Veteran goalkeeper Marvin Phillip has replaced Canadian-born Greg Ranjitsingh on the Trinidad and Tobago men’s football team ahead of the forthcoming friendly international matches against Grenada (Saturday) and Guyana (Tuesday), at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
The 33-year-old Phillip has not featured for the national team since a 3-0 defeat away to Panama in their 2018 FIFA World Cup CONCACAF Zone Final Round qualifier, in Panama on September 5. The Point Fortin Civic FC captain has been recalled to the 24-man team by coach Dennis Lawrence as the 24-year-old Ranjitsingh will be involved in the United Soccer League (USL) Cup final on Monday.
Ranjitsingh, who plays for Louisville FC, had a pair of crucial saves in the penalty shootout against New York Red Bulls II as his team won the Eastern Conference Championship last Saturday. In the process, they booked their spot in the USL Cup final against Western Conference winners Swope Park Rangers at Slugger Field, Louisville, Kentucky. In a media release from the TT Football Association (TTFA), Lawrence was quoted as saying, “We had this discussion with Greg when he was selected for the friendlies, regarding his team’s end-of-season expectations, so we were prepared to make adjustments. We are all professionals and I am not going to prevent a player from such an opportunity at this stage.” Ironically, Phillip was also involved in a penalty shoot-out last Friday in the First Citizens Cup semi-finals, at the Ato Boldon Stadium. But 2016 champs Defence Force prevailed 4-3 to advance to the final, where they will meet W Connection.
In related news, striker Shahdon Winchester will definitely miss the Grenada match due to club commitments.
Winchester’s Mexican club Murcielagos FC got approval from the TT team management for the 25-year-old to participate in a crucial encounter against Atlante on Saturday.
Tickets for the friendlies vs Grenada and Guyana went on sale yesterday at all NLCB (National Lotteries Control Board) outlets at a cost of $100 (covered stands) and $50 (uncovered). Children under the age of 12 will enter free.