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Women Warriors trouble US; before narrow opening loss

Nobody’s laughing anymore.

The Trinidad and Tobago national senior women’s team made some unwelcomed headlines last week when head coach Randy Waldrum, an American native, took to Twitter to request financial assistance for his squad.

But, as the 2014 CONCACAF Championship kicked off in Missouri, the “Women Soca Warriors” came desperately close to biting the hand that fed them with a commendable performance; albeit in a losing effort.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago captain Maylee Attin-Johnson (left) tussles with United States attacker Alex Morgan (centre) while Tasha St Louis looks on in Kansas City. Trinidad and Tobago lost its 2014 CONCACAF opener 1-0. (Courtesy Kyle Rivas/AFP)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago captain Maylee Attin-Johnson (left) tussles with United States attacker Alex Morgan (centre) while Tasha St Louis looks on in Kansas City.
Trinidad and Tobago lost its 2014 CONCACAF opener 1-0.
(Courtesy Kyle Rivas/AFP)

Trinidad and Tobago and the United States, FIFA’s number one ranked team, were tied at 0-0 up until the 54th minute when veteran Abby Wambach, the most prolific scorer in the history of the women’s game, broke the deadlock with a header into an empty net after a cross from teammate Alex Morgan.

It was Wambach’s 171st goal from 225 international outings

Warriors goalkeeper Kimika Forbes had stormed off her line to block Morgan’s path but was unable to thwart the American’s cross. While she stood between the uprights, Forbes looked unbeatable on the night with a series of decisive stops as she kept out one long range effort from Megan Rapinoe with some help from the bar and produced two brilliant close range saves to deny Wambach and Sydney Leroux.

Most women’s teams would need a bit of luck against the USA; much less the poorly funded Trinidad and Tobago squad, which is unranked by FIFA due to spending over 18 months without competitive football before the August Caribbean Cup.

But yesterday’s contest was no shooting gallery. In front of Forbes, Trinidad and Tobago’s outfield players cleverly swapped from half-field presses to deeper zonal marking to unsettle an experienced American team that used three players, captain Christie Rampone, substitute Heather O’Reilly and Wambach, who had over 200 international caps each.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Kimika Forbes (right) makes a crucial second half save from United States' record goal scorer Abby Wambach in Women's World Cup qualifying action in Kansas City. (Courtesy Kyle Rivas/AFP)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Kimika Forbes (right) makes a crucial second half save from United States’ record goal scorer Abby Wambach in Women’s World Cup qualifying action in Kansas City.
(Courtesy Kyle Rivas/AFP)

Once in possession, the Warriors demonstrated a clear game plan too as they tried to unleash speedy wingers Kennya “Yaya” Cordner and Ahkeela Mollon, who play professionally in the United States and Sweden respectively.

Cordner was the more menacing attacker on the night and she would be disappointed not to have forced a save from US goalkeeper Hope Solo off a few decent half chances.

At the other end, there were heroes everywhere in red shirts although it was impossible to miss the contributions of Arin King and Rhea Belgrave at the back.

Captain Maylee Attin-Johnson, as always, was a calming figure in central midfield while Liana Hinds and Brianna Ryce, who both missed T&T’s successful Caribbean Cup competition in August, acquitted themselves well. To be fair, who didn’t?

Still, the Warriors must now show their ability to switch from solid defence to incisive offensive if Trinidad and Tobago is to qualify for its first Women’s World Cup.

Haiti snatched all three points yesterday with a 1-0 win over Guatemala, despite playing for more than an hour with 10 players, and the two Caribbean nations meet in a crucial play off on Friday evening at Toyota Park in Chicago.

Photo: Haiti forward Lindsay Zullo (number 9) bundles the ball over the line for the winning item against Guatemala in Women's World Cup qualifying action in Kansas City. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: Haiti forward Lindsay Zullo (number 9) bundles the ball over the line for the winning item against Guatemala in Women’s World Cup qualifying action in Kansas City.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

If Haiti wins, the French-speaking islanders will move to the semi-final round for the first time.

If Trinidad and Tobago wins, then Waldrum and his ladies are halfway there with Monday’s meeting with Guatemala remaining at the RFK Stadium in Washington.

And what if Haiti and the Women Warriors draw?

Well, that depends. Can Haiti restrict the United States to just one goal?

Trinidad and Tobago left the field with zero points yesterday. But Forbes and company could reap the benefit of their dogged performance in a few days if goal difference decides which team advances to the knock out stage alongside the host nation.

(Teams)

Trinidad and Tobago: 1.Kimika Forbes (GK); 16.Brianna Ryce, 4.Rhea Belgrave, 5.Arin King, 20.Lauryn Hutchinson, 15.Liana Hinds (18.Khadisha Debesette 79); 12.Ahkeela Mollon, 8.Patrice Superville (14.Karyn Forbes 82), 9.Maylee Attin-Johnson, 19.Kennya Cordner; 10.Tasha St Louis (3.Mariah Shade 46).

Unused substitutes: 21.Tinesha Palmer (GK), 2.Ayanna Russell, 11.Janine Francois, 6.Khadidra Debesette, 7.Dernelle Mascall, 13.Anique Walker.

Coach: Randy Waldrum

 

United States: 1.Hope Solo (GK); 11.Ali Krieger, 3.Christie Rampone (captain), 4.Beky Sauerbrunn, 16.Meghan Klingenberg; 12.Lauren Holiday, 10.Carli Lloyd, 15.Megan Rapinoe (8.Amy Shilling 86), 13.Alex Morgan, 14.Christen Press (2.Sydney Leroux 61), 20.Abby Wambach (9.Heather O’Reilly 77).

Unused substitutes: 18.Ashlyn Harris (GK), 5.Kelley O’Hara, 6.Whitney Engen, 7.Morgan Brian, 17.Tobin Heath, 19.Crystal Dunn.

Coach: Jill Ellis

Photo: United States attacker and world football's most prolific goal scorer Abby Wambach (second from right) is congratulated by teammates after the winner against Trinidad and Tobago in Kansas City. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: United States attacker and world football’s most prolific goal scorer Abby Wambach (second from right) is congratulated by teammates after the winner against Trinidad and Tobago in Kansas City.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

2015 Women’s World Cup qualifiers

(Wed Oct 15)

Haiti 1 (Lindsay Zullo 70), Guatemala 0 at Kansas City

United States 1 (Abby Wambach 54), Trinidad and Tobago 0 at Kansas City

 

Upcoming fixtures

(Fri Oct 17)

Trinidad and Tobago v Haiti, 6.30 pm, Chicago;

United States v Guatemala, 8.30 pm, Chicago;

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and 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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67 comments

  1. wow congrats girls i am so proud of you all , keep our flag flying high despite the odds

  2. Good going and better luck. Dernelle hopin to see you on the field.

  3. My husband and son, we are Trinidadians, went to the match to support the girls. we live two hours away form that Stadium. It was a great performance by the Trinidad Team. lets support them.

  4. Under d circumstances good game ladies

  5. Haiti has a good team and is well coached too. Make no mistake about that. The difference is that I think we have better individual players.
    But they are organised and they will be the underdogs.
    So it will be a different mental challenge for our ladies who will now be expected to boss the game.

  6. And the Haitian Team and all those other folks in Dallas who pulled through for them.

  7. Only people deserve credit is the coaches in the youth system in Trinidad that coach these girls, the previous coach that was sacked and the girls! The odds are stacked against them but sometimes the best performances comes out of desperate situations

  8. What will happen if these girls make the World Cup boy! Watch everybody and they brother roll out the red carpet which they should. Everyone will take credit!

  9. Has anyone seen or heard a press release on the Soca Princesses performance from the invisible TTFA or the Gov’t?

  10. Kenneth you finally got the picture. That was the Coach’s strategy and it worked.

  11. Great job soca princesses !!!
    They should’ve exchanged t-shirts at the end tho……lol

  12. These highlights very one sided lol

  13. That was real effort i swear they did great

  14. Strength training with weights is necessary not only for injury prevention but also recovery. This has been a part of football for decades. Can you imagine a team not doing squats? Come on be real Brent Bennett Vernal Damion Cadogan you do weights an if it doesn’t affect your speed an agility you train each muscle every four days. If it does drop it to 2-4 times per month.