Soca Warriors striker Cornell Glen resumed full training at yesterday’s practice session at the Florida International University as the Stephen Hart coached squad continued preparations for tomorrow’s second Concacaf’s Gold Cup Group B encounter with Haiti at the Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, from 7 pm.
The 32-year-old Glen, who has so far scored a team-high 23 goals in 66 matches for the Soca Warriors, was ruled out of Monday’s Group B opening 2-2 draw with El Salvador at the Red Bull Arena, Harrison, New Jersey, after suffering a calf strain in the training session on the eve of the match. According to team doctor Terrence Babwah though, the ex-2006 World Cup team forward has responded well to treatment and will be available for selection tomorrow.
Central FC goalkeeper Marvin Phillip is also recovering from a medial ligament injury, picked up at the same session on Sunday but is also responding well and started light training yesterday.
Hart speaking at the Hilton, Miami Downtown, yesterday, where the team is based for the match said generally the spirit of the team has been good.
“We’ve reviewed our performance as well as had a look at what Haiti did in their last match and we’re preparing everything in relation to how we want to approach Friday’s (tomorrow) match.”
Stoke City forward, 28-year-old Kenwyne Jones also said there were several positives to take from Monday’s performance.
“I was basically happy for the start we had. Within the team we’re disappointed we didn’t get the three points but we know we have some things to work on. Iit’s about getting that belief in the squad that we can do this.
“We did a lot of things well in that game and I guess the public saw it. We felt proud about it. We’ve been working under the new coach for the past three weeks and we’ve come leaps and bounds over that time,” Jones added.
About his goal, he added “I’m happy for the goal. I was pretty much up for it. I thought we had to impose ourselves on the opposition which we did in the first 20 minutes but then we dropped our performance after they equalised.
But we came back and I was happy to score at the time I did to help us come away with a point,” added the ex-Sunderland striker, who’s last goal before Monday came in a 2-0 win over Guyana in a World Cup qualifier at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo on November 15, 2011.
It was only the eighth goal in 53 appearances for the Soca Warriors since making his senior team debut in 2003.
Keon Daniel who opened the scoring in the match in the 11th minute said he was delighted to have scored his first Gold Cup goal, his 14th in 57 matches, particularly after being away from the national team for much of 2013.
“I felt great about the strike. I was longing for something like this because it’s the first time in a while we’ve played in a tournament like this. It was just a case of the hard work paying off for me,” Daniel said.
“We needed a good start and we got that. We worked hard and we’re coming together as a team and we should be better off for the second game.”
Daniel, 26, said he was not fazed by any criticism over his absence from the national team for the first half of 2013.
“I will not say it’s critics who had stuff to say about me. I don’t think about the media and I just focus on my game. I just try to do my best every time I put on the shirt to represent T&T,” Daniel stated.
Reflecting on Monday’s match, skipper Densill Theobald added: “We had some good moments but we also struggled a bit with their style of play and passing in the first half.
We ourselves did not pass the ball that well but we had a better second-half and hopefully we can maintain this performance from the second-half going into the match against Haiti tomorrow.
“The work rate from the guys was exceptional I thought and this was very pleasing to the eyes and will put us in better shape for the next two matches,” said Theobald, the most capped player in the current squad with 94 matches under his belt, ten more than Ipswich Town midfielder Carlos Edwards who wanted the win badly.
“I’m still bothered by the result. Even thought we equalised this time it brings back some memories from the draw in 2009 a bit because we also scored first in that game. We had a couple really good chances to get ahead in the second-half, “ added the 34-year-old Edwards.