all caught Carrington’s eye and were invited to train with the group next month.
Moore, 16, is the son of former Trinidad and Tobago international stand-out Wendell Moore and younger brother of US international Shaq Moore.
The 17-year-old Frederick II, who is set to join NCAA Division One school Duke University, also has an acclaimed father—although in a totally different field. The senior Wayne Frederick is the current president of Howard University and a renowned surgeon in the US. In 2020, Frederick was awarded the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago for his work in the field of medicine and education.
De Leon, no relation to iconic former Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Leroy De Leon, previously represented the two-island republic at the 2019 Concacaf Under-17 Championship.
If he makes the final cut, it would be Roka’s first time in national colours although the son of an Austrian dad and Tobagonian mother has on occasion visited the sister isle, where he trained with the St Clair Coaching School.
Eve’s overseas-based call-ups also include Trinidad and Tobago-born and bred players like Molik Khan, Josiah Wilson and Dantaye Gilbert, who are training abroad with Minnesota United (USA), Cercle Brugge KSV (Belgium) and FC Malaga City (Spain) respectively.
Khan is the only invited player who has already been capped at national senior team level although Club Sando left-back Marvin Waldrop was an unused substitute when the Soca Warriors drew 1-1 with Guyana last month in the Courts Caribbean Classic.
The upcoming Concacaf Under-20 Championship will decide not only the Confederation’s four representatives at the Indonesia 2022 Fifa Under-20 World Cup but also the two qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics.
“On the 3rd of May, we start our final preparations, where we will bring the boys back in,” Eve told TTFA Media. “We have three groups of players—locally-based players, locally-based players who are now plying their trades abroad and some potential players who want to come back and represent Trinidad and Tobago.
“I am very excited simply because the Under-20s are the new generation for 2026 and beyond. There has been a lot of interest shown, especially from players on the outside wanting to represent Trinidad and Tobago and the enthusiasm showing (sic) by both sets, including the ones who are locally-based, has been promising.
“It’s a very important period for football in Trinidad and Tobago.”
List of invitees for Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team:
Jaron Pascall, Josiah Cooper (Naparima College), Tristan Edwards, Christian Bailey, Jose Attong (Fatima College), Isaiah Edwards (Arima North Secondary), Lendell Sween (San Juan North), Jaheim Faustin (Trinity East), Kareem Warner (Signal Hill Secondary), Marvin Waldrop, Kylon Braithwaite, Quincy Winchester, Daniel Richards (Club Sando), Joshua Lewis, J’Lon Matthews (San Juan Jabloteh), Nigel Carraby, Jerrel Sandiford, Tyrik Lee (W Connection), Shervohnez Hamilton (Petit Valley Utd), Luke Phillip (Deportivo Point Fortin), Real Gill, Kaihim Thomas, Emmanuel Thomas (Terminix La Horquetta Rangers), Nathaniel James (unattached).
Josiah Wilson (training with Cercle Brugge KSV—Belgium), Dantaye Gilbert (training with FC Malaga City—Spain), Rushon Sandy (Patuxent Football Athletics—USA), Isaiah Thompson (unattached—UK), Molik Khan (Minnesota Utd—USA), Caleb Borneo (Columbus Crew II—USA), Tyrik Trotman (Hartford Community College—USA), Roald Mitchell (Wake Forest University/NY Red Bulls II—USA), Jeremy Lashley (FC Edmonton—Canada), Jason Christian Gajadhar (Vaughn Soccer Club—Canada), Diego Nanton (International Centre for European Football—France), Alessandro Sipaque (Plainfield High School—USA), Noah Roka (FC Stadieu—Austria), Wayne Frederick II (Bethesda FC—USA), Tyrell Moore (Atlanta United Academy), Curtis De Leon (University of Alabama—USA).