Trinidad & Tobago's Kenwyne Jones (red jersey) looks for an opening against visiting Jamaica in a friendly on November 19, 2013. (Photo: Allan V. Crane)
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad & Tobago -- Trinidad & Tobago head coach Stephen Hart has urged fans of the Soca Warriors to manage their expectations as his team prepares for two games in South America next month.
On Tuesday, Hart announced a 22-man squad for friendlies against host Argentina (June 4 in Buenos Aires) and Iran (June 8 in Sao Paulo, Brazil). Veteran striker Kenwyne Jones, who plays with Welsh side Cardiff City, leads a selection that includes seven Europe-based members.
“Ideally we’d love to win the two games but we have to be realistic,” Hart said. “Both Argentina and Iran will be comfortable as they will be fully prepared for a World Cup which starts a few days after our matches. But surely this is a wonderful opportunity for us to test our level of readiness against two great opponents.”
Gavin Hoyte, a former England youth international, is the only newcomer to the team, joining his brother Justin.
“Regarding the squad, I tried to come up with the best possible names considering that the games are being played outside of a FIFA date and clubs are not obliged to release the players,” noted Hart. “But we’ve come up with a pretty decent list and I’m sure everyone will be very eager to do their best in the matches.”
Trinidad & Tobago is preparing for this year’s Caribbean Cup, the region’s biennial championship for national teams that doubles as a qualifying competition for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO ROSTER
(International friendlies: June 4, 2014 – away v Argentina, Buenos Aires; June 8, 2014 - neutral v Iran, Sao Paulo, Brazil)
GOALKEEPERS: Marvin Phillip (Point Fortin Civic FC), Jan-Michael Williams (Central FC)
DEFENDERS: Radanfah Abu Bakr (FK Kruoja Pakruojis/Lithuania), Sheldon Bateau (KV Mechelen/Belgium), Daneil Cyrus (W Connection), Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Gavin Hoyte (Dagenham & Redbridge/England), Justin Hoyte (Millwall/England), Carlyle Mitchell (Vancouver Whitecaps/Canada)
MIDFIELDERS: Andre Boucaud (no club), Kevan George (Dayton Dutch Lions/USA), Ataullah Guerra (Central FC), Khaleem Hyland (Racing Genk), Joevin Jones (W Connection), Marcus Joseph (Point Fortin Civic FC), Kevin Molino (Orlando City/USA), Lester Peltier (Slovan Bratislava/Slovakia), Densill Theobald (Caledonia AIA)
FORWARDS: Trevin Caesar (North East Stars), Kenwyne Jones (Cardiff City/Wales), Rundell Winchester (Central FC), Willis Plaza (Central FC)