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17
Wed, Jul

T&T, Canada face-off in final dress rehearsal.
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T&T's se­nior men’s team will play their fi­nal warm-up be­fore the start of the 2019 CON­CA­CAF Gold Cup cam­paign with a closed-door friend­ly against Cana­da at the Ti­tan Sta­di­um in Cal State Fuller­ton, USA at 3 pm (6 pm TT time) on Mon­day.

Both teams have been en­gaged in train­ing in Los An­ge­les for the past few days and are fine-tun­ing ahead of the open­ing Gold Cup match­es. T&T faces Pana­ma in Min­neso­ta on June 18th with the Cana­di­ans tak­ing on Mar­tinique on June 15th at the Rose Bowl in Pasade­na.

Cana­da’s head coach John Herd­man has se­lect­ed a 23-man ros­ter with play­ers to­talling 400 caps. Their squad in­cludes un­capped No­ble Okel­lo and Ka­mal Miller join­ing vet­er­ans 36-year-old At­i­ba Hutchin­son, Jonathan Os­o­rio, Rus­sell Teib­ert, Samuel Piette and Mi­lan Bor­jan. Oth­ers re­turn­ing from the 2017 Gold Cup are cap­tain Scott Arfield, Lu­cas Cav­alli­ni, Maxime Cre­peau, Alphon­so Davies, Ju­nior Hoi­lett, Mark-An­tho­ny Kaye, Cyle Lar­in and Jayson Leutwiler. Davies, an 18-year-old at­tack­ing mid­field­er with Bay­ern Mu­nich, was named to the 2017 tour­na­ment all-star team and win­ner of the Top Scor­er and Best Young Play­er awards.

"All of the play­ers we want­ed on the ros­ter and need­ed on the ros­ter stepped for­ward. I think that's ex­cit­ing," Herd­man said in an in­ter­view.

Mean­while, T&T has nine re­turn­ing play­ers from its last Gold Cup ap­pear­ance in 2015 - Goal­keep­ers Mar­vin Phillip and Adri­an Fon­cette, Daneil Cyrus, Mekeil Williams, skip­per Khaleem Hy­land, Ke­van George, Cordell Cato and Jo­evin Jones. Min­neso­ta Unit­ed mid­field­er Kevin Moli­no played in the 2013 Gold Cup but missed out in 2015 due to in­jury.

Both teams have met twice dat­ing back to 2000 with the pre­vi­ous match al­so be­ing a closed-door friend­ly at Cen­tral Broward Re­gion­al Park in Lauder­hill, USA with Cana­da com­ing away 2-0 win­ners in 2012. Pri­or to that T&T won a 2002 World Cup qual­i­fi­er 4-0 at the Queen’s Park Oval in Sep­tem­ber of 2000. The goalscor­ers then were Rus­sell Lat­apy, Stoke­ly Ma­son, An­gus Eve and Reynold Car­ring­ton be­fore a sold-out Oval. T&T al­so won the ear­li­er se­mi-fi­nal round World Cup qual­i­fi­er that year 2-0 in Ed­mon­ton with Dwight Yorke and Eve on tar­get, Cur­rent T&T head coach Den­nis Lawrence saw ac­tion in that match.

Hy­land ex­pects the match to be a keen­ly con­test­ed one.

“It’s an im­por­tant match be­cause it is our fi­nal ac­tu­al game sit­u­a­tion be­fore the Gold Cup starts,” Hy­land told TTFA Me­dia. “We’ve been work­ing hard for the past few weeks and the Japan game was a good test to see where we at right now. And I ex­pect this match with Cana­da to give us an­oth­er good in­di­ca­tion of our cur­rent ready state be­fore the Pana­ma game. I know the play­ers are ready and hope­ful­ly we can ben­e­fit from this match which will be worth­while to the prepa­ra­tions be­fore we head to Min­neso­ta,” he added.