San Jose Earthquakes striker Cornell Glen will have his first session with the Trinidad and Tobago National team on Thursday morning after arriving in Martinique on Wednesday evening to join the squad ahead of Friday’s Digicel Caribbean Cup encounter against Cuba.
Glen is among five overseas-based players in the team including DC United defender Julius James, LA Galaxy’s Yohance Marshall and Puerto Rico Islanders duo Keon Daniel and Kendall Jagdeosingh.
Russell Latapy conducted a double session on Wednesday while the Cubans have also been engaged in intense training ahead of Friday’s encounter under their Cuban-born head coach Raul Gonzalez Triana.
Latapy’s current squad has several youthful players including Ma Pau midfielder Kevin Molino who made his senior international debut in the Group Phase at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, as well as Jamal Gay and defender Joevin Jones.
Molino has been in the national set up having gone to the FIFA Under 17 and Under 20 World Cups in 2007 and 2009. He’s enjoying every moment with the senior team.
“I grew up admiring and following a lot of the senior players, especially the coach Russell Latapy so for me it’s a big dream come true to actually be playing with these guys now. I’m still young in terms of experience at this level so I’m seeing it as a learning period,” Molino told TTFF Media.
“The coach has been talking to me and trying to push the players on all the time in practice. Now that I have my first match out of the way I hope I can keep on getting stronger and taking my game to a higher level.
“I have been to two World Cups with the youth teams but playing with the senior team is a big difference. The football is faster and you have to be more professional for longer periods. And you have to keep working hard if you want to make the team and remain on the team.
“There is a lot of talent in the team and the players are always trying to talk to each to other and get the best out of each other because we want to be a successful team. It would be a great feeling for me to be part of the team that ends up as Caribbean champions,” added the ex-Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive player.
One player from the current squad will be left out going into Friday’s encounter with Cuba. Meantime host nation Martinique is hopeful of advancing beyond the first stage having been grouped with T&T, Cuba and Grenada.
Head coach Guy-Michel Nisas told digicelfootball.com: “Over the last few weeks, the team has played – and won – five friendly matches against local teams here in Martinique.
The boys were tired after the tournament in Paris so they needed some time to recuperate before they went into more serious training. However, now they are ready and fit again and, as I said, feeling confident from their win in France.
“Group H will be difficult. Cuba, Grenada and Trinidad & Tobago are all strong sides and each present their individual challenges, but we have prepared and we are going to go out there and do our best.”
They have been preparing for the tournament in Paris, France and will be depending on their experience of veteran captain Patrick Percin to take them forward with an eye on qualification for the 2011 Concacaf Gold Cup.