AC Port of Spain attacker Che Benny, Defence Force midfielder Kaihim Thomas and IFK Eskilstuna (Sweden) midfielder Kristian Lee-Him are among five players who can make their senior international debut for Trinidad and Tobago against Guatemala this weekend.
The trio were named in a 22-man squad by Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team head coach Angus Eve today, as the Soca Warriors continue preparations for the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup Qualifying series, which starts on Friday 16 June at Drv Pnk Stadium, Fort Lauderdale.
Lee-Him, 28, was born in Toronto and is set to make his international bow in Sunday’s friendly at the Subaru Stadium in Pennsylvania.
The 22-year-old Benny was a regular for a national youth level, but his only senior appearances thus far came on the Futsal courts. His impressive performances in AC Port of Spain’s qualification for the 2023 Concacaf Caribbean Club Cup earned him a call-up by Eve, though.
Thomas, 20, represented Eve at National Under-20 level last year and will now try to follow teenaged colleagues Molik Khan, Nathaniel James and Real Gill into the senior squad. James and Gill are also in the squad to face Guatemala.
The other uncapped players are 23-year-old VC Fusion (USA) right back Stephon Marcano, who is a former Fatima College student, and 22-year-old flanker Samory Powder (Hudson Valley Hammers—USA). Marcano was in the Warriors squad that lost 5-0 away to Bolivia in friendly action on 21 January 2022 although he never got off the bench, while Powder was an unused substitute in 2022 Caribbean Classic matches against Barbados and Guyana.
Eve left out several of his overseas-based players for this weekend’s outing and will add some faces, such as AEK Athens star Levi Garcia, to his final Gold Cup team next week.
Veteran Belgium-based defender Sheldon Bateau is in the squad to face Guatemala though, along with Scotland-based midfielder Daniel Phillips and United States-based flanker Kaile Auvray.
The full Trinidad and Tobago squad to face Guatemala is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Denzil Smith (W Connection), Marvin Phillip (AC Port of Spain),
Defenders: Stephon Marcano (VC Fusion—USA), Alvin Jones (Club Sando), Jameel Neptune (AC Port of Spain), Andre Raymond (Dumiense CJP—Portugal), Samory Powder (Hudson Valley Hammers—USA), Josiah Trimmingham (Club Sando), Sheldon Bateau (SK Beveren—Belgium), Justin Garcia (Defence Force), Ross Russell Jr (TLH Rangers),
Midfielders: Justin Sadoo, Kaihim Thomas (both Defence Force), Daniel Phillips (St Johnstone—Scotland), Michel Poon-Angeron, Duane Muckette (both AC Port of Spain), Kristian Lee-Him (IFK Eskilstuna—Sweden),
Attackers: Kaile Auvray (Sporting KC Academy—USA), Che Benny (AC Port of Spain), Kadeem Corbin (TLH Rangers), Real Gill, Nathaniel James (both Club Sando).
Editor’s Note: See Wired868 this evening for full report of coach Angus Eve’s press conference on Sunday’s friendly against Guatemala and his plans for the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup.