T&TEC midfielder Marcus Joseph is a major doubt for the T&T men’s Under-23 squad which leaves on Tuesday for the Caribbean Football Union Final Round qualifiers for next year’s London Olympics.
This after the speedy 20-year-old—who has netted twice in three qualification matches to date—picked up an eye injury during the Under-23s 0-0 draw with a locally-based senior national squad in a friendly match at the Dwight Yorke Stadium, Bacolet on Friday night.
Speaking from Tobago, where the young Soca Warriors have been involved in a one-week live-in camp which ends today, Under-23 coach, Angus Eve said, “Marcus suffered the injury during the match and may be out for a week which will rule him out of the four-team CFU tournament which kicks off on Thursday in St Kitts/Nevis.
“The camp ends tomorrow (today) and we will be naming the team to travel as well, however we are taking him (Marcus) to see an eye specialist in Trinidad on Monday after which we will know for certain his status.”
Should Joseph miss the tournament, Eve said the striker’s absence will be a blow, but at the same time noted the team has good depth with able players to fill the void. Reflecting on the 0-0 draw match against the senior squad which was coached by senior assistant coach, Anton Corneal in the absence of German Otto Pfister, who has gone on leave, Eve said the exercise was a good one.
“It went well for us in that the guys did good in a good match against quality opposition to follow up on Wednesday’s 5-1 win over Stokely Vale. Looking ahead to the CFU tournament, Eve said the over-seas duo of midfielder Sean De Silva (University of Charleston) and Antigua-based goalkeeper, Glenroy Samuel were due to return home last night to link up with the team.
T&T advanced to the CFU Final round after toppings in first round series with wins over Grenada (1-0) and Dominica (4-0) and a 1-1 draw with Netherlands Antilles which it edged out on goal-difference after both teams ended with seven points.
Cuba, defeated Aruba (7-0) and edged Guyana (1-0) to take Group C with maximum six points; Suriname toppled Cayman Islands (5-0) and St Vincent and The Grenadines (3-1) while it drew with Jamaica 2-2 to win Group A on goal-difference from Jamaica after both teams ended with seven points; and St Kitts/Nevis recorded victories over Antigua & Barbuda (2-1), St Lucia (2-1) and Haiti (2-1) for a perfect nine points in Group D.
The young Soca Warriors are also coming off an impressive showing at the 16th Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico with 1-1 drawn results against Mexico, Ecuador and Uruguay will face host St Kitts/Nevis, Cuba and Suriname from Thursday until Monday November 24 to 28 at the Warner Park Stadium, Basseterre in a round-robin series from which two will qualify for the eight-team Concacaf Final Round tournament to be contested in the the USA.
Already through to the Concacaf Final Round are host USA, Canada, Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras and Panama. The draw for the Concacaf Finals to be played from March 22 to April 2 will take place after completion of CFU tournament and will consists of two four-team groups with the top two finishers from each group advancing to the semifinals. The semifinal winners will advance to the tournament final and book their tickets to London.
T&T Under-23 training squad
Andre Marchan (W Connection), Zane Coker (Caledonia), Sheldon Bateau (Jabloteh), Mekeil Williams (W Connection), Joevin Jones (W Connection), Shahdon Winchester (W Connection), Trevin Caesar (Caledonoia), Aquil Selby (Caledonia), Leslie Joel Russell (Jabloteh), Jamal Gay (Caledonia), Jayson Joseph (W Connection), Marcus Joseph (T&TEC), Kevin Molino (Orlando City/USA), Jeromie Williams (North East Stars), Kareem Moses (St Ann’s Rangers), Kaydion Gabriel (North East Stars), Micah Lewis (Caledonia), Cameron Roget (San Diego Boca), Jomal Williams (W Connection), Jerrel Britto (W Connection), Nuru Mohammed (Caledonia), Marcus Chandoor (WASA), Akil Clarke (St Ann’s Rangers), Sean De Silva (College of Charletson), Glenroy Samuel (All Saints United/Antigua).
CFU Under-23 Final Round Fixtures
Venue: Warner Park Stadium, Basseterre, St Kitts/Nevis.
Thursday Nov 24
T&T vs Cuba, 6pm
St Kitts/Nevis vs Suriname, 8pm
Saturday Nov 26
Cuba vs Suriname, 6pm
T&T vs St Kitts/Nevis,8pm
Monday Nov 28
Suriname vs T&T, 6pm
Cuba vs St Kitts/Nevis, 8pm