Trinidad and Tobago's footballers resumed preparations ahead of their 2010 World Cup Qualifier against El Salvador at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on August 12 last Wednesday at the Larry Gomes Stadium, with head coach Russell Latapy conducting a session with 19 players, including a couple new calls-ups.
Latapy has invited former Hibernian midfielder Lyndon "Chubby" Andrews into the squad along with Caledonia AIA defender Kareem Joseph, saying that he was impressed by the displays of both players in the Digicel Pro League.
Andrews has 42 appearances for T&T and was attached to Scottish club Hibernian in 2000/2002.
Latapy is expected to name his final squad for the World Cup Qualifier later this week and will continue to monitor his players both home and overseas. Another training session is scheduled for this morning at the Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya.
Although Trinidad and Tobago sit at the bottom of the six-team CONCACAF qualifying table, midfielder Trent Noel, who skippered the national team in their recent 3-2 win over St Kitts/Nevis, believes the Soca Warriors can pull it off against El Salvador, who robbed T&T of three points in San Salvador with two late goals.
A win for the Warriors next month will push them to five points, same as the Central Americans, while a win by three goals will push T&T into fifth spot ahead of their next opponents on goal difference.
"The game across in St Kitts was good enough and it was a decent workout for us. One of the things we have been working on is trying to start faster and not giving up goals easily," said Noel.
"The build-up to August 12 is going okay but we need to get together a bit more, but this isn't possible because we have only played once since the last qualifier. This means that we have to depend on the players working hard and keeping on top of their game with their clubs," Noel told Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) media officer Shaun Fuentes.
"I think we are playing better football under our coach now. We are passing the ball more and he is giving much more ideas to work with. It was a big downfall to draw that first game (in El Salvador). We collapsed and came out 2-2, but for this game hopefully the whole country can be behind us. I know the guys are up for it and looking forward to proving a point," Noel added.
In other news, Sunderland and T&T midfielder Carlos Edwards was back in action yesterday in Amsterdam following a nasty head injury on Thursday.
Edwards came through the full session after having five stitches inserted into a head wound during Thursday's 2-0 defeat to Benfica.
The winger came off worst in a clash with an opponent while battling for the ball in front of the dugouts and was substituted after only 26 minutes.
But he showed no ill-effects in training as the squad split into two groups as part of preparations for today's clash with Atletico Madrid.
And T&T forward Kenwyne Jones is back in pre-season training after overcoming a groin injury.
The 24-year-old made his return as the Black Cats step up their preparations for the Amsterdam tournament. He had missed the friendlies against Darlington and Portimonense as a result of his injury.
Jones, who had been working his way back to fitness by training with the club's medical staff in the Algarve, insists he is fully fit as he bids to lead the Sunderland scoring charts again this season.
And fans wishing to attend the match against El Salvador can now book their tickets via; www.ttffonline.com or 800-fans between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.
For fans residing in North America, Traffic Sports USA and Integrated Sports have announced distribution for next month's crucial game live at 7.30 p.m. ET/4.30 p.m. PT on cable and satellite pay-per-view via iN Demand, DirecTV, Dish Network and TVN in the United States, as well as Viewer's Choice, Shaw PPV, Star Choice and Bell TV in Canada, for a suggested retail price of US$24.95.