Trinidad and Tobago’s senior national women’s team head-coach Randy Waldrum says the Soca Princesses will enter the Caribbean Cup finals in an attacking frame of mind when they face off with St Kitts/Nevis from 7.15 p.m. at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. The game is the second of a double-header which will also see Antigua-Barbuda facing Martinique in the first game at 5 pm.
American Waldrum completed a training camp with the squad in Houston, Texas, last weekend, and expects that captain Maylee Attin-Johnson and her teammates will be firing on all cylinders against the Kittitians.
“We want to take on a very attacking mentality right from the opening game. I love attacking football, and feel that we have the personnel to play in this manner throughout the CFUs. There will be times later on when we have to drop deeper and play off the counter, but at the CFUs we’ll want to attack our opponents,” Waldrum told TTFA Media on Monday night.
Waldrum is winding up his season with the Houston Dash, an American professional team, and will rejoin the T&T squad for its second match against Antigua-Barbuda on Friday. Waldrum said he is quite pleased with the composition of the squad, which includes seven North American-based players. In his absence, assistant-coach Marlon Charles will lead the team in tonight’s encounter.
“Overall I’m pretty happy with the squad I selected. They are certainly the best 20 that are available to us right now. I think there were some good players left off the squad that simply are not fit enough at the moment, but I’ll work with them after the CFUs to improve this.
‘’So there are some players not selected who may ultimately be in the CONCACAF qualifiers, and there are some players who were not available for selection at this time with their respective clubs, etc. The good thing is the roster evolves and it will help to keep all the players in the mood to fight for their positions on the roster, and that is when you make improvements,” Waldrum continued.
Seattle Sounders prolific forward Kennya Cordner will lead the T&T attack with Tasha St Louis. Boston Breakers goalkeeper Kimika Forbes is also in the mix along with the likes of Dernelle Mascal of Texas Gulf Coast, Canadian-born defender Arin King, Rhea Belgrave of West Texas University, and Lauryn Hutchinson of Richmond United.
Former national under-20 captain Mariah Shade of Petrotrin is also in the squad. Local midfielder Khadesha Debesette has been ruled out by injury and her spot is taken by US-based winger Taylor Mims. Talented forward Jo Marie Lewis of St Ann’s Rangers has also made the cut.
Waldrum added that there are some more aspects of T&T’s game that needs working on but the main focus is to qualify from the CFU finals for the CONCACAF final round in the US towards the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada next year. “The important thing now is to qualify through the CFU’s, and then we’ll have more time to hone in on these various elements of our game.”
Admission is $20 on all matchdays in the group stage. Tickets can be bought at the venue on game day.
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO SQUAD:
Goalkeepers: 1. Kimika Forbes (Boston Breakers Boston reserves/USA); 20.Tinesha Palmer (St Ann Rangers)
Defenders: 4.Rhea Belgrave (West Texas University), 5 Arin King(GS United/ Canada), 2 Ayanna Russell (Malick FC) ; 3 Lauryn Hutchinson (Richmond United/ USA); 20 Khadidra Debesette (La Brea Angels) 8. Afiyah Matthias (Civic Pioneers), 15.Patrice Superville (St Ann Rangers) 18. Annalis Cummings (St Ann Rangers),
Midfielders: 9- Maylee Attin Jonhson (Captain/Unattached; 10.Tasha St Louis (Civic Pioneers); 14 Karyn Forbes (Civic Pioneers); 11.Janine Francois (Real Dimension) , 7 Dernelle Mascall (Texas Gulf Coast).
Strikers: 19. Kennya Cordner (Seatle Sounders/USA), 16. Joe Marie Lewis (St Ann Rangers), 24. Mariah Shade (Petrotrin), 13. Shenelle Henry (Real Dimension), 6.Taylor Mims Virginia/USA)