Trinidad and Tobago's Under 17 Women's team will depart for Guatemala City this morning to compete in the CONCACAF final round of qualification for the 2012 FIFA Under 17 Women's World Cup in Azerbaijan. The qualifiers run from May 2- 12 in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
Canada, Panama, Jamaica, Guatemala, United States, Mexico, Bahamas and Trinidad & Tobago are battling for three World Cup spots. T&T open against Mexico on May 3 in Guatemala City, before facing the USA on May 5 and Bahamas on May 7.
The junior Soca Princesses have been going through final preparations for the tournament via a three-match training camp at the Holiday Inn Soccer Complex, Fort Lauderdale, USA.
Trinidad & Tobago travelled to Fort Lauderdale following a two-match series in Panama, where they beat that country's Under 17 women by 3-2 and 1-0 margins. USA-based player Donika Murray was the final player to join the team on Saturday
Coached by Even Pellerud, Trinidad & Tobago held South Florida United 0-0 last Wednesday, beat Plantation Eagles FC 3-0 on Friday, and were due to play Chicago Fire Juniors yesterday evening.
In beating Plantation Eagles, T&T went ahead in the opening minute through Zoe Swift and doubled that lead into the 25th minute through captain Anique Walker. Khadidra Debesette completed the scoring in the 71st minute.
Afterward, Pellerud said he was satisfied with the team's progress in Fort Lauderdale, adding that the warm up games were against strong opponents despite those not being national teams.
T&T played Panama and Canada in its build up to the tournament and Pellerud believes that despite the fact that more international games would have been beneficial, he believes the T&T team is in ready mode.
"We've had a very good camp in Fort Lauderdale. The weather was ideal for our preparations and the field conditions and general facilities were of a very good standard, which is what any national team would need in its preparation for a tournament," Pellerud told TTFF media officer Shaun Fuentes.
"Of course you'd like to play as many international teams but we worked with what we had in front of us and our preparation was designed in the best way possible. We have to face the fact that we are grouped with two of the strongest teams in the confederation and we will need to give everything to stand a chance."
"All our players got some playing time and we are seeing how important these camps in Panama and Fort Lauderdale were. All our performances are not consistently good but a starting XI for the tournament is coming around and we know that we have to peak against Mexico on Thursday," added the Norwegian.