Eve selected familiar faces in squad due to time constraints

There was limited time for interim head coach of the Trinidad and Tobago men’s senior team, Angus Eve to select his squad after attaining the job only over a week prior to naming the 26-man contingent for the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup to be held in USA.

Eve said, “Literally, there is no time and I need to fuse the team as quickly as possible. I needed to keep the group tight and I needed to get guys in specific positions because of how I want to play.” The most capped Soca warrior in history, Eve added, “That was the reason for not having too many players come in from away and having this group who have actually been training here.”

The squad that departed Trinidad on Thursday included midfielder Kevin Molino, Curtis ‘Boyo’ Gonzales, Marcus ‘Lobo’ Joseph, Ross Russell Jr. There were spots available for newcomers Reon Moore, Isaiah Lee and teenager Molik Jesse Khan. Notable exclusions were Belgium-based defender, Sheldon Bateau, AEK Athens player of the year, Levi Garcia who are unavailable as well as Gary Griffith III. Commenting on the mixed squad of youth and senior players selected, Eve said “There is a blend of players who have been playing with the squad and some new ones who would have come in. I know their capability and what they could bring and the freshness and vitality they can bring to the team.”

Isaiah Lee

Molino seems to be progressing well and is hopeful to represent the Soca Warriors in the competition. He played the first half for Columbus Crew in a one nil loss against Philadelphia in the MLS on Wednesday following an appearance in the last twenty minutes in a 2-0 victory over Chicago Fire five days before. The former youth national coach, Eve is hopeful to have Molino in his line-up, he said, “He’s always learning and is willing to learn. He’s looking forward to come back to play with us.”

Speaking on the inclusion of fearless 17-year-old promising player, Molik Jesse Khan. The former attacking midfielder said, “I’m a firm believer in developing youth players. The ability that he has, he has shown that he can play at the highest level in Trinidad. He’s not afraid, if you look at him, his physical structure, he can stand up to the rigors. His technical ability is very, very good. He’s not a scrub, he’s not here to ride along. He’s here as a part of the team pushing for a position on the team.”

T&T will come up against Montserrat in the preliminary round at the DRV PNK Stadium in Ft Lauderdale, Florida on July 2 from 9:30pm. Once victorious, they will play the second round qualifier against either Cuba or French Guyana at the same venue on July 6 for a chance to play in the Group A alongside Mexico, El Salvador and Curaçao.

T&T Squad:

Goalkeepers: Adrian Foncette, Nicklas Frenderup, Marvin Phillip

Defenders: Radanfah Abu Bakr, Aubrey David, Justin Garcia, Curtis Gonzales, Triston Hodge, Alvin Jones, Jelani Peters, Ross Russell Jnr, Jesse Williams, Neveal Hackshaw.

Midfielders: Andre Fortune II, Judah Garcia, Khaleem Hyland, Joevin Jones, Molik Jesse Khan, Kevin Molino, Duane Muckette, Michel Poon-Angeron.

Forwards: Ryan Telfer, Marcus Joseph, Isaiah Lee, Hashim Arcia, Reon Moore.

Technical staff: Angus Eve (head coach), Reynold Carrington (assistant coach), Hutson Charles (assistant coach), Clayton Ince (goalkeeper coach), Adaryll John (strength and conditioning coach), Saron Joseph (performance trainer/massage therapist), Roger Ryan (physiotherapist), Adrian Romain (team manager), Richard Piper (national team director), Basil Thompson (logistics manager), Dr Akash Dhanai (team doctor), Michael Williams (equipment manager), and Shaun Fuentes (press officer).