Wed, Jun

Keston Julien #19 of Trinidad and Tobago in action during the international friendly match between Thailand and Trinidad and Tobago at 700th Anniversary Stadium on September 25, 2022 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. (Photo by Supakit Wisetanuphong/MB Media/Getty Images)

DEFENDER Keston Julien is out due to a lack of a USA visa, while striker Marcus Joseph is now destined to come off the bench after experiencing travel issues from India, as the Trinidad and Tobago senior men’s football team is scheduled to tackle the Bahamas in their CONCACAF Nations League match today.

Head coach Angus Eve made the disclosure shortly after the team settled down in the Bahamas yesterday, following the completion of a three-day training camp in Boca Raton, Ft Lauderdale, USA.

“We feel good. The guys have been training good for the last three days we had the group together. Two players did not make it. Keston Julien, he doesn’t have a visa, so he is only available for the Trinidad leg (versus Nicaragua),” Eve told TTFA Media yesterday. “Marcus Joseph had some issues in India, so he wouldn’t make it to the camp until training this afternoon (yesterday). So obviously he may not start because of the long travel. But he is fit and available if need be, off the bench.”

Victory away to Bahamas today and Nicaragua in Tobago, Monday, will see T&T (nine points) overhaul Nicaragua (ten points) in Group C of the Nations League Group B, and qualify directly for the 2023 CONCACAF Gold Cup—the Caribbean, North and Central America (CONCACAF) region’s show-piece tournament for national teams.

The live-in camp was about gelling the team into one unit, Eve said, following the positive display in Jamaica where he observed the improvement and sharpness of his charges.

“And (we saw) a bit of match fitness coming into them. And the players who were abroad, they came into the side and they would have the added experience and the know-how. A lot of them, the majority of them would have been playing consistently. So they would also bring back that sort of match fitness to the group,” said the former national midfielder.

Because of the unavailability of some players and injuries to others, Eve opted for a team with more versatile and creative players who could play in multiple positions.

And the objective with this match, is to start the process of re-establishing the country as the top team in the region.

“Some people say we should be playing Argentina...playing Argentina now does not serve any purpose for us. We need to play these games. These are the games that are in front of us. We are ranked 104 in the world . I think people are also misstating that...We are in a rebuilding stage and I think the rebuilding stage is going fine. And that is to tell you how far we have dropped off, that Bahamas now believe that we and them have a rivalry,” Eve explained about today’s opposition that helped to derail T&T’s 2022 World Cup campaign, back in 2021.

“So it is important that we come back here and we establish ourselves. We won the (first) game 1-0 in Port of Spain in a very dogged style. They played ten players behind the ball ..and they tried to play on the counter-attack. We don’t know if they will change anything but we will prepare for if they play high-press and be prepared for if they want to drop off and do similar things in that last game,” Eve concluded.

Today’s match will be played at the New Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium in Nassau, from 4 p.m.

SOURCE: T&T Express