Nathan Lewis among three new call-ups as Hart select squad for Peru, Uruguay and China friendlies

File photo: Nathan Lewis representing Caledonia during the 2013 CFU Club Championship.

Friday May 13, 2016

San Juan Jabloteh winger Nathan Lewis, North East Stars goalkeeper Glenroy Samuel and El Salvador-based defender Weslie John are three new call-ups named in a 23-man squad by Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart for upcoming away friendlies against Peru, Uruguay and China.

The “Soca Warriors” will depart on May 20 for Peru, where they will play the hosts on May 23 in Lima before heading to Uruguay to face “The Sky Blue One” in Montevideo on May 27.

Harts’ men will then journey to China to face the “Dragons” on June 3 in the city of Qin Huang Dao.

Hart squad includes the services of ten (10) players who were part of back-to-back CONCACAF World Cup 2018 qualifying victories over St Vincent and the Grenadines. They include Dutch-based Levi Garcia, goalkeeper Marvin Phillip, Aubrey David, Justin Hoyte, Daneil Cyrus Khaleem Hyland, Andre Boucaud, Yohance Marshall, Willis Plaza and Sean De Silva.

However Hart will be without captain and Al Jazira forward Kenwyne Jones, Orlando City’s Kevin Molino, Seattle Sounders’ Joevin Jones, Trevin Caesar, Colorado Rapids defender Mekeil Williams and Russian-based defender Sheldon Bateau – all unavailable due to club commitments – while Garcia and Hyland, who will not be available for the China game, will be replaced by Seoul E-Land FC (South Korea) defender Carlyle Mitchell and Central FC forward Marcus Joseph.

W Connection trio Shahdon Winchester, Hughtun Hector and Jomal Williams will return to the squad along with Danish-based defender Radanfah Abu Bakr, who missed St Vincent qualifiers due to injury.

Newcomers Lewis, John, who plays for CD Universidad in El Salvador, and goalkeeper, a former T&T Youth World Cup player in 2007 and 2009, will be joined by Central defender Andre Etienne, W Connection defender Tristan Hodge and Police FC forward Makesi Lewis, who were involved in a March friendly against Grenada.

“The consideration for selection was a bit difficult mainly because the first two games do not fall on a FIFA date,” Hart is quoted as saying by the TTFA media. “(…) so what I have decided to do was to go with a number of players that have looked well in the Pro League and try to mix them with players that have been utilised in the World Cup qualification.”

Hart, who will take his team into a live-in training camp from Sunday May 15 at Metro Hotel in Couva and will conduct sessions at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain, said while selection was difficult due to Peru and Uruguay being outside the FIFA international window, it presents the opportunity for players outside the regular picks.

“It was a difficult decision because you want to put your best foot forward in (these) games,” added Hart. “…but unfortunately because it is outside of a FIFA window a number of players were not available to us. There has been a lot of discussion in Trinidad and Tobago football about giving players an opportunity and this is my one sort of opportunity to bring in a number of players and see if I can get the squad to gel and play what will be two very difficult games (against Uruguay and Peru).”

On his selection of newcomers Lewis, John and Samuel, the “Soca Warriors”’ coach said, “Nathan Lewis has done well for Jabloteh in the (Pro) League and now we will see if he can take his ability to another level. Glenroy has been outstanding for North East (Stars) and is a big factor in their rise up the table so it’s a good for him to push for selection. And then of course Weslie John, who I have been following on InStat Scout has done very well in El Salvador and I will be interested to see how he adapts.”

Upcoming “Soca Warriors” friendly internationals
May 23, Lima, Peru
Peru vs T&T

May 27, Montevideo, Uruguay
Uruguay vs T&T

June 3, Qin Huang Dao, China
China vs T&T

Trinidad and Tobago 23-man squad
(Levi Garcia and Khaleem Hyland will be replaced by Marcus Joseph and Carlyle Mitchell for the China game)

Glenroy Samuel (North East Stars / T&T)
Marvin Phillip (Morvant Caledonia United / T&T)
Adrian Foncette (Police FC / T&T)

Daneil Cyrus (W Connection / T&T)
Justin Hoyte (Dagenham & Redbridge / England)
Yohance Marshall (Murcielagos FC / Mexico)
Aubrey David (Saprissa / Costa Rica)
Andre Ettienne (Central FC / T&T)
Weslie John (CD Universidad / El Salvador)
Radanfah Abu Bakr (HB Koge / Denmark)
Tristan Hodge (W Connection / T&T)

Hughtun Hector (W Connection / T&T)
Andre Boucaud (Dagenham & Redbridge / England)
Khaleem Hyland (KVC Westerlo / Belgium)
Sean De Silva (Central FC / T&T)
Jomal Williams (W Connection / T&T)
Leston Paul (Central FC / T&T)
Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force / T&T)
Nathan Lewis (San Juan Jabloteh / T&T)
Levi Garcia (AZ Alkmaar / Netherlands)

Shahdon Winchester (W Connection / T&T)
Willis Plaza (Alianza FC / El Salvador)
Makesi Lewis (Police FC / T&T)