Trinidad & Tobago (pictured) trains in Sunrise, Florida, on November 10, 2015. (Photo courtesy of TTFA Media)
SUNRISE, Florida -- Trinidad & Tobago completed the Florida leg of its training camp on Tuesday night with a full 22-man squad.
Even though they were together for a limited amount of time at the Sawgrass Grand Sports Complex, head coach Stephen Hart believed that plenty was accomplished. His Soca Warriors will face host Guatemala on Friday to open fourth-round play in CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
“It’s the first session today (Tuesday) we’ve had with everybody because of travel and so on and I thought it went well,” said Hart. “The mood was nice, very upbeat and, when necessary, it’s been jovial. But it’s been a very concentrated and very intense training so far.”
Ways to strengthen the Caribbean power’s defense, which has conceded at least one goal in eight of its 10 games this year, have been addressed. The return of foreign-based duo Justin Hoyte and Carlyle Mitchell, who have combined for a single international appearance in slightly more than seven months, could provide a boost.
This season, 30-year-old Hoyte has played in five English League Two matches for Dagenham & Redbridge, while Mitchell, 28, has seen action in 28 games for Korea Republic’s Seoul E-Land FC.
“Carlyle trained well, but you can see he is very jetlagged,” commented Hart. “Justin looked very sharp in the sessions.”
Hart made a point to emphasize that he is more focused on the Soca Warriors potential performance rather than that of Guatemala. They met in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup on July 9, a 3-1 win for Trinidad.
“We are always discussing in every training session based on what we know of Guatemala, but not overly concerned about their game,” the 55-year-old finished. “My main concern, when I’m talking to the players, is about being in control of their own game, how they approach play, being tidier with the ball and how we recover the ball.
“We will also look at a video of the game about Guatemala, just go over things in our mind, mentally and collectively of how we will approach the game and what we will expect.”