Tue, Jul

(L-R): Ross Russell Jr, Jesse Williams, Justin Garcia, Michel Poon-Angeron, Aubrey David, Kevon Goddard, Christopher Biggette

IN contrast to his Gold Cup squad, Trinidad and Tobago men's football coach Angus Eve has leaned a lot more on local-based players for the Concacaf Nations League campaign which kicks off at 6pm on Thursday against Curacao.

Eve named just six local-based players for the Gold Cup earlier this year but has included 11 home-based pros in his latest squad.

In-form Defence Force forward Reon Moore, who was surprisingly omitted from the Gold Cup team, gets the nod this time. His club-mate and forward Brent Sam, who was not part of Eve's provisional squad, has also been included.

AC Port of Spain midfielders Duane Muckette and Michel Poon-Angeron have also been selected after missing the Gold Cup.

There is no room for national veterans Alvin Jones and his brother Joevin Jones.

The former, 29, has been a standout player for T&T in defence and a threat on setpieces and overlapping in attack. Alvin broke the deadlock for T&T in their opening Gold Cup game vs St Kitts and Nevis with an exceptional goal. The Jones brothers were both part of the Concacaf Nations League Best XI for League B.

Eve's final squad was named just 48 hours before T&T face Curacao at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain. The national team was rocked on Friday by the sudden retirement of former captain Kelvin Molino.

The attacking player said his international exit was owing to alleged disrespect by Eve to senior players as well as a lack of clear strategy by the coach.

T&T Squad:

Goalkeepers: Jabari St Hillaire (Defence Force - T&T), Christopher Biggette (Defence Force - T&T), Denzil Smith (W Connection - T&T)

Defenders: Aubrey David (CS Cartaginés - Costa Rica), Ross Russell Jr (La Horqueta Rangers - T&T), Jesse Williams (Central Valley Fuego - USA), Kareem Moses (FF Jaro - Finland), Justin Garcia (Defence Force - T&T), Shannon Gomez (San Antonio FC - USA), Andre Raymond (Dumiense CJP - Portugal).

Midfielders: Andre Rampersad (Halifax Wanderers - Canada), Duane Muckette (AC Port of Spain - T&T), Neveal Hackshaw (Oakland Roots - USA), Michel Poon-Angeron (AC Port of Spain - T&T), Kevon Goddard (Defence Force - T&T), Kristian Lee-Him (IFK Eskilstuna - Sweden), Daniel Phillips (St. Johnstone FC - Scotland).

Forwards: Ryan Telfer (Miami FC - USA), Kaïlé Auvray (Sporting Kansas City Academy - USA), Nathaniel James (Club Sando - T&T), Reon Moore (Defence Force - T&T), Malcolm Shaw (Atlético Ottawa - Canada), Brent Sam (Defence Force - T&T).

SOURCE: T&T Newsday