Nine TT Pro League based players have been named by Trinidad and Tobago Senior Team interim Head Coach Hutson Charles to face Canada in a friendly international on August 15th at the Central Broward Regional Complex in Lauderhill, FL.
And of the nine (9) overseas based players called, seven (7) are products of the League, now playing professionally in the United States and Europe.
Stoke City forward Kenwyne Jones, a former W Connection player, is the only surviving 2006 World Cup team member named.
Jones is expected to be joined by Slovak-based former San Juan Jabloteh and Ma Pau SC player Lester Peltier, Racing Genk midfielder Khaleem Hyland, also a former Jabloteh player, Vietnam-based midfielder Hughtun Hector formally of W Connection, and United States-based players Keon Daniel (former United Petrotrin and Caledonia AIA player), Darryl Roberts, Kevin Molino(former Jabloteh and Ma Pau SC player), Carlyle Mitchell (formally Joe Public) and Sheanon Williams, who earns his first call up to the T&T team.
Williams, whose father is Trinidadian, was a member of the USA U20 team at the 2009 FIFA U20 World Cup and was also in their recent Olympic squad at the CONCACAF qualifiers.
While the home-based players invited include Jan Michael Williams, Cleon John, Seon Power, Joevin Jones, Daneil Cyrus, Curtis Gonzales, Rodell Elcock, Richard Roy and Devorn Jorsling.
“This is a good match for us at this stage of our preparations for the Digicel Cup,” Charles said.
“We know that Canada is a decent, organized team and they have shown some good form in their World Cup qualifying matches recently. We are definitely looking forward to the challenge and at the same time using the opportunity to get a decent work out with a combination of some of our overseas and home based players in the squad,” added the T&T coach.
Canada, coached by Trinidadian-born Stephen Hart, are preparing for World Cup qualifiers against Panama and Cuba in September.
TTFF Marketing Manager Anthony Harford said initially the Canada match was scheduled to play at the Lockhart Stadium as part of a double header with Panama and Guatemala meeting into the other encounter. However those plans fell through but both T&T and Canada agreed that the match should still be played.
Harford said that due to financial constraints, all of T&T’s remaining matches for 2012 are likely to be played away from home as it was more viable for the TTFF.
It said that T&T are away to Puerto Rico in September while an invitation has been extended from a European opponent for a game to be played at a later date.
According to the TTFF, the T&T, Canada game will be termed a closed door affair but the gates will be opened free to fans.
“There will be no cover charge and as such fans of the national team can attend the game and show their support,” Harford said.
“The difference in cost for renting the stadium with gates included as opposed to without is quite significant and we thought it would make sense to make the sacrifice. Our national team needs the match practice at this time and we are striving to ensure we get in as much games as possible as we look further down the road. Hopefully the time will come when we can reap any possible profits.
“At this time it is simply too costly for the TTFF to stage any matches in Trinidad because of what it takes to fly teams into the country and also fit the bill for their accommodation etc. It makes better sense to either play the matches at venues such as the one in Fort Lauderdale where it’s easier for teams to assemble or elsewhere depending on the match arrangements made by the host country,” said Harford.
T&T’s last outing against Canada was in 2000 in a 2002 World Cup qualifying match at the Queen’s Park Oval with goals by Russell Latapy, Reynold Carrington, Stokely Mason and Angus Eve. T&T also won an earlier qualifier 2-0 in Edmonton with Dwight Yorke and Eve netting the goals. Canada defeated T&T 1-0 in the semi-final of the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup and went on to win the tournament in the United States. Both countries also drew 0-0 in a friendly in Port of Spain in January, 2000.