Dallas FC striker Cornell Glen is the only new face in the Trinidad and Tobago 18-man squad in place of David Nakhid for Wednesday’s crucial 2006 World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica at the Hasely Crawford Stadium from 4pm.
Glen arrived in T&T on Monday night and joined his teammates in camp at the Crowne Plaza Hotel before taking the field for training on the eve of the match.
Earlier on Tuesday, the entire “Warriors” contingent were swamped by fans at an autograph session staged by team sponsor TSTT on the Brian Lara Promenade. Hundreds of fans lined up to have posters signed by the players and the session went for more than the scheduled one hour before skipper Dwight Yorke and company had to be whisked away by officials.
The huge show of support was without a doubt a moral booster ahead of Wednesday’s game.
“I think this was a surprise to us but it was an overwhelming feeling to see so many people still showing that sort of admiration and support for us particularly after the loss on the weekend,” Eve said after wards.
The team remains injury free and coach Bertille St Clair is demanding nothing less than a win.
“There’s no question about it right now. We need a win and that is final,” St Clair told TTFF Media. “In the matches before we have always gone for a win but we have nothing to show up to now and there reaches a point when only a win will be accepted. At the same time the guys are obviously working hard to get over the heavy loss we had on the weekend and it is important that they catch themselves again and go out there and play the kind of football that they are capable of on the day. It was also enlightening to see the reaction from the people today and that means that they still want to see the team do well and we are hoping that we will get that same kind of support at the match.”
The Costa Ricans flew into the country on Monday evening minus forward Froylan Ledezma who walked out of the team on Sunday while midfielder Jose Luis Lopez is out after picking up a red card on Saturday against Panama.
Technical Director Jorge Luis Pinto will be hoping that the last minute winner against Panama by Roy Myrie will spur his side on again after reports indicated that their performance was an unconvincing one. Douglas Sequeira of new MLS side Deportivo Chivas USA was said to have held the Costa Ricans together after Lopez was ejected early in the second half and he is expected to play a key role against the hungry “Warriors”.
“We have come out of a very important win where we played before no fans and the three points was vital for us,” Pinto said. “But we know that Trinidad will be very hard to play against now because they want to prove that they can come back from that loss in Guatemala. It’s not easy to lose so heavily and I expect them to be very tough.”
T&T 19-man Team:
Shaka Hislop, Clayton Ince, Marlon Rojas, Nigel Henry, Dennis Lawrence, Brent Sancho, David Atiba Charles, Anton Pierre, Keyeno Thomas, Leslie Fitzpatrick, Angus Eve, Carlos Edwards, Silvio Spann, Stern John, Dwight Yorke (capt), Nigel Pierre, Hector Sam, Kenwyne Jones, Cornell Glen.
Costa Rica 20-man Team:
Christian Badilla, Carlos Castro, Walter Centeno, Pablo Chinchilla, Leonardo Gonzalez, Carlos Hernandez, Andy Herron, Luis Marin, Gilberto Martiniez, Alvaro Mesen, Roy Myrie, Jose Porras, Oscar Rojas, Geiner Segura, Douglas Sequeira, Alonso Solis, Michael Umana, Harold Wallace, Paulo Wanchope, Whayne Wilson.