RACING GENK midfielder Khaleem Hyland is included in Trinidad and Tobago’s 23-man squad for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, but the decision by Mechelen defender Sheldon Bateau to rest from last month’s internationals in Europe may have backfired, since he is deemed surplus-to-requirement.
Both players were back with their Belgium clubs and not in T&T’s camp prior to T&T head-coach Stephen Hart naming his squad for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, yesterday.
The Gold Cup takes place in the United States from July 7-28, and is the showpiece football event for national football teams in the Caribbean, North and Central American regions.
Having not qualified for the two previous tournaments, T&T will line up alongside champions Mexico, United States, Canada, Martinique, Haiti, Cuba, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Belize and Panama. T&T open their campaign on July 8 against El Salvador in New Jersey, before playing Haiti in Florida on July 12 and Honduras in Houston on July 15.
The T&T players will have their last training session this morning, and will take a break tomorrow. On Sunday, the T&T squad will leave for the Gold Cup. Joining the rest of the squad in Miami will be Hyland and Kevin Molino, who was on duty for his American club in midweek. Veteran Dutch coach Leo Beenhakker will also join the squad in the USA when taking up his role as Director of Football.
Both Belgium-based footballers, Hyland and Bateau cited the need for rest as the reason for opting out of representing T&T in last month’s international friendly matches against Romania and Estonia.
But while 24-year-old Hyland played recently against Peru, has 33 national caps and is considered an integral part of the T&T midfield, 22 year-old former National Under-23 captain Bateau has just one senior team cap, and is among several young defenders up for consideration. Hyland was in T&T recently, until told by his club to return to Belgium.
“Hyland’s club demanded that he return to Belgium,” stated T&T team manager William Wallace. “But Hyland was considered and we are trying to get him out of Belgium to join the team in the United States. Bateau was not considered.”
Among those missing the cut are W Connection midfielder Clyde Leon and Defence Force striker Devorn Jorsling. But England-based Kenwyne Jones, Christopher Birchall, Andre Boucaud and Justin Hoyte have all gotten the nod. Other players not considered for several reasons, including injury, were Hughtun Hector, Kendall Jagdeosingh, Lester Peltier, Willis Plaza, Robert Primus and Leston Paul.
Trinidad and Tobago Squad.
Goalkeepers: Jan-Michael Williams, Cleon John, Marvin Phillip.
Defenders: Carlyle Mitchell, Seon Power, Daneil Cyrus, Radanfah Abu Bakr, Joevin Jones, Curtis Gonzales, Aubrey David, Justin Hoyte.
Midfielders: Densill Theobald, Khaleem Hyland, Kevin Molino, Andre Boucaud, Kevon Carter, Carlos Edwards, Christopher Birchall, Darryl Roberts, Keon Daniel.
Strikers: Kenwyne Jones, Cornell Glen, Jamal Gay