Chasing history: Eve optimistic Soca Warriors can down Canada in David vs Goliath Copa America playoff clash

By Sports Desk March 15, 2024
EVE...That would open up a lot of doors for our players EVE...That would open up a lot of doors for our players

Having selected what, he believes to be a formidable squad, Trinidad and Tobago’s Head coach Angus Eve is now hopeful that is Soca Warriors will deliver the goods when the lock horns with Canada in their Copa America playoff encounter in Frisco, Texas, next week.

In fact, Eve would love nothing more than for March 23 to mark another special day in the annals of the twin island republic’s football history by taking the Canadians scalp and, by extension, securing a spot in the prestigious CONMEBOL Copa America.

The winner of the one-off encounter will make a debut appearance at the Copa America tournament, where they will contest group A alongside Chile, Peru and reigning Fifa World Cup champions Argentina. United States, Jamaica, Mexico and Panama are the other Concacaf teams in the tournament.

“We know how important the game is, this would be one of the most prestigious tournaments to go and represent our country in, if we get the victory. (A win) will put us on a different level, on a different map. That would open up a lot of doors for our players,” Eve said during a press conference shortly after naming his 23-player squad.

However, in order to win, Eve is well aware that the first need to defend well to keep the Canadians at bay, and also showcase their attacking prowess.

“We need to defend well—it’s like David against Goliath. It’s top players that they have, so we have to be astute defensively but also offensively. We have to express ourselves so that we can come out with a victory,” Eve declared.

The tactician has included Greece-based brothers, Levi and Judah Garcia in his squad, as both recently signalled a return to form from respective injuries.

“We’re very optimistic of Levi being fit and ready to play. He’s been doing well in [the Greek] League. He’s gone through injuries but we’re very happy to see the form that he’s in. Judah had a back injury and then a groin injury, so he was not available for us. He is back playing, he’s scoring goals, and we think that he can add goals from midfield,” Eve shared.

He also welcomed the return of Atlanta United midfielder Ajani Fortune to the Soca Warriors setup after a series of injuries.

“Ajani had some injuries that affected him, also he was fighting for a place in [his] team. We left him out sometimes by mutual consent, based on injury or a particular situation that was happening at his club,” Eve revealed.

That said, Eve declared that he selected his 23-man squad with a specific skillset in mind.

“[We looked at] the flexibility of the players, players being able to play multiple positions, based on the fact that we may want to change something during the game, and also the level of competition that the players are playing in, at this point in time. Also, giving the players who brought us to this point the opportunity to finish the job,” he ended.

Soca Warriors Squad: Christopher Biggette (Defence Force), Adrian Foncette (Police FC), Denzil Smith (Club Sando FC), Aubrey David (CS Cartagines), Ross Russell Jr (La Horquetta Rangers), Jesse Williams (Chattanooga FC), Robert Primus, Alvin Jones (both Police FC), Andre Raymond (GD Vilar De Perdizes), Shannon Gomez (San Antonio FC), Justin Garcia (Defence Force), Noah Powder (Northern Colorado Hailstorm), Daniel Phillips (St Johnstone FC), Kevon Goddard (Defence Force), Neveal Hackshaw (Oakland Roots), Andre Rampersad (HFX Wanderers), Nathaniel James (Mount Pleasant FA), Kaïlé Auvray ( Mount Pleasant FA), Real Gill (Northern Colorado Hailstorm), Levi Garcia (AEK Athens) Judah Garcia (AEK Athens B), Reon Moore (Pacific FC), Ajani Fortune (Atlanta United).

 

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