T&T’s Soca Warriors will face Curacao in the first match of their preparations for next month’s Concacaf Gold Cup at the Sentro Deportivo Korsou, from 8 pm today. Both teams are using the game as a tune-up as Curacao hosts Cuba in their 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier on June 8 while Stephen Hart’s T&T, which also faces Jordan on June 16, and has matches planned against Croatia and Haiti are preparing for the upcoming Gold Cup with their opening match carded for July 9 against Guatemala in Chicago.
The majority of the squad comprises of T&T-based players including striker Devorn Jorsling, Sean De Silva, Daneil Cyrus, Willis Plaza, newcomers Elijah Belgrave and Kaydion Gabriel, Ataullah Guerra and national Under-20 duo Shannon Gomez and Kadeem Corbin among others. Speaking yesterday on the eve of the contest and prior to his team’s scheduled 7 pm training session at the match venue Jones, who netted a double in his last outing against Curacao, expects the encounter to be anything but a walk through for the “Soca Warriors.”
“This game is another step in our preparation for the Gold Cup. We don’t expect it to be easy by any means. Curacao have proven to be a formidable opposition and they are obviously in preparation for their World Cup qualifier and will be looking to do well in this match,” Jones said.
“We came up against them in the Caribbean Cup last year and came away with a 3-2 win but they were a decent side and we expect them to be up for the match at home. For us it’s just about taking everything in stride ahead of the Gold Cup. We have quite a few of the overseas players missing but the squad now has a lot of experience and some good young talent in it so hopefully we can come together and give a good account,” the Cardiff City forward added.
The match will be played just five days before the nine-year anniversary to mark T&T’s 2006 World Cup debut against Sweden. Jones is currently the only surviving member of that team. Back then, T&T was in the international media focus for its World Cup moments, with international press following the team in Germany and also present in Port-of-Spain during the period.
Nine years later, T&T is again in the international spotlight but for reasons away from the field of play. Over the last two days international correspondents from the United States, South Africa, the Financial Times, Associated Press, BBC, CCN, and the UK Times among others have all made their way to Port-of-Spain.
Jan-Michael Williams (Central FC), Marvin Phillip (Point Fortin Civic).
Kaydion Gabriel (Central FC), Shannon Gomez (W Connection), Triston Hodge (W Connection), Daneil Cyrus (W Connection), Mekeil Williams (W Connection), Eljiah Belgrave (Police FC).
Andre Boucaud (Dagenham & Redbridge—England), Leston Paul (Central FC), Khaleem Hyland (Unattached), Ataullah Guerra (Central FC), Sean De Silva (Central FC), Keron Cummings (North East Stars), Kadeem Corbin (St Ann’s Rangers), Dwane James (North East Stars).
Shahdon Winchester (W Connection), Willis Plaza (Central FC), Kenwyne Jones (Cardiff City—England), Devorn Jorsling (Defence Force).
Curaçao Squad From:
Germaine Agustien (Brighton & Hove Albion)
Roly Bonevacia (Wellington Phoenix)
Shanon Carmelia (NEC)
Elson Hooi (Viborg FF on loan from NAC Breda)
Gino van Kessel (AS Trenčín)
Darryl Lachman (FC Twente)
Gianlucca Maria (RKC Waalwijk)
Michaël Maria (VfL Bochum)
Rhu-Endly Martina (FC Twente)
Quenten Martinus (FC Botoșani)
Shelton Martis (Osotspa Saraburi)
Rihairo Meulens (Rapid București)
Dustly Mulder (Apollon Limassol)
Gevaro Nepomuceno (Petrolul Ploiești)
Jeremy de Nooijer (Sparta Rotterdam)
Zeus de la Paz (GK) (Jong PSV)
Prince Rajcomar (BEC Tero Sasana)
Eloy Room (Vitesse Arnhem)
Rowendy Sumter (GK)
Charlton Vicento (Helmond Sport)
Jason Wall (RKTVV Tilburg)
Felitciano Zschusschen (FC Twente)