Veteran Trinidad and Tobago attacking midfielder Tasha St Louis will wear the captain’s armband against Venezuela tomorrow as the Women Soca Warriors play their first international under new head coach Carolina Morace.
Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela kick off from 4pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva tomorrow and then from 7pm at the same venue on Wednesday 29 March. Tickets are priced at TT$100 (adults) and TT$50 (children) and will be sold at the venue on match day. Season pass holders can enter for free.
St Louis fills the void left by former captain Maylee Attin-Johnson, who is suspended along with attacker Kennya “Yaya” Cordner. Defender Arin King, who led the Women Warriors before, was named as vice captain along with midfielder Karyn Forbes.
St Louis promised to give it her best shot and said the team is coming along nicely at present.
“The atmosphere now is pretty good,” St Louis told the TTFA Media. “The players are gelling and we are starting to look like a team. Both games against Venezuela will be good for us and I am looking forward to having a great impact as an individual and as a captain.”
Forbes credited the local football body for getting an early start to Trinidad and Tobago’s 2019 World Cup qualifying series. The two island republic has never qualified for a FIFA women’s competition—although coming within a whisker of the Canada 2015 tournament. Forbes hopes they can go one better this time.
“It’s great that we are starting this early [with] things that will help us achieve our common goal which is making it to France 2019,” said Forbes. “I am really excited that we have the privilege to come in and do these team building exercises that we have been doing in camp. Because this is all part of the preparations for moving forward and achieving success.”
Morace, who coached Canada at the 2013 World Cup, said she shared the excitement of her players and staff and is anxious to see her charges show what they have learnt on the training ground—in particular, their ball possession and shape in possession and marking and covering without the ball.
“This is my first game in charge of Trinidad and Tobago and of course I am excited just like the rest of my staff,” she said. “This game will be used to measure where we are as a team. We know that we have worked a a lot physically and now we want to see where are at.
“In this camp we have had a chance to bring the local players and US-based players together and set up the professional environment that is required to play in the national team. The last two or three days, the players have focused more on the technical and tactical aspect [and] I have to say that the atmosphere is great.”
King, the 2014 Trinidad and Tobago Player of the Year, hopes the fans come out to witness the start of their journey.
“It feels great to be back with all my sisters,” said King. “It’s a good atmosphere coming back in, training again and being around everyone, getting that chemistry going again. We’d love to have the support of the fans come out.
“We are excited to show you where we are with our passion and drive to make it to France.”
(T&T Women’s Squad)
Goalkeepers: Kimika Forbes, Shalette Alexander;
Defenders: Arin King, Patrice Superville, Anastasia Prescott, Liana Hinds, Lauryn Hutchinson, Chevonne John, Annalis Cummings;
Midfielders: Dernelle Mascall, Tasha St Louis, Karyn Forbes, Nia Walcott, Ranae Ward, Ke’die Johnson;
Forwards: Mariah Shade, Shenelle Henry, Laurelle Theodore.