Wednesday, 18 March 2015 20:34


Trinidad and Tobago Head Coach Stephen Hart today announced his 22-man squad for next Friday’s Friend International with Panama at the Ato Boldon Stadium.

Orlando City midfielder Kevin Molino will spearhead the T&T attack  Belgium-based duo Khaleem Hyland and Sheldon Bateau and English-based defender Justin Hoyte completing the slate of overseas-based players in the squad. Molino has been sharp for Orlando in the early parts of the MLS season and continues to earn rave reviews on his partnership with Brazilian Kaka.

Hart has included  ten uncapped home-based professionals in his final selection. Among them are National Under 20 captain Shannon Gomez and his teammates from the recent Under 20 team Neveal Hackshaw and Aikim Andrews.

Also earning their first call ups to the Senior Men’s Team are former Under 20 team defender Uriah Bentick of Central FC and W Connection’s Jomal Williams as well as Johan Peltier of San Juan Jabloteh.

The other newcomers include Central FC’s Akeem Benjamin and Jamal Jack and  San Juan Jabloteh’s Tyone Charles and  North East Stars’ Dwayne James.

The two goalkeepers are regulars Jan Michael Williams and Marvin Phillip.  Central FC forward Willis Plaza has earned a recall while his club teammate Ataulla Guerra has also been included.
Hart emphasized that the squad selection was based on him having the opportunity to see more of the home-based pros against quality international opposition.

“This is my first opportunity to evaluate many of these players, whom through their play for their respective clubs  deserve the opportunity to participate and fight for selection on the National Team,” Hart told TTFA Media.

“Panama has announced a full squad for this game, with many players who played in the Gold Cup final in 2013 and 2014 World Cup qualifiers. I am very pleased and excited about this, for it will be the ideal game to evaluate potential players for the Gold Cup roster in July,” Hart added.

Panama have emerged as one of the leading teams in the CONCACAF region in recent times. They  finished runners-up in the 2005 Gold Cup and 2013 Gold Cup. Panama reached the fourth round for the 2006 World Cup CONCACAF qualifications.

They also advanced to final round for the 2014 World Cup qualifications. At their last qualification match against the USA, they were about 90 seconds away from beating the United States and advancing but conceded two goals in stoppage time and were eliminated from qualification for the 2014 World Cup.

Panama’s head coach Hernan Dario Gomez has selected a full strength team for the encounter.

Among the players called up include German-based midfielder Armando Cooper of FC St Pauli, veteran forward Luis Tejada of Peruvian club Juan Aurich who is the team’s leading goalscorer with 37 goals in 79 matches, Colombian-based defender  Harold Cummings,  FC Dallas forward Blas Perez, LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo and another experienced  defender Luis Henriquez of Polish club Lech Poznan. The Panama team comprised players based in Germany, Poland, Hungary Mexico, USA, Peru, Uruguay, Colombia, Venezuela, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panama.

Tickets for the T&T versus Panama encounter cost $100 and are available at Fan Club Movietowne (POS, Trincity Mall, Gulf City Mall), All Out Restaurant (QP Oval), Heritage Sports Tobago, Ramsingh's Sportsworld, Couva, Econo Supermart and Kenny's Sports Shops.

T&T Squad for Panama

Jan Michael Williams (Central FC), Marvin Phillip (Point Fortin Civic Centre), Sheldon Bateau (KV Mechelen), Justin Hoyte (Millwall), Mekeil Williams (W Connection), Jamal Jack (Central FC), Akeen Benjamin (Central FC) Shannon Gomez (W Connection), Uriah Bentick (Central FC),  Dwayne James (North East Stars),  Khaleem Hyland (Racing Genk),  Jomal Williams (W Connection), Neveal Hackshaw (North East Stars), Marcus Joseph (Point  Fortin Civic Centre), Aikim Andrews (W Connection), Hashim Arcia (W Connection), Ataulla Guerra (Central FC), Kevin Molino (Orlando Cuty), Tyrone Charles (San Juan Jabloteh), Willis Plaza (Central FC), Rundell Winchester (Central FC), Johan Peltier (San Juan Jabloteh)