The superlatives were showering down.
No, not for Abby Wambach, who scored the game’s lone goal or even for Alex Morgan, the assist provider.
The praise was for Trinidad & Tobago goalkeeper Kimika Forbes, who played tremendously in the Soca Princesses 1-0 loss to the United States in both teams opening match of the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship on Wednesday at Sporting Park.
“She was big-time tonight, wasn’t she? Player of the game for us, for sure,” beamed Trinidad & Tobago head coach Randy Waldrum. “She kept it close and kept us in it. She’s special.”
The United States outshot Trinidad & Tobago, 29-7, but Forbes made nine saves to keep her team in the match. One of her finest stops came in the 52nd minute, when she thwarted the prolific Wambach on a breakaway before Megan Rapinoe put the rebound over the goal.
In stoppage time, Forbes robbed Sydney Leroux with a left leg save.
“She was fantastic tonight,” Waldrum said. “I can’t even describe it in words how many times she came up big for us.”
Based on her outstanding performance, it would be easy to surmise that Trinidad & Tobago was rich in quality goalkeeping.
“The interesting thing is, that’s an area we need to strengthen back in our country in Trinidad & Tobago is in goalkeeping,” Waldrum noted.
Like several of her teammates, Forbes came to the United States to play college soccer and made a home at tiny University of Maine Fort Kent.
“She’s a great example of a player who has come to the States and gone to school in the States, as have a few of these players,” commented Waldrum. “They’ve learned a little bit more about what’s out there and available to them.”
While Forbes was relatively unknown heading into Wednesday’s encounter, she drew the attention, and praise, of arguably the best player in the world.
“Credit to them. They played a great game of soccer,” Wambach said. “They stuck with their game plan. Their goalkeeper played a ridiculous game.”