T&T look to settle early against World Champs USA

Trinidad and Tobago’s Senior Women will attempt to defy the odds when they face reigning Women’s World Cup champions United States in their one off international friendly at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Thursday at 8pm (10pm TT time)

The T&T team has been in San Antonio since Monday after arriving from Honolulu where their previous engagement was cancelled due to unfit field conditions.

The Randy Waldrum-coached team will be looking to produce the similar kind of showing that saw them narrowly lose 1-0 to the U.S. in the CONCACAF group stage encounter last year.

“I think we are all very focused even though it’ a friendly but it’s a great opportunity for us to show ourselves against the best team in the world and that’s big factor for us,” defender Lauryn Hutchinson told TTFA Media.

Lauryn Hutchinson in action.
Lauryn Hutchinson in action.

Waldrum himself is looking forward to the encounter, saying ‘It’s a great test for us ahead of the Olympic qualifiers and we’ll be looking to do the right things against what is a world class opponent. We expect the game to be very tough, also because of the fact that we have not been together for a long time but it’s all a process.

“We know they will be all over us offensively, and they will press the game for sure. So we’ll take a more defensive approach, trying to stay compact and organized.”

Forward Mariah Shade celebrated her 24th birthday on Wednesday and brought it in with her teammates in camp at the Marriott Plaza before hitting the training field as they completed their final bit of preparations on the eve of the match.

Meantime, U.S. Soccer officials have examined the playing surface at the Alamodome and don’t appear concerned, dome marketing director Andre DeLaune said Tuesday.

However, while the turf at Aloha Stadium is synthetic and has a mixture of sand and rubber, DeLaune said the dome’s three-year-old surface only has rubber.

A view of the Alamodome Facility - venue for Thursday's match between T&T and USA.
A view of the Alamodome Facility – venue for Thursday’s match between T&T and USA.

The surface at the Alamodome is the same one the U.S. women’s team played on against Australia in October 2013, and DeLaune said there were no issues with the turf at that time.

Abby Wambach celebrates the winning goal vs T&T in 2014.
Abby Wambach celebrates the winning goal vs T&T in 2014.

Another T&T Women’s national team was scheduled to face another powerhouse Brazil in Natal in the second game of a double header in the four-nation invitational tournament on Wednesday evening.

T&T meet Marta and Brazil in Natal opener

Trinidad and Tobago Women’s team coach Anthony Creece says this country’s women footballers will look to cause a spoil against Marta and Brazil when they meet in their opening game of the invitational tournament at the Arena  das Nunas Natal, Brazil from 8:45pm TT time today.

The mood in the camp is one of excitement and worry at the same time,” Creece told TTFA Media.

Members of the T&T Senior Women's Team... ready to take on the U.S.
Members of the T&T Senior Women’s Team… ready to take on the U.S.

“The ladies are excited to be facing a world powerhouse in women’s soccer in Brazil , with Formiga and Marta along with their other stars  but worried because with a squad of 12-13 players it could be a daunting task. But spirits are good and the ladies will seek to go out there and show what they are made of to everyone.”

“It took us a very long time to get here and today (yesterday)  was our first practice and one could tell we have to shake off the tired minds and legs. We have another session tonight at 8pm local time and tomorrow (Wednesday) morning a scheduled walk about followed by team meeting before heading off to play in the second game against the Brazilians.

“I think we will be looking to settle early and try not to get them to take full control and dominate us from very early on. We have capable players and I think once we can shake off the nerves and avoid too many mistakes then we can keep ourselves in the match,” Creece added.

Canada takes on Mexico in the opening game in Natal two hours earlier. Following Thursday’s match in San Antonio, the remaining players and members of staff are scheduled to join the current squad in Natal for their remaining matches in the tournament there.