Tue, Jun

T&T striker Brent Sam (R) views for possession of the ball during a friendly against Guyana, on May 15, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain. - Photo by Daniel Prentice

SOCA Warriors head coach Angus Eve said a few players gave him something to think about when selecting his final squad for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, which kick off on June 5. A second string Trinidad and Tobago outfit defeated Guyana in back-to-back friendlies at Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo.

In the first match on May 13, Soca Warriors got past Guyana 2-1 behind goals from strikers Ezekiel Kesar and Kevon Woodley. T&T came away with a 2-0 victory on May 15 with goals from Michel Poon-Angeron and Woodley.

Woodley, a prolific goalscorer in the TT Premier Football League, was playing in his first two matches for T&T. Only a few first-team players featured in the matches against Guyana including goal-keeper Denzil Smith, defender Justin Garcia and left-wing back Andre Raymond among them. A lot of Guyana’s seasoned campaigners were also not involved in the matches.

Speaking to the media after the match, Eve said, “The games were about exposing young players and maintaining the players who are in and around the pool and I thought for the most part, a lot of the players took the opportunity and grasp it with both hands.”

Asked about Kesar and Woodley’s performance, Eve named other players he was pleased with during the two-match series.

“I will throw Matthew Woo Ling in that, I will throw Daniel David in that, I thought he was excellent in both games...I thought those four men really took the opportunity they got tonight and the previous game.”

That quartet started the first match and came off the bench in the second match. “I thought when we put them on in the second half they changed the game and we got a little more in tempo and we got more penetration, so very happy for these guys. They got the opportunity and I thought they grasp it with both hands.”

Eve said he may have a selection headache when naming his squad for the World Cup qualifiers.

“A number of them (gave me something to think about). I am not going to say it here right now, but yes a number of them gave us something to think about.”

Eve said Josiah Trimmingham, Raymond, Isaiah Garcia and Sheldon Bateau also showed quality, along with the goalkeepers – Smith, Adrian Foncette, Christopher Biggette and Aaron Enill.

The Soca Warriors coach wants the fans to come out in their numbers on June 5, saying, “I think when we use to play before, playing against Grenada was a foregone conclusion.”

Many countries in the region are seeking out footballers to play for them. Eve said Grenada are no different, as players with Grenadian roots based overseas will strengthen their squad.

“We need the 12th man to be on board with us. The guys are going to come out and give everything that they have and we just need the fans to come out and support the team. The 23 players and the TTFA (TT Football Association) alone can’t qualify.

“We need corporate (support), we need Government, we need fans, the normal man on the street because when the team does qualify then all of us will be celebrating as a nation, so we need a national effort to qualify.”