Among Carlyle Mitchell’s best international memories to date was a matchup against Peru. Safe to say June 4 will top that.
Mitchell, the Whitecaps’ Trinidadian centre back, left Sunday for Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago, where his national team is preparing for a game against Argentina at Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires.
“It’s going to be a great experience to play against the top players in the world,” said Mitchell, 26. “I’m excited. It’s a challenging opponent.”
But Mitchell said he won’t get wrapped up in thoughts of Lionel Messi and Co.
“I’m just going to play my game,” he said. “I can’t control Messi, but I can control myself.”
Trinidad and Tobago also face World Cup-bound Iran on June 8 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which means a likely meeting with Caps teammate Steven Beitashour.
“We have nothing to lose,” Mitchell said of the two friendlies. “These guys are preparing for the World Cup and we go in as underdogs.”
Mitchell’s yet to start an MLS game this season, though coach Carl Robinson turned to him in both legs of the Canadian championship semifinal.
Mitchell was among the best Whitecaps in that series defeat.
“If not the best,” said Robinson. “He was fantastic. He won every ball in the air. He was aggressive.
“He’s shown me now, 10 games in, that he’s up to the level he was at last year. He’s got himself back up to speed after a slow start in pre-season and he’s given me a good problem.
“Playing against Argentina is a tough one for him but it’s a great test to see where he’s at.”