Chris Birchall has been added to the list of players missing from the Trinidad and Tobago squad that will play Bermuda on October 7 after picking up a hamstring injury.
LA Galaxy midfielder Birchall suffered a hamstring strain and has been ruled out of Friday's encounter. Birchall will remain with the Galaxy to undergo treatment and is hopeful of making a return to the T&T squad for the October 11 qualifier against Barbados at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Birchall's absence forced German Otto Pfister to add T&TEC player Andrei Pacheco to the traveling squad. Head coach Pfister is already missing the services of captain Kenwyne Jones, Darryl Roberts and Anthony Wolfe through injury, while Carlos Edwards is unavailable due to legal problems.
Meanwhile, T&T's senior men's team were welcomed by supporters when they arrived in Bermuda yesterday amidst humid conditions shortly after midday yesterday.
The squad later underwent a light workout on the compound of the Grotto Bay Hotel where they will be based for the rest of the week heading into Friday's 2014 World Cup qualifier against the hosts.
The T&T team was greeted at the LF Wade International Airport by a group of Trinbagonians living in Bermuda with T&T flags waving to the rhythmic sounds of iron.
The team was also met by All Sport Promotions representative Bruce Aanensen who arrived on the island a couple days in advance to ensure all arrangements were in place for the team's arrival and check-in at Grotto Bay. Aanensen was the manager of the 2006 World Cup squad.
Assistant coach Anton Corneal said the next few days would prove crucial to T&T's readiness for Friday's match which kicks off at 8 p.m. (TT 7 p.m.) at the National Sports Centre.
Belgium-based midfielder Khaleem Hyland and Columbus Crew defender Julius James are both expected to arrive today following matches yesterday with their respective teams. Lester Peltier and Radanfah Abu Bakr, as well as Osei Telesford are also expected to arrive at Grotto Bay today.
"We are faced with a situation where a couple of our regular starters are ruled out of playing but it's not a panic situation for us," Corneal told TTFF Media.
"We believe that the current players in the squad are capable of responding well to the challenge ahead. They've all played at this level before and they are fully aware how important it is for us to get three points here.
"Bermuda have never been an easy team when they play us and they are home where they are faced with a must win situation so we expect that they will come at us with everything. But once we prepare well and we play to plan, then the rest will take care of itself," Corneal added.
Meantime, Bermuda will be without English-based player Reggie Lambe as he serving a one-match suspension after picking up two bookings during last month's qualifiers against the "Soca Warriors" and Guyana.
Despite Lambe's absence, Bermuda coach Devarr Boyles should still have a strong squad at his disposal with overseas trio Khano Smith, Freddy Hall and Nahki Wells of Bradford City all available.