PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) Russell Latapy may be 40 but he is player/coach in a 20-man Trinidad and Tobago squad named to travel to Argentina for a live-in training camp next week in preparation for World Cup qualifiers.
The Soca Warriors leave on January 21 for the South America trip that will fine-tune their preparation for the opening match of the 2010 CONCACAF World Cup Final Round series away to El Salvador on February 11.
‘I think it’s an excellent opportunity for the players to come together to prepare for the match against El Salvador,’ Latapy said.
‘I know it’s a training tour but I would not want any of the players selected to think of it as just a training team or a training trip.
‘They must all go into it with the feeling that it’s a great opportunity for them to fight and earn that place in the final World Cup team,’ added Latapy, who was confirmed last week as national assistant coach.
The squad contains mostly home-based players and will be cut following the Argentina leg of the upcoming tour.
TTFF Media says that cut will be closely followed by the naming of the selected overseas-based players invited to form the final 18-man squad to face El Salvador.
T&T, the only Caribbean team still in the hunt for a place in the 2010 World Cup Finals, will battle El Salvador, Mexico, USA, Honduras, and Costa Rica for three automatic spots to the Finals.
The Soca Warriors are aiming for back-to-back qualification for the big event, having reached the 2006 Finals in Germany.
Head coach Francisco Maturana has kept faith with the nucleus of players who have been part of the team’s World Cup campaign.
Midfielder Trent Noel, of T&T ProLeague champions San Juan Jabloteh, defender Robert Primus (San Juan Jabloteh), and Andrei Pacheco (W Connection) are included as newcomers.
Forward Kendall Jagdeosingh, following a successful debut United Soccer Leagues season with the Puerto Rico Islanders, has also been invited while there are recalls for 2006 World Cup team midfielder Densill Theobald and French-based winger Kevaughn Connell.
T&T TRAINING SQUAD:
Goalkeepers – Marvin Phillip, Jan Michael Williams;
Defenders – Seon Power, Keyeno Thomas, Makan Hislop, Robert Primus, Andre Pacheco, Aklie Edwards;
Midfielders – Clyde Leon, Khaleem Hyland, Osei Telesford, Anthony Wolfe, Keon Daniel, Kevaughn Connell, Densill Theobald, Russell Latapy, Trent Noel;
Forwards – Errol McFarlane, Kendall Jagdeosingh, Cornell Glen.