Tasha leads Women Warriors in next week’s Panama friendlies; three U-20 players selected

EPL Infrafred Sauna

Veteran attacker Tasha St Louis will retain the captain’s armband next week when the Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Senior Team hosts Panama in friendly international outings on 22 and 24 March at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva and the Manny Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella respectively.

The Thursday Couva outing will kick off at 6:30pm while the Saturday clash in Marabella starts at 4pm. Tickets cost TT$20 and are only available at the venue on match day.

St Louis, who led the team under former head coach Carolina Morace, will keep the honour for the Women Soca Warriors’ first international under current boss and returning head coach Jamaal Shabazz—who also steered the U-17 and U-20 teams over the last six months.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago goal scorer Tasha St Louis (left) and teammate Karyn Forbes (right) celebrate during their 2-1 Rio Olympic qualifying win over Guatemala last night in Houston.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

Shabazz included three National Under-20 players in his squad, Petrotrin midfielder Shenieka Paul, St Augustine winger Kedie Johnson and Trincity Nationals defender Natisha John having all been promoted to the senior outfit.

St Louis’ squad also boasts Petrotrin forward Mariah Shade, Real Dimension midfielders Janine Francois and Karyn Forbes and QPCC defender Ayana Russell, who were all involved in Trinidad and Tobago’s exciting but ultimately unsuccessful Canada 2015 World Cup qualifying series.

However, star forward Kennya “Yaya” Cordner misses out owing to club commitments in Norway. Defender Arin King and goalkeeper Kimika Forbes are injured while Akheela Mollon and midfielder and captain Maylee Attin-Johnson reportedly ruled themselves out owing to coaching commitments

The Women Warriors are expected to start their France 2019 World Cup qualifying campaign in May at the Caribbean Championships. Shade told the TTFA Media that the squad is anxious to take to the field.

“We are very much excited and eagerly awaiting these two games,” said Shade. “We have been hard at training and now it’s just an opportunity to implement what we’ve been working on with our new coach,Jamaal Shabazz.

“We know that it’s important for us to come out and put on a good show in preparation for our tournament coming up.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago striker Mariah Shade (left) shoots past Guatemala defender Londy Barrious but also just wide of the far corner during the 2014 CONCACAF Championship.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

Although Shabazz is not particularly optimistic about the team’s chances of getting to the FIFA tournament, Shade said the women feel they have unfinished business.

“We have a lot of players who were left heartbroken in our last qualifying campaign,” said Shade, “so we know this is another opportunity for us to come together once again and work hard to achieve this goal of qualifying for a World Cup; and therefore it’s very important for us.

“We’ve been putting in a lot of work and we’ve been getting better with a consistent training programme over the past few months. It’s a younger team this time with a few of the experienced players involved still from the previous campaign so it’s a chance for us to mesh and continue building that chemistry in these two games against Panama.

“We will like for the fans to continue their support and come out and back us from early because our intention is to go all the way in the qualifications and we will really appreciate every bit of support we can get.”

(Trinidad and Tobago squad)

Goalkeepers: Nicolette Craig (Essex County College), Tenesha Palmer (St Ann’s Rangers);

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Shenieka Paul (centre) pressures Canada midfielder Sarah Stratigakis (right) during CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship action at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 20 January, 2018.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Defenders: Patrice Superville (QPCC), Jonelle Cato (Trincity Nationals), Anastasia Prescott (QPCC), Jenelle Cunningham (Real Dimension), Ayana Russell (QPCC), Natisha John (Trincity Nationals);

Midfielders: Tasha St Louis (Real Dimension), Karyn Forbes (Real Dimension), Janine Francois (Real Dimension), Naomie Guerra (William Carey University), Shanelle Arjoon (West Texas A&M), Kedie Johnson (St Augustine), Shenieka Paul (Petrotrin);

Forwards: Mariah Shade (Petrotrin), Natasha St Louis (St Ann’s Rangers), Andrea Young (Ottawa Fury).

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  1. Morning everyone , what was the final result of the recent training match versus the U-16 boys. Keep working hard ladies !!!!! Cheering from afar !!!!!!

  2. What about Kennya Yaya Cordner

  3. What about de Debesette Twins? School commitments?

  4. watch us build the program not just a team and there is room for those who want to contribute. Be it with criticism that we can benefit from or expertize ….but we will build it up again inshallah. Blows now that do not break the back will strengthen it. Come build with us with words…..resources….intellect….we not thin skinned. Nor will we fly off the edge and get abusive.

    • Are there any persons you believe that can be added to bring value to your programme, if yes, have they been approached?

    • To be clear you and I will never be mates ….so now that that’s out the way. I’ve watched your games recently at the youth level …..alot of them and I know you don’t have the best available players at your disposal (I’m critical but not naeive) but my concern is that (using two prominent coaches Mourinho and Pep as examples) is that your teams lack a definite plan and that has to be on the coach. Mourinho whines and asks for more money to bring in players etc and Pep shows a plan in his game when he plays. Like I said this is not a direct comparison to these two coaches but defensively your teams lack structure and coverage when players engage attackers …a sense of pressure and coverage and an understanding of where they need to be is lacking …. so there is poor diagonal coverage and players are constantly isolated one on one…
      even something as simple as the moment the ball is lost everybody falls back to the halfline behind the ball to defend (as basic a tactic as can be employed to kill the space for opponents). Going forward when the ball is picked up …players don’t understand the runs to be made and where to make those runs. If I (or the public) could see more signs of this we’d be more endeared to the effort. Not expecting Barca just signs of an understanding of a foundational tactic being applied. I don’t see that with your team and it’s discouraging. I haven’t even discussed the technical ability of the young ladies which needs to be improved. Am I expecting change overnight ….. of course not but I’d love to see signs and symptoms of application of these tactics ….(as would we all) ….. If I see this I promise to quietly take myself back into the “internet armchair” soccer office in which my mentality supposedly resides. Finally I realise that I could be more subtle but truthfully with the amount of time I’ve watched my national teams suffer because of poor preparations I’m tired being subtle and diplomatic and find it more relieving to be straight forward and blunt that way there is no confusion. My opinion is not to seek affection it’s to seek answers. Despite my concerns about your approach I support your teams …. everytime. If you are able to filter past my bluntness you’ll see a genuine concern and hope for these young women’s progress …..

  5. I understand we do not have the pool people think we have nor the talent. I have learnt lessons my career as a coach and the dream and reality of what is success especially as it relates to preparation and what is afforded. I believe in this program but at this point I not seening a squad that will be a real challenger to qualify. Games like these against Panama and others to come would help us as we try to widen the pool.

  6. come out with the whips I am here to take your comments or questions

  7. damned if you damned if you dont

  8. If your Coach does not believe in you winning, might as well go a boatride before the game.

  9. Lol at least he’s being honest for a change …he knows his ability (or lack there of) ….. he’s applying the “Mourinho Method” lol

  10. But then when he is.
    He’s chastised.

    • Good point but you can be measuredly optimistic and I think print media is easy to take out of context as quotes are pulled out from more voluminous recordings

    • This was specific quote: Wired868: And what is our approach for the Women’s National Senior Team and their France 2019 World Cup campaign, which starts in May?

      Shabazz: Well, as I said, Anton Corneal is the one taking the leading role. But, for me, I say let’s take this opportunity to build for the future.

      We have Maylee Attin-Johnson who’s looking to start to coach and is not sure of her knees. We have Tasha St Louis, who is a key player on the squad but is 33 or 34. We have Dernelle Mascall, who is starting to coach and she’s pregnant. Ayanna Russell is starting to coach, Ahkeela Mollon is falling in love now with coaching more than playing.

      […] To me, the pool is not as flattering as we think. We are going on past understanding of those players. But if Karyn Forbes gets an injury and Janine Francois gets an injury, the team will look worrisome.
      I think realistically we have to say let’s integrate U-20’s into this team; expose them at CONCACAF level and give our best. The final decision will be Anton Corneal’s but for sure I will fight for that to happen because I didn’t come in the women’s game yesterday.

      I know when it is time to bring in players like Dennecia Prince, Kedie Johnson, Laurelle Theodore, Natisha John, K’lil Keshwar, Alexis Fortune and Amaya Ellis and integrate them with the seniors and get caps for them.

  11. The Coach should always be optimistic, ALWAYS!

  12. “Although Shabazz is not particularly optimistic about the team’s chances of getting to the FIFA tournament, Shade said the women feel they have unfinished business.”

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