After a rough start to the final round of World Cup qualifying, Trinidad and Tobago fired manager Stephen Hart and hired Tom Saintfiet. The new boss has made a big change in his first national team squad since taking the job, dropping captain Kenwyne Jones. Adding more speed in the attack was the reason cited for the change.
The Atlanta United forward, who has been on loan to Central FC in his homeland, will not be part of the national squad that faces Nicaragua on December 27 and 31. The team faces Suriname and Haiti in Gold Cup playoff matches on January 4 and 8.
Saintfiet’s tenure has gotten off to a rocky start after a public battle with Jones’ club Central FC over releasing players for training camp. Central has been reluctant to let players leave for the national team in midst of a busy league schedule.
Lasana Liburd reported that Saintfiet informed Jones of the decision very soon after taking the job. Saintfiet told Liburd:
“I had a personal meeting with Kenwyne last week and I discussed privately with him the reason why we took that decision.”
Jones’ performances with Central and Atlanta United will determine whether he is recalled to the squad, according to Saintfiet. Orlando City’s Kevin Molino was recalled to the squad after being suspended by former manager Hart.