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Sat, Aug

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yorke14.jpgWith just over a week to go before this country’s next 2010 World Cup qualifier at home to Guatemala, head coach Francisco Maturana has announced a 22-man provisional squad for the encounter at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on September 6.
The squad will have a return of several of the members from the one which came away 3-1 winners over Cuba in Havana on August 20. There are call ups for in form Swansea City striker Jason Scotland and Toronto FC defender Julius James while Sunderland midfielder Dwight Yorke is also on the list of invited overseas professionals. Yorke made a return from injury with a 70-minute run for Sunderland’s Reserves last week. Sunderland midfielder Carlos Edwards is also in the squad.

Defence Force defender Aklie Edwards is also in the squad and will be eligible for action in the qualifiers having completed a four-match suspension for a red card offense in an Olympic qualifier against Cuba earlier this year.

Among the other home-based pros include midfielder Keon Daniel, the double scorer against Cuba as well as Densill Theobald, Anthony Wolfe, Clyde Leon and goalkeeper Marvin Phillips. Maturana has also included Khaleem Hyland in the squad. He received a red card against Cuba but is expected to be available for the clash with United States in Chicago on September 10.

“The squad remains almost the same but you know we are always looking to try for improvements. We will be working towards it because it is possible that the next two teams (Guatemala and USA) will play a different game to Cuba,” Maturana told TTF Media.

“Against Cuba I think we remained disciplined in the field and we continued a similar game from the one against El Salvador. That was a positive indication of our progress. Now we will try to keep that going and prepare as best as we can for Guatemala and America,” he added. Maturana will see his players again when training resumes on Monday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. Meantime, members of the squad which completed the win over Cuba were each offered a letter of congratulations from the TTFF for their efforts in Havana.

“It is with great pleasure that I offer these short yet heartfelt words of congratulations to you and all your other team mates on your success in your first game in this the semi-final rounds of the World Cup 2010 qualifiers,” TTFF Special Advisor Jack Warner wrote.

“As I had stated to you just prior to the game, this game was especially important as the first at this stage, the most difficult phase of the tournament. I am proud that you heeded my words and came out of the encounter with a victory, and with the highest margin of all the games played in this segment by all the teams. This could prove to be very decisive later down the road and you are to be commended in converting most of your chances into goals, which as you can attest, are what wins matches.

The three points earned is a great first step. There is much work to be done and therefore now is not the time for complacency. Bask in your victory, but always keep in mind that it will not get easier. All teams have a burning desire to get to the World Cup. You must want it more and demonstrate this hunger for victory. With hard work and conviction that it can be done; it will be done!! You will always have my support and that of the T&TFF. Congratulations on this game, even as you continue to keep your eye on the main prize and do your team mates and your country proud,” Warner concluded. Tickets for the T&T versus Guatemala clash are now available via 800-fans and through online bookings at www.ttffonline.com/shop

T&T 22-man squad

Goalkeepers
Marvin Phillip (W Connection), Jan Michael Williams (Ferencvárosi TC)

Defenders
Makan Hislop (United Petrotrin), Avery John (Miami F.C.), Dennis Lawrence (Swansea City), Cyd Gray (Clico San Juan Jabloteh), Julius James (Toronto F.C.), Keyeno Thomas (Joe Public F.C.), Aklie Edwards (Defence Force), Osei Telesford (Puerto Rico Islanders).

Midfielders
Carlos Edwards (Sunderland AFC), Anthony Wolfe (North East Stars), Densill Theobald (Caledonia AIA), Dwight Yorke (Sunderland AFC), Keon Daniel (United Petrotrin), Clyde Leon (W Connection), Khaleem Hyland (Unattached), Kerry Baptiste (Joe Public F.C), Akeil Guevera (North East Stars).

Forwards
Andre Toussaint (W Connection), Jason Scotland (Swansea City), Cornell Glen (Unattached).