Sat, Apr


Joevin Jones and Cordell Cato in training.Strikers Cordell Cato and Shahdon Winchester have both joined the Trinidad and Tobago Under-23 football team, who are currently in a training camp at Cypress Creek, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States.

Cato, from American MLS club Seattle Sounders, and Winchester, from W Connection, arrived at the team camp on Thursday night, on the eve of yesterday’s practice match against the Canada Under-23 squad.

Trinidad and Tobago are due to face Barry University tomorrow before the squad moves to California on Wednesday.

Midfielders Kevin Molino and Sean De Silva, who are both based in the US, and Mekeil Williams, who plays in Poland, are yet to join the TT team, who are preparing for the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifiers, scheduled to begin on March 23 in the US.

But Williams may be a doubt for the opening game against Mexico due to his inability to obtain an American visa.

Already in camp is Columbus Crew midfielder Kevan George, who got confirmation this week that he is now an official member of the Crew for the 2012 MLS season. George made a good impression when he came on in the second half of T&T's 2-1 loss to Fort Lauderdale Strikers on Wednesday.

"I'm excited and happy as finally after a couple weeks of uncertainty they came to an agreement. It's a lifelong dream for me," George told Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) media officer Shaun Fuentes.

"Columbus signed me for a purpose and I know I will get my chance. I want to keep progressing with the team here into the Olympic qualifiers and Columbus Crew. There is a rotation in the team and they drafted me for a reason."

Regarding his inclusion in the national Under-23 team, George said the chance couldn't have come at a better time.

"I have been looking forward to this moment for a while and when the coach called my name to go on, I was a bit nervous, but when I got out there it was just all football. The team welcomed me in and it's a matter of settling in and trying to add something positive to what is already here," said the ex-St Clair Coaching School member who left Tobago for the US with his family at age 12.

"I don't know much about Mexico but the game against Fort Lauderdale Strikers was a good test for us and I can see us coming together well and giving it a good go in the tournament," added George, who admires Ivory Coast and Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure.

And another T&T player with MLS experience, Daneil Cyrus, is working round the clock to regain full fitness and force his way into the starting XI for the Olympic qualifiers.

Cyrus was sidelined by injury since last September and only returned to play a few weeks ago.

"I'm getting there. I'm maybe 85 per cent there but I'm feeling better every match and I'm focusing on making sure I can contribute to the team's cause in the competition," Cyrus said.

"This training camp is helping me to get back to a good level. We've been able to train twice daily here and get some good match practice.

"The experience at Sporting Kansas also benefitted me a lot. It was hard work day in and day out. And it showed me that nothing comes easy. Everything happens for a reason and although the club waived me, I see it as me getting an opportunity to show my worth with the national team in this tournament.

"And at the end of the day, while we have some difficult opponents, all of us are training hard and it all comes down to what happens on the day. Everyone is like a family here…we live together and die together," Cyrus said.

Following yesterday's game with Canada, the T&T Under-23s will play Barry University tomorrow before heading to California on Wednesday.