Women Warriors prepare for U.S. clash in San Antonio

Trinidad and Tobago’s senior women’s footballers maintained a positive mindset as they took the training field for the first time in San Antonio for a 4pm session at the Alamodome on Tuesday ahead of Thursday’s International Friendly with the United States.

The T&T team arrived in San Antonio and checked into the Marriott Plaza just before midnight on Monday. According to team manager Sharon O’Brien, “The team is in good spirits after a long day of travel. We’re quite pleased to have arrived at our second destination and the focus now shifts to Thursday’s match. We have to keep our concentration levels up because there are quite a few days to go still on tour with the Brazil trip coming up a few days later.”

Another squad of T&T women players arrived in Natal, Brazil on Sunday for the four-nation invitational tournament and the T&T members had the privilege of meeting up with the Brazil team including star player Marta at the Arena das Dunas stadium in Natal.

As the T&T senior team prepares to finally meet the U.S. following the cancellation of Sunday’s match due to unfit field conditions, defender Lauryn Hutchinson said the few days together were well utilized in spite of no game action.

Members of the T&T team at training at the Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.
Members of the T&T team at training at the Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.

“The last four days being with the national team have been such a blessing! I am truly grateful for the things both the TTFA and US Soccer have done for us. Even though the first match in Hawaii was cancelled due to a safety hazard, I believe it gave us the chance to bond more as a team and family,” Hutchinson told TTFA Media.

“I had always grown up with this image of what Hawaii would be like. Coming here opened my eyes to so much. When we touched down I instantly fell in love. Yes we were in a very “touristy” area but the people were more than a helping hand to us. I loved how it was so carefree, such simple mindset. Nothing mattered more then family and being able to enjoy the beautiful nature around us,” Hutchinson said.

About the current position in San Antonio, she added that the team has big ambitions which includes achieving a win over the Americans.

“Now we are in Texas preparing for the game on Thursday. With all intentions of winning, we walk into every match with respect for our opponent and the will to give everything we have. This goes for any team we play. Every match we play between now and February is going to be a stepping stone for us. Different teams will expose us in different ways which will allow us to see where we need to get better in order to qualify for the 2016 Olympics.

“ This game on against the U.S. Women’s national team is about learning and growing as a team and family. Myself and the girls bought into the Waldrum’s plans since day one. They expect such a high level of professionalism and commitment from us that is inspires us to be the best team we can be for Trinidad & Tobago,” Hutchinson stated emphatically.

“On top of being positive and fighting 90+ minutes there is only one thing I believe is vital to our success on Thursday. All we need to do is focus on following the plan coach Randy and Ben Waldrum have developed for us. Sticking together is key and we are all ready to fight as one.”

As to what she thinks will be the best outcome for T&T, regardless of the final result, Hutchinson said: “On the surface in terms of outcome we always want to win. Football is played to be won. As a holistic view we want to know where we are in order to better our game before February. The best outcome for us would be giving everything we have so the Waldrum’s have a good idea where to strengthen us.”

T&T Women's Coach Anthony Creece with Brazilian Forward Marta at the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil on Tuesday.
T&T Women’s Coach Anthony Creece with Brazilian Forward Marta at the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil on Tuesday.

As the former Virginia Commonwealth University player began wrapping up the conversation, she did find time to share the bizarre period of finding out the game in Honolulu was cancelled, during the wee hours of Sunday morning.

“It was quite funny actually. About 3:30am Hawaii time I woke up because quite a few friends and family texted me about the game being cancelled. At first I thought it was a joke but once I read the U.S. Soccer article (official press release) I knew for sure the rumors were true. At the end of the day I do agree with the U.S. Soccer’s decision to cancel. The field was in no condition to play on and it makes no sense so put players at risk for injury. As for the mood in camp I think we stayed positive. Yes we were bummed but at the same time we took advantage of getting closer and enjoyed living in the beautiful moment.”

The Washington-born player will no doubt be banking on an couple nights of uninterrupted sleep as the Women Soca Warriors and the reigning world champions look very likely to take the field at the 65,000 seater multi-purpose facility as the U.S. Victory tour finally continues from 8pm (10 pm TT time).

The game will be aired live on ESPN2 and on the WatchESPN platform.

Across in Natal, T&T’s second Women’s team will face Brazil’s Senior Women’s team on Wednesday 9:45pm (8:45pm TT time). Canada faces Mexico in the opening game of the double header.