Korean based Carlyle Mitchell and English-born Justin Hoyte have been named to the 22-man 2018 World Cup qualifying squad to face Guatemala and the USA ont he 13th and 17th of November respectively.
Neither player has featured in recent times for the T&T team but Coach Stephen Hart has seen enough of his charges to recognise that their experience in defence is needed for the upcoming games. Mitchell had been a first choice central defender before his move to Asia which affected his ability to travel back and forth for friendlies i a timely manner due to the distance. He faces a stern battle to return to the first XI with Radanfah Abu Bakr, Sheldon Bateau and Yohance Marshall being effective on both ends of the pitch in his absence.
Justin Hoyte can also play at centre back but is more likely to be in the squad to compete with Daniel Cyrus for the right back role. While Cyrus is able to combine his defence with some enterprising overlapping runs, Hoyte is a more traditional full back and could possibly provide more solidity and experience on the road in Guatemala and against a traditionally tough opponent in the form of the USA.
The rest of the team is filled with more familiar names as Lester Peltier and Cordell Cato also return to the team joining the likes of Keron Cummings and Joevin Jones in providing the supply line to skipper Kenwyne Jones who has recovered from the injury suffered against Nicaragua in T&T's last outing. While Jonathon Glenn is the perfect back-up to the captain, free-scoring Willis Plaza also makes the cut to provide a plan B for the team should it be required.
The team leaves for a four day live in camp in Fort Lauderdale, FL on Saturday prior to travelling to Guatemala. Coach Hart has credited a similar camp prior to the Gold Cup 2015 as providing the impetus for the team going unbeaten over 90 minutes in that tournament. He sees this camp as being just as critical in ensuring a return of at least four points over the two games. The coach also intends to spend just about 48 hrs in Guatemala to minimise the traditional pre-match hostility that visiting teams tend to receive in away games of this magnitude.
The full team is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Jan-Michael Williams (Central FC), Marvin Phillip (Morvant Caledonia United);
Defenders: Daneil Cyrus (Chicago Fire—USA), Justin Hoyte (Dagenham & Redbridge—England), Carlyle Mitchell (Seoul E-Land—South Korea), Sheldon Bateau (FC Krylia Samara—Russia), Radanfah Abu Bakr (HB Koge—Denmark), Yohance Marshall (Murcielagos FC—Mexico), Mekeil Williams (Antigua GFC—Guatemala), Aubrey David (Shakhter Karagandy—Kazakhstan);
Midfielders: Andre Boucaud (Dagenham & Redbridge—England), Khaleem Hyland (KV Westerlo—Belgium), Kevan George (Columbus Crew—USA), Neveal Hackshaw (North East Stars); Trevin Caesar (Austin Aztex—USA), Cordell Cato (San Jose Earthquakes—USA), Joevin Jones (Chicago Fire—USA), Lester Peltier (Slovan Bratislava—Slovakia), Keron Cummings (North East Stars);
Forwards: Kenwyne Jones (Cardiff City—Wales), Willis Plaza (Central FC), Jonathan Glenn (Breioablik—Iceland)