This country’s senior men’s team will kick off their overseas three-game warm up series when they face off with Peru’s Senior Team in a friendly international today at the Estadio Nacional in Lima from 9:30pm (8:30pm Peru Time).
The “Soca Warriors” arrived in Lima on Friday and engaged in two training sessions ahead of the encounter which will serve as Peru’s dress rehearsal for their upcoming appearance at the Copa America Centenario. Local fans can view it live as the encounter is scheduled to be aired on Flow Sports from the kick off.
Peru will have the likes of experienced players Paolo Guerrero, Yoshimar Yotun, Alberto Rodriguez and Christian Ramos in their squad as all have been selected to attend the Copa America Centenario by head coach Ricardo Gareca, along with five debutants. Drawn in Group B, Peru opens its campaign against Haiti June 4, followed by clashes with Ecuador on June 8 and Brazil on June 12.
T&T head coach Stephen Hart said his team will face a stern test on Monday, one that he is looking forward to, particularly to see how some of his new faces handle the occasion.
Talking about the team’s period in Lima so far, Hart said “The organization and treatment has been first class. We’ve had excellent access to facilities which allowed us two training sessions where the bunch was enthusiastic.”
“What I want out of these games are mainly individual performances that allow me to strengthen the squad,” Hart told TTFA Media on Sunday.
“Obviously the collective effort is important, however in exhibition games it is important to provide playing experience and opportunity to all involved,” Hart added.
The current T&T squad has ten active players from the World Cup qualifying pool including goalkeeper Marvin Phillip, Daneil Cyrus, Andre Boucaud, Khaleem Hyland, Yohance Marshall, Sean De Silva, Radanfah Abu Bakr, Willis Plaza, Aubrey David and Levi Garcia. The likes of Shahdon Winchester, Jomal Williams and Hughtun Hector are also likely to feature having been part of Hart’s reserves for the last set of matches.
Marcus Joseph, who was initially selected only for the China game, has traveled with the team to Peru and will be available for selection for Monday’s game as well as the friendly versus Uruguay on Friday.
San Juan Jabloteh forward Nathan Lewis, El Salvador-based defender Weslie John and goalkeeper Glenroy Samuel all newcomers to the squad.
Hyland, one of the senior members of the team, having made sixty appearance since making his debut back in 2008, is expecting a tough exercise on the evening.
“It’s going to be a difficult game because they are at home and they will be on a high heading off to the Copa America. But we are really looking forward to the contest. We are just focusing on the game at hand. It is a good opportunity, as coach has been saying, for some of the younger players to get themselves familiar with the game at this level and we will be looking to take everything we can from the outing,” Hyland said.
“It will be important for us to stay disciplined and compact for as long as possible. We will have our work cut out but I am certain we can put on a good showing to start off the three matches,” Hyland said.
T&T faced Peru twice in 2013, losing 2-0 at the Ato Boldon Stadium in February of that year and 3-0 in the return friendly in Lima a month later. Both teams also played to a 1-1 draw in the 2006 World Cup team’ farewell outing prior to Germany 2006 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on May 10th, 2006.
T&T SQUAD IN LIMA
1. Marvin Phillip (Morvant Caledonia United, Trinidad), 22. Adrian Foncette (Police FC, Trinidad), 21. Glenroy Samuel (North East Stars, Trinidad)
5.Daneil Cyrus (DirecTV W Connection, Trinidad), 13.Alvin Jones (DirecTV W Connection), 18. Yohance Marshall (Murcielagos FC/Mexico), 2.Aubrey David (Deportivo Saprissa/Costa Rica), 6. Radanfah Abu Bakr (HB Koge/Denmark), 4. Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force, Trinidad), 15.Andre Ettienne (Central FC, Trinidad), 3. Tristan Hodge (DirecTV W Connection, Trinidad), 20. Weslie John (CD Universidad de El Salvador),
14. Andre Boucaud (Dagenham & Redbridge,England), 7. Hughtun Hector (DirecTV W Connection, Trinidad), 12. Sean De Silva (Central FC, Trinidad), 17. Leston Paul (Central FC, Trinidad), 23. Jomal Williams (DirecTV WConnection, Trinidad), Levi Garcia (AZ Alkmaar, Holland), Khaleem Hyland (KVC Westerlo, Belgium), Marcus Joseph (Central FC, Trinidad)
11.Willis Plaza (Unattached), 10.Shahdon Winchester (DirecTV WConnection, Trinidad), 8.Makesi Lewis (Police FC, Trinidad), 16.Nathan Lewis (San Juan Jabloteh, Trinidad), 9. Marcus Joseph (Central FC, Trinidad)