Trinidad and Tobago’s men’s football team head coach Terry Fenwick has selected a 24-man squad to face the USA in an international friendly at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida, USA, on Sunday.
According to a TTFA media release, Fenwick has included seven home-based players and 17 overseas-based players for T&T’s first international match of 2021. Goalkeeper Marvin Phillip and Alvin Jones are the two most capped players in the squad with 78 and 27 appearances, respectively.
Among the players earning first time call ups are 22-year-old US-born defender Michael Deshields. He was selected by DC United with the fifth overall pick in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft last Thursday. He was United’s second pick in the first round.
Also earning a first call is Canadian-based midfielder/full-back Federico Pena, of Canadian Premier League club Valour FC. Pena appeared in six of Valour’s seven games at The Island Games in 2020, filling in at various different roles due to a number of injuries to his teammates.
Pena was born in Port of Spain and moved with his family in 2009 to Winnipeg, where he played much of his youth football. He made a brief trip overseas in 2017 to pursue a career in Europe, spending a year each in the academies of Belgian clubs KAA Gent and Standard Liège, before signing for Valour in April 2019.
Fenwick has also invited US-born player Jonathan Jimenez. The 23-year-old is currently with USL club Rio Grande Valley FC Toros which Jimenez appeared for in USL League sides Lakeland Tropics in 2017, and Portland Timbers Under-23s during their 2018 and 2019 seasons.
Former National Under-17 and Under-20 defender Noah Powder, who is attached to MLS club Real Salt Lake as well as former National Under-17 player Ajani Fortune of Atlanta United’s Academy, have also been called up by Fenwick.
All the overseas-based players will join the T&T squad in Orlando. Some members of the previous 2019 Gold Cup and Nations League squad that are in the current roster for the match include Phillip, goalkeeper Adrian Foncette, Alvin Jones, Duane Muckette, Neveal Hackshaw, Ryan Telfer and Andre Fortune.
“It’s a great opportunity and experience for so many young players in Trinidad and Tobago who have not played competitive football for over a year. It’s a chance for them to make a name for themselves in a shop window. It’s a great opportunity for everybody involved,” Fenwick told TTFA Media yesterday.
“We have a few players from North America who we know are of a good quality playing in quality leagues but there is nothing like seeing them live and getting the chance to work them a bit on the training pitch. This will be the first time I am meeting them so I am looking forward to this.
He added: We have a new guy from Canada and it’s a great opportunity for him and us. We need players of this calibre on our side. We also recognise that we have some wonderful players in the UK that can’t travel because of the cover but one step at a time we’ll try to fuse them with the quality that we have got on the ground here in Trinidad and Tobago.”
Fenwick said he will use the couple of the days ahead of the match to prepare as best as he can. “We’ve had a some sessions here on the ground and it’s a case of putting everything together for a good showing. I have to mention the efforts of the Ministry of National Security, Health, the TTFA and everyone who has put in the efforts to ensure we can get into our first international match of the year,” Fenwick noted.
The team departs at 9 a.m. today and will be based in a “bubble” at the Omni Championsgate Hotel. Following the match on Sunday, the team will stay a further two days at Omni before returning home on February 3 and entering quarantine at the Home of Football in Couva.
GOALKEEPERS: Adrian Foncette (POLICE FC), Marvin Phillip (NEROCA, INDIA)
DEFENDERS: Neveal Hackshaw (INDY ELEVEN, USA), Noah Powder (REAL SALT LAKE, USA), Michael Deshields (DC UNITED, USA), Leland Archer (CHARLESTON BATTERY, USA), Josiah Trimmingham (FORWARD MADISON FC USA), Alvin Jones (UNATTACHED, USA), Federico Pena (VALOUR FC, CANADA), Justin Garcia (DEFENCE FORCE), Jesse Williams (COLERAINE FC/ N/IRELAND), Jamal Jack (SACACHISPAS, GUATEMALA)
MIDFIELDERS: Andre Fortune (NORTH CAROLINA FC, USA), Duane Muckette (MEMPHIS 901, USA), Jonathan Jimenez (RGV TOROS, USA), Matthew Woo Ling (AC PORT OF SPAIN), Michel Poon Angeron (BANFIELD, ARGENTINA), Ajani Fortune (ATLANTA UNITED, USA), Hashim Arcia (DEFENCE FORCE)
FORWARDS: Jabari Mitchell (POLICE FC), Gary Griffith III (COLERAINE FC0, NORTHERN IRELAND), Ryan Telfer (YORK UNITED FC, CANADA), Brent Sam (DEFENCE FORCE), Sean Bonval (CENTRAL FC)
Terry Fenwick (Head Coach)
Derek King (Assistant Coach)
Adrian Romain (Manager)
Basil Thompson (Logistics/Safety and Compliance Manager)
Dr Mario John (Team Chief Medical Officer)
Dr Akash Dhanai Team Doctor
Cassius Humphrey (Fitness Coach)
Sion Cane (Massage Therapist/Physiotherapist)
Michael Williams (Kit Manager)
Shaun Fuentes (Head of Media/Communications)