Trinidad and Tobago’s Senior Women’s team arrived in Honolulu, Hawaii just after midnight on Friday and will have their lone training session today at 4pm (10pm TT Time) at the Aloha Stadium ahead of tomorrow’s international friendly with the United States.
The local contingent which left Port of Spain on Friday met with head coach Randy Waldrum and the North American delegation which arrived a few hours earlier in Honolulu.
The T&T team which is assembling under Waldrum for the first time since the World Cup qualifier versus Ecuador in December, 2014, is based at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort and Spa in Honolulu.
Team manager Sharon O’Brien said the mood in the camp was quite upbeat despite the long travel time.
“We are all here in Honolulu. We arrived just after midnight at the hotel and everyone is in good spirits,” O’Brien told TTFA Media.
“Randy and the rest of the squad that didn’t come from home (Port of Spain) arrived here before us and today Liana Hinds (player) will arrive as she could not travel yesterday due to exams.
“We have one training session scheduled for the game venue at 4pm and then we go into the match tomorrow. The game is a big attraction here because the US team has not played in Hawaii before so there is a lot happening in relation to the game. Our team is quite excited to be part of it and we will be looking to put on a good show tomorrow against the world champions.” O’Brien added.
T&T head coach Randy Waldrum was also anticipating the encounter, saying “Again it’s a great opportunity for the Trinidad and Tobago women’s team and for women’s football in the country, to be able to play the World champions.
“It’s going to be a tough match but this is ideal for us at this point, particularly as we are preparing for the Olympic qualification. I think everyone is really looking forward to the contest,” Waldrum said.
Speedy T&T forward Ahkeela Mollon also believes the two games against the US will serve T&T well heading into the CONCACAF Final round of Olympic qualification in February.
“It’s two great games for us to have right now. I think the main thing for us as team is to believe in our abilities. The US is a great team and they are world champions but we have shown that we can compete against teams of their class and I’m looking forward to the matches.
“It’s a different time now (as compared to the previous match in 2014) but we will go out there and give it our best and hopefully get a decent result but of course the aim will be producing a good performance,” Mollon added.
The US Team trained on Thursday at the UH Manoa’s Cooke Field and have been a major attraction in Aloha state, particularly as Sunday’s match will be the first to be played in Hawaii by the US team. The US team was scheduled to hold a training session open to the public from 11am at the Aloha Stadium.
With the US being the reigning FIFA Women’s World Cup champions, the World Cup trophy was on display at the Hawaii Convention Center on Friday. Hawaii was one of only ten cities across the U.S. selected to host the team’s victory tour, and the seventh stop of the tour.
Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO George Szigeti said “The HTA is pleased to support such a prestigious event and highlight our ability to hold premier sporting events in the Islands. This positions the Hawaiian Islands as destination for top sporting events.
“The game also provides a unique opportunity for our residents to see the Women’s World Cup Champion play in our state. It is especially exciting for young soccer players to watch athletes of this caliber compete at Aloha Stadium.”
“We’ve come so far. The game has grown quite a bit. There’s a lot of great players out here in Hawaii. There’s some great clubs out here in Hawaii,” added US goalkeeper Hope Solo.
“I think we have an opportunity to really grow the game here. We hope to get some more Hawaiian players on the national team one day, like the old, Natasha Kai, who we still all know and love.” Solo added.
US Head coach Jill Ellis said: “It has been a fantastic and thrilling year and we are looking forward to ending it on a high note, and especially honoring Abby and her legendary career in New Orleans.
“T&T and China are very competitive teams and once again we’ll look to these games to continue the process of preparing for Olympic Qualifying, especially now that we know our path during the qualifying tournament in February.”
The game which kicks off at 3pm (9pm TT time) will be the centerpiece of FOX Sports’ Pearl Harbor Day commemorative broadcast and will be aired on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports GO.
T&T Squad for US match
Tasha St. Louis