Levi returns! Eve announces 23-man T&T squad to face USA

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Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team head coach Angus Eve confirmed the return of star attacker Levi Garcia for their Concacaf Nations League quarterfinal clash with the United States, as he announced a 23-man squad today.

The Soca Warriors face the United States in Austin, Texas on Thursday 16 November in the first of a two-legged tie. The two nations meet again on Monday 20 November in Port of Spain.

Trinidad and Tobago forward Levi Garcia (left) runs at a St Vincent and the Grenadines defender during Concacaf Nations League action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 13 June 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

The winner qualifies automatically for the 2024 Copa America tournament as well as the Nations League semifinals, while the loser faces a play-off for a Copa America spot

Garcia missed all four group stage matches for Trinidad and Tobago through injury, but is set to make his first international appearance since the July 2023 Gold Cup. He plays for Greece-based employers, AEK Athens, tomorrow before he joins the squad in Austin.

Forward Malcom Shaw and full back Shannon Gomez also return from injury for this match window while 20-year-old US-based goalkeeper Rushon Sandy gets his first national senior team call-up.

Sandy, who represents Yavapai College, was a part of Eve’s National Under-20 Team in 2022.

Soca Warriors head coach Angus Eve (left) has a word with goalkeeper Denzil Smith during their pre-tournament camp in Florida.
(via TTFA Media)

AC Port of Spain midfielder Duane Muckette and forward Tyrone Charles, the Defence Force pair of goalkeeper Jabari St Hillaire and midfielder Kevon Goddard, and Finland-based defender Kareem Moses all give way.

The United States are without injured AC Milan playmaker Christian Pulisic and Juventus attacker Tim Weah, but still have a team littered with talent like Monaco forward Folarin Balogun and PSV Eidhoven attacker Ricardo Pepi.

Eve insisted his players are not overawed by an opponent that thumped the Warriors 6-0, five months ago.

“Sport is on the day—we believe in ourselves,” said Eve, in a press conference yesterday. “[…] We have been on a good run and we want to continue that run.

USA attacker Brenden Aaronson (right) prepares to embarrass Chelsea goalkeeper Édouard Mendy during EPL action on 21 August 2022.
Aaronson was a Leeds United player at the time.

“It is going to take a lot of hard work and it is going to take tactical awareness and tactical fitness to get through the game because most of our players are not match fit as their players are.

“So, we have to be very smart in the way that we play the game and give ourselves a fighting chance for when we come back home when hopefully the crowd will be behind us.”

(Trinidad and Tobago team)

Goalkeepers: Christopher Biggette (Defence Force), Denzil Smith (Unattached), Rushon Sandy (Yavapai College—USA),

Defenders: Aubrey David (Club Sport Cartagines—Costa Rica), Justin Garcia (Defence Force), Andre Raymond (GD Vilar De Perdizes—Portugal), Ross Russell Jr (TLH Rangers), Jesse Williams (Central Valley Fuego—USA), Alvin Jones (Club Sando), Shannon Gomez (San Antonion FC—USA),

Trinidad and Tobago defender Aubrey David (left) holds off Curacao forward Brandley Kuwas during Concacaf Nations League A action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 7 September 2023.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ Wired868

Midfielders: Michel-Poon Angeron (AC Port of Spain), Daniel Phillips (St Johnstone FC—Scotland), Neveal Hackshaw (Oakland Roots SC—USA), Kristian Lee Him (IFK Eskilstuna—Sweden), Andre Rampersad (HFX Wanderers—Canada), Noah Powder (Northern Colorado Hailstorm—USA),

Attackers: Kaïlé Auvray (Mount Pleasant—Jamaica), Nathaniel James (Mount Pleasant—Jamaica), Reon Moore (Defence Force), Ryan Telfer (Miami FC—USA), Real Gill (Club Sando), Malcolm Shaw (Atletico Ottawa—Canada), Levi Garcia (AEK Athens—Greece).

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