Friday, October 13, 2023

Trinidad and Tobago All-Time Team

 This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

World Cup 2006
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

The Trinidad and Tobago national football team, nicknamed the "Soca Warriors", represents the twin-island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in international football. It is controlled by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association, which is a member of CONCACAF (the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football), the Caribbean Football Union (CFU), and the global jurisdiction of FIFA.

The national team competes in the World Cup, Gold Cup, and the Nations League, as well as other competitions by invitation. The Soca Warriors' lone appearance at the FIFA World Cup came in 2006, after the team defeated Bahrain 2–1 on aggregate in the CONCACAF–AFC intercontinental play-off. The team has qualified for the CONCACAF Gold Cup on 18 occasions with their best performance in 2000, after reaching the semi-finals, finishing third. However, the national team did experience great success at the defunct Caribbean Cup, having won the sub-continental competition ten times and runners-up on seven occasions.

"Strike Squad" 1989

GK: Shaka Hislop 
Born in the Great Britain, he represented Trinidad and Tobago at the youth level.  However, in 1998, he accepted a callup by England, but was an unused substitute.  A year later, he again switched back to T&T.  He represented them at the 2006 World Cup Finals.  For his club career, he was a part of the Newcastle United team which finished second in the Premier League for two successive seasons.  He also played for Portsmouth and West Ham.
Shaka Hislop
Phillips played forTrinidad and Tobago from 1963 to 1967, and with them won a bronze medal in the 1967 Pan American Games. In the USA, he played Washington Darts in 1969. That year he was the ASL's Coach of the Year and made the All-Star Team, while leading the team to the ASL Championship. In 1970, the team moved to the NASL and he was the league's top goalkeeper, setting NASL records for consecutive shutouts and consecutive minutes without allowing a goal, and made the All-Star Team again.

Ince began with Defense Force at home.  He had lengthy spells in the English Football League at Crewe Alexandra and Walsall. He was selected on the PFA Team of the Year: 2006–07 Football League Two.  He is his country's most capped goalkeeper with 79 caps for Trinidad and Tobago between 1994 and 2009.  He was Shaka Hislop's backup at the 2006 World Cup Finals. 

RB: Justin Hoyte 
Justin Hoyte previously played for English clubs Arsenal, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Millwall and Dagenham & Redbridge. His longest stint was with Middlesbrough. Hoyte was born in England. As an international, he represented England up to under-21 level.  He rejected a call up to play for Trinidad and Tobago for the 2006 World Cup Finals, but he started to play for them at senior level in 2013.  Between 2013 and 2016, he had 18 caps. His parents were both British sprinters.

Edwards started his career in Trinidad and Tobago before moving to Wrexham in 2000 for whom he made over 150 appearances. He went on to play for Luton Town, Sunderland, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Ipswich Town and Millwall. He also made over 90 appearances for the Trinidad and Tobago.  He was a member of their 2006 World Cup team.  He was named on the PFA Team of the Year three times in three different division

Dennis Lawrence signed for Wrexham in 2001, joining from Defence Force at home. He stayed until 2006 when he signed for Swansea City. He later played for Crewe Alexandra. From 2000 to 2010, he played 101 times for T&T.   He was awarded the MVP (Most Valuable Player) award at the 2001 Caribbean Cup, which Trinidad and Tobago won. He scored the goal against Bahrain that awarded Trinidad and Tobago a ticket to the 2006 World Cup Finals.  He also played every minute at the World Cup Finals.
Dennis Lawrence
CB: Marvin Andrews 
Andrews's career includes spells at Livingston, with whom he won the Scottish League Cup in 2004, and Rangers, where he won the double of the League Cup and the Scottish Premier League title in 2005. Most recently he played for Scottish League Two club Clyde. Between 1996 and 2006 Andrews was a regular for the Trinidad and Tobago national football team, winning 99 caps up to that point.

De La Bastide known as the "Tank".  He was a member of the first ever T&T national team to participate in a World Cup qualifying competition for the 1966 World Cup Finals. In 1959, the former Maple great was also part of the T&T contingent of players on a Caribbean team to tour England.  He was T&T Footballer of the Year in 1968 and was inducted into the T&T Sports Hall of Fame in 1987.

In his club career, Claton Morris played for Aviation Services Limited (1983), ECM Motown (1982), St. Ann's Rangers, Trintoc and United Petrotrin. He also played in the USISL where he was named the Atlantic Division Defender of the Year in 1994.  Between 1983 and 1992, he was capped 36 times by Trinidad and Tobago.  He was the captain of the "Strike Squad" that nearly qualified for the 1990 World Cup Finals. He was elected into Trinidad & Tobago's Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.
Clayton Morris
Jones' career began with W Connection in 2009. In 2014, he was loaned to HJK Helsinki. Jones then moved to Major League Soccer side Chicago Fire for the 2015 season before spending the 2016 and 2017 seasons with Seattle Sounders FC. He joined German 2. Bundesliga club Darmstadt in 2018. He later returned to Seattle Sounders FC on 7 May 2019. Between 2010 and now, he had 97 caps.

CB/DM/LB: Jlloyd Samuel 
Samuel played in the Premier League for both Aston Villa and Bolton Wanderers earlier in his career having come through the Charlton Athletic youth academy.  Between 1999 and 2007, he played with Aston Villa. He had a spell playing in Iran.  Between 2007 and 2011, he played with Bolten Wanderers. He represented England at U-18, U-20, and U-23 level before switching to play for T&T at the senior level in 2009.  He as only capped twice for T&T. 

Khaleem Hyland began his career in 2007 with San Juan Jabloteh at home.  He was unable to obtain a work permit to play with Portsmouth in England.  He ended up in Belgium on loan, but later joined Zulte Waregrm and Genk.  In 2017, he moved to Saudi Arabia.  He first played for Al Faisaly and then, Al-Batin. Since 2008, he played over 90 times for T&T. He scored his first goal against Jamaica.

CM/RM: Chris Birchall 
From 2001 to 2006, Birchall played for Port Vale.  He spent some time with Coventry City before moving to the MLS in 2009.  In 2013, he returned to Port Vale. In 2005, he started to play for T&T after discovering some Trinidad blood in him.  He became the first white player to play for them in 60 years.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 2006.  In total, he had 44 caps between 2005 and 2013.

CM: Russell Latapy 
Latapy left T&T in 1990 to play professional football in Europe. He first signed for Académica de Coimbra in Portugal. In 1994, he joined FC Porto under Bobby Robson. He became the first Trinidadian to play in the UEFA Champions League. Later, he played in Scotland for a number of clubs.  His longest stint was with Falkirk FC. For the national team, he played 81 times between 1988 and 2008. He was a member of "Strike Squad". In 2006, he went to the World Cup Finals with T&T.
Russell Latapy
AM: Everald Cummings 
Cummings started with Paragon. In 1967, he joined the Atlanta Chiefs in the NASL.  In 1972, he signed with the NY Cosmos, winning the championship with them the same year.  He moved to Veracruz in Mexico in 1974 until 1976. He also played with the Boston Minutemen in 1977. He later played indoor football in the United States.  The T&T  almost qualified for the 1974 World Cup Finals. He was named T&T Sportsman of the Year in 1973 and Most Valuable Player during the World Cup Qualification Preliminary Series.

Most of his career has been spent in his homeland in the TT Pro League but Dwarika has also had stints in Europe with Scottish side East Fife and Asia with Chinese clubs Qingdao Hailifeng and Guangzhou Pharmaceutical. Between 1993 and 2008, he played 73 times for T&T.  He was the Caribbean Footballer of the Year in 1999 as well as winning T&T Player of the Year 3 times.
Eve started with Joe Public of Trinidad in 1993. He later played for Defense Force and a short career in England with Chester City in the 1999-2000 season. He made his debut for the Trinidad and Tobago in 1994. With 117 caps, he is his country's most capped players. He retired from international football after not being considered for the Trinidad and Tobago squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

In 1967, Archibald signed with the New York Generals in the USA. Archibald left the NASL at this point and may have then played for San Luis F.C. in Mexico and Victory Sportif Club in Haiti before signing with the Washington Darts of the NASL in 1970. Archibald was voted NASL MVP and a first team All Star that year.  He also played for Rochester Lancers. He was capped 15 times between 1968 and 1974.  T&T almost qualified for the 1974 World Cup Finals with him as a star player.
Warren Archibald
FW/RWF: Levi Garcia 
Levi García began his career in 2013, at the age of 15, with T&TEC. Garcia signed with AZ Alkmaar of the Eredivisie in 2015. He then moved to play in Israel.  After spending two years in Israel, García moved to AEK Athens in 2020. In Greece, he was considered a top player.  For Soca Warriors, he earned his first cap in 2016. He scored two goals on his debut.  

Jones began his career with Joe Public. He moved to W Connection in 2002.  In 2004, he joined Southampton, where he was converted to a striker. He was later played with several English clubs, but besides Southampton, he was remembered for his career with Sunderland, where he was their Player of the Year.  Between 2003 and 2017, he was capped 91 times for Soca Warriors.  He went to the 2006 World Cup Finals.  He was T&T Player of the Year in 2007.

Stern John made his name with Colombus Crew before heading to England in 1999.  In England, he played for Nottingham Forest, Birmingham City, Coventry City, Derby County, Sunderland, Southampton, Bristol City, Crystal Palace and Ipswich Town.  Between 1995 and 2011, he played 115 times for T&T.  He is their all-time leading scorer with 70 goals. He was also the 7th highest international goalscorer at the time of his retirement in 2011. He is also the all-time top CONCACAF goal scorer.
Stern John
David began his career with Police in Trinidad and Tobago. In 1974, he joined Miami Toros in the North American Soccer League. He was named the 1975 NASL MVP.  He later played with Los Angeles Aztecs, Detroit Express, California Surf and San Jose Earthquakes. He finished his NASL career as the league's 8th all-time leading scorer with 228 points in 175 games, including a 7th best tally of 100 goals.  He was capped 16 times and was a member of the 1973 WC qualifying team.

ST: Dwight Yorke 
York was best remembered for his stint with Manchester United.  In 1998-199 season, Manchester United won the triple (the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Champions' League), where he was both the top scorer in the Premiership and the Champions' League. Along with Russell Latapy and Pat Jennings, Yorke holds the record number of participations in different World Cup competitions, including qualifying stages – six in total (1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010). He had 72 caps in total.
Dwight Yorke
 Squad Explanation
Michael Maurice, Gerald Figeroux, Kevin Barclay, Earl Carter, John Granville , Ivor Hart, Cax Baptiste, Jan-Michael Williams, Marvin Phillip, Brent Sancho,  Avery John, Ramon Moraldo, Selris Figaro, Selwyn Murren,  Richard Chinapoo, Brian Williams, Denil Theobald, David Nakhid, Leroy Spann, Alvin Corneal, Delbert Charleau, Carlton Franco, Silvio Spann, Leo Brewster, Leroy DeLeon, John Cyril Sutherland, Sammy Llewellyn, Cornell Glen, Leonson Lewis, Alf Charles, Shay Seymour, Joseph Daniel, Neville Douglas, Leroy Deleon.

Squad Explanation
-- Dwight Yorke (T&T) has a successful career in the English Premiership.  He is the most famous player from T&T.  Shaka Hislop and Russell Lamptey were also undisputed selection for this team.  Kenwyne Jones, Stern John, Warren Archibald and Everald Cummings were the other top footballers from here.
-- This might be my most difficult research for my All-Time national teams.  There were plenty of English language materials on the internet for football in Trinidad and Tobago, but they were not specific enough.  I found a very good source over here, but it lacked details.  And it was hard to compare the older players I found here with the modern players.  
-- I focused on players from the NASL and English leagues.  
-- The IFFHS created their All-Time best XI for Trinidad and Tobago.  They were Shaka Hislop, Justin Hoyte, Marvin Andrews, Tyrone de la Bastide, Marvin Faustin, Everald Cummings, Leroy DeLeon, Russell Latapy, Steve David, Dwight Yorke and Warren Archibald.
-- Trinidad & Tobago finally qualified for the 2006 World Cup Finals after beating Bahrain in the continental playoff.  Dwight Yorke, Shaka Hislop, Clayton Ince, Russell Latapy, Kenwyne Jones, Carlos Edwards, Dennis Lawrence who went to Germany were selected into this team.
-- In 1967, Trinidad & Tobago enjoyed their first ever successes by winning the bronze medal at the Pan American Games.  The tournament included a famous victory against Argentina during the group stage.  Lincoln Philips was the star for them.  Tyrone de la Bastide was also selected here.
-- At the 1973 CONCACAF Championship, Trinidad and Tobago fell two points short of qualifying for the 1974 World Cup in controversial fashion. Trinidad and Tobago lost a crucial game on 4 December 1973 against hosts Haiti 2–1 after being denied five goals. The referee, José Roberto Henríquez of El Salvador, and Canadian linesman James Higuet were subsequently banned for life by FIFA for the dubious events of the match.  Warren Archibald, Steve David and Everald Cummings made this All-Time team.
-- In 1989, Trinidad & Tobago only needed a draw against the United States on the last match of the World Cup Qualifying campaign to qualify for the 1990 World Cup Finals in Italy.  The Americans ended up winning 1-0, and qualified for their first World Cup Finals since 1950.  The American goal became known as "The Shot heard around the world", and it changed the fortune of US soccer.  The Trinidad team in 1989 was known as "Strike Squad" at the campaign.  I selected Clayton Morris, Dwight Yorke and Russell Latapy. Yorke and Latapy would make it to the 2006 World Cup Finals 17 years later. 
-- Shaka Hislop was not only the greatest ever goalkeeper from this country.  He was probably one of CONCACAFA greatest ever. He had a long and gloried career in England with Newcastle United.
-- Soca Warriors' official website called Lincoln Philips one of their greatest goalkeepers. In the 1967 Pan Am Games, he helped them to beat Argentina 1-0 where T&T finished third. He would then play club football in the United States.  I believed that he was probably the second-best goalkeeper ever from T&T.
Lincoln Philips
-- The third goalkeeper was difficult to choose.  Michael Maurice had some memorial performances during the World Cup Qualifiers for Italia 1990, but he was remembered by Paul Caligiuri's goal in the last match of the campaign that ended T&T's World Cup dream.  Although I did not have enough information on Gerald Figeroux, he seemed highly rated.  He played around the same time as Kevin Barclay.  Barclay also spent time in the NASL around 1974 after a sensational performance during the World Cup Qualifiers.  Earl Carter played with NY Cosmos while Pele was still with the team in 1979.  John Granville was one of the first players from T&T to play in England.  He played about 120 games for Wycombe Wanderers. I came across Ivor Hart who played in the 1920's and 1930's.  His nickname was "Lion in the Cage". Cax Baptiste represented the British Caribbean team on their 1959 tour of England.  Both Jan-Michael Williams and Marvin Phillip was capped 80 times.  In the end, I had no idea how to select.  So I took Clayton Ince because of his experience playing in England.  In England, he played over 200 games for Crewe Alexandra and another 169 games for Walsall.  He was voted into PFA Team of the Year: 2006–07 Football League Two.  He sat behind Shaka Hislop throughout his career on the national team, but still managed to play over 70 times for T&T.  In the 2006 World Cup Finals, he was behind both Hislop and Kevin Jack.  Jack was injury prone, and his career was affected by it.  I did not put him on honorable mentions
-- Dennis Lawrence won the 2003–04 Wrexham's Player of the Season award. He has also become the first Wrexham player to play at a World Cup Finals.  He also played over 90 times for his country. Then, I selected Marvin Andrews who had over 100 caps.  He was also on IFFHS's Dream Team for T&T.  Clayton Morris was the captain of the "Strike Squad".  He was listed as a defender only by information I found on the internet, but not his specific position.  I actually watched the World Cup Qualifier between the United States and T&T for a better understanding of his position.  He played as a centreback.  He was very active after his retirement from football.  Much information emerged about his post-playing careers. I might have been affected by them.  Nevertheless, he seemed to be an influential player in his time.
-- Daneil Cyrus was capped 90 times, but his club career was more of a journeyman.  He spent time playing in Vietnam and India. Ian Cox was well-known because he played in England. In AFC Bournemouth, he played alongside Rio Ferdinand, but his career was limited. With just 16 caps for Soca Warriors, I did not consider him nor Cyrus.
-- Justin Hoyte only played 18 times for the Soca Warriors, and that was the reason why kept him from being undisputed on this team. However, his club career in England was among the greatest ever from T&T making him one of the more famous players from this Island nation. So I had to take him. Carlos Edwards had some Premiership experiences with Sunderland, but mainly played in the lower division.  He was named on the PFA Team of the Year three times in three different division, but not on the Premiership. Brent Sancho was famous due to Peter Crouch pulling on his dreadlock during the World Cup match between England and T&T, in which Crouch scored in the 1-0 victory.  I put him on honorable mention.
Carlos Edwards
-- On the left, I sided with IFFHS and took Tyrone de la Bastide.  However, they listed him as a central defender, but Soca Warriors' official website listed him as a leftback. He was T&T Footballer of the Year in 1968 and was inducted into the T&T Sports Hall of Fame in 1987. The IFFHS selected Marvin Faustin as their leftback. He was a younger member of the "Strike Squad" from the late 1980's, but I had no idea what else he did. He spent his domestic career in the region. So I took Joevin Jones instead. His club career took him to MLS and Bundesliga 2. He had 90 caps. Avery John of the 2006 World Cup team was seriously considered. He made honorable mention. Jlloyd Samuel also played as a leftback.
-- I did not feel comfortable with my selections of defenders. The Soca Warriors had a list of greatest players on their website. It listed many defenders, but I had very limited information on them. They tended to be older players. Both Ramon Moraldo and Selris Figaro played in the NASL during the 1970's. Richard Chinapoo also spent two seasons with NY Cosmos in the early 1980's before embarking on a career playing indoor soccer. I also had Brian Williams from the World Cup Qualifying campaign for the 1990 World Cup Finals. Selwyn Murren was from the 1967 Pan Am team. I did not know how to rate them. So I simply put them on honorable mentions.
-- Jlloyd Samuel only played twice for Trinidad and Tobago after he switched his eligibly from England.  I still selected him because he had one of the better club careers than most players from here. He had at least 12 seasons playing in the Premier League. Khaleem Hyland played 94 times for Soca Warriors, but his club career was limited to playing in Belgium. He and Chris Birchall never made it to the Premier League.  Birchall was the first white player to represent T&T in 60 years when he earned his first cap in 2005.  He went onward to play in the 2006 World Cup. Nevertheless, I took both of them over Denil Theobald. Theobald also failed to establish in Europe, but he had 99 international caps. 
-- Everald Cummings and Russell Latapy were considered two of the greatest footballers from here.  Cummings was named the T&T Sportsman of the Year in 1973 as well as being names Most Valuable Player during the World Cup Qualification Preliminary Series.  Latapy became the first Trinidadian to play in the UEFA Champions when he was playing with Porto.  Then, I had to take Angus Eve.  He is the most capped player from Trinidad and Tobago.  Except a brief period with Chester, he never played outside Trinidad and Tobago.
-- Arnold Dwanika starred for T&T at the 2000 Gold Cup where they reached the semifinal.  It was their best ever finish.  He was also T&T Player of the Year three times.
-- Bertrand Grell, who was from the 1967 Pan Am team played in the NASL.  Leon Carpette starred for the famous 1973 World Cup qualifying campaign.  They were put on honorable mention only.
-- Levi Garcia became the youngest professional player from Trinidad and Tobaga playing in Europe.  He already established himself as a star player in Greece. He is a winger/forward.  I came across right winger Rex Burrett.  He was the star of the tour of England by Trinidadian players in 1950. While he was well-respected in his home country, I do not know how to rate him. So, he only made honorable mention.
Levi Garcia
-- Steve David finished his NASL career as the league's 8th all-time leading scorer with 228 points in 175 games.  He was a top player over there when Pele, George Best, Johan Cruyff and Bobby Moore were playing there. I believed that he was a wing forward. He was known for his speed.
-- Leroy Spann who played in the NASL and his son Silvio Spann also made honorable mention.
-- One source named Aldric Baptiste as one of greatest ever footballers from here after Yorke and Lamptey. I did not have enough information about him.  He played in the 1950's.
-- Dwight Yorke was the greatest Trinidadian footballers. The height of his career was spent with Aston Villa and Manchester United.  He was a member of "Strike Squad", but also later played and starred as the veteran on the 2006 World Cup team.  But he actually only scored 19 goals for the national team. Stern John is the all-time leading scorer with 70 goals.  His career in MLS and England spoke for itself.  Both were undisputed on this team.
-- Warren Archibald was as the NASL MVP in 1973.  He was a part of the World Cup Qualifying team that was controversially eliminated in 1973.  He and Kenwyne Jones must also be in the team.  Jones was the most successful Trinidadian forwards playing in England after York and John. He amassed over 100 Premier League games for Sunderland while being named Sunderland Player of the Year for the 2007-2008 season.
Kenwyne Jones
-- Alf Charles came to England from a cricket tour in 1933.  He ended up as a footballer.  He was also the first Black ever to play for Southampton.  However, most of his career was spent out of the English league.  Basically, he was a forgotten man even in Southampton. So I did not award him with a spot for being a pioneer of the game.
-- After a tour of 1953 of the United Kingdom by players from T&T, Shay Seymour signed with Weymouth FC.  Another source said that he played with Bury, but it was not very clear. I left him on honorable mention. Joseph Daniel elected to Trinidad & Tobago's Sports Hall of Fame in 1984.  He played in the 1940's.  I also discovered Neville Douglas who was named in the Trinidad & Tobago's Sports Hall of Fame in 1984.   His son Tony was also a famous player.  Leroy Deleon was first team All-Star in the NASL.  seemed to be the best of the brunch.