Versatile flanker Joevin Jones, central defender Sheldon Bateau, midfielders Leston Paul and Daniel Phillips and right-back Shannon Gomez are set to make their first national senior team appearances under current Trinidad and Tobago coach Angus Eve. The quintet have all been named in a 28-man squad to start the 2022/23 Concacaf Nations League.
The Soca Warriors, currently in the second tier of the Concacaf competition, open their campaign away to Nicaragua on Friday 3 June before hosting The Bahamas on 6 June and tackling St Vincent and the Grenadines away and then home on 10 and 13 June respectively.
Trinidad and Tobago will then play their final two assignments in March 2023, with the group winner set for promotion to League A while the bottom-placed team will be demoted to League C.
On the weekend, Eve said his Nations League team will comprise mainly players from their Courts Caribbean Classic games against Barbados and Guyana. In fact, there were a few surprises.
Among the players used during the competition, right-back Jesse Williams, attacking midfielder Andre Fortune II, flankers Ryan Telfer and Reon Moore and forward Nicholas Dillon failed to keep their places. Central defenders Leland Archer and Radanfah Abu Bakr and flanker Samory Powder, all unused substitutes in the exhibition competition, were also not retained.
Wired868 understands that Fortune misses out through injury while Moore and Telfer are both just returning from knocks and not felt to be in the right physical condition.
Instead, Eve promoted the teenaged Terminix La Horquetta Rangers midfield pair of Kaihim Thomas and Real Gill while India-based forward Marcus ‘Lobo’ Joseph was also among the recalled players.
England-born defender Michael Kedman, who campaigns for Thróttur Vogar in the Iceland second division, was a bolt from the blue as Eve listed the 25-year-old as a midfielder in his squad roster. It is Kedman’s first appearance on a national team list.
AEK Athens attacker Levi Garcia is in the squad along with veteran Deportivo PF goalkeeper Marvin Phillip, pacy FC Sheriff Tiraspol left-back Keston Julien and Deportivo Saprissa defender Aubrey David.
Columbus Crew attacking midfielder Kevin Molino is absent, though. Molino scored twice for the Warriors at the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup but is yet to play for the Crew this season, as he too recovers after a serious injury.
Goalkeeper Nicklas Frenderup, who plays for Ranheim in Denmark, is also yet to represent Trinidad and Tobago since last year’s Gold Cup. Wired868 understands there are complications arising from his vaccination status.
Despite being named in the 28-man squad, elegant midfielder Duane Muckette and Police FC playmaker Jabari Mitchell along with Thomas and Gill will not travel to Nicaragua with the team. It is uncertain whether Thomas and Gill will be available for Nations League duty at all as they are also listed to travel to Costa Rica for a pre-tournament camp with the National Under-20 Team.
However, teenaged Minnesota United II midfielder Molik Khan looks set to stay with the senior squad instead.
Eve, who is head coach of both the National Senior and Under-20 Teams, is due to meet up with the national youth team in their Central American camp five days before their opening World Cup qualifier against Haiti in Honduras.
The full Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior squad for the June 2022 battle in the Concacaf Nations League is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Marvin Phillip (Deportivo PF), Jabari St Hillaire (Terminix La Horquetta Rangers), Denzil Smith (W Connection);
Defenders: Kareem Moses (Vaasan Palloseura—Finland), Sheldon Bateau (Samsunspor—Turkey), Aubrey David (Deportivo Saprissa—Costa Rica), Mekeil Williams (Pittsburgh Riverhounds—USA), Shannon Gomez (Sacramento Republic—USA), Alvin Jones (Forward Madison—USA), Triston Hodge (Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC—USA), Keston Julien (FC Sheriff Tiraspol—Moldova);
Midfielders: Kevon Goddard, Justin Sadoo (both Defence Force), Michael Kedman (Thróttur Vogar—Iceland), Leston Paul (Memphis 901—USA), Noah Powder (Indy Eleven—USA), Molik Khan (Minnesota United II—USA), Kaihim Thomas (Terminix La Horquetta Rangers), Daniel Phillips (Watford FC—England), Neveal Hackshaw (Indy Eleven—USA), Duane Muckette (Unattached);
Attacking midfielders: Judah Garcia (AEK Athens B FC—Greece), John-Paul Rochford (Sure Sports FC—USA), Joevin Jones (InterMiami CF—USA), Real Gill (Terminix La Horquetta Rangers), Jabari Mitchell (Police FC);
Forwards: Marcus Joseph (Mohammedan SC—India), Levi Garcia (AEK Athens FC—Greece).