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Soca Warriors leave for Argentina
T&T Soca Warriors will depart for Argentina tonight via a charter flight where they will meet that country’s World Cup-bound squad headed by Barcelona star Lionel Messi on June 4 at the River Plate Estadio Monumental Stadium, Buenos Aires. The Argentines will meet Bosnia-Herzegovina (June 15), Iran (June 21) and Nigeria (June 25) in their Group F matches. On Thursday night, the Stephen Hart-coached Soca Warriors had their last full session at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo, a 90-minute match between two teams comprising players from the squad.
There were no major injury concerns at the end of the training camp which was supported by the Sportt Company of T&T with only goalkeeper Marvin Phillip nursing a slight problem. “Generally it’s been a good camp for us. I’m pleased the mindset among the players and I’ve seen some good things,” Hart said. “Of course the key moments will come over the next few days. When we get to Buenos Aires the conditions will be new to us and we’ll assess everything and ensure the players are settled in and that everyone can focused on the match next Wednesday.” The 22-man squad heading to Argentina tonight will be without veteran utility player and England-based Carlos Edwards, who was a late call-up to the training squad. The 35-year-old Edwards, who last week signed a new one-year contract with Championship Division club Millwall, arrived in Port-of-Spain a week ago and had a week of training with the sqaud, however it seems as though he failed to get the nod from Hart, who opted to include Central FC defender Yohance Marshall, initially a stand-by in the final team.
Among the travelling part are captain Kenwyne Jones and fellow 2006 World Cup survivor, Densill Theobald, Carlyle Mitchell, European-based players Radanfah Abu Bakr, Khaleem Hyland and Lester Peltier and W Connection’s Joevin Jones while Orlando City midfielder Kevin Molino, will join the team in Buenos Aires. Following the match against the Argentines, one of the FIFA World Cup favourites in Brazil, the Soca Warriors will also tackle another World Cup bound team in Iran on June 8 in Sao Paolo. Carlos Queiroz’s Iranian squad are coming off two consecutive warm-up draws 0-0 versus Montenegro on Monday (May 26) and 1-1 with Angola yesterday and will meet T&T in their final friendly encounter ahead of the World Cup against Nigeria on June 16 followed by matches with Argentina (June 21) and Bosnia-Herzegovina (June 25)
Goalkeepers: Jan-Michael Williams (Central FC), Marvin Phillip (Point Fortin Civic FC).
Defenders: Justin Hoyte (Millwall), Gavin Hoyte (Dagenham & Redbridge), Radanfah Abu Bakr (FK Kruoja Pakruojis), Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Carlyle Mitchell (Vancouver Whitecaps), Sheldon Bateau (KV Mechelen), Yohance Marshall (Central FC).
Midfielders: Khaleem Hyland (Racing Genk), Ataullah Guerra (Central FC), Andre Boucaud (unattached), Kevan George (Dayton Dutch Lions), Lester Peltier (Slovan Bratislava), Joevin Jones (W Connection), Densill Theobald (Caledonia AIA), Marcus Joseph (Point Fortin Civic FC), Kevin Molino (Orlando City)
Forwards: Rundell Winchester (Central FC), Willis Plaza (Central FC), Trevin Caesar (North East Stars), Kenwyne Jones (Cardiff City).