Trinidad & Tobago targets Caribbean title

Khaleem Hyland (#8) and Trinidad & Tobago will look to win the Caribbean Cup for the first time since 2001. (Photo: Allan V. Crane)

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad & Tobago -- Trinidad & Tobago will be looking to compensate for the heartbreak of 2012, when it does battle in the final round of the Caribbean Football Union Caribbean Cup that starts Tuesday in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Two years ago, the Soca Warriors fell 1-0 to Cuba in the championship match.  To make up for that disappointment, they are aiming to lift the trophy on November 18.

Though it didn’t bring home top honors from Antigua, the side did qualify for 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, a critical component of development.

“I know the players are all very committed to doing well and representing their country,” said head coach Stephen Hart.  “They missed out on winning the last Caribbean Cup in 2012, losing in the final and they believe it’s time to go one step better.

“In saying that, I don’t think there is going to be unwarranted pressure, but, of course, taking the title is always one of the aims.  But if we can get in some decent performances and secure our qualification for the Gold Cup, as well as utilise these matches and the time together as a squad to prepare for the future engagements then I think in the end it would be a satisfactory undertaking in Jamaica.”

T&T will boast a strong 23-member side announced Tuesday for the Caribbean competition.  It is headed by Cardiff City striker Kenwyne Jones and includes Iceland-based Jonathan Glenn, who has gained his first international call-up.

The bulk of the players who contested the second round of qualifiers, however, have been retained, including the likes of Hughton Hector, Khaleem Hyland and Kevin Molino.

“The squad is a balanced one with a couple new faces which gives me and the coaching staff the chance to have an extra look with the future in mind and, more so, the qualification for the 2018 World Cup,” Hart added.  “We had three decent matches in the semifinals last month in which the team performed creditably and now these finals presents additional opportunities to see what is available for our general player pool.

“These games will also give us valuable experience playing away from home in a tournament format, which is good for our preparations for the qualifiers on the road.”

The eight-time Caribbean champion will clash in Group A with Cuba, Curacao and French Guiana.

(2014 CFU Caribbean Cup – Final Round: November 11-18, 2014)

GOALKEEPERS: Adrian Foncette (Police), Marvin Phillips (Point Fortin Civic Centre), Jan-Michael Williams (Central FC)

DEFENDERS: Radanfah Abu Bakr (Kruoja Pakruojis/Lithuania), Daneil Cyrus (Ha Noi T&T/Vietnam), Aubrey David (FF Jaro/Finalnd), Justin Hoyte (Millwall/England), Joevin Jones (HJK Helsinki/Finland), Yohance Marshall (no club), Carlyle Mitchell (Vancouver Whitecaps)

MIDFIELDERS: Andre Boucaud (Dagenham & Redbridge/England), Jamal Gay (Rovaniemen Palloseura/Finland), Kevan George (Columbus Crew/USA), Ataullah Guerra (Central FC), Hughtun Hector (Ha Noi T&T/Vietnam), Khaleem Hyland (Racing Genk/Belgium), Leston Paul (Central FC)

FORWARDS: Cordell Cato (San Jose Earthquakes/USA), Jonathan Glenn (IBV/Iceland), Kenwyne Jones (Cardiff City/Wales), Kevin Molino (Orlando City/USA), Lester Peltier (Slovan Bratislava/Slovakia), Shahdon Winchester (FF Jaro/Finland)