GARCIA brothers Levi and Judah have been included in a 26-member TT men’s senior football squad to face Guyana in a 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying match on March 25 in Dominican Republic.
Levi, 23, who plays for AEK Athens in Greece, has more than 20 caps for the national senior team. Judah, 20, a former national junior player, has four caps for the senior team.
Levi and Judah grew up in Santa Flora and attended Shiva Boys Hindu College. Speaking to Newsday, former coach Hayden Ryan, said, “It is always a blessing for young soldiers such as Judah and Levi to be in a team…I am sure that the parents must be so happy and glad to know that they are selected.”
Former Shiva Boys manager Sheldon Maraj added, “Really proud to have them there to fly the red, white and black flag. That has been their dream when they were in Shiva Boys to represent their country.”
Maraj is anticipating the day when Levi and Judah’s brother Nathaniel,27, earns a recall to the team. Maraj also made mention of goalkeeper Denzil Smith, who also attended Shiva Boys.
The squad has several experienced players with the likes of Sheldon Bateau, Aubery David, Joevin Jones, Radanfah Abu Bakr, former captain Khaleem Hyland, Marvin Phillip and Andre Boucaud. Boucaud, who turns 37 later this year, last played for TT in 2017.
Kevin Molino and Alvin Jones are injured and therefore will not play a part in the match against Guyana.
Coach Terry Fenwick said some of the European-based players may be unavailable for TT’s second World Cup qualifier against Puerto Rico on March 28 due to covid19 travel restrictions.
Fenwick, speaking to the media before a training session at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on Wednesday, before the squad was announced, said, “A lot of the European guys will not be able to play in Puerto Rico so obviously that is a big concern, so our administration and technical staff this afternoon will iron out and organise the numbers that we need to travel with in case we have to use more local players for the Puerto Rico game coming up only three days after the game against Guyana across the road.” Fenwick said missing some of the European-based players is a “bitter pill for us to swallow.”
Levi, Boucaud, Daniel Phillips, Bateau and Nicklas Frenderup are the five European-based players on the squad for the Guyana match.
Fenwick was glad to have a quality player like Hyland for both matches.
“He’s confirmed, he’s coming, he’s definitely there for both games so that is a big plus for us. Khaleem as you know came through the development at Jabloteh. I coached him from very early. (He is a) good solid individual, a good leader of men, the type of player that we need. He is a stand-up character, again the type of players that we need in these big games.”
On the Molino and Alvin injuries, Fenwick said, “We’ve one or two concerns on injuries at the moment. Alvin Jones (is) struggling to make the trip because of an injury he sustained against Army on Monday morning. (There is) a little doubt over Kevin Molino also (with his) hamstring.”
Adrian Foncette (goalkeeper, Police FC), Marvin Phillip (goalkeeper/free agent), Nicklas Frenderup (goalkeeper/Blink I.L), Denzil Smith (goalkeeper, W Connection),
Noah Powder (defender/Real Salt Lake FC), Leland Archer (defender, Charlston Battery), Justin Garcia (defender/Defence Force), Neveal Hackshaw (defender/Indy Eleven FC), Sheldon Bateau (defender/KV Mechelen), Aubery David (defender/Deportivo Saprissa), Radanfah Abu Bakr (defender/free agent), Robert Primus (defender/FC Bengaluru United), Joevin Jones (defender/Inter Miami CF),
Duane Muckette (midfielder/free agent), Michel Poon-Angeron (midfielder/Banfield), Andre Boucaud (midfielder, Maidstone), Daniel Phillips (midfielder/Watford FC), Judah Garcia (midfielder/Neroca Football Club), Khaleem Hyland (midfielder/Al-Batin FC/Saudi Arabia), Marcus Joseph Jr (midfielder/free agent),
Levi Garcia (forward/AEK Athens FC), Ryan Telfer (forward/Atletico Ottawa), Willis Plaza (forward/free agent), Sean Bonval (forward/Central FC), Jabari Mitchel (forward/Police FC), Brent Sam (forward/Defence Force)
Terence Fenwick (head coach), Derek King (assistant coach), Kelvin Jack (assistant/goalkeeper coach), Sion Cain (masseuse), Joseph Rooplal (physiotherapist), Akash Dhanai (doctor), Michael Williams (equipment manager), Shaun Fuentes (media officer), Clyde Thompson (logistics coordinator), Adrian Romain (team manager)