The T&T versus USA football match, carded for January 31, will go on as planned.
On the heels of the uncertainty created for the match, caused by an announcement on Thursday by US President Joe Biden that persons entering the United States are subjected to a mandatory 14-day quarantine period, a release from the T&T Football Association yesterday made it clear that the game is on.
According to the release on Friday said: "The TTFA has been in consultation with the US Soccer Federation in light of President Biden's Executive Order on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel in the United States.
US Soccer Federation (USSF), in consultation with relevant Governmental agencies, has communicated that they do not have any concerns with the International Friendly scheduled for January 31st, 2021, and is looking forward to welcoming the T&T Senior Men's Team for Terry Fenwick's international debut as Head coach.
The TTFA thanks the US Soccer Federation for their vigilance in these matters and are happy with the COVID-19 protocol that will be in effect for the game. The protocol was quite extensive, even before the Executive Order was issued with multiple rounds of testing and controls being implemented."
Fenwick, who has fought to secure the international friendly encounter, told Guardian Media Sports on Friday that: "We have had no word from the US to confirm either way. I've not got anything else from the Normalisation Committee on the game, so we are preparing to travel next Thursday. We're putting things in place now and then we will be advised, I am sure within the next 48 hours from the US, whether the game will go ahead or not."
With the T&T team scheduled to spring into action in their first FIFA World Cup qualifying match on March 25 against regional neighbours Guyana away, Fenwick is desperate for action on the field as the bulk of his starting team, is still to be seen.
According to Thursday's executive order by the US president: "Anyone flying to the US will be required to present a negative coronavirus test before departing and quarantine on arrival. In addition to wearing masks, everyone flying to the United States from another country will need to test before they get on that plane, before they depart, and quarantine when they arrive in America."
Fenwick, the former San Juan Jabloteh and Central FC coach said recently that he has identified some 25 players in both the United States and the UK that he intends to use for the qualifiers, because they have been playing regularly, at a decent standard of play, and consistently, compared to the T&T players.
"Unless they move back the qualification game on the 25th of March, our preparation is now, we need to get moving, I need to see the players that are available for T&T, that are playing in the United States, some of which I have not seen yet (10 or 12 of them). I don't know what they will bring to the table, I don't know qualities they will bring over and above what we've already got, and the camp was basically catering for all of that information," Fenwick explained.
The match will be held under strict COVID19 protocols in Orlando Florida and will be followed by a live-in camp in Miami.
Upon the team's return to T&T, the Soca Warriors will finalize their preparation with two friendly matches against Caribbean opposition before their encounter with Guyana.
Meanwhile, the January Camp roster for the United States Men’s National Team just got smaller on Wednesday when the New York City FC goalkeeper Sean Johnson and Seattle Sounders forward Jordan Morris departed the team camp in Bradenton, Florida, USA.
Johnson has a minor knee strain and would not be fully fit for the match, while, Morris asked to be excused and received permission from head coach Gregg Berhalter. In Morris’ case, his departure has only fueled the speculation that he is off to Swansea City on a loan, as has been reported over the past few days.
That leaves 10 players on the roster for next week’s match, though the remainder of the roster will be filled from the U-23 roster that is also in the joint January Camp. Berhalter will not bring in any replacements.
Trinidad and Tobago Training Squad
Goalkeepers (3): Marvin Phillip, Adrian Foncette, Denzil Smith;
Defenders (9): Alvin Jones, Shannon Gomez, Justin Garcia, Jamal Jack, Daniel Cyrus, Jesse Williams, Josiah Trimmingham, Jelani Peters, Triston Hodge;
Midfielders (5): Michel Poon-Angeron, Matthew Woo Ling, Duane Muckette, Justin Sadoo, Jabari Mitchell;
Attackers (6): Hashim Arcia, Gary Griffith III, Sean Bonval, Shackiel Henry, Brent Sam, Marcus Joseph.
United States Training Squad (Club, Caps/Goals)
Goalkeepers (3): Matt Freese (Philadelphia Union; 0/0), JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes; 0/0), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 0/0);
Defenders (9): Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy; 1/0), George Bello (Atlanta United FC; 0/0), Kyle Duncan (New York Red Bulls; 1/0), Aaron Herrera (Real Salt Lake; 0/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 18/3), Mauricio Pineda (Chicago Fire FC; 0/0), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United FC; 2/0), Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids; 2/0), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; 13/2);
Midfielders (7): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 24/2), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 17/4), Benji Michel (Orlando City SC; 0/0), Andrés Perea (Orlando City SC; 0/0), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; 19/0), Tanner Tessmann (FC Dallas; 0/0), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; 8/0);
Attackers (6): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC/CAN; 115/42), Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 34/6), Daryl Dike (Orlando City SC; 0/0), Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas; 1/0), Jonathan Lewis (Colorado Rapids; 6/0), Chris Mueller (Orlando City SC; 1/2).