A 17-man Trinidad and Tobago squad along with head coach Dennis Lawrene and his staff will depart for Denver, Colorado on Tuesday morning at 9 am to begin a residential training camp in the build up to the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying final round encounter against the United States at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on June 8th.
Lawrence completed a home-based 5-day training camp on Monday morning at Ato Boldon Stadium before selecting 17 players to travel. The final squad for the World Cup qualifier including the overseas-based players will be announced in early June.
The players arriving in Denver on Tuesday night include Jan-Michael Williams, Marvin Phillip, Adrian Foncette, Daneil Cyrus, Alvin Jones, Triston Hodge, Leston Paul, Nathan Lewis, Carlos Edwards, Hashim Arcia, Jamille Boatswain, Akeem Roach, Curtis Gonzales, Hughtun Hector, Willis Plaza, Jomal Williams and Shahdon Winchester. (This is not the Final Squad)
Also joining the squad later this week will be Khaleem Hyland, Sheldon Bateau and Levi Garcia.
“We’ve got the two games against the US and Costa Rica, so the idea has been to prepare the boys in the best possible way. We have had five sessions at home with a group of players who have been able to help us start the preparations. The idea is to get there (Denver) and try to acclimatise as quick as possible so we will be starting work there immediately. Seventeen players will be traveling on Tuesday. Some will be coming back because the final squad has not been selected as yet.We expect to have the full contingent on June 4th,” Lawrence told TTFA Media.
“We’ve arranged two closed-door games. We will play Colorado Rapids in two matches and its suits us because they are a home team there. It will be a good competitive test for us.”
Lawrence said it was vital for the T&T squad to believe that they can pull off a positive result in Denver.
“Everyone understands the history shows that it’s not a nice place for us in terms of collecting points but we have to believe that we can go there and get points. We have to go there and be positive and brave as I continue to say. I have tried to emphasise to the boys is that we are leaving here and starting with a point so the idea is we are not going there to give away the point, but instead add to the point that we’ve already got,” Lawrence added.
“When we get to Costa Rica we will deal with that but the idea now is to come away with a positive result in the next game which is against the United States.
“The main thing is to make sure that from an acclimatisation point that we are well prepared physically. In terms of how we intend to approach the games, we are gong to be on the front foot and try to compete with them. We are going to go toe to toe because I don’t think we can afford to sit back and allow the US to take full control of the game . It;s not going to be easy because historically it’s not a generous place for us to go to but we need to try and start thinking differently now and believe we can go there and accomplish things,” the T&T head coach stated.
T&T will be training at Prentup Field which 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.
Jan-Michael Williams (North East Stars), Marvin Phillip (Unattached), Adrian Foncette (Police FC);
Alvin Jones (W Connection), Carlos Edwards (Central FC), Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Daneil Cyrus (North East Stars), Sheldon Bateau (KC Krylia Sovetov—Russia), Triston Hodge (W Connection);
Khaleem Hyland (KV Westerlo—Belgium), Hughtun Hector (W Connection), Leston Paul (North East Stars);
Nathan Lewis (San Juan Jabloteh), Hashim Arcia (Defence Force), Jomal Williams (Murcielagos FC—Mexico), Levi Garcia (AZ Alkmaar—Netherlands);
Willis Plaza (East Bengal—India), Jamille Boatswain (Defence Force), Akeem Roach (Unattached), Shahdon Winchester (Murcielagos FC—Mexico).