After a six-year hiatus, Trinidad & Tobago returns to the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The Trinidadians are making their eighth appearance in the tournament and first since 2007. Only once have they advanced past the group stage, reaching the semifinals in 2000, before bowing out 1-0 to eventual champion Canada.
The nation’s crowning achievement in football came in 2006, when the Soca Warriors competed in the FIFA World Cup in Germany; the smallest nation — both in terms of size and population — , to ever qualify for the finals.
Trinidad & Tobago, however, was eliminated in the second round of qualifying for Brazil 2014.
Under the guidance of co-head coaches Leo Beenhakker and Stephen Hart, the eight-time Caribbean champion is looking forward to a brighter future and will compete in a Gold Cup group that includes perennial powerhouse Honduras, El Salvador and Haiti.
The roster is likely to feature Middlesbrough defender Justin Hoyte, who was poised to make his international debut in Gold Cup tune-ups against Romania and Estonia, as well as Notts County midfielder Andre Boucaud. Kazakhstan-based defender Radanfah Abu Bakr is also in line for selection, as is Port Vale midfielder Chris Birchall, who played in all three of Trinidad’s games at the 2006 World Cup.
Striker Shahdon Winchester of FF Jaro in Finland was called into the squad, along with the Major League Soccer duo of Vancouver Whitecaps defender Carlyle Mitchell and Philadelphia Union midfielder Keon Daniel.