English-based goalie Shaka Hislop will be making a return to National Team action for the upcoming 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup which kicks off in the United States next month.
Hislop, who was unavailable for T&T’s last two World Cup qualifying games due to personal reasons, has made himself ready for selection and coach Leo Beenhakker has included him in the squad which will travel for a training camp at the Hilton, Ft Lauderdale later this month.
Also lining up for T&T will be defender Marvin Andrews and his inclusion in the squad is reported to have left Glasgow Rangers manager Alex McLeish a bit unpleased as he feels the big defender should not be involved in the tournament but instead use the time to rest his damaged cruciate ligament. However, Beenhakker has insisted on having something near to the best possible line up for the tournament and Andrews seems to understand this.
“It is important that we use these games that we have in this tournament. The first three games are good ones for us and it will give us a chance to work a little more and have some further time together as a team before the next set of matches come around in the World Cup campaign,” Beenhakker told TTFF Media. The full squad will be announced early this week.
Hislop will have the first chance to work under Beenhakker and has indicated a keen desire to get back into the “Warriors” camp as he awaits further development on his club career after being released by Portsmouth recently.
“It was disappointing to be released by Portsmouth and as such the reason for me asking for time off from the past two matches. I think it’s important now that I get back into the thick of things and be able to contribute in whatever way possible to the team and the efforts in getting to the next World Cup,” Hislop said.
T&T will play on the opening day of the tournament, facing Honduras in the second game of a double header at the Orange Bowl on July 6, followed by clashes against Panama on July 9 and Colombia two days later.
Meantime, Optima Sports, the organizers of the Unity Cup which was suppose to kick off in London earlier this month are yet to decide on a new date. Optima representative Andy Howes informed the TTFF that the opening day which would have seen T&T come up against Jamaica had to be pushed back due to a security problem and that reports in the Ghana Press stating a new date as September were untrue. Howes added that all attempts are being made to ensure that the tournament does come off successfully with T&T, Jamaica, Nigeria and Ghana all taking part.