The Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Under-20 Team held Costa Rica goalless in a friendly international match in San Jose this morning, as the junior Soca Warriors prepare for the 2022 Concacaf Under-20 Championship.
Trinidad and Tobago flew to Costa Rica just yesterday with 18 players and minus head coach Angus Eve, who remained with the National Senior Team on Concacaf Nations League duty. Assistant coach Reynold Carrington ran the technical area in Eve’s absence.
Trinidad and Tobago’s starting team against Costa Rica were: Jaheim Wickham, Isaiah Edwards, Jaron Pascal, Jaheim Joseph, Marvin Waldrop, Luke Phillip, Kassidy Davidson, Andrew De Gannes, Kaihim Thomas, Real Gill, and Nathaniel James.
The match was played at the Complejo Deportivo Fedefútbol Plycem.
The Under-20 Team travelled without playmaker Molik Khan, who is also with senior squad, as well as right back Christian Bailey, goalkeeper Tristan Edwards, attacker Tarik Lee and left back Noah Roka, who all had examinations.
Bailey, Edwards, Lee and Roka were expected to join their teammates in San Jose by today while Eve and Khan are due to arrive on 14 June.
Carrington was pleased with the opening result against one of the confederation’s toughest teams.
“All in all a good exercise for us,” Carrington told the TTFA Media. “It was important to get this sort of match practice against a team like Costa Rica before heading into the tournament. We used the match to look at a few things and to observe how the players would adjust to the conditions and the intensity.
“I thought they coped quite well and we’ll see how things go again in the second match.”
Although Eve initially selected 24 players, the team is now down to 23 as San Juan Jabloteh midfielder Dantaye Gilbert has returned to Europe for a trial with a professional club. It is uncertain whether Eve will request a replacement for Gilbert, since he can only register 20 players for the tournament anyway.
Gilbert, a former Presentation College (San Fernando) schoolboy, spent the last year at the Malaga City FC Academy in Spain, which is a pay-for-play residential programme.
“Dantaye was excited to have been selected for the tournament and looks forward to representing the red, white and black in the future,” said a representative for the player. “However a foreign commitment to which he must attend in the coming weeks arose, so he was unable to play on the team.
“He would have been available for the warm up matches but not the tournament and felt it best to withdraw from the team to give them sufficient time to add a suitable replacement.”
Trinidad and Tobago and Costa Rica meet for the second under-20 friendly on Saturday 11 June from 10am. The junior Soca Warriors are then due to face Haiti in their Group F opener on 19 June at the Estadio Morazan in San Pedro Sula, before tackling Mexico and Suriname at the same venue on 21 and 23 June respectively.
The Haiti Football Federation (FHF) said last week that it will not send an under-20 team to the Concacaf Championship. However, the FHF is under normalisation at present and Fifa will have the final word.
The top three teams from Group F advance to the round of 16. The four Concacaf U-20 semifinalists will all qualify automatically for the Indonesia 2023 Fifa Under-20 World Cup, while the two finalists will also represent the confederation at the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics.
(Trinidad and Tobago 23-member team)
Goalkeepers: Rushon Sandy (Patuxent Football Athletics—USA), Jahiem Wickham (Toronto FC—Canada), Tristan Edwards (Fatima College);
Defenders: Jaron Pascall (Police FC), Jaheim Joseph (W Connection), Josiah Cooper (Club Sando), Christian Bailey (Defence Force FC), Isaiah Edwards (Police FC), Noah Roka (FC Stadieu—Austria), Marvin Waldrop (Club Sando);
Midfielders: Luke Phillip (Deportivo Point Fortin), Andrew De Gannes (Atlanta Utd Academy—USA), Isaiah Thompson (Unattached), Tyrik Trotman (Hartford Community College—USA), Curtis De Leon+ (University of Alabama, Birmingham—USA), Kaihim Thomas (Terminix La Horquetta Rangers), Kassidy Davidson (IFAPT—Portugal), Molik Jesse Khan (Minnesota United II—USA);
Attackers: Jaheim Faustin (Defence Force FC), Real Gill (Terminix La Horquetta Rangers), Josiah Wilson (Cercle Brugge KSV—Belgium), Nathaniel James (W Connection), Tarik Lee (W Connection).
Withdrawal: Dantaye Gilbert (San Juan Jabloteh).