The Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Senior Team will face Guyana at the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet on 12 April in their potentially decisive Concacaf W Championship qualifying affair.
The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) announced the venue today in a media statement on head coach Kenwyne Jones’ 23-member squad for the upcoming qualifiers. No reason was given for the switch from the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain.
The Dwight Yorke Stadium seats roughly 9,000 patrons while the Hasely Crawford venue holds over 20,000.
The Port-of-Spain venue was half-full on 29 March when the Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana men’s teams played to a 1-1 draw in the Courts Caribbean Classic but the Women Soca Warriors have generally played before smaller crowds—since the high of a packed Hasely Crawford Stadium in 2014, when they faced Ecuador in a Fifa World Cup Play-off contest.
A trip to Tobago during the Easter school vacation may pose logistical issues for Trinidadian sport fans; however, it is a rare chance for Tobagonians to see competitive international football action. And while there are no Tobago-born players in the current Men’s National Senior Team roster, the spine of the Women Soca Warriors hails from the ‘Sister Isle’.
Women Warriors captain Karyn Forbes, her sister and star goalkeeper Kimika Forbes and playmaker Asha James are all from Tobago and in Jones’ 23-member squad.
Notably missing, again, is the country’s most prolific goalscorer, Kennya ‘Yaya’ Cordner, who is currently playing professionally in Turkey with Fenerbahce.
Earlier this year, the 33-year-old Cordner, who is the TTFA’s 2021 Women’s Player of the Year, withdrew from the national team in protest after her teammate Maylee Attin-Johnson and coach Jones fell out and parted ways. And Jones and Cordner are yet to make up.
The Women Warriors coach did make four changes to his squad for the W Championship qualifiers against the Turks and Caicos Islands and Guyana, though.
Winger Kaydeen Jack and defenders Abishai Guy and Meyah Romeo are all omitted from the team, which defeated Nicaragua and Dominica last month. In their places, Jones called up versatile University of Georgia defender Shadi Cecily Stoute, Portugal-based defender Chelsi Jadoo and promoted national under-20 players Sarah De Gannes and Aaliyah Trim.
Trim, a FC Ginga attacker, was a particularly surprising choice as she featured for just five minutes in the entire Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship—Trinidad and Tobago lost all three games in the tournament, with two goals scored and 15 conceded.
Jones might think he saw an attribute in Trim that he can use at senior level, which Spence failed to spot at the junior stage.
At present, Guyana lead the group with six points and a goal difference of +11, while Trinidad and Tobago have a goal difference of +3 to go with their six points. However, that could change on 9 April when the Women Warriors travel to Turks and Caicos, who have so far conceded 26 goals in the qualifying series—after losing 7-0 to Guyana and 19-0 to Nicaragua.
The Guyana women host Nicaragua on 8 April.
The results of those fixtures will determine if Trinidad and Tobago are in a must-win situation on 12 April, or if they can celebrate with a draw—as their male counterparts did on Tuesday.
The Concacaf W Championship will decide the qualifiers for the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup and the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
At present, Jones is training his local-based players in preparation for the qualifying matches next month.
(Trinidad and Tobago team)
Goalkeepers: Kimika Forbes (Unattached), Tenesha Palmer (Police FC), K’lil Keshwar (St Francis College—USA),
Defenders: Victoria Swift (Club Leon—Mexico), Rhea Belgrave (Police FC), Shaunalee Govia (Unattached), Chelsi Jadoo (Valadares Gaia FC—Portugal), Shadi Cecily Stoute (University of Georgia—USA), Liana Hinds (Hibernian—Scotland), Kedie Johnson (FIU—USA),
Midfielders: Lauryn Hutchinson (Unattached), Karyn Forbes (Police FC), Shani Nakhid-Schuster (Unattached), Amaya Ellis (Johns Hopkins University—USA), Chelcy Ralph (Ball State University—USA), Sarah De Gannes (Brewton-Parker College—USA), Asha James (West Texas A&M University—USA),
Forwards: Raenah Campbell (Avantes Chadlkida FC—Greece), Cayla Mc Farlane (Harvard University—USA), Dennecia Prince (Point Fortin), Maya Matouk (Police FC), Maria-Frances Serrant (Corban University—USA), Aaliyah Trim (FC Ginga).
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