Hart: The main thing is not to panic

Soca Warriors seek positive W/C qualifying start against Guatemala and USA

Trinidad and Tobago players go through their paces in Fort Lauderdale, Florida during a 4-day camp.

Thursday 12 November 2015

“The main thing is not to panic with the opening two games because there is a huge break between these games in November and March,” said Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart this week. “That’s the most important thing.”

T&T are away to Guatemala on Friday (13 November) night at the Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City in their opening qualifier towards the FIFA World Cup Russia 2014 before returning home to host the United States on Tuesday 17 November from 7:30 pm at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

The Soca Warriors are pooled in Group C of the CONCACAF semi-final round of World Cup qualifying, and will later return to Road to Russia 2018 action with back-to-back clashes with fellow Caribbean islanders, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in March 2016.

T&T will complete their semi-final round of CONCACAF qualifying in September 2016 by hosting Guatemala then traveling against the United States.

Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Canada occupy Group A, while Group B consists of Costa Rica, Panama, Haiti and Jamaica.

The top two teams from each group will progress to the Final Round (hexagonal stage), which will be contested between November 7, 2016 - October 10, 2017.

The top three from the Final Round will automatically qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia while the fourth placed finishers must take on the fifth placed finishers in Asia in an intercontinental playoff.

“The objective (now) is to get in the Hex,” Hart told concacaf.com this week. “If you do your business at home and hope to get some points on the road, you should be able to get in.”

Trinidad and Tobago forward Kenwyne Jones (airborne) heads the ball beyond teammate and defender Yohance Marshall (right) during a recent 4-day training camp in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Hart and his 22-man squad arrived in Guatemala on Wednesday following a 4-day training camp in Fort Lauderdale.

The 55-year-old Hart, who expects a difficult environment in Guatemala, said he selected “a balanced (squad which) also allows for flexibility in our approach.”

Iceland-based T&T forward Jonathan Glenn said, “It’s very crucial that we get a good start to set the tone and go on to advance to the Hex.

“We’re just really ready to go out and get a result. I have one hundred percent confidence in the guys to go there and get it done. We know it will be tough but if it was easy, then anyone could achieve this so we know we have to go there and work for the right result.”

Trinidad and Tobago 22-man squad November 13 World Cup qualifier against Guatemala
Jan-Michael Williams (Central FC / T&T)
Marvin Phillip (Morvant Caledonia United / T&T)

Sheldon Bateau (FC Krylia Samara / Russia)
Radanfah Abu Bakr (HB Koge / Denmark)
Justin Hoyte (Dagenham & Redbridge / England)
Aubrey David (FC Shakhter Karagandy / Kazakhstan)
Yohance Marshall (Murcielagos FC / Mexico)
Mekeil Williams (Antigua FC / Guatemala)
Carlyle Mitchell (South Korea)

Andre Boucaud (Dagenham & Redbridge / England)
Keron Cummings (North East Stars / T&T)
Neveal Hackshaw (North East Stars / T&T)
Kevan George (Columbus Crew / USA)
Khaleem Hyland (KVC Westerlo / Belgium)
Joevin Jones (Chicago Fire / USA)
Lester Peltier (Slovan Bratislava / Slovakia)

Kenwyne Jones (Cardiff City / Wales)
Trevin Caesar (Austin Aztex / USA)
Cordell Cato (San Jose Earthquakes / USA)
Jonathan Glenn (Breidablik Kopavogur / Iceland)
Willis Plaza (Central FC / T&T)

CONCACAF Semi-Final Round Qualifying towards FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia
Trinidad and Tobago matches (home teams mentioned first)

November 13, 2015
Guatemala vs Trinidad and Tobago

November 17, 2015
Trinidad and Tobago vs United States

March 25, 2016
St. Vincent and the Grenadines vs Trinidad and Tobago

March 29, 2016
Trinidad and Tobago vs St. Vincent and the Grenadines

September 2, 2016
Trinidad and Tobago vs Guatemala

September 6, 2016
United States vs Trinidad and Tobago