Trinidad and Tobago head coach Dennis Lawrence has finalised his plans for an extended training camp in Colorado beginning on May 23rd ahead of this country’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against the United States on June 8th.
Lawrence spent two days in Colorado last week during which time he conducted site visits on potential training facilities and hotels before making his final decisions. The team’s training base will be at Prentup Field in Colorado. The T&T team is also expected to play up to two closed-door training matches there in the build up to June 8th.
Before that, Lawrence will conduct training sessions in Trinidad from Thursday May 18th with some of the home-based players who are part of a provisional selection.
“The home-based players and the staff will get to Colorado on May 23rd and then we get down to work with the idea obviously being for the players to get acclimatised in the best possible manner and also get physically ready for the game The overseas players will get there by June 4th and then we will push on with the final part of preparations,” Lawrence told TTFA Media.
“I had the opportunity to conduct a site visit and I am satisfied with what we’ve come up with, particularly with the support of the Association to ensure that we get this done in a proper fashion. The facility has basically everything we will need during our time there,” Lawrence said.
Prentup Field is a 160,000 square foot facility that contains a 120×75 yard game field along with a practice area. It is a native soil field and is equipped with an automated irrigation system. It is located on the East Campus of the University of Colorado at Boulder, has been the home of Colorado Soccer since 2003.
Lawrence takes home-based players to Colorado on 23 May, T&T finalise USA preparation.
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868).
The Pro League will kick off without its marquee Trinidad and Tobago international players as Soca Warriors head coach Dennis Lawrence got the green light to take a home-based squad to Colorado on 23 May to prepare for next month’s 2018 World Cup qualifier away to the United States.
The travelling squad could also include several overseas-based players whose domestic season would have ended by then, including Khaleem Hyland (KV Westerlo—Belgium), Levi Garcia (AZ Alkmaar—Netherlands), Sheldon Bateau (Krylia Sovetov Samara—Russia) (Murcielagos FC—Mexico) and Shahdon Winchester.
The Warriors meet the United States on 8 June at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado, which is 5,223 feet above sea level. It is the home ground for US Major League Soccer (MLS) team Colorado Rapids which employs Trinidad and Tobago defender Mekeil Williams.
Trinidad and Tobago play at altitude again, five days later, as they travel to San Jose to tackle Costa Rica at 3,845 feet above sea level.
“The home-based players and the staff will get to Colorado on May 23rd and then we get down to work,” Lawrence told the TTFA Media, “with the idea obviously being for the players to get acclimatised in the best possible manner and also get physically ready for the game.”
Lawrence expects his full squad to be present at the training camp in Prentup Field, Colorado by 4 June.
The TTFA announced that the Warriors hope to have two closed door friendlies before the 9 June fixture. However, with no international opponent identified, the games are expected to be against local club or university opposition.
In contrast, the United States will tackle Venezuela in an exhibition match at Utah on 3 June—five days before they face Trinidad and Tobago.
Lawrence was at the Hasely Crawford Stadium yesterday for 2017 Caribbean Club Championship action and would have been pleased to see two of his international players on the score sheet.
San Juan Jabloteh winger Nathan Lewis and Central FC full back Carlos Edwards scored decisive goals as they eased to wins in their opening group matches against Haiti’s Racing Club and Antigua’s Grenades FC respectively.
There was a strong showing too by Central playmaker Sean De Silva while his colleague Nathaniel “Spanish” Garcia scored a cracking drive. However, attacking midfielder Keron Cummings was an unused substitute for the “Couva Sharks” and remains a peripheral figure at domestic level since he was shot in the leg, a year and a half ago.
The Pro League is due to kick off on 26 May with the Charity Shield. But the local clubs—Central included—have agreed to allow their players to join the national team camp and continue with weakened squads.