The final 18-man Trinidad and Tobago squad for next Wednesday's friendly international against Peru was finalised following a meeting between co-head coaches Hutson Charles and Jamaal Shabazz at the TTFF headquarters in Woodbrook, yesterday.
The squad includes the six previously announced overseas-based players and 12 home-based professionals.
Goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams, who captained the team during the Caribbean Cup Finals, has been invited as a third goalkeeper to train with the squad. Head coach Shabazz explained that the decision to leave Williams out of the 18-man squad had nothing to do with his recent fall out with former club W Connection but rather due to his lack of playing time between the uprights in recent weeks.
The home-based professionals selected include goalkeepers Marvin Phillip (Central FC) and Cleon John (North East Stars), defender Daneil Cyrus (W Connection), Aubrey David, Ataullah Guerra, Keon Edwards and Densill Theobald (Caledonia AIA), Curtis Gonzales, Devorn Jorsling, Kevon Carter and new call up Jemel Sebro (Defence Force) and Kareem Moses (North East Stars).
"We took a decision not to include Jan Michael based only on the fact that he has not been active in matches in recent weeks and as a goalkeeper it's crucial that the player is active on a regular basis. At this point we felt it would be better to go with Marvin Phillip and Cleon John. Jan has been the team captain and remains a huge part of our plans and will definitely be considered for upcoming friendlies leading up to the Gold Cup," Shabazz told TTFF Media Officer Shaun Fuentes.
Looking at the game and the squad selected, Shabazz added: "It's a game that we are using as a tester. It's fortunate that Peru are preparing for a must-win World Cup qualifier against Chile which means they will be bringing their best likely team. And it gives us a chance to answer questions about our squad and our players as a group and the methods we are using at this stage. Our performance in this game is going to tell us the type of work that is necessary and how far off we might currently be following a lay off from the international stage.
"It think it's a very exciting moment for the partnership of the coaching staff and a huge test for our players because playing Caribbean players is one level and there is a comfort zone for us there but now we have gone outside of that by playing a South American opponent and it will be a test that we are really looking forward to.
"We know players like Carlos Edwards will not be able to go on forever but we feel games like this on a FIFA date will allow him, Kenwyne Jones and Khaleem Hyland to be present and share some of their experience with upcoming players. It's a meshing and handing over period. People think we should start with a young team but there are steps we have to take to get to 2018," Shabazz added.
Tickets priced at $100 are on sale at Kenny's Sport Shop, Chacon Street, Port of Spain, West Mall and San Fernando, and Ramsingh's Sportsworld, Couva. Tickets will also be available at the stadium on matchday.
The team's first training session will take place at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Sunday morning. Peru are scheduled in Port of Spain on Monday.
1. Marvin Phillip (Central FC, T&T)
2. Cleon John (North East Stars, T&T)
3. Carlyle Mitchell (Vancouver Whitecaps, Canada)
4. Carlos Edwards (Ipswich Town, England)
5. Daneil Cyrus (W Connection, T&T)
6. Aubrey David (Caledonia AIA, T&T)
7. Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force, T&T),
8. Kareem Moses (North East Stars, T&T)
9. Densill Theobald (Caledonia AIA, T&T)
10. Khaleem Hyland (Racing Genk, Belgium)
11. Kevon Carter (Defence Force, T&T)
12. Ataullah Guerra (Caledonia AIA, T&T)
13. Darryl Roberts (Samsunspor, Turkey)
14.Kenwyne Jones (Stoke City, England)
15. Keon Edwards (Caledonia AIA, T&T)
16. Devorn Jorsling (Defence Force, T&T)
17. Jemel Sebro (Defence Force, T&T)
18. Sheldon Bateau (KV Mechelen, Belgium)