Soca Warriors coach Russell Latapy will not have the luxury of playing a warm-up match before his team takes on Jamaica in Kingston on Sunday.
Wednesday’s proposed friendly international at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo against an un-named Caribbean opponent was cancelled.
Asked to explain the decision, Soca Warriors manager David Muhammad stated that the match was called off because of the change in dates of Digicel Caribbean Cup (DCC) qualifiers by the Caribbean Football Union (CFU).
“The T&T Football Federation (T&TFF) was working on getting a match against a Caribbean team but the date clashed with some of the dates for group matches in the DCC tournament.“Some teams were ending their group series on Wednesday (tomorrow) while other groups were kicking off on Wednesday (tomorrow),” said Muhammed.
As a replacement for the match, Muhammad said coach Latapy is expected to have a practice scrimmage among the 22 players squad after which he will select his 18-man squad to depart for Jamaica on Friday at 8 am.
Carter out due to injury
For the match against Jamaica and the Digicel Second Round qualifiers at home from November 2-6, the Soca Warriors will be without speedy Defence Force winger, Kevon Carter, who sustained a broken right leg on Friday.
Carter suffered the injury in a tackle from St Ann’s Rangers Elijah Belgrave during their First Citizens Cup quarterfinal clash at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella.
Commenting on the injury to Carter, who has featured in the Soca Warriors’ last eight friendly international matches, Muhammad shared that it was a major blow. “When we first heard the news it came as a big shock to all of us,” said Muhammad.
“He (Carter) is a highly disciplined guy and for something like that to happen to him, especially when he is having a nice run in the national team is just sad.
“With respect to our team and the way we play it’s also a major blow as his exceptional speed was an asset for coach Latapy.
“He was expected to be a key part of our plans for the Digicel Cup as he has become an integral part of the team. But now we will have to look at our other options and guys like Lester Peltier and Hayden Tinto will have a chance to show their worth,” said Muhammad.
At Tuesday’s training session at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, coach Latapy had the services of four of the five overseas-based players called up.
Overseas players return
Four overseas-based players arrived yesterday with the fifth, Kendall Jagdeosingh, being excused since his club team Puerto Rico Islanders has advanced to the Concacaf Champions’ League playoff.
Three of them including San Jose Earthquakes striker Cornell Glen, DC United defender Julius James and Keon Daniel of Islanders were part of yesterday’s session at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. LA Galaxy defender Yohance Marshall arrived on Tuesday evening. In-form Stoke City striker Kenwyne Jones and Ipswich Town midfielder Carlos Edwards for the friendly against the “Reggae Boyz” will not be available for the Digicel Caribbean Cup.
Asked if LA Galaxy midfielder, and World Cup starter Christopher Birchall would be called up to the squad, Muhammad indicated that the English-born midfielder will be considered, depending on whether or not his team advances in the MLS playoffs. “At the moment LA Galaxy looks set for the MLS playoffs so depending on how far his team goes in the tournament he may be considered.In its last eight matches, T&T whipped Antigua & Barbuda 4-1 at home but then suffered a 3-1 loss to Jamaica in August at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya. The Soca Warriors were then beaten by Panama, 3-0 on the road, before being held 0-0 by Belize. Latapy’s team then eked out a 1-0 win away to Antigua & Barbuda followed by a 3-0 victory against St Lucia before drawing with Guyana 1-1.