issued by Shaun Fuentes in Salt Lake City, August 31st, 2015
Trinidad and Tobago’s senior men’s team are in Salt Lake City preparing ahead of Friday’s International Friendly with 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup champions Mexico at the Rio Tinto Stadium from 8pm.
Members of the team arrived in Salt Lake on Sunday evening and will be part of a five-day training camp which falls into the preparations for the upcoming 2018 CONCACAF World Cup qualifying semi-final round which commences in November.
The local-based players along with European-baseds defenders Aubrey David and Radanfah Abu Bakr traveled from Port of Spain with Stephen Hart and the rest of the backroom staff while US-based quartet Kevan George,Joevin Jones, Trevin Caesar and Rundell Winchester joined the team later on Sunday night.
Also arriving on Sunday were English-based midfielder Andre Boucaud and Mexican-based defender Yohance Marshall. Scheduled to arrive on Monday and Tuesday are Khaleem Hyland, Jonathan Glenn, Mekeil Williams and Cordell Cato. Barnet defender Gavin Hoyte will not travel for the game after the T&T team received news on Sunday night that his club had turned down a request for his release.
“We’re here and we’ll try to get in a decent amount of preparation ahead of the match,” Hart told TTFA Media. “The important thing is being able to access the players and have them together for a few days because this is what the program is going to be like when the World Cup qualification comes around. Getting the players together is vital and we’ll use these few days to go over some things in relation to the game and our general state for the campaign coming up,” he added.
The T&T team trained once on Monday evening at Lakeside Park and is based at the Downtown Marriott Hotel.
The Mexico team arrived in Salt Lake City on Monday. Their thirteen European-based players met the rest of the squad in Mexico City on Sunday before traveling. Veteran Rafa Marquez has been recalled with Carlos Vela keeping his place and Tigres trio Jorge Torres Nilo, Jesus Duenas and Javier Aquino being selected by interim head coach Ricardo Ferretti. Mexico will also play Argentina on September 8th.
T&T goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams, who missed the 4-4 draw with “El Tri” at the CONCACAF Gold Cup due to a hamstring injury, is back in the squad and is spoke about the values of such a high profile international friendly for T&T.
“This is another step in our quest and preparations to qualify for the World Cup. We are looking for continuation after having such a good showing at the Gold Cup. It’s our first friendly after the Gold Cup and I think playing against a team like Mexico is good for us,” Williams told TTFA Media on Monday.
“I think the game will be an attractive one and obviously people will be looking to see if we can maintain the kind of form we had from that previous game (against Mexico). We will be looking to put on a good showing but again the bigger focus is on the preparation for the World Cup qualifiers,” he added.
The temperature range is around 30 degrees celcius in Utah which is 4,327 feet above sea level. Here is home to MLS club Real Salt Lake and NBA team Utah Jazz
The Rio Tinto Stadium holds just around 22,000 and is sold out for Friday’s game. There will be live television coverage in the US on UniMas and Univision Deportes Network in Spanish, and ESPN News in English.