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Waldrum twist: T&T women start W/Cup push minus US coach

The Trinidad and Tobago national women’s team will start its Canada 2015 World Cup campaign on Wednesday night at the Hasely Crawford Stadium without its 52-year-old American head coach Randy Waldrum.

Instead, Waldrum’s 33-year-old son, Ben Waldrum, will run the Trinidad and Tobago squad in his father’s place when the host nation kicks off against St Kitts and Nevis from 7.15 pm in the second game of a Caribbean Cup double header in Port of Spain.

Photo: Houston Dash and Trinidad and Tobago national senior women's team coach Randy Waldrum. (Courtesy ESPN)
Photo: Houston Dash and Trinidad and Tobago national senior women’s team coach Randy Waldrum.
(Courtesy ESPN)

Team manager Vernetta Flanders explained that Waldrum, who has supposedly offered his services for free for the Caribbean Cup, was forced to remain in Texas due to a rescheduled fixture for his employer, Houston Dash. He is expected to join the squad before the women face Antigua and Barbuda on Friday night.

Flanders said the younger Waldrum, who is a youth team coach at MLS club FC Dallas, was present at the squad’s training camp in Houston and is familiar with the players.

Trinidad and Tobago women’s captain Maylee Attin-Johnson left no doubt as to the importance of the inaugural Caribbean Cup tournament to her squad as she addressed the media today.

KFC Munch Pack

The top four Caribbean teams will advance to the CONCACAF Women’s Championship in the United States this October; and three automatic spots and a World Cup play-off berth are at stake there.

It means that, for the first time, five CONCACAF teams can get to the World Cup finals. And Trinidad and Tobago intends to be one of them.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago 2013 Women's Player of the Year Seattle Reign FC Reserve forward Kennya Cordner (centre) weaves her way past two Emerald City defenders in Women's Premier Soccer League action in the US. Cordner will be in action in Port of Spain this week. (Courtesy Goalwa)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago 2013 Women’s Player of the Year Seattle Reign FC Reserve forward Kennya Cordner (centre) weaves her way past two Emerald City defenders in Women’s Premier Soccer League action in the US.
Cordner will be in action in Port of Spain this week.
(Courtesy Goalwa)

“This (tournament) is new to the Caribbean and each team is looking forward to it,” said the 28-year-old T&T captain. “We realise this is our best chance to qualify out of CONCACAF…”

The stylish, composed playmaker urged local football fans to come out and support the women. Tickets cost $20 for the group stage matches and $50 for the final.

“We believe we are the number one team in the Caribbean, so the target is on our back,” said Attin-Johnson. “We are going to hold ourselves accountable and do everything we can to come out with the Cup…

“We hope you are the instruments to our orchestra. So we hope you come out and give us 100 percent support.”

Attin-Johnson and teammates Rhea Belgrave, Karen Forbes and Arin King represented Trinidad and Tobago at today’s Caribbean Cup media launch along with team captains from the other competing nations.

The Trinidad and Tobago players were the only ones in the room with no logos or identifying marks, which showed what nation they represented.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago players Maylee Attin-Johnson (front row: second from left), Karen Forbes (centre) and Arin King (second from right) pose with their Caribbean rivals at the media launch today. The Trinidad and Tobago players were the only ones without shirt monograms. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago players Maylee Attin-Johnson (front row: second from left), Karyn Forbes (centre) and Arin King (second from right) pose with their Caribbean rivals at the media launch today.
The Trinidad and Tobago players were the only ones without shirt monograms.
(Courtesy Wired868)

The Caribbean Cup tournament did have the grandest of starts either as its media launch started 27 minutes late and no Caribbean Football Union (CFU) officials or Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) executive members turned up.

The Local Organising Committee co-chairmen Raymond Tim Kee, who is also Port of Spain mayor and TTFA president, and Neville Ferguson were both absent along with TTFA general secretary Sheldon Phillips.

LOC member Richard Piper and match commissioner Sharon O’Brien chaired the meeting in their absences.

The Trinidad and Tobago women would be accustomed to such disorganisation. They were roughly two weeks late for their pre-tournament in camp in Houston as the TTFA struggled to raise the money for tickets and visa applications.

Assistant coach Marlon Charles and four of their players never got to Houston due to passport or visa issues and Attin-Johnson empathised with the players who, through no fault of their own, never got the chance to stake a claim to play in the Caribbean Cup.

She singled out teammate Natasha St Louis, the younger sister of veteran Tasha St Louis, who was devastated after failing to join the pre-tournament camp.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago captain Maylee Attin-johnson (second from left) and Arin King (second from right) pose during the team's pre-tournament camp in Houston. (Courtesy TTFA Media)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago players (from left) Rhea Belgrave, Maylee Attin-Johnson, Kimika Forbes, Arin King and Karyn Forbes pose during the team’s pre-tournament camp in Houston.
(Courtesy TTFA Media)

“That situation was unfortunate and I know Natasha (St Louis) was very disappointed,” she said. “I told her the CONCACAF competition is the most important one and she still has a chance for that… I understand her frustration and I just told her to keep her head up.”

Another absentee was 19-year-old striker Anique Walker, who is a former 2010 Under-17 World Cup player and an ex-national youth team captain. Walker explained that her Caribbean Cup ambitions were doused after a college versus country tussle with her new school, the University of West Florida.

“My college coach didn’t want to release me because he wanted me there for preseason and I would not have gotten I20 visa,” Walker told Wired868. “Jinelle James tried to negotiate for me but he wasn’t answering the calls… It is really unfortunate because, before I signed for the school, I spoke to him and he said I could (play in the Caribbean Cup). But after I signed he changed his story.

“I don’t want to start off my college experience with a bad name…”

Despite the setbacks, Attin-Johnson said the senior team is enthusiastic about representing Trinidad and Tobago and is anxious to do well after a three year absence from international duty.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national captain Maylee Attin-Johnson (left) has a word with teenaged striker Anique Walker (centre) during a previous function. (Courtesy SPORTT)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national captain Maylee Attin-Johnson (left) has a word with teenaged striker Anique Walker (centre) during a previous function.
(Courtesy SPORTT)

“We haven’t played a competitive international since the Pan American Games in 2011,” the national captain told Wired868. “We are unranked by FIFA now because more than 18 months passed since our last game… So we have to deal with that first.”

Attin-Johnson credited Waldrum for his input with the team in Houston and said he was an astute coach.

“Randy has a very high football IQ and his knowledge is vast,” she said. “We had some quality training sessions and I think we learned some new things.”

Hopefully, Ben Waldrum will prove to be just as useful on Wednesday night.

Whoever runs the bench, the national women hope to have hundreds of supporters in the stands urging them on to success.

(Trinidad and Tobago women’s team)

T&T: 1.Kimika Forbes, 2.Ayanna Russell, 3.Lauryn Hutchinson, 4.Rhea Belgrave, 5.Arin King, 6.Taylor Mims, 7.Dernelle Mascall, 8.Afiyah Matthias, 9.Maylee Attin-Johnson (captain), 10.Tasha St Louis, 11.Janine Francois, 13.Shenelle Henry, 14.Karyn Forbes, 15.Patrice Superville, 16.Jo-Marie Lewis, 18.Annalis Cummings, 19.Kennya Cordner, 20.Tinesha Palmer, ?-Khadidra Debesette, 24.Mariah Shade.


2014 Caribbean Cup fixtures

(August 19)

Jamaica v Puerto Rico, 5 pm, Group A, Ato Boldon Stadium;

Haiti v Bermuda, 7.15 pm, Group A, Ato Boldon Stadium;

(August 20)

Antigua and Barbuda v Martinique, 5 pm, Group B, Hasely Crawford Stadium;

Trinidad and Tobago v St Kitts, 7.15 pm, Group B, Hasely Crawford Stadium;

(August 21)

Bermuda v Jamaica, 5 pm, Group A, Ato Boldon Stadium;

Puerto Rico v Haiti, 7.15 pm, Group A, Ato Boldon Stadium;

(August 22)

St Kitts and Nevis v Martinique, 5 pm, Group B, Hasely Crawford Stadium;

Trinidad and Tobago v Antigua, 7.15 pm, Group B, Hasely Crawford Stadium;

(August 23)

Bermuda v Puerto Rico, 4 pm, Group A, Ato Boldon Stadium;

Haiti v Jamaica, 6.15 pm, Group A, Ato Boldon Stadium;

(August 24)

St Kitts v Antigua and Barbuda, 4 pm, Group B, Hasely Crawford Stadium;

Trinidad and Tobago v Martinique, 7.15 pm, Group B, Hasely Crawford Stadium;

(August 26)

Runner-Up A v Runner-Up B, 5 pm, Third-place Play Off, Hasely Crawford Stadium;

Winner A v Winner B, 7.15 pm, Caribbean Cup Final, Hasely Crawford Stadium.

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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  1. BTW – Marlon Charles IS the reason those girls are where they are today. It’s Marlon’s commitment to women’s football development that keeps the various national programs going. Over the years, he has been the guy. Shabazz had the senior team – it’s Marlon that has been pumping players. Is it insulting that u send ur son for two games when u have a very able assistant coach? Yeah it is but it is characteristic of the culture of this country.

  2. I was told that Marlon Charles has a UEFA B license and a whole lot more international experience.

  3. 2 words… MICKEY MOUSE….. carry on

  4. Yes Savitri. They are hoping we don’t notice.

  5. BTW, it is expected that this team will do well. They’ve consistently done well at this level and to some extent at Concacaf. Most of the players have played or are currently playing in the US collegiate system, while Tasha won a US women’s championship with the NJ Wildcats in the past and Ya Ya and Kimica Forbes are both attached to WPL reserve teams. So i’m not a pessimist, just appalled and what is happening with the National Team.

  6. The guy is listed as a coach on FC Dallas’s youth team and his profile reveals he coaches or coached the 99 & 00 teams. These are children born in 1999 and 2000, so essentially he is a U14 girls team coach and he possesses a USSF B license. I know a few Trinis that posses USSF A licenses so go figure.

  7. ^^ heyyy!!! i could send my son!!! de hell!

  8. The coach can’t come so he does the next best thing, sends his son. Who the arse appointed his son coach of a T&T National Football Team. This is what occurs in minor leagues. I guarantee you, no T&T national would be allowed to do that.

  9. But Lasana, they were also part of the “old guard”

  10. Thanks for all d comments! hope some more fans come out bc of it! Lol!! And hope all d folk with vested interest in sport work together for its improvement!! Have a great evening folks!!

  11. but that ain what this is about. this is about CORRUPTION and MALFEASANCE as THE NORMATIVE behaviour of the TTFA

  12. i spoke with Lewis on my show as well bro, and we discussed the length and breath of the TTOC in its role as mentor and leading T&T NSOs in admin development. we talked about professionalism at the admin level and the essential difference between professional staff and professional behaviour from volunteers.

  13. Still shaking my head. No getting through to this one Lasana. You just keep telling it as it is. We have your back.

  14. More opportunities not participation d ttoc stated that earlier this year! U are a journalist check d general secretary comment or raw sport as joel villafana looked at d issue

  15. And good PR will not get sponsors because 1. most sponsors don’t do anything unless there is something in it for them. 2. They are quite right to think like that, is a company not a charity and 3. Most NSOs have not a freaking clue how to go about attracting sponsorship and still have this begging mentality.

  16. Gordon, looking the other way and trying to write only about the good is the type of thinking that allowed people like Jack Warner and Anil Roberts to get to where they are.
    I can’t and won’t do it. When there is good to be written I will say it. But I won’t not write on something that is happening so that it can make the product seem better.
    (And we are really assuming there that the private sector and fans are easily duped)

  17. We started getting fans again when Hart took over as Men’s senior coach and we reached the quarters in the Gold Cup also the two friendlies against Jamaica. The match in Trinidad was well attended and drew a sizeable crowd and the games we played against Argentina and Iran showed us there was some light on the horizon but i suspect Hart will throw his arms up in the air sooner or later with all the sh.. that going down with the TTFA. SMDH!!

  18. The problem with most sponsors is that they only want to come on board after you have achieved. Getting them to come on board before the fact is like pulling teeth.

  19. Gordon Pierre the media in Trinidad has a very twisted idea of what their job description is. Media is not mean to be PR. Media workers should know because they get nowhere near the salary of someone doing PR. The next problem trinidad has is that they have this lovely idea that bullshit should be covered and sugar coated. The other problem trinis have is that they only see what they want to see and not what is quite obviously right there infront their eyes. 1. Lasana does not only write negative 2. the negative also needs to be written, because the same team you asking for positivity for is the same team that crying and begging for their story to be heard. I experience this same crap with CWESN. Everybody wants you to promote them until it hits home and you say something bad about them. Well, unless you point out the bad, there will never be good, because everyone will still be rolling around in shit thinking its daffodils. I urge Lasana to keep up the good work, because at some point, some of us have to forget what the majority thinks and do what is right.

  20. LESS girls??? madness gordo. that is not what i’m seeing at all. there are MUCH MORE opportunities for females in T&T sport in the last two decades. the growth has been phenomenal! cycling, women’s cricket, T&F, volleyball, hockey—and football!!!. it’s only the sports with bacchanal that are dying! (lasana…do something on netball nah hoss…)

  21. Agreed lasana my brother! But in this part of d woods we have to b builders! Not for ourselves but for d 30000 youths both male and female who live differently with d dream of representing their country!! We are either part of the problem or solution!! Love and respect my brother!!

  22. you cannot sell horse racing if all we seeing is the pile of horse crap. football (NFL and NCAA) was pre-recorded with only TWO live games on national broadcast (NFL) and ONE (NCAA) per week only a couple decades ago.
    a couple decades ago T&T Strike Squad was filling up the stadium for home games. what happened since then? come nah man Gordo, we all love the game, but we all hate the BS

  23. Lasana give it up . You dealing with a brick wall here.

  24. Yea peter! Was just making a point about sponsor not down playing track and field! Also was talking flag shiping women in sport bc it is prove that less and less females are participating in sport across d board1

  25. It is good to have this talk though Gordon Pierre. The media’s role is to inform and not to promote.
    It is good when the media has success stories to highlight. But we can’t look the other way when things are going around, particularly when those things are negatively affecting players and coaches.

  26. Taye u do not sell elite u sell particiption and eyes thats y NFL is
    An 9 billion a year industry when all sports not just football understands this they will get sponsors its about creating excitement and awareness! Positve vibes please my media brothers!!!

  27. Gordon do you realise that Track and Field relay “TEAMS” have been bringing continuous glory to this country at World Championships (Youth, Jr, Snr) and the Olympics over the last 14 years.